Sheriff calls jail levy vote a big win

Sheriff calls jail levy vote a big win »Play Video
Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner

EUGENE, Ore. - Voters on Tuesday approved a 5-year tax levy to open 120 beds in the Lane County Jail, including 16 beds at the juvenile detention center.

The goal: combat the revolving door at the Lane County Jail, where a lack of space means inmates often go free without serving time or posting bail. Since July 2012, 4,100 offenders got out of jail free due to a lack of space.

Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner called the vote a big win.

"It'll make living here and certainly our organization able to to sleep a little more at night as far as what's out in the community and what won't be, as we can gear this up and get it going," Turner said.

Measure 20-213 will cost the owner of the typical Lane County home about $85 a year in property tax.

Voters who supported the measure told KVAL News that more jail beds are a necessity.

"I felt a high need for law enforcement to be able to do their job," said Leo Limoges, "and it costs money to do it and it needed to be done."

"I'm glad there will be more beds," said Deborah Hart. "I wish they could have done it another way because again we're struggling, we're over taxed."