GRANTS PASS, Ore. – More criminals will be prosecuted and face jail time in Josephine County, now that funding from a federal timber payment extension is finalized.
After long discussion on how to best allocate a federal timber payment extension, county commissioners made the decision to move it toward public safety. Thursday morning, Sheriff Gil Gilbertson signed the paperwork to officially move forward.
Soon after, Josephine County commissioners signed the final order. Now, $450,000 is in the bank to increase jail space for 39 beds, making the total jail capacity at 99. Court security will be bumped up with more staff members; that funding is also bringing back one laid off prosecuting attorney and another half-time attorney. Both the district attorney’s office and the sheriff says the impacts of this extra funding will be seen immediately.
County commissioners also looked at several other county departments faced with layoffs, before reaching a decision to allocating funds. Most of the federal timber payment extension went toward the county reserve before the district attorney’s office or county jail received that money.