Another Oregon County, Hit by Budget Cuts, Releases Prisoners … Including 3 Homicide Suspects
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
As a result of deep budget cuts, the sheriff in Lane County, Oregon, freed 96 prisoners from the county jail, including three suspects awaiting trial for manslaughter.
Space at the jail is not a problem, according to Sheriff Tom Turner. But without enough funds, Turner had to lay off 40 members of his staff. That left too few guards at the detention facility to watch all of the inmates.
The three men facing homicide charges left with ankle surveillance bracelets, which will allow the sheriff’s department to monitor their whereabouts. One of them, Aaron Curry, is accused of killing an acquaintance during a drunken fight at a campground.
Others released were serving sentences for drug crimes and violent offenses, such as second-degree felony assault.
“It’s like releasing time bombs into your community,” Turner told The Oregonian.
Lane County is home to the city of Eugene, the state’s second most populous city, and the University of Oregon and has more than 350,000 residents.
It is not the first Oregon county to let prisoners go due to the budget crunch. In late May, Josephine County released 39 inmates after the defeat of a tax levy to support local law enforcement.
To Learn More:
Money from Congress Won't Put Freed Lane County Prisoners Back Behind Bars (by Brent Hunsberger, The Oregonian)
After Voters Reject Property Tax Increase, Oregon County Releases Prisoners (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)
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