Clemency petitions attempt to commute or pardon sentences that are unfair, egregiously long, and/or inhibit people from moving on with their lives. During the 2017-2018 school year, CJRC focused on women with severely long sentences who made amazing transformations during their incarceration
Community Law (Barrier Reduction)
Community Law (Community Law Oregon), a project CJRC does in connection with Metropolitan Public Defender, seeks to remove barriers that keep individuals in poverty. This includes removing barriers downstream from the criminal justice system through expungements, fine/fee waivers and felony reductions along with addressing legal issues related to an individual’s family, housing, debt or public benefits.
Immigrant Defense Oregon’s (Immigrant Defense Oregon), a project CJRC does in connection with Metropolitan Public Defender) mission is to prevent and combat the detention and deportation of immigrants and refugees in our community. The project focuses on cases where a person’s past criminal record may be affecting their status.
Prison/Jail Conditions and Treatment of Prisoners (projects with ACLU of Oregon and Disability Rights Oregon)
We examine different aspects of prison/jail conditions and treatment of prisoners in these collaborations. In 2017, CJRC and the ACLU of Oregon sued a jail in Roseburg, Oregon for its treatment of a female inmate. Our collaboration with DRO has led to a study and report of Multnomah County Detention Center in 2017 and in 2018 pamphlets/materials for inmates statewide on their rights while incarcerated.
Oregon Youth Authority Legal Services Pilot Project
CJRC will be working all year (2018-2019) on putting together a legal services program throughout the Oregon Youth Authority. Our focus will be on assisting youth in accessing the courts, using a law library, understanding their rights and legal issues, filing legal documents and assessing legal claims.
Past research projects have included a study/report of the cost of Oregon’s death penalty (2016), a study/report of Multnomah County Detention Center with DRO (2017), and historical research on nonunanimous juries in Oregon (2017). Current research projects include a history of clemency in the State, a look at jail deaths in Oregon’s jails and an examination of Oregon’s incarcerated women lifers.
Amicus Curiae Briefs
CJRC writes amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs for both Oregon and federal courts on issues that relate to the Clinic’s work on criminal justice reform. During the 2017-2018 school year, we submitted briefs to the United States Supreme Court, Oregon’s Supreme Court and Multnomah County Circuit Court.