The following is an excerpt from the Statesman Journal, part of the USA Today Network.
Without the gift of a second chance early in his life, Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, is sure his story would have turned out differently.
“I had a temper,” Courtney said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “When I was young, there’s no denying it, I was involved with some things — had there been a Ballot Measure 11 I would be incarcerated. Violent fist fights, and it was really very bad.”
But he got a break, he said, from nuns who refused to give up on him.
He asked the Senate to give Oregon’s juvenile offenders the opportunity for a second chance and vote for Senate Bill 1008, which would substantively change the juvenile aspects of Oregon’s Measure 11.
As one of the most active proponents for criminal justice reform in the Oregon Legislature, Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, spoke on the floor about the lessons she learned from her late husband, Marc “Ted” Winters.
Ted Winters entered the corrections system at 17 years old.
“He would tell you that the Department of Corrections was no place for a juvenile,” Jackie Winters said.
Winters said the state needs to provide the opportunity for individuals to reform and become contributing members of society, like her husband did.
Read the full article here.