Paul Evans, Democratic candidate for Oregon's House District 20, will host a public safety forum on August 6th in the Monmouth Public Library, 168 Ecols Street S. The discussion begins at 7 p.m. and features public safety professionals from around the area.
“It’s important for members of the community to come learn about the issues facing us today and examine what actions we can take to address any immediate problems,” said candidate Paul Evans, former Mayor of Monmouth and Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Kulongoski on Emergency Management, Military, and Veterans’ Affairs.”
Since 1980 the Oregon Department of Corrections budget has more than doubled, siphoning money away from other priorities. Ballot Measures 11 in 1994, 57 in 2008, and 73 in 2010 increased state requirements for lengthy jail stays for those convicted of a variety of crimes, many of which are non-violent. Because of these sweeping ballot measures, though, constraints have been put on a judge’s discretion.
A state report in 2012 forecasted that Oregon prisons would see 1,100 more inmates in the next three years. “We did not get any relief out of this forecast,” said state Corrections Department Director Colette Peters. The forecast predicts that Oregon’s prison population will grow by more than 2,000 in the next decade, which is estimated to cost taxpayers $600 million for new cells and staffing (The Oregonian, 10/2/12).