PNP comment: Josephine County must reduce services due to a huge budget shortfall. — Editor Liz Bowen
Published on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 00:14Hits: 562
[UPDATE: There was a total of 39 inmates released today. One inmate who was scheduled to be released was kept in custody due to behavioral issues this morning.
A list of all the inmates who were released today is available at www.jocosheriff.us/news . There is also a more detailed document that includes the released inmates' descriptors, mugshots and charges.
A zip file with image files of all the inmate mugshots is also available for download.]
Grants Pass, OR — May 30th, at about 10:00 a.m., the Josephine County Adult Jail released 39 inmates, in order to meet its new lower capacity of 60 total inmates.
The date of the release was not publicized until today for safety reasons.
The inmate capacity, which at one time was as high as 160 inmates, is being lowered to 60 in order to get the jail to a level that is safe to operate for the 18 employees who will remain out of the 38 who were budgeted for fiscal year 2011-12.
The decreased staffing is in response to a $7.5 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2012-13.
Of the 60 beds in use, up to 30 will be reserved for federal contracts, which generate about $1 million dollars each year in revenue. Of the 30 that remain for local control, typically about 20 are taken up by Measure 11 inmates, whom the law dictates must be held due to the seriousness of their charges.
The inmates who were released have charges that include, but are not limited to:
*Rape in the third degree
*Sodomy in the third degree
*Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
*Endangering Welfare of a Minor
*Assault in the fourth degree
*Robbery in the third degree
*Felon in Possession of a Firearm
*Parole, Probation and Post-Prison Violations
*Drug possession, delivery and manufacture
*Various property crimes
Release decisions were made collectively by the Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the courts and Community Corrections. Various factors are taken into consideration, including seriousness of the charges and whether or not any of the inmates are Measure 11 inmates, meaning that they must serve a minimum mandatory sentence.
Some of the “Beyond Available Resources” (BAR) inmates were sentenced to work crew in lieu of serving jail time. Others were required to sign a release agreement binding them to show up in court for trial and sentencing.
It was previously anticipated that a greater number of inmates would need to be released, but a collective effort among the criminal justice system and expedition of sentencing has lowered that number. See related news release at http://www.jocosheriff.us/news/433-courts-expedite-sentencing-to-help-lower-inmate-count for further detail.
The drastic funding decrease for fiscal year 2012-13, and subsequent years, is a result of the federal government’s decision to terminate federal timber payments, commonly known as Oregon & California (O&C) funds.