MEDFORD, Ore-- Sheriff Nathan Sickler is starting over. He is trying to bring a new jail to Jackson County. This jail would also focuses on mental health and addiction services.
"Jail is a good option if it's done correctly and it can actually prevent people from long term involvement with the criminal justice system" said Sheriff Sickler. He explained to the board why cities like Talent and Ashland were not fond of this new jail the first time. "Why don't we spend all this money on homeless services, mental health services or addiction services. I think that at the end of the day is we have a multifaceted problem" said Sheriff Sickler.
"I would be for it. If it has the capability of helping people so that when they get out they are better able to be apart of the community. Hopefully not repeat" said Karen Sharp from Eagle Point. Most of the people I spoke to today in Jackson County are for this jail. "We need to help the people that are mentally ill and who will be ready to get back into life again" said Jayne Cope from Medford.
Now the few people I spoke to that oppose the jail say that the 166 million dollars should not go towards the jail. They say that money should go to a mental health facility for criminals to get help. This is something Sheriff Sickler touched on today saying this is a better option. "You are going to go to treatment or you are going to go back to jail because you can't be out victimizing the community" said Sheriff Sickler.
If this jail is approved it will cost homeowners some money every year. Sharp says for her that's ok. "If somebody can be helped or a lot of people can be helped absolutely. I would be all about making our community a safer, healthier place to live" said Sharp.
Sheriff Sickler and the Board of Commissioners hope to bring this to the ballot in May 2020.