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Crook County Officials Support M110 Reforms

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Commissioners will sign on to a letter to the legislature supporting a statewide plan to reform Measure 110. 

During her request for approving the letter, District Attorney Kari Hathorn told Judge Seth Crawford, and commissiners Brian Barney and Susan Hermreck changes to the law are needed, including re-categorizing possession of drugs like fentanyl as a misdemeanor instead of a violation, “Criminalize this as a possession, as a Class A. …Fund treatment…That we fund supervised probation and that we really put some teeth into these laws that can help keep our community safe.” She says the state has been burdened since voters approved the measure decriminalizing drug possession, in 2020, “The hospitals are overrun with significantly mentally ill people. There is a significant correlation to drug use, in particular marijuana has a pretty significant impact on mental health with some of these cases that we're seeing,” adding the laws aren’t strict enough, “We're seeing increase of violent crime, we're seeing increase of overdose. We're seeing fatalities regularly. It is not working, measure 110, as we all know, did not work.”

Undersheriff James Savage says his agency faces challenges when dealing with drug users, “We're basically taking them into custody with no legal right to do so, in my opinion.” He said the jail is housing mentally-ill individuals under the influence of strong drugs like fentanyl, “What we're seeing in there is that this is, they're in a basically a drug induced psychosis because the drugs are not the same as they were back in the day.”

The DA and Sheriff’s Office will draft the letter for the Court to send to the legislature ahead of the February session. Deschutes County Commissioners and the Bend City Council have submitted similar letters.


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