With more beds open, no one sentenced to jail got out early

EUGENE, Ore. - No one sentenced to jail time got out early because of overcrowding last week, the Lane County Sheriff's Office said.

Taxpayers in May approved a measure to fund additional jail beds.

Even though the tax money won't start coming in until this fall, the Lane County Sheriff's Office budgeted to open the 131 jail beds this month.

All told, the Lane County Jail now has 256 beds to hold people sentenced to jail or accused of crimes.

The statistics for capacity based releases - the practice of releasing people who have yet to post bail, face trial or serve a sentence due to overcrowding - show a shift as jail beds reopened this month.

The week ending June 30, the jail released 16 people who had been sentenced to jail and another 96 people awaiting trial.

The next week, with 35 jail beds reopened, 8 people got out before their jail sentence was over. Another 75 got out before trial.

This most recent week, with another 96 jail beds open, only 10 people awaiting trial on misdemeanor charges got out of jail early. No one sentenced to jail were released.

Whether the trend continues remains to be seen, the sheriff's office said.

"As the jail fills up, we'll see those numbers start to increase and then it will stabilize at some number - probably well below the 100 that we saw before," Sgt. Steve French said.