When someone is struggling with drug addiction, jail fails to provide them with the support and services they need. It makes the problem worse. People in jail are stripped of the Oregon Health Plan insurance they often need to get low-cost treatment. When they get out, they’re saddled with a lifelong criminal record that makes it much more difficult to get a job or housing.
As the executive director of Changing Patterns, a Bend-based nonprofit dedicated to helping citizens reintegrate into society after incarceration, I know the barriers faced after jail can seem insurmountable. For someone dealing with these barriers and a drug addiction, it’s almost impossible.
Our current approach of arresting people for addiction is not working. Oregon needs a more humane and effective strategy. That’s what Measure 110 will do.