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May 25, 2020
You are here : Jail  >  New Jail Project
New Jail Project

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staff are exploring ways to help alleviate problems in the local criminal justice system caused by an undersized and outdated jail.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. 

In 2017, the jail handled approximately 14,000 lodgings.  Due to capacity restrictions, about half were released before they could appear in court or pay bail. 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 2018, Jackson County's population reached 215,000 and continues to grow.  Modifications to the jail now allow a total capacity of 300 inmates (315 overnight) - a capacity that is still inadequate to address the needs of the community.  

In 2019, Jackson County completed the purchase of 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don’t you use ankle bracelets or other types of monitoring instead of holding people in jail?

Home Detention and Pretrial Supervision are both used in Jackson County.  Approximately 24 people are on home detention and 106 are on pretrial supervision at any given time - meaning there are already 130 fewer people in jail.  

For Home Detention, the judge must first approve alternatives to jail on the judgement and then the client must report to Community Justice and apply for the service.  Applicants meet with Home Detention personnel and must meet the requirements as well as have the financial means to pay for the service.  

Pretrial Supervision clients must be approved by the judge and must also report to the Community Justice office.  

These services are initiated by the judge and not something the Jail or Community Justice controls.  There are personnel in the jail who review cases daily and make recommendations to the judges, however, they do not have control over whether or not the judge follows the recommendation.