Our youth justice system should be focused on prevention and rehabilitation, rather than punishment and incarceration. Justice and accountability are opportunities to heal, not just to punish youth. When young people take responsibility for their actions, we should help them make a positive contribution to society through rehabilitation, education and opportunity.
However, Measure 11, passed over two decades ago at the height of the tough-on-crime era, created harsh penalties, causing youth as young as 15 to be charged and sentenced as adults for certain acts, facing the same mandatory minimum penalties as adults, despite their young age.
Recent Supreme Court decisions and behavioral and brain development experts have found that young people possess a unique capacity for change. The vast majority of youth who commit crimes age out of criminal behavior and no longer pose a threat to society in adulthood. This new data highlights the need for sentencing policies that reflect the scientific and developmental realities of children.
Trying youth as adults is ineffective at teaching young people how to be healthy members of society and often costs considerably more than community alternatives that have been proven to be more effective. In fact, incarceration leads to a higher risk that youth will reoffend as adults and disportionately impacts Oregon’s most vulnerable young people.
SB 1008 has four main components to improve youth justice in our state:
- First, SB 1008 establishes a process where all youth who are convicted in adult court have access to a "Second Look" hearing half way through their sentence. At that hearing, a judge determines whether the youth has taken responsibility for their crime and been rehabilitated, which would allow the remainder of their sentence to be served under community-based supervision, rather than being incarcerated.
- Second, SB 1008 places youth accused of any crimes in the juvenile justice system, instead of the adult justice system. To move a youth to the adult justice system, prosecutors would need to request a special hearing with a judge who would decide where youth are placed.
- Third, SB 1008 requires an opportunity for a judge to release a youth before they are transferred to an adult prison, as long as the youth has less than two years left on their sentence.
- And fourth, SB 1008 eliminates life without parole sentences for youth in Oregon by establishing a process to ensure that anyone convicted of a crime when they are under 18 years old receives a chance for parole after 15 years of incarceration.
Take Action: Tell your the Governor and your legislators THANK YOU for passing Youth Justice Reform!
Oregon's legislators who voted YES on SB 1008
Sen. Lee Beyer, Springfield, district 6
Sen. Ginny Burdick,, Portland, district 18
Sen. Peter Courtney, Salem, district 11
Sen. Michael Dembrow, Portland, district 23
Sen. Shemia Fagan, Portland, district 24
Sen. Lew Frederick, Portland, district 22
Sen Sara Gelser, Corvallis, district 8
Sen. Jeff Golden, Ashland, district 3
Sen. Mark Hass, Beaverton, district 14
Sen. Dallas Heard, Roseburg, district 1
Sen. Dennis Linthicum, Klamath Falls, district 28
Sen. James Manning, Eugene, district 7
Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, Gresham, district 25
Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Eugene, district 4
Sen. Chuck, Riley, Hillsboro, district 15
Sen. Arnie Roblan, Coos Bay, district 5
Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Beaverton, district 17
Sen. Kathleen Taylor, Portland, district 21
Sen. Rob Wagner, Tualatin, district 19
Sen. Jackie Winters, Salem, district 10
Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, Woodburn, district 22
Rep. Janelle Bynum, Clackamas, district 51
Rep. Brian Clem, Salem, district 21
Rep. Margaret Doherty, Tigard, district 35
Rep. Paul Evans, Salem, district 20
Rep. Julie Fahey, Eugene, district 14
Rep. Lynn Findley, Ontario, district 60
Rep. David Gomberg, Otis, district 10
Rep. Chris Gorsek, Troutdale, district 49
Rep. Mitch Greenlick, Portland, district 33
Rep. Ken Helm, Beaverton, district 34
Rep. Diego Hernandez, Portland, district 47
Rep. Paul Holvey, Eugene, district 8
Rep. A. Keny-Guyer, Portland, district 46
Rep. Tina Kotek, Portland, district 44
Rep. John Lively, Springfield, district 12
Rep. Pam Marsh, Ashland, district 5
Rep. Caddy McKeown, Coos Bay, district 9
Rep. Susan McLain, Hillsboro, district 29
Rep. Mark Meek, Gladstone, district 40
Rep. Tiffini Mitchell, Cannon Beach, district 32
Rep. Nancy Nathanson, Eugene, district 13
Rep. Courtney Neron, Sherwood/Wilsonville, district 26
Rep. Rob Nosse, Portland, district 42
Rep. Carla Piluso, Gresham, district 50
Rep. Karin Power, Milwaukie, district 41
Rep. Rachel Prusak, Tualatin/West Linn, district 37
Rep. Dan Rayfield, Corvallis, district 16
Rep. Jeff Reardon, Happy Valley, district 48
Rep. E. Werner Reschke, Klamath Falls, district 56
Rep. Andrea Salinas, Lake Oswego, district 38
Rep. Tawna Sanchez, Portland, district 43
Rep. Sherri Schouten, Beaverton, district 27
Rep. Greg Smith, Heppner, district 57
Rep. David Brock Smith, Port Orford, district 1
Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, Portland, district 45
Rep. Janeen Sollman, Hillsboro, district 30
Rep. Marty Wilde, Central Lane and Linn, district 11
Rep. Anna Williams, Hood River, district 52
Rep. Jennifer Williamson, Portland, district 36