EUGENE, Ore. — There were fewer criminals on the streets of Lane County Tuesday because the number of available jail beds in the county doubled.
The Lane County Jail reopened 96 more beds on the heels of reopening 35 a week ago. The Lane County Sheriff’s Office says the extra beds are already filling up.
“We were releasing serious risk individuals back into the community,” said Sgt. Steve French, Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
While the high risk individuals who were released can’t be put back in jail, the sheriff’s office says many of them will likely get re-arrested.
“We had an offender that was capacity based released from the jail and a very short time later was rearrested for committing a robbery at a bank just a few blocks from where he left the jail,” Sgt. French said.
The sheriff’s office was set to receive funding for the beds in November, but it decided to borrow the money from within the county to reopen the beds four months in advance because the need for them was so great.
“That’s four months of 131 inmates that would have walked out the door,” Sgt. French said. “The primary goal is to keep the highest risk offenders and those with statutory violent crimes that have been charged against them.”
Even with the additional beds, the sheriff’s office says capacity based releases will continue because the Lane County Jail would need to hold about 1000 local offenders to meet all the demands of the criminal justice system.