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A new Jackson County Jail is off the table... for this year

Ashland City council voted no to the jail resolution on Tuesday night. Talent did not pass a motion to vote on the resolution so their vote was technically a no too.

Posted: May 8, 2019 6:54 PM

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore--Ashland City Council voted no to the jail resolution on Tuesday night. Talent did not pass a motion to vote on the resolution so their vote was technically a no too.

Sheriff Nathan Sickler has worked on this resolution since he took office. That means he's worked on this jail for two years and five months.

The new jail would go right next to the airport and across from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. The plot of land has already been purchased. 

Sheriff Sickler says this jail is a big need. There are a lot of things he works on daily, but says this is an important piece he has dedicated a lot of time too. This new jail would have a big focus on criminals with underlying mental health or addiction problems. Which Sheriff Sickler says is a good portion of crimes in Jackson County.

"So our goal is to make things better for them and we have programs in place now that we are going to start on a smaller scale. That will hopefully show the value of what we can do at a big scale" said Sheriff Sickler.

The next step for Sheriff Sickler is talking to both Ashland and Talent City Council about what it did not like about the resolution. Plus open up a dialogue to see if there is something to make it more appealing to them.

Today I also spoke to Ashland City Councilman Stephen Jensen. He voted yes on this resolution. "I'll probably get in a little bit of hot water by saying this. I feel strongly about this. There's a little bit of Ashland exceptionalism here once again about the city council having a loftier vision of what this should be and essentially imposing it on the rest of the county" said Jensen.

He adds that Ashland needs to be more collaborative with the rest of the county. Plus he believes the people in the county should have a say in this new jail as well.

Sheriff Sickler says the next time this resolution could be brought back to City Councils is May 2020. So a year from now. 

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