Value of state’s prisons deserves broader view

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

I AM WRITING to express my deep disappointment in the content of your April cover story [The Prisontown Myth]. I think your article was one-sided, biased and incomplete.  For some reason you only used the Director of Corrections as your named source.  There is a broader point of view.

For instance, did you mention the dramatic drop in violent crime since Measure 11 was passed by the voters in 1995 (almost 50%) and the thousands fewer victims that resulted?  Did you mention the sad state of our current sentencing for repeat property criminals who are not even eligible for prison until their fifth felony conviction?  Did you mention that, despite our increased prison capacity in Oregon, only 16% of convicted felons go to prison?

Whether or not prisons have brought economic assistance and support to rural communities is a legitimate subject. I wish you had stuck to that topic and not offered up one-sided opinions about sentencing policy in Oregon.

John Foote
Clackamas County district attorney


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