Lane County Sheriff Watches Inmates Walk Out Jail Door

Jun 26, 2012

Nearly 100 inmates of the Lane County Jail will be released this week. Not because they've served their time, but because the county can't afford to keep them. This after commissioners cut nearly $100 million from the general fund.

Twenty-nine men and women walked out the doors of the Lane County Jail at 11 a.m. Among them, Johnny Secreto from Oakridge. He says he's been in jail for robbery for just over a month.

"You know, Lane County, they did me right," he says. "They let me out four months early."

Sheriff Tom Turner watched inmates step out the jail doors. He says these are not low-end criminals.

"These are people that are dangerous," Turner says. "They're bad on society. They're difficult on society. They should be incarcerated and they're not. What that means for our community I don't know. But it worries me because these aren’t good people."

Lane County is closing a wing of the jail which includes 96 beds. More inmates will be released Wednesday and Thursday.

While the jail reduces capacity, sheriff's patrols are also getting cut. In total, the sheriff is eliminating 62 positions from his office under the bare bones 2012-13 budget.

Copyright 2012 KLCC