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Josephine County Releases Inmates, Slashes Jobs

Mass layoffs at the Josephine County Sheriff’s Department go into effect Thursday. The department released 36 people from jail Wednesday for sheer lack of staffing.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Erin Maue says staff had prepared to process three dozen offenders. So when the time came, the release went off quickly.

Maue said, “It only took about half an hour. They started checking them out about 930 a.m., they were walking out the doors by 10. Some of them ran.”

Josephine County voters rejected a public safety levy in May. That means twenty jail staffers are losing their jobs, along with 50 other department members. The jail is now down to just 30 beds under local control — thirty more are reserved for federal prisoners.

Josephine County’s budget shortfall stands at $7.5 million for fiscal year that starts July 1.