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Sheriff: Jackson County Jail is Overcrowded

Some Inmates in Jackson County Jail are being released early because the jail is not big enough to hold everyone being brought in.

Posted: Dec 14, 2018 10:13 AM
Updated: Dec 14, 2018 2:02 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Jackson County is able to hold as many as 315 people overnight and about 300 people during the daytime.

This number has to do with the jail design, staffing, and number of beds.

When the jail gets overcrowded, they have to choose people to release and Sheriff Sickler tells me they release those with the lowest offenses. For example, he says that property crimes are lower offenses than person crimes.

This creates a public safety issue when inmates know that they may not be spending as much time in jail due to the overcrowding.

"There's a very well known fact that there will be little to no chance that you'll be held in jail for any length of time if you commit an offense in Jackson County — so I think that certainly plays into the willingness for some individual to engage in criminal activity," said Sickler.

The Jackson County Sheriff's office posted a video to their Facebook wall about the shortage of jail space. In the video they explain how funding for a bigger jail will fix issues that they have and improve public safety.

In the comments of the video, some had questions about additional funding that would be needed to support a bigger jail.

Some people supported it, and others would rather have their tax dollars invested elsewhere.

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