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Prisoners -- Oregon, Prisoners -- Employment -- Oregon, Criminals -- Rehabilitation -- Oregon


The vast majority of Oregon prisoners — 94% or more — are released to the community after serving a median sentence of five and a half years. Most former prisoners struggle to resume their family relationships, find employment, secure housing, and access healthcare. The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) estimates that close to 60% of inmates are addicted or drug dependent, two thirds have an education need such as adult basic education or a GED, and half of inmates have a mental health need. Finally, close to 30% of those released will be convicted of a new felony within three years. Preparing former prisoners to assume productive and law-abiding lifestyles is now one of the greatest challenges facing the criminal justice system.

Although the need is clear, in the context of two decades of "get-tough" legislation and ballot measures, questions remain about whether the public supports treatment for prisoners. Moreover, little is known about Oregonians’ views regarding how best to respond to the growing population of former inmates.

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