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Clarifying Jail Release Options, April 4

CCSO release – As a Jail Supervisor at the Coos County Jail, I am reaching out to provide clarity and transparency regarding the complexities we face in managing our facility’s limited resources. Our commitment to the safety and well-being of our community remains steadfast, even as we navigate the challenges that come with decision-making processes for Adult in Custody (AIC) releases. Housing Limitations: Our jail currently operates with a capacity of 48 beds for lodged AICs and 5 holding cells, which are allocated as follows: 15 beds for medium custody males, typically those with non-assaultive or non-violent crimes. 11 beds for high custody males, including those charged with Measure 11 violent crimes such as murder and robbery. 11 beds for male sex offenders, medically or mentally fragile individuals, and those with safety concerns. 11 beds for all female AICs. 5 holding cells for individuals on suicide watch, medical watch, or those who are intoxicated. Current Release Procedures: Our current procedures are guided by a multitude of factors, including Oregon Law, the severity of the crime, and guidelines set forth by Senate Bill 48 (SB48). The Corrections Division shift supervisor carefully considers these elements, along with bed availability based on where an individual needs to be housed, medical or mental health concerns, and the level of intoxication. For those arrested on citation only, release occurs upon completion of processing. Future Changes with Increased Capacity: The following information was provided by Trial Court Administrator Thomas Lankford, as the previous information provided by the Coos County Sheriff’s Office about “Future Changes with Increased Capacity” was inaccurate. Please accept our apology and understand that with ever-changing policies, laws, and requirements, we also make mistakes. The amendment below will outline the process when the Coos County Jail opens additional beds. “The Chief Judge Orders (CJO) directs presiding judges to establish release guidelines for their Judicial District. Presiding Judge Order (PJO) 22-01 guides release decisions which are currently made by the jail prior to arraignment. The court has always made release decisions at the time of arraignment and throughout the life of a criminal case, release decisions are still made by the jail in conjunctions with the release categorizations set out in PJO 22-01 and based on jail capacity and emergency releases as set by jail policy. The Coos County Circuit Court has no intent to have release officers make release decisions. Our release officer will produce reports for the individuals held in jail according to SB 48, CJO 23-19 and PJO 22-01, which are provided to the court, DA, and defense counsel to use when making release determinations. The only change in our processes currently underway is that our release officers will be providing monitoring for any individual charged with a felony, charged with a constituting DV crime, released on surety, a fugitive from justice who is released on surety or as ordered by the court as a special condition.” Trial Court Administrator Thomas Lankford. We assure you that each decision is made with the utmost consideration for public safety and the rights of the individuals in our care. We are dedicated to continuous improvement and are certain that with increased capacity and additional prosecutors, we can better serve the needs of Coos County. Link to SB48 legal description: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB0048/B-Engrossed

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