Jackson County – A bill establishing separate guidelines determining how quickly people are released from jail will have no effect on Jackson County’s prison system. Due to overcrowding, Jackson County Jail has already released people due to lack of jail space.
Jackson County Jail has consistently reported the highest number of releases due to overcrowding in the state of Oregon. The prison has an operational capacity of 300 beds, but this number has decreased due to Covid-19 precautions.
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Jail Commander Josh Aldrich says they can’t have people sitting on the floor waiting for their court date. This results in overloaded versions.
“Once we fill those beds – the next person that comes into the facility, we have to decide who gets released and in Jackson County we’ve existed at that full number for years now,” Aldrich says.
The decision on who will be released is made by the prison overseer. The detailed process is based on a release assessment system, which is based on their criminal history and current charges.
Senate Bill 48 provides a system for releasing people, creating specific criteria for those awaiting court appearance. However, with the number of people already in Jackson County Jail Senate Bill 48 and the new guidelines will not affect this in Jackson County.
“Those who would be automatically released under the guidelines of Senate Bill 48 — we released those people for years anyway just because we didn’t have the space,” Aldrich says.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office provides charges for recently released individuals on their Facebook page and Instagram account.
“We are trying to fill this information gap when it comes to prison, release and overcrowding. Making sure the community has the correct information on this topic,” says Aldrich.
To find this information on their Facebook, click here