The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Oregon
In January 2012, the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) invited the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative to partner with the state to evaluate the return on investment of its adult criminal and juvenile justice programs. Governor John Kitzhaber charged the commission with incorporating cost-benefit analyses into their research and recommendations to inform policy changes to Oregon’s sentencing structure and criminal justice system.
The purpose of the nine-member, appointed commission is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state and local criminal justice systems in Oregon. The CJC conducts research, analyzes crime-related legislation, acts as a data clearinghouse, and develops Oregon’s public safety plan, which includes recommendations on the capacity and use of state prisons and local jails, implementation of community corrections programs, and methods to reduce future criminal conduct. In addition, the commission has a role in funding and evaluating the state’s drug courts.
As a leader among states in the practice of evidence-based decision-making, Oregon has brought extensive experience to its partnership with Result First. In fact, the CJC began work on a cost-benefit model for the state’s criminal justice system in 2006 and issued a report on the costs and benefits of incarceration in 2007.
The CJC is now working with Results First to update the juvenile and adult corrections components of the cost-benefit model.
The commission plans to use the model to analyze the effectiveness of criminal and juvenile justice programs relative to their cost once the model is updated.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative is a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.