Clemency petitions ask the governor to commute or pardon sentences that are unfair, egregiously long or may have involved a miscarriage of justice and where people have rehabilitated themselves while incarcerated. During the 2018-2019 school year, CJRC is focusing on cases of women and juveniles 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, a project CJRC does in connection with Metropolitan Public Defender’s 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 studies, reports and materials about the treatment of individuals with mental disabilities in our criminal justice system.
Youth Legal Clinic Project (in Oregon Youth Authority)
CJRC will be working all year (2018-2019) on putting together a legal services program for incarcerated youth 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 arrests at local hospitals and at 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. The Clinic has submitted briefs to the United States Supreme Court, Oregon’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals and Multnomah County Circuit Court.