Since it was introduced in 1995, Measure 11 has become perhaps the best known of Oregon’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Crafted amid a climate of fear about violent crime, Measure 11 was backed by voters including Freda Ceaser. What Freda didn’t expect was that she herself would end up being sentenced under the law.
In this video, Freda discusses how her youth and an addiction problem led her to involvement in property crime. She - and many others who voted for Measure 11 - understood that it would be taking on those who were committing acts of violence. Yet, without having done this herself, she still ended up being convicted under Measure 11.
Freda served her time at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. There, she experienced the pain of separation from her family, including the death of her father while she was still incarcerated. Having spent time in prison, Freda now believes strongly in a more restorative approach to justice that she thinks will be more effective in addressing the root causes of crime and preventing re-offending.