By Yessenia Anderson
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — As layoffs continue to trickle down at the Josephine County Sheriffs Office, the jail is beginning to make preparations for those cuts, including releasing dozens of inmates to city streets. The jail’s maximum capacity is 120 inmates; with the failure of the public safety levy, the office is forced to reduce their bed capacity by nearly half.
The first step in that process has begun at the courthouse. The Josephine County Courts have been expediting sentencing to help get the Josephine County adult jail population down to its new target capacity of 60 total inmates.
Tuesday morning, 12 inmates, who otherwise would have been released into the community until their trial dates, are instead being shipped up to state prison to serve their sentences. Sheriff officials say the District Attorney’s Office has also changed its filing process in part to the lack of resources.
“They are going to have far fewer staff to prosecute the cases and so they are being more selective in those that they chose to file on,” explains Erin Maue, with the Josephine County Sheriffs Office.
The Josephine County Sheriffs Office says they will be notifying the public on specific dates and times of those releases. But for safety reasons, this announcement will come closer to those pending release dates. Sheriff officials say they will also make a PDF available online that will include all of the names, mug shots and charges for the inmates who are released.