Josephine County Released Inmates Missing in Action

By Steven Sandberg

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Several inmates who were released from the Josephine County Jail have still not been found by corrections officers and officials say there may be no way to enforce their post-incarceration requirements.

Officials say those men and women have not checked in with their scheduled work crews. Normally, if someone fails to show up for a community corrections work crew, they would be taken back to jail. But now, because of budget cuts, that option has been taken off the table.

21 of the 39 inmates released from the jail Wednesday were assigned to be members of work crews. So far, six of those people have not checked in with their probation officers, or the community corrections office. Officials say some former inmates know there is little chance they can be punished because the jail capacity has shrunk to just 60 beds. But community corrections officials say they still want to hold those criminals accountable.

The work crews are usually filled with people serving out community service, but officials say those people would be bumped out to make room on the crews for more serious inmates who are released from the jail. The community corrections office says four of the released inmates have completed their jail sentences by serving on the work crews this week.