On Tuesday, Salem Statesman Journal reporter Gordon Friedman wrote about the use of solitary confinement in Oregon prisons. A recent report had been released by the Vera Institute, finding that our prisons use solitary too much and use it disproportionately on people of color and mentally disabled inmates. The article also notes that DRO is the “expert on corrections reform” in Oregon.
If you think of DRO as the people who go to bat for people who are stuck in sheltered workshops, or who can’t cross the street because there are no curb cuts or safe crosswalks, or whose children are being denied the supports they need to stay in school, you are right. We do all of that, and more.
DRO is able to look inside prisons, jails, psychiatric facilities and schools across the state to enforce rights and safety because of public support. A large portion of that support comes from the federal government, and will be at risk in the months and years to come. The timing could hardly be worse, with looming state budget cuts to services that Oregonians with disabilities depend upon.
And so here on Thanksgiving, we at DRO want to give thanks for your belief in a just and inclusive society. Our legal advocacy is driven by those beliefs and by passion for fairness and equal opportunity. When you support DRO, you are helping children, adults and families to get the skills, supports and freedoms that they need to thrive.