Oregon Launches New Initiative to Reduce Barriers for People with Criminal and Juvenile Records

October 5, 2021

Oregon state leaders launched a new initiative in late August to improve connections to education and employment opportunities for people with criminal and juvenile records. The working group tasked with leading the project includes representatives from a diverse range of stakeholders, including district attorneys, occupational licensing boards, defense bar, law enforcement, higher education, the Bureau of Labor & Industries, and the judicial department. The group is co-chaired by Sens. Michael Dembrow and Floyd Prozanski.

Nationwide, there has been a growing recognition of the negative impact that a criminal conviction or juvenile adjudication can have on a person’s ability to gain access to meaningful employment and postsecondary education. Earlier this year, The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released an unprecedented analysis on the structural barriers to employment and education that people with juvenile records face. In recognition of these challenges, states across the country have been working to identify reforms to reduce these barriers, while continuing to protect public safety.

Oregon’s working group will partner with the CSG Justice Center to identify priority areas for reform, following an initial analysis of the state’s current policy landscape recently conducted by the CSG Justice Center. The working group will continue to meet through October, at which point it will release a series of consensus recommendations on policy reforms for the 2022 legislative session.

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Photo credit: Meggyn Pomerleau via Unsplash

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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Jacob Agus-Kleinman
Senior Policy Analyst, Corrections and Reentry
Jacob Agus-Kleinman works with the juvenile justice team to provide technical assistance to states, counties, and nonprofit organizations to improve outcomes for youth in both criminal and juvenile justice systems. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, he worked with
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Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project, supporting states in the adoption of adult and juvenile sentencing and corrections reforms. Earlier in his career, he worked with Lawyers Without Borders, the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office, and as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Arab-American Family Support Center. Jacob received a BGS with a concentration in urban studies from the University of Michigan and is a Justice Policy Network Fellow.
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