Another U.S. district in trouble and left with no choice. The sheriff of Lane County, Oregon freed 96 prisoners from the county jail, 3 of whom were awaiting trial for manslaughter.
The action followed the termination of 40 staff members. Sheriff Tom Turner says there is plenty of room at the jail, but that the budget simply won’t allow for him to keep enough workers to oversee all the inmates.
“It’s like releasing time bombs into your community,” Turner told The Oregonian.
The three suspects awaiting trial on homicide charges left with ankle surveillance bracelets and will be among 150 monitored electronically by Turner’s remaining staff.
The scene at Turner’s jail has played out elsewhere in Oregon and might again in coming years. Late in May, Josephine County released 39 inmates after the defeat of a tax levy to support local law enforcement.
“I thought to myself as they were leaving, I’m just watching a bunch of work walking down the road, a bunch of wasted work,” Turner said.
We’ve already covered how the U.S. could stand to loosen up the regulations a bit as we already hold the highest incarceration rate in the world, and even how some people want to go to prison, but having to release inmates due to budget cuts will be a heavy burden on society.