EUGENE, Ore. – The Lane County Sheriff's Office is continuing its efforts to make the county safer by adding more beds in the Lane County Jail.
Sheriff Byron Trapp is thrilled to announce his office has added 50 jail beds over the weekend to help create a safer community.
"We our providing not only enhance public safety,” said Sheriff Trapp. “Those offenders who choose to prey on their community as a way of life and those repeat offenders and those violent offenders are actually staying in jail and our being held accountable."
Sheriff Trapp said they have increased the number of local jail beds from 317 to 367. He said the beds are funded through the jail levy that was passed in 2013. Since then, he said they have increased the amount of jail beds 293 percent and said the number of capacity based releases has been reduced by 61 percent.
"We're not just adding warehouse capacity for humans, we're adding capacity to hold offenders for the community,” said Sheriff Trapp. “We're also providing services with the hope of improving their lives and reducing recidivism."
Sheriff Trapp said some of those services include adding programs which are geared toward inmates dealing with mental health issues. He said 60 percent of their inmates are affected by some form of mental health illness.
"We can divert those who are in jail because of behavior influenced by their mental illness and have them more effectively treated in a care system outside of the jail and prevent them from ever entering the jail,” said Sheriff Trapp. “We maximize our jail capacity for the remainder of the community who chooses to behave criminally."
Moving forward the Sheriff’s Office will discuss whether or not its budget will allow them to add more beds next year.