Local News

Deschutes County Expresses Support For Comprehensive M110 Change

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners are sending a letter to the Governor and the local legislative delegation, expressing support for a plan to revamp Measure 110. The District Attorney presented the proposal last week, created by several state law enforcement groups. 

Commissioner Tony DeBone explained Wednesday, "So, in the letter, the three topics are fully fund probation departments, prioritize adequate and sustainable funding for specialty courts, and establish authority to utilize welfare holds up to 72 hours." Click HERE to read the full letter approved Wednesday. 

Commissioner Phil Chang said the plan is a step in the right direction, "I think it was a really good effort to approach our substance use disorder and addiction issues in our community in a comprehensive way." DeBone agreed, saying restoring some criminal penalties for drug possession provides accountability, "Charging options of Class A Misdemeanor and Intent to Distribute concepts. And just having those other opportunities - hooks in the system to be able to hold on to the fact that there may be some bad things going on and we’re not just letting it go."

Chang acknowledged the criminal justice and behavioral health systems could work together to get people into treatment, "This proposal includes a whole bunch of specific ideas about how to increase our treatment capacity, and to - again - drive people to treatment." He added, "So that they can successfully get through recovery, not be public safety menaces to the community and hopefully lead productive lives after that."

But, Chang worries about how the state would pay for the changes, "For Deschutes County alone, it would cost tens of millions of dollars here. So, a great vision and strategy. And without bipartisan support from the Legislature, I’d be concerned not all pieces of this package are going to move forward."

Commissioner Patti Adair says Oregon’s addiction crisis has led to too many overdose deaths, "It’s just such a tragedy, what’s happening. And, I just feel like we’re taking more time to change the course of what’s happening in Oregon."


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