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Think Out Loud

Failure to Appear in Court

Warrants are piling up in cash-strapped Josephine County. Defendants there have been skipping their scheduled appearances in court. Earlier this month, Judge Lindi Baker issued “failure to appear” warrants in 15 out of 28 cases.

Josephine County is among many rural Oregon counties that has suffered severe budget cuts due to the loss of federal “timber payments” earlier this year. Even a one year extension of the subsidy didn’t help all that much. Voters also turned down a levy that would have helped to bridge the budget gap.

According to the Associated Press,

Cuts have reduced rural sheriff’s patrols, prosecutors and juvenile shelter and detention programs. More than 80 criminal justice system employees lost their jobs.

Do you live in Josephine County or another county facing severe budget shortfalls? How have cuts to law enforcement affected your life?

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