EUGENE, Ore. – Just a week after more than doubling the number of beds in the jail, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office says even more beds may be on the way. Deputies say preliminary discussions are underway to add even more jail beds.
As for the number, there’s nothing set it stone. The beds would be in addition to the 131 beds that were opened in just the last few weeks.
The new beds have had a major impact on the capacity based releases. In the last week of June, deputies released 112 inmates. For the week ending Sunday, there were just ten. That’s a difference of about a hundred inmates.
The impact of more people in the jail could be sizable. LCSO Sergeant Steve French says because they were forced to release more violent offenders before the expansion, there was a loss of accountability.
“I think adding the beds will have the opposite effect,” said French. “That we are once again holding offenders accountable and inmates know we’re not going to tolerate particularly the violent crimes in the county.”
The Sheriff’s Office says it’s already releasing fewer violent offenders. All ten who walked out of the jail over the last week, only faced misdemeanor charges.
The funding for the new beds will come from the safety levy approved by voters earlier this year.