The prison population, which is now about 14,000, will exceed 14,700 by late 2011, decline somewhat through mid-2012, then increase through 2019, according to the semi-annual Oregon Corrections Population Forecast, which the state Office of Economic Analysis released Oct. 1.

The forecast projects the populations of offenders supervised by the Oregon Department of Corrections.

State agencies, in particular the Department of Corrections and the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, use the forecast for budgeting and policy development.

State forecasters expect the prison population to reach 16,000 in 2015. The community corrections populations are currently about 33,000, according to the report, and they will increase gradually over the next ten years to 37,000.

Compared to the April 2009 forecast, this prison forecast was significantly lower due to the expected effects of HB 3508 (2009).

That bill implemented several changes to reduce the prison population, including a temporary suspension of laws that set sentences for repeat property crime laws under Measure 57 (2008).

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