Cause and effect is pretty easy to spot, especially in government and politics

Just about a month ago, a group of seven Oregon prison inmates sued Gov. Brown and the state over COVID-19 concerns. The suit was brought about on their behalf by the Oregon Justice Resource Center. The suit claimed the state needed to consider reducing the number of inmates because they couldn't practice social distancing.

Now this week, Gov. Brown has requested the Department of Corrections compile a list of inmates who may qualify for 'early' release due to COVID issues. The criteria include:

  • Being susceptible to COVID, according to prison medical staff
  • Not be serving a sentence for a crime against a person (assault, rape etc.)
  • Have served at least half of their sentence;
  • Have at least a  year long record of good conduct
  • Have a housing plan in place, a place to go upon release
  • They cannot pose an unacceptable safety, security, or compliance risk to the community.

Opponents say many inmates have plead 'down' from larger more serious crimes, it's done in the judicial system to get convictions, and often inmates benefit from this.  The Department of Corrections released a statement about the idea as well, which read in part:

"....While we appreciate the Governor’s narrowed criteria and awareness that it is inappropriate to commute sentences of individuals convicted of violent person crimes, we caution that any releases should not add to the current stressors and burdens faced by all Oregonians...."

According to officials, Brown sent off the letter about this last Friday. To read more about this change of plans, click on the button below.

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