On September 8, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office will reopen an additional 41 jail beds bringing the total jail capacity to 362 inmates, with 297 of those for local offenders. The expanded capacity to hold offenders was made possible by a five year public safety serial levy approved by Lane County voters in May of 2013. The jail levy requires a minimum of 255 jail beds for local offenders.
Since doubling jail bed capacity in July of 2013, the Sheriff’s Office has anticipated opening up to 84 additional jail beds for local offenders once sufficient employees were hired and trained to staff jail housing areas.
No budget adjustments are required by the reopening of the 41 beds.
The number of capacity based releases, inmates released from the jail to prevent over-crowding, has fallen from 5,129 in the fiscal year before the levy to 2,126 in the last fiscal year.
Several factors have driven the decision to reopen beds:
· May: Staff identified need.
· June: Staff determined need was critical.
· July 1: California Forensic Medical Group (CFMG) brought in.
· Early August: Jail and CFMG met to finalize protocols.
· August 31: Plan finalized.
Based on Lane County’s population, estimates indicate Lane County Jail would need to hold about 1000 local offenders to meet all the demands of the criminal justice system.