Criminal Justice + Policing

Oregonians deprived of court-appointed lawyers sue state over their constitutional rights

BY: - May 17, 2022

Four Oregonians who face criminal charges are suing over their constitutional right to have legal representation in a criminal proceeding.  Though they can’t pay for a lawyer and qualify for court-appointed counsel, they’ve not been assigned a public defender, according to the nonprofit Oregon Justice Resource Center. One has waited 53 days for representation, according […]

Oregon State Seal Capitol

Oregon inmates released early mirror recidivism of those serving full sentences

BY: - May 12, 2022

An initial assessment of 266 inmates released early from Oregon prisons during the pandemic showed they were no more likely to commit new crimes than those who serve their full sentences. The state Criminal Justice Commission said in a recent report that recidivism rates and patterns were comparable, and slightly lower, to a recent cohort […]

women in shadow

More behavioral health care, housing in Oregon would spare individuals and society from pain

BY: and - May 11, 2022

Oregon ranks seventh in the U.S. in state spending on behavioral health supports. Yet it is ranked 48th in positive behavioral health outcomes. Every day, people who need behavioral health treatment and support are unable to secure them. These problems have now reached crisis proportions. As the Legislature continues to wrestle with these challenges, an […]

Proposal to decriminalize sex work won’t appear on Oregon ballots

BY: - May 6, 2022

Oregonians won’t get the chance to vote on whether to decriminalize sex work this year after backers of a ballot initiative ended their campaign Thursday. The proposed initiative would have made it legal to buy and sell sex in Oregon and would have treated sex work like other occupations, subject to employment law and state […]

Survey finds many Asian Oregonians experience hate crimes, harassment that go unreported

BY: - April 29, 2022

A survey of Asian Oregonians showed that half had heard someone use a racial slur, epithet or degrading language against them or their family. One-fifth said they or their family have faced a threat of physical harm or property damage because of their race. But most did not report it to police or the state’s […]

Former Oregon Health Authority worker accused of embezzling $1.5 million in federal Covid funding

BY: - April 20, 2022

An Oregon Health Authority employee who processed requests for vendor payments has been indicted for embezzling nearly $1.5 million, state officials said Wednesday. A Marion County grand jury indicted Marzieh Abedin of Portland on 21 criminal counts, including theft, forgery, identity theft and computer crime – all felonies, according to a statement from Attorney General […]

Oregon governor, legislature, courts launch new effort to address public defender shortage

BY: - April 20, 2022

Lawmakers, Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Judicial Department are launching a new effort to address a shortage of attorneys that has left some Oregonians jailed without the legal representation they’re guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  A workgroup announced this week will analyze management, financial and structural challenges facing the state office that oversees roughly […]

Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum sues Covid testing company

BY: - April 7, 2022

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Thursday sued a Covid testing business that the state Justice Department alleges provided questionable test results and took advantage of Oregonians.  Center for Covid Control, an Illinois-based business that opened hundreds of testing sites nationally and five in Oregon, has been under scrutiny from state and federal officials for […]

U.S. Senate heads toward final vote this week on Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation

BY: - April 5, 2022

The U.S. Senate approved a procedural measure Tuesday to advance Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, setting up a final vote on confirmation as early as Thursday. The roll call Tuesday was identical to the tally on another procedural vote Monday. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt […]

Oregon adds hotline for sanctuary law violations

BY: - April 1, 2022

There’s a new number to call if police are suspected of investigating someone’s immigration status or otherwise violating Oregon’s sanctuary law.  Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Friday launched a new state hotline that anyone can call to report suspected violations of the decades-old sanctuary law that prevents state and local government and law enforcement from […]

Oregon to join most states in compensating the wrongfully convicted

BY: - April 1, 2022

Wrongfully convicted Oregonians will now be eligible for financial compensation for time of false imprisonment.  On March 24, Gov. Kate Brown signed the Oregon Justice for Exonerees Act, which allows compensation for wrongful convictions. Victims will be able to receive money, housing assistance, counseling, a sealing of their records and a clear name.  Previously, Oregon […]

Auditors: Oregon ranks high for domestic terrorism, Legislature should do more

BY: - March 30, 2022

After a decade that included the occupation of a federal wildlife refuge, clashes between groups of protesters in Portland and a mob forcing its way into the locked Capitol, Oregon ranks sixth in the nation for violent extremist attacks, according to a new state report.  The Secretary of State’s Audits Division called on the Legislature […]