Skip to comments.Oregon county releases inmates amid budget cuts
Posted on 05/30/2012 9:01:44 PM PDT by quantim
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- Dozens of inmates ran whooping from a small town jail into the sunshine Wednesday after a cash-strapped county in Oregon's timber region was forced to release them amid budget cuts.
The sheriff's office released 39 inmates, dropping the population at the jail in Grants Pass to 60 - half of them federal prisoners held on contract.
"We had no other alternative based on our funding predicament," said Josephine County Undersheriff Don Fasching. "We are very concerned for public safety."
About half of those released will finish their sentences on work crews. The rest were waiting for trial.
The most common charges were for drug crimes, minor assaults, burglary, identity theft and probation violations.
"We did keep the worst of the worst" - those facing charges for crimes that carry mandatory prison sentences - said Jail Commander Vicki Smith.
Among the inmates released was one incarcerated for failing to register as a sex offender, and another accused of agreeing to sex for money with a 14-year-old girl offered by her boyfriend online.
The sheriff's office was forced to cut staffing to levels not seen since 1991 after voters emphatically turned down a $12 million levy to plug a gap left by the expiration of federal timber subsidies. Since then, applications for concealed weapons permits have skyrocketed, many taken by people concerned that the sheriff's cuts will lead to a rise in crime.
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Did they already fire all those in city all no one would notice?
Josephine County has been devastated by federal and state regulations against logging. Logging communities in Oregon have been economically destroyed by eviro-whacko made up BS. In fact, the tactics used by the enviros against logging in the Pacific NW was a test bed for the global warming hysteria going on today. The town I grew up in has been turned from a hard working blue collar tight knit community into a basket case filled with welfare and drugs. Agenda 21 in action people, wake the F up.
You know Barry’s economy sucks when they start laying off prisoners.
I was born in a little town of three thousand, where the pro Obama teacher was suspended last week. I started looking at information about the town and was startled to find they had a police chief, two sergeants, 9 officers, and 5 reserve officers in their police force. 40 years ago there were 4 police officers including the chief, and the population has only gone from 3k to 3.4k.
Couldn’t happen in a better liberal state.
Actually Southern Oregon is pretty much the bible belt. Josephine County is about as conservative Christian as it gets. The poster who detailed the destruction of the timber industry nailed it.
The levy they wanted to kick the can down the road was a non starter. It was based on property taxes with the wealthier paying easily 5 to 6 times as much. Ironically the majority of the wealthier wanted to pay but were outvoted.
Josephine County is very conservative. Decades ago the Feds chose the spotted owl over our logging jobs.
This is not a case of liberals getting their comeuppance, but of the Federal Government putting about 60% of the local industry out of business.
The despair and drug use are amazing to see.
The tax they wanted to impose was very high. Almost every property owner voted against it.
The only real solution is jobs, and now that it has been demonstrated that the spotted owl is going extinct because of the barred owl, the sensible thing would be to resume logging, but the enviro nuts will never allow that.
if they had a single dollar, it should have gone to keeping these guys locked up, I am sure this is another example of failure to budget and an example on how to miss-prioritize funds.
Ultimately, these guys are going to have to go back to harvesting timber, legally or illegally, people have to eat.
I bet none none of the Gov't workers had their salary cut.
No, liberals would rather let criminals run free.
That particular county may be conservative, but Oregon isn’t.
I was raised 25 miles from GP in a place called Glendale. Every word you say is true. I went in AF after UofO in 1966...just as this beautiful (and then productive) State was being invaded by Environazis. I have saddness for my many HS friends in which I still stay in touch.
All of Southern Oregon and what is really Northern California...not the crap that says SF is Northern California but rather Redding, Weed, etc., have more than once tried to establish a separate state. They wanted to call it Jefferson.
You would be surprised. Just as IL voting is dominated by liberal Chicago, and upstate NY is dominated by liberal NYC, out here in Oregon, the population is concentrated in liberal Portland, and to a lesser extent in liberal Eugene.
Most of the rest of the state is conservative, very conservative.
The budget shortfalls are not the result of bad budgeting. If the Federal government took 60% of your income away, you would feel the pinch too.
DW and I retired to Southern Oregon from the SF Bay area. Since we don't need jobs, the place is perfect for us. We could afford a very nice house, with a view, on 40 acres for less than our rather average house in CA sold for.
And our neighbors are all solidly conservative.
Are you from Oregon? Are you basing this on anything more than opinion? Oregon is predominantly a conservative state dominated by one ultra liberal city (Portland.) It is very similar to CA being dominated by L.A. and S.F.
It is unfair to say the whole state is getting what it deserves when the one city is making the rest of the state reap what it sows. It is especially unfair to delight in the misfortunes of those bearing the brunt of policies they never voted for and voted against overwhelmingly.
Not to be a jerk but this very situation is in all likelihood coming to your city/county as well. The handwriting is on the wall. Municipalities are going broke everywhere. Special tax levies are simply the first shot in the battle to keep things running. They will not be the last and the option to vote against it will probably not be available in the second round.
Josephine County is simply one of many canaries in the mineshaft.
Well, they keep sending liberals to Congress and the Senate and vote Democrat in the Presidential elections.
If almost every Federal office holder is a liberal and the State votes Democrat in just about every election (this year may be an exception) I would regard that State as Liberal.
Again, you are kind of missing the point but I am beginning to think it is deliberate. Portland has 60 % of the entire state population. It runs the show. You add in Eugene and it is 65 %. The entire Southern Oregon population barely hits 15 %.
One city, overwhelming a state, hardly makes the entire state liberal. Besieged maybe, taxed without representation, certainly. All of which is bad enough without people piling on on saying everyone is getting what they deserve for living in a liberal state.
The sad thing is it is simply hitting places like Oregon first. No state is immune to an over spending government going broke. Even Conservative ones. All those states will be looking to cut services and raise taxes. Is it going to matter that it was a conservative state then? Will that forestall the inevitable? Nope.
The fact that there are conservative areas is irrelevant to that fact.
Oregon is a 'Blue' State.
Elect some conservatives and vote GOP in the Presidential race and then you can be considered a 'Red' State.
No one is gloating over Oregon's problems, only recognizing that they are the inevitable result of liberal polices.
The only way a conservative state will become effected in the same way is if it has to bail out the liberal ones, such as Oregon, Calif and New York, while they continue doing what they always do, tax and spend.
If you were to excise about about a five mile swath 100 miles long of I-5 from Portland to Eugene, what was left of the state would be solid Republican.