Eugene (KMTR) – More than a dozen Lane County jail inmates landed back in the lane county jail after they were let out early in June due to budget cuts. The sheriff's office is concerned, that it's a pattern that could continue to grow along with the cost to the community.
In June, more than 90 inmates were released but many are back after committing new crimes. Since then, 17 have re-offended—three of them having been arrested twice. Fourteen others were returned to jail on warrants.
Deputies say one person who was let out on June 27 went on to attack a man twice, then stole his belongings two weeks later. He was re-arrested the following day on robbery and assault charges.
Others have been arrested for stealing cars, violating restraining orders and burglary.
Sheriff’s spokesperson Sergeant Carrie Carver says they fear it may only get worse.
“I’d like to think that this situation is temporary, but there are some issues with our public safety system that we have to address,” Carver said. “Certainly we need to find a more sustainable funding stream and that's really ever-present in front of us right now. And there is a great urgency to that because of this situation.”
With only 152 local jail beds available, many repeat offenders are not staying in jail as they should, because there are other offenders who are even more violent and therefore must be kept in custody.
The sheriff's office plans to continue to track releases and re-arrests to see if the number continues to grow.