Monday, July 22, 2019
Thank you, Pam, for that introduction. It was such an honor to work with Sen. Winters on this legislation which will have an impact on so many families.
I am so pleased to be here with you all today to sign into law SB 1008. It represents an enormous amount of effort from so many here today — not just individuals, but organizations across the criminal justice system. This took years.
Thank you to Rep. Williamson, Sen. Prozanski, and Addie Smith.
The woman who led the charge on this is with us in spirit.
This legislation came together because of the leadership of Senator Jackie Winters. She brought everyone together, and — as she was apt to do — cleared the path forward.
As you all know, Senator Winters was a force to be reckoned with. She used it to make peoples’ lives better, to make the world a more just place. Her commitment to fairness, justice, and rehabilitation was unwavering. She saw the best in everyone, and she saw hope in their future.
This bill is a testament to her magnanimous nature.
It will serve troubled youth in our community for generations to come, reshaping lives and putting them on a path towards success. Redemption, after all, was something she was closely acquainted with. She had a personal connection to second chances.
Her husband Ted was a dedicated public servant later in his life. But as a young man, he served time in prison.
Jackie knew that just as he had turned his life around, others could too. But the system didn’t help. Youth who serve time in adult prisons are much more likely to re-offend. Racial and ethnic disparities are more pervasive in the justice system. And young people’s brains hold enormous capacity for change and influence.
Over the years, we saw how this played out across hundreds of cases. So many youth. And their families.
That data informed the path forward. By changing the sentencing guidelines for youth offenders, our communities will be safer. And more Oregonians will have better chances of using their time in custody to make a turnaround in their lives.
Change starts today. Let’s get this bill signed!