Who We Are

Safety and Justice Oregon is transforming the public safety and criminal justice systems through civic engagement. Our movement builds power through education, policy advocacy, and leadership development. 

Together with champions across Oregon, we seek responses to violence rooted in accountability, racial equity, and healing — not isolation and punishment — so that people can recover from trauma, families can stay together, and communities can heal and thrive.

How We’re Building a Movement

Reforming the system requires leadership in every part of our communities. From kitchen tables to the Governor’s desk, advocates for reform are challenging outdated responses to harm that lead to more arrests and mass incarceration.

This aim is especially vital for communities that have been most harmed and least helped by our systems, including communities of color, folks experiencing homelessness, and people living with addiction and mental illness.

Instead, we’re elevating solutions that respond to harm with healing. We fight for greater access to addiction and mental health treatment. We advocate for investments in crime victims’ healing. And we advance restorative justice programs that achieve true accountability to rebuild the lives of survivors of crime, people who have caused harm, and the families and communities of both.

Our work builds power in three ways:

  • Resources: Information and Tools to Build Power
  • Civic Engagement: Education that Advances Community Safety
  • Developing Leaders: Building, Supporting, and Endorsing Political Champions

“We can’t incarcerate our way to public safety. We need solutions that address addiction, mental health, and poverty. Together, we’re advancing a more balanced approach to crime that holds people accountable, helps survivors heal, and keeps our communities safe.”

Fighting for reforms and building champions that advance…​

Healing over handcuffs

All trauma victims should have access to healing services — options that go beyond punishment and incarceration. Whether or not a survivor chooses to report a crime, people should have the medical, emotional, and supportive resources they need to rebuild their lives.

Second chances​

We are all more than the worst thing we have done. People who have been accountable for harm and violence deserve a second chance. We advocate for policies that lower harsh prison sentences and eliminate barriers to success after returning home.

Racial equity

Mass incarceration and unnecessary criminalization disproportionately devastate communities of color, particularly Black, Brown, and Indigenous people and families. The solutions we advance are rooted in racial justice to ensure that all our communities feel safe.

Treatment and recovery

People who suffer from addiction, mental illness, and unstable housing should have access to resources, but gaps in services mean they are often met with arrests instead. We fight for homes and healthcare — not handcuffs — for people who are struggling.

Accountability and restoration

Different sources of trauma need different pathways to accountability and healing. Whether harm is from a single incident, a cycle of violence, hate and discrimination, or over-policing and mass incarceration, we need responses that help restore people and communities.

Our History

In the early 2000s, Oregon’s most prominent criminal justice reform nonprofit was our 501c3 affiliate, Partnership for Safety and Justice. Only eight years after its founding, Partnership for Safety and Justice was building significant power through community education and policy work, but no groups in the state were positioned to organize, shore up, and defend reform champions.

Volunteers and advocates rallied to create an organization with the ability to build, support, and endorse candidates and elected leaders who shared our values and vision for community safety.

Safety and Justice Oregon was founded in 2007 as a 501c4 organization committed to criminal justice reform through civic engagement, policy advocacy, and political and electoral organizing. Safety and Justice PAC was founded soon after in 2010.

Board Member Emma Kallaway
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt's Campaign Kickoff

By 2014, we were among the first in the country to engage in district attorney races. We supported a progressive candidate who ran and won in Deschutes County, unseating a tough-on-crime incumbent and creating a model for reform in prosecutors’ offices across the state.

We have since broadened our power. By delivering community trainings, supporting our champions, and endorsing electoral campaigns, we are building the movement we need to advance the solutions we deserve.

Who We Are Today

Safety and Justice Oregon and Safety and Justice PAC have continued to build and back leaders of the reform movement. Despite decades of impact, however, public safety and criminal justice reforms have yet to meet Oregonians’ needs.

Fixing our criminal justice system takes more than ideas. Determination alone won’t end racial disparities in the justice system, fund addiction treatment over jail cells, or invest in trauma recovery for victims of violence.

At every level of government, in each elected position, and embedded in all our communities, we need bold leaders who fight for true community safety.

We need champions in our school districts who know that children who are suffering need counseling, not handcuffs. We need state and local leaders who understand that prison sentences should be determined on a case-by-case basis, not with severe, one-strike, one-size-fits-all punishments.

Our movement believes that real accountability isn’t about castigation and isolation. We are building pathways for restoration and healing. We hope you’ll join us.

Our team

Meet the Team

Our leadership, staff, and board members guide our vision, strategize our work plans, and implement our programs.