Officials in Lane County do not expect they'll be able to stop releasing inmates from the county jail, despite the promise of cash from the federal government this winter. Oregon's share of the one-time extension of county payments is estimated at around $100 million.
Lane County alone weathered almost $100 million dollars in budget cuts this year. It might receive about $10 million if the federal payment comes through.
"Certainly any monetary assistance that would come our way would be appreciated," said Sgt. Carrie Carver, with the Lane County Sheriff's Department. "The amount that we'd be looking at wouldn't save the sheriff's office. It's temporary money for sure. What we're really looking for is long-term sustainable funding."
Carver says Sheriff Tom Turner has advocated a balanced approach — and says that adding jail beds without increasing patrol staff doesn't work.
The county jail released 62 offenders over the past two days, for lack of jail staff. Thursday morning Carver said that inmates who were freed included three prisoners accused of Measure 11 crimes.