Legislators, policy-makers, criminal justice leaders and more gathered for Multnomah County's What Works in Public Safety Conference and the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission's Justice Reinvestment Summit at the Salem Convention Center.
The two-day event offered insightful perspectives from local and national experts. The Justice Reinvestment Summit subjects included: the intersection of mental health and criminal justice, trauma-informed approaches, reentry, and diversion program. The What Works in Public Safety Conference explored the science of drug addiction, facts on drug use, and cutting-edge laws and policies in response to addiction and drug crimes. It also served as a joint Judiciary and Health Care Committee hearing for the Oregon Legislature and helped inform members as the legislature debates changes to state drug laws.
Multnomah County Chair and Co-chair of the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC) Deborah Kafoury provided opening remarks for the What Works Conference. Abbey Stamp, Multnomah County LPSCC Executive Director, moderated and introduced speakers: Dr. Timothy Condon, Ph.D., Research Professor, University of New Mexico Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions; Khalil Cumberbatch, JustLeadershipUSA, Manager of Trainings; and Judge Frederick Block, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York
Key themes presented by the speakers included:
- Why incarceration and prosecution is often not the right response to drug addiction
- Investments in treatment and services designed for a forensic population
- decreasing collateral consequences to increase an individual’s ability to thrive and find recovery
- Diligence, informed-risks, and policy and legal changes to decrease racial and ethnic disparities