Criminal Justice + Policing

Nearly 2 dozen Oregonians died in police use of force incidents in 2022

BY: - May 24, 2023

Oregon police officers killed 23 people in the line of duty in 2022, according to the state’s first use-of-force report. Lawmakers discussed a summary of the report, which is not yet released, on Wednesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The report, compiled by Oregon’s Criminal Justice Commission, doesn’t discuss whether the police use of force […]

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Eye insurance company agrees to $2.5 million settlement in 2020 data breach

BY: - May 17, 2023

A vision insurance company at the heart of a data breach that affected thousands of Oregonians has agreed to a $2.5 million settlement, state officials said Wednesday. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a news release that Oregon will receive $750,000 on behalf of the 11,000 state residents whose personal information was compromised as part […]

semi-automatic weapon

The AR-15 is ‘America’s Rifle.’ Ban it.

BY: - May 11, 2023

How many dead children does it take to finally move to restrict access to high-powered weapons of war? Lawmakers in Texas provided us with an answer this week, as a bipartisan panel of state lawmakers voted to advance a bill raising the minimum age to purchase assault weapons, the New York Times reported. “It was […]

Medical marijuana was approved by Oregon voters in 1998, and the possession and use of recreational marijuana has been legal in the state since mid-2015.

Merkley, Blumenauer optimistic about prospects of cannabis banking act

BY: - May 10, 2023

Over the past eight years, two Oregon congressional members have pushed Congress to pass a law encouraging banks to work with cannabis companies, considered illegal businesses under federal law.  This year, they’re hopeful it will pass. U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both Oregon Democrats, said Wednesday in an online news briefing that […]

Ron Wyden discusses gun violence at OHSU

Wyden aims to pursue federal legislation to curb gun violence

BY: - May 8, 2023

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden plans to pursue federal legislation to reduce the surge in gun violence. Oregon’s senior senator discussed the problem on Friday with experts at Oregon Health & Science University’s South Waterfront campus in Portland. The meeting included experts involved with a federally funded OHSU and Portland State University research project studying strategies […]

Oregon House passes divisive firearms bill that would reshape the state’s gun regulations

BY: - May 2, 2023

The state House on Tuesday passed a firearms bill that would ban untraceable guns, raise the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase powerful firearms like semiautomatic weapons and allow local agencies to ban firearms on government property. House Bill 2005 passed on a 35-24 party-line vote with Republicans opposed. Democratic lawmakers and supporters […]

Oregon bill would let more people qualify to end post-prison supervision early

BY: - April 27, 2023

Billy Anfield spent years feeling like someone was walking behind him everywhere he went, watching and waiting for the chance to put him behind bars. Anfield, 74, is now the advocacy coordinator for Central City Concern’s Flip the Script program, helping Black people released from prison find housing, health care, employment and support they need […]

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week called for a review of the physical security of the utility’s power systems. The order comes after attacks on substations in North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon and Washington state.

After shootings, regulator doesn’t recommend additional substation security standards 

BY: - April 24, 2023

The organization in charge of setting and enforcing reliability standards for the U.S. electric grid isn’t recommending new physical security requirements for thousands of electric substations following a rash of shooting attacks that have knocked out power in parts of several states. Jim Robb, CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, told the Federal […]

Legislature poised for conflicts over gun-control legislation

BY: - April 24, 2023

Oregon lawmakers are debating firearms legislation this session, setting the stage for legislative battles and courtroom fights that could go to the U.S. Supreme Court. The proposals, all backed by Democratic lawmakers, would ban ghost guns that lack a serial number, put a permit system in place for purchasing firearms and establish a 72-hour waiting […]

courtroom gael and money

Oregon lawmakers propose ways to stem the public defense crisis

BY: - April 20, 2023

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton keeps a list of dozens of defendants without a defense attorney tacked to the wall of his office.  About 40 are in jail. They’re among 170 statewide who are behind bars while facing criminal charges for misdemeanors and felonies, including murder.  The number worries Barton. ‘What keeps me up […]

U.S. lawmakers in Oregon urge federal authorities to curb opioid use

BY: - April 20, 2023

Oregon teens are dying of drug-related causes faster than in any other state, and the government needs to do more about it, members of Oregon’s congressional delegation said Thursday. U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, Earl Blumenauer, Andrea Salinas and Val Hoyle urged U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel […]

Oregon Senate passes bill to expand college access for prison inmates

BY: - April 18, 2023

The state Senate has passed a bill aimed at making higher education classes and programs more accessible for prison inmates, a move intended to boost their odds of success after their release. Senate Bill 270 passed late Monday with a bipartisan 23-5 vote. The measure, which now goes to the House, would allow the Oregon […]