Jackson County Sheriff's Office staff are exploring ways to help alleviate problems in the local criminal justice system caused by an undersized and outdated jail. The goal of this website is to help educate citizens about the problem so we can work toward an effective solution.
The current jail was built in 1981, when Jackson County's population was 134,546, and was designed to hold 176 inmates. In 1985, inmates sued Jackson County for overcrowded conditions; the settlement led to clear restrictions on the ability to house additional inmates within the current facility.
Jackson County's population is now 215,000 and growing. Modifications to the jail now allow a total capacity of 300 inmates - a number that is still inadequate to address the needs of the community. In 2017, the jail handled approximately 14,000 lodgings. About half were released before they could appear in court or pay bail, due to capacity restrictions.
Upon release, many offenders go on to commit additional crimes, to be lodged in jail, and to be released again. This "revolving door" affects liveability in the community, and creates a strain on local resources.
In October 2018, Jackson County began the process to purchase a parcel of land in North Medford upon which to build a proposed new jail. Efforts are currently under way to introduce a plan to voters to approve a service district to support future jail operations.
Sheriff Sickler is available to present information about the jail project to local groups and organizations. Please call (541) 770-8923 to make a request.
This page is a work in progress and additional information will be added over time. We hope you will find it useful.