MEDFORD, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler is announcing some changes to how jail operations that could have a positive impact in the community.
The sheriff’s office said they’ve added eight beds and moved female inmates to the basement. That’s allowed them to raise daytime capacity to 300, an increase from 292. 315 inmates can be held at night.
The reorganization means a decrease in nighttime releases, preventing released inmates from wandering the area once they get out. Instead, they can be released in the daytime, when there is a better opportunity to immediately connect with local services during business hours.
Sheriff Sickler said they’re also working on bringing more mental health services to the jail and reaching out to community partners to connect inmates to resources upon release. “The program will be a great opportunity for inmates who are ready to accept help for needs such as housing, employment, or treatment,” the sheriff said.
Sickler added the changes are just a partial fix to a larger problem. He said they’re limited by the size of the current jail. A bigger, more modern jail is required for the local criminal justice system to be effective, according to JCSO. “A larger jail would allow us to hold criminals accountable and keep them longer to give them a chance to take advantage of the services they need,” Sheriff Sickler explained.