EUGENE, Ore. — A lot of happiness was coming from the inmates. Some saw their sentences reduced drastically.
Meanwhile, those working in the jail are growing more frustrated by the day.
The jail doors opened Thursday morning and out walked a large group of inmates. All beaming because their time behind bars was cut short.
“Absolutely, I am ecstatic,” said inmate Romeo Retzman.
“I’m happy because I smoke cigarettes and I also have a prescription that’s a pain medication that they were not giving it to me,” said Adam Hyland.
The funding crisis forced another 35 beds to be cut.
Thursday 32 inmates were released–five were put on electronic surveillance.
The U.S. Marshals Office couldn’t rent as many beds, resulting in a loss of revenue for the jail.
“If we didn’t close the beds that we closed today by the end of the fiscal year, we would have been $800,000 in the hole,” said Captain Greg Fox.
Captain Fox says a number of the inmates were in on assault, robbery and even sex offender charges.
“As we get smaller, the people that we are releasing are even more dangerous than the ones before,” Fox said.
“I think being cut is a blessing, but it may be a curse that there are more criminals and crime is going to be more consistent,” Hyland said.
“I saw a lot of the people who were let go last week that have violent charges against them and they are continually violent,” Retzman said.
And that’s the frustration for those working in booking. The faces that get booked are starting to look the same.
“It’s work they have to do knowing later in the day they will probably be letting those same people out,” Fox said.
“I’ve been here 140 times,” said Melvin Bradshaw.
Two of the people let out were jailed on 60-day sentences. One got out in 13, and the other just two days.
“I think all of the releases should worry people,” Fox said.
Now down to 135, those working at the jail just hope this is at low as it goes.
Along with the cuts came layoffs for three deputies. Their last day is Friday.
Fox says he talked to them and of course they are shocked and saddened especially since this is so close to the holidays.