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Plan to Reduce Inmates Moving Forward In Josephine County

By Sharon Ko

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — With a lack of funding the Josephine County Jail is down sizing beds and releasing dozens of criminals.

County officials got together Thursday morning to lay out a plan detailing how many inmates will stay in the jail to the legal issues that could arise once the jail capacity is reduced. A county legal counsel Steve Rich says a new order will replace the one made in 2007. He says an immunity will also be added into the documents to avoid liability issues.

With the current budget cuts facing the county inmates who have a “do not release” order by the courts will have to be released. Rich says he has been in discussion with the presiding circuit court judge about it.

“Explaining to her and she’s well aware of the fiscal situation is in Josephine County,” says Rich, “But I didn’t want any of mien institutional clients, Commissioners or the sheriff or anyone at the jail, to be held in contempt.”

Once the new order is completed, it will be presented to the board of commissioners for approval and will take into effect July 1st. The sheriff’s office says it cannot say when inmates will be released at this time due to safety concerns, but they will let the public know when it happens.