Oregon Drug Decriminalization Measure Will Reduce Racial Disparities And Save Money, State Officials Say

Oregon Drug Decriminalization Measure Will Reduce Racial Disparities And Save Money, State Officials Say

If Oregon voters approve a drug decriminalization measure this November, state officials say it would reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system and save money that’s currently spent on arrests and incarceration. IP 44, which officially qualified for the ballot last month, would remove criminal penalties for illicit drug possession and expand substance misuse treatment in the state. Three state panels recently released draft analyses of the proposal. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission published its draft report on the racial and ethnic impact of the measure this month. Members concluded it would reduce convictions for drug possession by about 91 percent statewide and also reduce racial disparities in arrests for illicit substances. “This means that approximately 1,800 fewer Oregonians per year are estimated to be convicted of felony [possession of controlled substances] and nearly 1,900 fewer convicted of misdemeanor [possession of controlled substances],” the report states. “Prior academic research suggests this drop in convictions will result in fewer collateral consequences stemming from criminal justice system involvement.” “Beyond the reductions described above, the changes proposed by IP44 would also lead to a reduction in racial disparities” for possession convictions, the commission said, adding that statistical analysis indicates these disparities would be “narrowed substantially” if voters pass the measure. The body went into detail about the methodology behind their analysis in a separate draft document that also included charts highlighting the estimated impact. During a public hearing on the draft impact statement on Thursday, several people argued that the analysis should…

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Source : MJ moment
Link to original : Oregon Drug Decriminalization Measure Will Reduce Racial Disparities And Save Money, State Officials Say
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