Did Oregon’s tough mandatory sentencing law “measure 11” improve public safety? New evidence about an old debate from a multiple-design, experimental strategy
Sundt, Jody L.
Boppre, Breanna L.
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Jody Sundt & Breanna Boppre (2020) Did Oregon’s tough mandatory sentencing law “measure 11” improve public safety? New evidence about an old debate from a multiple-design, experimental strategy, Justice Quarterly
This research contributes to policy debates about whether mandatory sentences improve public safety and are responsible for maintaining lower rates of crime. The current study used two quasi-experimental approaches, regression point displacement (RPD) and interrupted time series (ITS), to test the effect of Oregon’s Measure 11 on violent and property crimes. The RPD study found that, between 1995 and 1998, Measure 11 was associated with significant increases in most crime rates but decreases in the rates of rape and murder. These findings were not replicated in the more rigorous ITS, which found that Measure 11 had no statistically discernible effect on the incidence of the index crimes in the state of Oregon. Overall, the findings indicate Measure 11 had little to no marginal benefit relative to policies in place before the law was implemented.
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