Oregon Violent Crime and Measure 11


This page links to a number of graphics which Crime Victims United developed for a presentation on violent crime in Oregon and its relation to Measure 11. The presentation was last updated in March, 2011. The graphics are in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF).

You can also access all of the charts in one PDF file.

Oregon's Violent Crime Rate Versus Prison Construction

From 1960 through 1985, while Oregon's violent crime rate increased by a factor of 7.9, the state built one new prison with a capacity of 400 beds.

In 2009, Oregon ranked 28th among states in incarceration rate.

Chart: Oregon's Violent Crime Rate Versus Prison Construction

Measure 11 Crimes and Sentences

Measure 11 specifies minimum mandatory sentences for violent crimes and serious sex offenses. Under some circumstances, there are exceptions in cases involving Sex Abuse I and all second-degree crimes.

Chart: Measure 11 Crimes and Sentences

Measure 11 Prisoners by Crime

Robbery and sex crimes account for about two-thirds of Measure 11 prisoners. A Bureau of Justice Statistics report says that there are 11 reported robberies for each conviction and 9 reported rapes for each conviction.

Chart: Measure 11 Prisoners By Crime

Oregon and U.S. Violent Crime Rates

Oregon experienced a huge increase in violent crime from 1960 through 1985. The violent crime rate remained near its peak level through 1995. It then decreased every year for seven consecutive years through 2002. From 1995 to 2009, Oregon's violent crime rate decreased by 51 percent.

Chart: Oregon and U.S. Violent Crime Rates

Violent Crime Rates in the 50 States

In percent terms, Oregon experienced the second-largest drop in violent crime rate from 1995 to 2009, 51%. New York State was first with a 54 percent decrease but ended with 51 percent more violent crime per-capita than Oregon.

During this period, violent crime in the United States as a whole decreased 37% while in Washington State it decreased by 32 percent.

Chart: Violent Crime Rates in the 50 States From 1995 Through 2009

Violent Crime Savings

Relative to the 1995 violent crime rate, Oregonians were spared 96,000 robberies, aggravated assaults, forcible rapes, manslaughters and murders through 2009.

At the 2009 rate, 9,000 of these crimes will be spared each year.

This figure includes only violent "index" crimes. It does not include kidnapping or sex crimes other than forcible rape, such as sodomy, sex abuse and statutory rape.

According to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, increased incarceration from 1995 to 2005 resulted in 98,000 fewer crimes of all kinds in 2005 alone.

Chart: Violent Crime Savings Relative to 1995 Rate

Violent Crime Rate And The Economy

Many factors influence the violent crime rate but, contrary to conventional wisdom, the economy does not appear to be a major factor. From 1969 through 2003, Oregon's per capita inflation-adjusted income exhibited steady growth totaling 56 percent. Yet during this same period, Oregon's violent crime rate experienced a sharp rise from 1969 through 1985, followed by 10 years near the peak level, followed by a sharp decrease from 1996 through 2002.

Oregon's violent crime rate continued its decline despite the recession of 2008.

Chart: Violent Crime Rate and the Economy

Oregon Budget 2009-2011

In the 2009-2011 biennium, Measure 11 accounts for about 1.6 percent of spending of Oregon's general and lottery fund spending.

Chart: Oregon Budget

Oregon Spending 2009-2011

In the 2009-2011 biennium, Measure 11 accounts for about 0.37 percent of all state spending, counting the general and lottery funds, property taxes, federal tax money spent in Oregon and other funds such as fees, fines, and tuition.

Property taxes in the accompanying chart are based on estimates made by the Legislative Fiscal Office. Other figures are from the LFO's "Budget Highlights: Updated 2009-11 Legislatively Approved Budget" and reflect budgets after the 2010 special session.

The cost of Measure 11 was calculated using the January 2010 "Measure 11 Impact" estimate from the Criminal Justice Commission (2,875 prisoners) and the average total cost per inmate per day from the Legislative Fiscal office ($105.07). This cost includes debt service for prison construction.

Note that the DOC column does not include property taxes used for county jails because that is not part of the DOC budget. The total shown for education does include property taxes which is part of the Department of Education budget.

The cost of Measure 11 is about $30 per Oregonian per year.

Chart: Oregon Spending

All charts in one PDF file

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