How many Oregonians are in the criminal justice system?

Robbie Newport

It is always interesting to look at the numbers of how many people are actually in prison, jail, or on probation/parole in a given state or country. The United States has no shortage of criminals to fill up the criminal justice system and Oregon is no different.

According to 2018 statistics from the Prison Policy Initiative website, Oregon has a total of 84,000 people involved in the criminal justice system as criminals. Most of these are on probation or parole with 36,000 and 24,000 respectively. The rest are divided up as follows:

- State prisons 15,000

- Local jails 6,000

- Federal prisons 1,700

- Youth detention 1,100

- Involuntary commitment 420

- Indian Country 40

The website explains the incarceration rate is 555 people out of 100k. That only includes the 24,000 behind bars, not those on probation and parole. The U.S. incarceration rate is higher at 664, which is somewhat comforting. Unfortunately, the U.S. has the most people in prison and the highest incarceration rates in the world, with over 2,068,800 prisoners in 2023.

Another interesting stat given on the website is 42,000 different people are booked into jails in Oregon each year.

Oregon has a total of 14 state prisons and one federal prison. To its credit, Oregon doesn’t have any private prisons, which are notorious for low pay for staff and dangerous conditions for inmates and staff. There are also 6 youth correctional facilities and 36 jails (one for each county).

In contrast to the higher numbers on the Prison Policy Initiative website, the National Institute of Corrections statistics show there were 14,961 criminals in Oregon’s prisons and jails in 2019. They also show Oregonians are spending nearly $1.9 billion each year on prisons alone. Their numbers for probation and parole are the same.

With the cost per inmate at $42,664/year, it would seem logical to create work camps for inmates to pay for their own upkeep, yet this doesn’t seem to be a priority for leadership. One thing we can clearly see is Oregon, like the U.S. in general, is infested with criminals.

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Write about local events, social issues, crime, attractions, and more. Live in Eastern Oregon with my wife. Writer, blogger, greenskeeper, Christian, and truth seeker.

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