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Press Release: July 15, 2011

Governor Kitzhaber creates Commission for Comprehensive Sentencing Reform

(SALEM, Ore.) —   Governor Kitzhaber today issued an Executive Order creating a Commission on Public Safety to study the costs of incarceration and strategize how the state can most effectively and efficiently use public safety dollars to carry out justice and keep Oregon’s citizens safe. The seven-member commission will be led by representatives from all three branches of state government, with Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz serving as Chair. Former Governor Ted Kulongoski will serve as Governor Kitzhaber’s designee on the commission, building on the significant work he began on public safety issues during his administration.

Oregon’s current sentencing structure was developed by separate legislative actions and ballot measures, creating policies that are independent and inconsistent. The Commission will recommend specific concepts to make the public safety system more efficient, smart, and fair while ensuring that Oregonians are safe in their homes and communities and that criminals are held accountable for their offenses.

“It is time to take stock of the successes and challenges of our public safety system and chart a path for the future,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “We must take a strategic look at our sentencing policies so that we can use the limited dollars we have to make smart investments in our justice system that will best ensure the public’s safety.”

Six appointees will represent the three branches of Oregon’s government and, together, will select a member of the public to serve as the seventh member. Judicial, Executive and Legislative members and their designees are:

Chief Justice Paul J. De MunizJudicial designee
Governor Ted KulongoskiGovernor Kitzhaber designee
Senator Floyd Prozanski – Senate President Peter Courtney designee 
Senator Jackie Winters  – Senate President Peter Courtney designee 
Representative Chris Garrett – Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan designee 
Representative Andy Olson – Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna designee 

"I participated in the last comprehensive sentencing review in 1989 before I became a judge," said Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz. "We now have more tools and experience to know how we can reduce crime and increase public safety by our sentencing laws and decisions. I look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to make better use of our limited public safety dollars."

For the Executive Order, read here: http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/docs/executive_orders/eo_1106.pdf

Media Contacts:
Christine Miles, 503-559-8795
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324

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