Oregon to build public safety net
- By Brian Robinson
- Dec 04, 2001
Oregon has published a request for proposals to build a public safety data
warehouse that will combine four systems and give police, policy-makers
and others interested in correctional issues a single resource, leading
to better and faster decision-making across agencies.
The data warehouse project is a result of an executive order that Gov.
John Kitzhaber issued in 1997. It called for program and offender performance
data to be made readily available to judges, attorneys and other practitioners,
enabling them to make decisions based on how well correctional programs
work to reduce the chances of someone committing crimes in the future.
Michael Marcus, an Oregon trial judge who has been an outspoken advocate
for bringing "rationality" to the crime and punishment debate, believes
that the need for a change in the ways criminals are sentenced "is evident
from the astounding frequency of recividism.
"I find it unacceptable that I have a wide range of discretion in many
sentencing hearings," he wrote, "but no information whatever about what
choices are most likely to prevent further criminal behavior by the offender."
Marcus has been a leading force in developing the data warehouse and
was behind one of Oregon's first instances of using sentencing support software
in Multnomah County courts, which serve one of the most populous areas in
Officials expect to award the contract in January for development of
the data warehouse. A pilot project is planned for installation around September,
with the completed data warehouse to come online by the middle of 2003.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.