Thank you for a successful 2023 legislative session!

This year was a busy one with a full slate of priorities that we developed as part of the Transforming Justice Coalition, as well as a bunch of other allies’ bills that we supported.

At the heart of our 2023 agenda are the values that eternally fuel our movement: racial justice, crime survivors’ healing, and transforming our criminal justice system to invest less in punishment and more in communities.

Transforming Justice Coalition Legislative Priorities: Centering Equity in Community Safety

The Transforming Justice Coalition is a group of Oregon’s community leaders who are directly impacted by the criminal justice system, culturally specific service providers, and policy advocates that came together amidst the racial justice reckoning in the summer of 2020.

For 2023, the Coalition’s legislative agenda consisted of three proposals to advance racial justice and community safety.

SB 581 passed with bipartisan support and has been signed into law by Governor Tina Kotek!

Earned discharge will now be available to more that 4000 additional people who are on parole, probation, and post-prison supervision. For people whose crimes are eligible and who are successfully meeting their goals, the new law is an incentive-based process that allows folks to earn up to a 50% reduction in their supervision period, regardless of when they were convicted.

To ensure equitable and full implementation of SB 581, we are working with reentry organizations, allies in the Transforming Justice Coalition, and the Department of Corrections in early 2024 and beyond.

HB 2650 was voted out of its committee, but it then failed to pass along with the hundreds of other bills that were affected by the 35-day walkout.

Equitable Workgroups for Equitable Outcomes would have required task forces and workgroups to include people who are most affected by policies to be a part of the decision-making process. At least half of the workgroup and task force members would have needed to be from historically underserved communities, have lived experiences, and be representatives of community-based organizations.

Other Legislative Priorities We Strongly Supported


HB 2676 passed with bipartisan support!

Crime Victims Compensation Reform will allow more crime survivors and their families to access healing and recovery services that are currently unavailable.

The new law solidifies some important changes to victims’ services. It eliminates the requirement for victims to report a crime to law enforcement and the requirement for district attorneys to be notified of crime victim compensation claims. It also expands compensation for mental health services for witnesses, and it removes restrictions on victims’ compensation for survivors who contributed to the crime if the victim acted reasonably under the circumstances.

SB 5514 passed with bipartisan support!

Oregon Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Services (ODSVS) funds crucial resources that Oregonians across the state need to heal from trauma and rebuild their lives. Service levels routinely fall short of what is needed – a tremendous gap that disproportionately affects communities of color.


Public Defense was funded with bipartisan support!

Public defense received a much-needed investment of $108 million to address Oregon’s shortage of public defenders that disproportionately impacts legal representation for Black and brown people. The legislature also approved funding to restructure the agency and revamp how attorneys are paid..

Guaranteed Right to Vote (SB 579) was voted out of its committee, but it also failed to pass along with the hundreds of other bills that were affected by the 35-day walkout.

Guaranteeing the Right to Vote would have restored voting rights to people currently incarcerated in Oregon’s prison system. Research shows that our communities are safer when people feel more connected and invested in their future. Guaranteeing the Right to Vote for those who are incarcerated will ensure that we keep people involved in their communities and enhance community safety.


Justice Reinvestment Initiative and funding passed with bipartisan support!

For the 10th year since its inception, Justice Reinvestment (JRI) was funded, and the program was extended for another 10 years. JRI is a state grant program that reduces prison use and redirects some savings toward victims’ services, mental health services, and housing. The approach has safely shortened sentences and invested millions of dollars in community-based programs, while also preventing two prisons from opening and closed two others.

Restorative Justice Grant Program did not receive the funding requested during the 2023 legislative session.

The Restorative Justice Grant Program began as a pilot program in 2021 to broaden pathways for crime survivors seeking accountability and healing for the harm they have experienced.

This year’s funding proposal requested $4 million for the 2023-2025 biennium, which it did not receive, but work is underway to seek funding in the 2024 short session.

Thanks again to the hundreds of advocates who supported these critical policies during the 2023 legislative session.

We look forward to continuing to transform Oregon’s response to harm and healing with an approach that centers accountability, racial justice, and true community safety.