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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 01 April 2009

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A state report issued this week projects that Measure 57, the crime-sentencing measure approved by voters in November, will add 1,600 inmates to Oregon's prison population by 2013.
The measure, which took effect Jan. 1, requires sending repeat property and drug crime offenders to prison.
In the same election, voters rejected Measure 61, a tougher version sponsored by anti-crime activist Kevin Mannix that would have imposed mandatory prison sentences on first-time burglars, identity thieves and drug dealers.
Without the effects of Measure 57, the state's prison population would be expected to grow at an annual rate of 2 percent to 3 percent through mid-2010, with growth slowing to less than 1 percent in the outer years of the forecast, concludes a report by the state Office of Economic Analysis. With the effects of Measure 57, growth is expected to exceed 5 percent through mid-2011, while gradually returning to baseline growth in the later years of the forecast.
Oregon's prison system currently has about 13,765 inmates.
The 2008 Legislature placed Measure 57 on the ballot as a cheaper alternative to the Mannix idea, but it contained no funding mechanism to pay for additional prison beds.
Before the November election, a state committee projected that the passage of Measure 57 would cost $152 million during the 2009-11 budget period. Lawmakers now face a severe recession that could force cutbacks in state programs and services. To help control costs, prison officials initially plan to house Measure 57 offenders in temporary beds placed at existing corrections institutions across the state.


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