Jackson County, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has released its burglary statistics. If you’re on social media or watch the news – these numbers may not surprise you.
The sheriff’s office saw an increase in both residential and commercial burglaries from 2016 to 2017. One of the biggest jumps, though, was in the category ‘other structures.’ The sheriff’s office said that includes storage units and marijuana storage buildings.
Reducing crimes in those categories is challenging. According to the sheriff’s office, the number of burglaries in the ‘other structures’ category has risen dramatically in the past few years. Bringing those numbers back down is proving difficult due to an issue the county has been dealing with for years.
“It’s kind of a vicious cycle that we’re in in our county,” said Sheriff Nathan Sickler, JCSO.
Criminals are arrested, they go to jail, then a shortage of beds and forces their release. It’s a cycle that frustrates the Jackson County sheriff.
“It’s really causing a lot of work,” Sheriff Sickler said.
Sheriff Sickler said the jail’s average daily population is roughly 22 beds over capacity.
“Really always kind of in a state of force release,” Sheriff Sickler said.
The sheriff said the lack of jail space could potentially be the reason Jackson County has seen an uptick in burglaries.
“When you don’t have that – it kind of undermines the system and it just causes a lot of strain, a lot of frustration from the city police departments,” Sheriff Sickler said.
And the public.
“They’re the victims of these individuals who are out committing crime after crime,” Sheriff Sickler said.
In the past five years, the number of ‘other structure’ burglaries has nearly tripled. The number of residential burglaries also saw a significant increase between 2016 and 2017.
“Many of the folks that we’re releasing – they have drug addiction issues, mental health issues,” Sheriff Sickler said.
He said it’s difficult to enforce the law, when you don’t have enough jail space to serve as a consequence.
“When they’re in jail, and they get a moment of clarity to be able to sober up that is a better time to get them to engage with services and get them on track,” Sheriff Sickler said.
The sheriff said in the long term, the county will need to build another jail – simply because as population grows in the county, so does the crime.