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November 20, 2018
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Data: Fewer Inmates Released in 2018 (Photo)
Julie Denney
/ Categories: Press Releases

Data: Fewer Inmates Released in 2018 (Photo)

MEDFORD, Ore. – A review of lodging statistics for 2018 shows fewer inmates are being released from the Jackson County jail to prevent overcrowding, compared to the previous year.  Officials say the trend is attributed to an addition of jail beds and innovative programs aimed at reducing repeat lodgings.  Sheriff Nathan Sickler believes the numbers suggest the trend would continue in a positive direction if the county were able to add additional jail beds.

Jackson County Jail Release Statistics (January 1 – May 31)

 

Year

Forced/Capacity

Release

Risk

Release

 

TOTAL

2018

1184

1215

2399

2017

1953

1184

3137

2016

1192

1527

2719

2015

424

1448

1872

 

A “forced release” is a term used to describe the release of an inmate due to capacity restrictions.  Jail officials also use a formula to identify inmates who qualify for “risk release” to reduce the jail population in anticipation of imminent lodgings – a preemptive forced release.  Inmates qualify for a risk release because they are charged with lower level crimes, have fewer prior lodgings, and/or have a demonstrated history of appearing in court as scheduled.

Sheriff Nathan Sickler says the biggest contributor to the decline in forced releases was the April 2017 reopening of the jail’s basement level, which raised the total capacity from 230 to 292 inmates.  With the inability to add additional beds in the current facility, officials are continually looking for ways to be more efficient within the space restrictions.

“The Chronic FTA program is another example of how we are finding ways to get the best use of the resources we have,” said Sickler.  The program targets those who have been released due to capacity restrictions, and who repeatedly fail to appear in court as scheduled.  The sheriff has set aside jail beds to hold inmates who have been identified as chronic FTA offenders.  They are held until they can make their court appearance, lessening the strain created on the local justice system as a whole.

Sheriff Sickler is pleased to learn of this trend toward fewer releases, but he says there is still significant room for improvement to fix the “revolving door” problem.

“Thousands of inmates are still being released back into the community before going to court, only to commit more crimes. We are working on finding a sustainable solution to this problem to reduce the crime rate and increase liveability in Jackson County,” Sickler said.

Information on the jail capacity problem and the work toward a solution can be found on the JCSO website - https://jacksoncountyor.org/sheriff/Jail/New-Jail-Project.

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