Help free those threatened by COVID.
Support our Resolution 2020–8 Safety in Oregon Prisons During Pandemic
“Governor, to help keep the pandemic under control, we ask you to release all those prisoners that do not threaten public safety.”
Help bring about prisoner safety called for in the Resolution overwhelmingly passed on June 11 by MultDems Central Committee.
Please write and mail a postcard to Governor Brown or send a message through the form on her website.
Key points to cover
- Thank you for protecting Oregon residents during the pandemic.
- Oregon prisoners not safe because social distancing in Oregon prisons requires early release of about 5700 prisoners.
- The scheduled release of 400 who will finish their sentences within the next 2 months is good, but inadequate.
- Many prisoners can be released without jeopardizing public safety.
- Here are top categories to consider for early release:
- People whose sentence will end within next 6 months
- Elderly and disabled
- People convicted of non-violent crimes
- Those in danger of COVID due to medical conditions
- Prisoners with mandatory sentences, who otherwise would be eligible for early release, should be furloughed until pandemic ends.
Governor Kate Brown
Office of the Governor
900 Court Street NE, Suite 254
Salem, OR 97301-4047
Governor Brown did decide in June to release 57 medically endangered prisoners. But this of course had no safety effect on the rest of the approximately 14,500 Oregon prisoners, since, according to the Oregon Department of Corrections, it would take release of about 5,700 to allow for real social distancing in our 14 prisons. DOC can do only so much to keep the current environment safe.
One prisoner died in May, and 4 more died in August. There have been at least 636 cases of coronavirus, and at least 185 prison staff have tested positive for the virus.
Finally in late August the Governor has decided to allow early release of 350-400 more prisoners, mainly about half of the individuals who are scheduled to be released anyway within the next two months, with irrational criteria used to select who is eligible. It is not based on either community safety or housing available for the released individual.
Even if you already lobbied the Governor on this, do it again, so that she will know that releasing 400 more will not be sufficient.