The Lane County Jail has more than doubled its capacity since voters approved a public safety levy in May of 2013. An additional 20 local beds were recently made available.
Since the Sheriff hired more deputies over the past few months, a jail wing that had been empty for years has re-opened.
Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp says before the levy passed the jail could only house 125 local inmates.
“This brings us to 317 local offender jail beds for this community which is the most beds this community has had in this jail for about 13 years, since 2003. So it’s pretty exciting to actually be able to rebuild some of the public safety structure in the county that has been devastated over the years with budget reductions.”
Trapp says thanks to the additional beds, fewer inmates are being let go early. That number of capacity based releases was at more than 5,000 in the fiscal year before the levy passed. Last year, the number was around 2,000. Trapp says he’d prefer not to have to let out any offenders early. But, since the levy passed the jail has not had to early release any violent criminals.