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Examining the Effect of Oregon’s Measure 110 on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Criminal Justice Outcomes

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $598,053)

With the passage of Measure 110 (hereafter M-110) in November 2020, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of all drugs for personal use; however, the initiative does much more than decriminalize possession. M-110’s legal changes and service provisions were motivated to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in criminal justice outcomes. While the net effects of M-110 on racial and ethnic differences in criminal justice outcomes are theoretically ambiguous, other states are currently proposing similar changes. In response to a lack of knowledge about the
effects of decriminalizing the possession of all drugs in the US, the applicant presents a mixed-methods project with a highly qualified team with a unique understanding of the policy environment and data systems in Oregon. As proposed, the work comprises four aims. Aim 1 will rigorously analyze the implementation of M-110 that draws on document reviews and interviews with several types of key public safety and public health stakeholders across various Oregon jurisdictions. Aims 2 and 3 will analyze changes and disparities in drug-related offenses among youth and adults in Oregon. Finally, Aim 4 will employ a synthetic control approach to estimate the effects of M-110 on violent and property crime rates and clearance rates, focusing on the race and ethnicity of offenders and victims when possible.

Deliverables resulting from this study will be targeted to scholarly outlets, key stakeholders, and policymakers. First, a research report will be delivered to NIJ, and the study data will be archived at NACJD. Second, the research team will produce four manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals (one for each aim). Third, the applicant organization will produce a Research Brief and create other documents geared toward the public and practitioner audiences. Finally, the applicant will present findings at professional conferences. CA/NCF

Date Created: August 24, 2022