Jail beds re-open soon: 'It will slow down that capacity-based releases'

EUGENE, Ore. -- After years of downsizing at the Lane County Jail, sheriff's officials announced some of the closed beds will soon reopen.

The plan is to more than double current jail capacity for local inmates from 125 to 256 beds by July 8, Lane County Jail Commander Capt. Greg Fox said. That will help change the current release rates seen in the jail.

"Measure 11, major felony crimes those are the types of people that we're going to be able to hang on to now," said Capt. Fox.

Lane County Sergeant Steve French added that 14 previously laid-off jail deputies will go back to work for the department as well.

"The public safety levy is not going to allow the sheriff's office to hold all offenders but it will slow down that capacity-based releases," Sgt. French said.

Before the inmate capacity goes up, Sergeant French said there's work to be done.

"Cleaning, painting, re-grouting - doing all those things that we need to do to get these cells up to standards," said Sgt. French. "They're also in the process of refurbishing the showers and the restroom areas."

To save money, inmate and road crew labor is doing most of the work.