Two Portland-based nonprofits are collaborating to help community members learn about a new opportunity to find help with past felony convictions. Senate Bill 819 passed during the 2021 Oregon legislative session came into force in January. Don’t Shoot Portland and the Oregon Justice Resource Center (OJRC) will hold a free webinar on April 19 to educate Oregonians about how they may benefit from SB 819.
Senate Bill 819 allows for resentencing of a person who was sentenced to any felony other than aggravated murder when the district attorney for the county where the person was sentenced agrees, and the sentencing court finds, that the sentence no longer advances the interests of justice. The law authorizes a wide range of relief for convictions or sentences which could include dismissing charges or reducing sentences.
Not everyone is eligible for relief under SB 819 and it may not be the best fit for a specific individual's circumstances. At today’s webinar, OJRC and Don’t Shoot Portland will provide more information about how SB 819 works and who may benefit from it. The event is free and open to anyone who wishes to attend. Advice on individual cases will not be given, but participants will get the chance to have general questions about SB 819 answered.
“We want to get the word out to the community that opportunities like those presented by SB 819 exist,” said Teressa Raiford, Founder of Don’t Shoot Portland. “Too many people struggle, even years after their conviction, with the burden that having a felony on your record brings. We want to make people aware there may be something they can do about it and give them the tools they need to create change.”
“Senate Bill 819 is an important opportunity for Oregonians impacted by mass incarceration,” said Karen Newirth, Special Counsel, the FA:IR Law Project, Oregon Justice Resource Center. “Navigating all the requirements to make sure an individual is eligible to petition under this law and has met the expectations of the district attorney can be a complex task. That’s why we want to demystify the process as much as possible with this webinar.”
The online event will be held Tuesday, April 19, 5 - 6 p.m. Register for free at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1FoKE31bT1aoij2o7IzS_A.