Oregon Firms Protected from Prison Labor Competition, Measure 68 (1999)

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The Oregon Firms Protected from Prison Labor Competition Amendment, also known as Measure 68, was on the November 2, 1999 ballot in Oregon as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure protected private enterprises, certain government and nonprofit programs from competition from prison labor.[1]

It directed the Director of the Department of Corrections, to the extent possible, to avoid establishing for-profit prison work programs that would displace or reduce:

1. Preexisting private jobs or businesses; or

2. Government or nonprofit programs that employ persons with developmental disabilities.

This measure expands the allowable uses of inmate work to include supporting community charitable organizations.

Prior, the Constitution requires that prison work programs must achieve net cost savings in maintaining government operations or a net profit in private sector activities. This measure allows prison work programs to benefit the community without a requirement of net cost savings or net profit.[2]

Election results

Oregon Measure 68 (1999)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 406,526 58.4%
No289,40741.6%

Election results via: Oregon Blue Book

Ballot title

The ballot measure title read:[1]

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

AMENDS CONSTITUTION: ALLOWS PROTECTING BUSINESS, CERTAIN GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS FROM PRISON WORK PROGRAMS

The text of the measure can be found here.

Support

[3] Kevin Mannix supported this measure after proposing Measure 17 in 1994, which passed, requiring state prisoners to work full-time and requiring that income from their work be used to pay for their incarceration, pay restitution to victims, pay fines, and provide for family support obligations. He supported Measure 68 as an improvement to his previous measure, because it provides accountability to one person, the Director of Corrections, and because the Director may consider the impact of prison work on the private sector and on programs employing persons with developmental disabilities.

Many supporters believed that working prisoners should not be taking jobs away from law-abiding citizens.

Some of the other supporters included:

  • National Electrical Contractors Association
  • Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Oregon AFSCME Council 75
  • Multnomah County Democratic Central Committee

See also

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