The power of second chances for Oregon youth

TAKE ACTION NOW

Youth in Oregon’s justice system should be held accountable for their mistakes. But we all know the value of forgiveness and second chances. When young people cause harm, we need to help them make a positive contribution to society through rehabilitation, education, and opportunity.

Senate Bill 1008 would help bring our youth justice system in line with what we know works. SB 1008 was passed by the Senate on April 16, and now it's on to the House of Representatives. 

Use the form below to tell your legislators to support SB 1008 to ensure our youth justice system focuses on accountability and rehabilitation, not on placing youth in adult prisons.

Message Recipients:
Your State House Representative

Youth Justice
[The Form Label field is hidden on ACLU message action forms]
Your Message

As your constituent, I’m writing to ask that you support SB 1008. It’s time for Oregon to have a youth justice system that works.

Our current system of sentencing youth as adults for certain crimes is based on what we knew 25 years ago. We know now that putting young people in the adult justice system leads to less safe communities. A recent Centers for Disease Control study found that youth are 34% more likely to commit additional crimes if prosecuted in the adult system.

Youth in the justice system should be held accountable for their actions. But we all know the value of forgiveness and second chances. When young people take responsibility for their actions, we need to help them make a positive contribution to society through rehabilitation, education and opportunity, not prison.

SB 1008 is based on nationwide best practices, which is why a broad bipartisan coalition supports it. A poll conducted in 2019 shows that 88% of Oregonians support SB 1008, including 80% of Republicans, 87% of Independents, and 96% of Democrats.

This is because SB 1008 offers common sense updates to our youth justice system:

• Enables a judge to determine if a young person sentenced as an adult as of January 1, 2010 has been sufficiently rehabilitated mid-way through their sentence. If so, they will serve the rest of their sentence under community-based supervision, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars and giving young people a second chance at a better life.

• Places all youth charged with crimes in the youth justice system instead of the adult justice system, unless prosecutors request a special hearing with a judgeRequires a judge to release a youth who has served time in the youth injustice system instead of transferring them to adult prison at age 25 if they have less than two years left on their sentence.

• Creates an enhanced victim notification process and access to community-based victim services.

• Establishes a process to ensure that anyone convicted of a crime under 18 years old receives a chance for parole after 15 years of incarceration.

I urge you to vote YES on SB 1008 for the safety and well-being of our community.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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