Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation Wednesday that will require local and regional jails to provide the state with information about the people in their custody, as well as details about the health care inmates receive.
“It is important as we seek to improve health care provided at local and regional correctional facilities that our efforts are based on good data and informed by national best practices,” Brown said in a statement.
The bill passed both chambers of the Legislature with bipartisan support.
Oregon hasn’t comprehensively tracked information about inmates in county jails.
The law “directs the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to conduct studies on local and regional correctional facility data collection and provision of health care.”
Brown said the law will help the state better understand barriers to adequate health care for inmates.
“My hope is that we can build the right kind of access to mental health and substance use treatment so that fewer people end up in jail as a result of an addiction or a mental health crisis,” Brown said.
The Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association testified in support of the legislation, but also noted there is no statewide unified computer system for jails, making data collection a challenge.
Excerpted from article by Oregon Public Broadcasting – read the full article here.