Printed on Jul 24, 2014 @ 1:24 AM
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By Oregon State law, the Sheriff's Office must maintain a county jail. The safe and secure operation of the jail facility is the responsibility of the Corrections Division, headed by Captain Diana Rabago, Jail Commander.
The present Benton County Jail was built in 1976 with an original capacity of 27 offenders. The facility was originally intended to operate as a short term regional facility associated with the Oregon Department of Corrections, but instead it has been the county’s primary jail since construction. When a police officer with the Corvallis, Philomath or Albany Police Departments, a trooper with the Oregon State Police, or a deputy with the Benton County Sheriff's Office, arrests someone anywhere in Benton County, they are brought to our facility.
We have modernized the facility in many ways with all changes contributing to the ongoing safety and security of the inmates and staff (read more about the jail's history).The jail now has a capacity of 40 beds. However, because we must segregate inmates due to the severity of their crime, their behavior and their gender, our jail is "at capacity" when we are housing an average of only 28 to 34 inmates.
About ten years ago, there was a significant push to construct a new jail. Voters turned down a bond measure twice, but did approve a levy that would allow for the rental of jail beds in other counties. We spend about $1 million a year renting jail beds from other counties. That figure does not include transportation costs or the personnel costs for transporting inmates. Even with the extra rental jail beds, at times we still have to release inmates for overcrowding. This is done in an objective and impartial manner with consideration for the safety of the community.
Although challenged by the smallest jail per capita in the State of Oregon, jail staff are exceptional, providing professional service and allowing us to manage our jail population in a safe, secure, and meaningful manner.
The mission of the Benton County Jail, while protecting the community and its citizens, is to economically operate a safe, secure and humane facility that adheres to Oregon Revised Statutes regarding corrections facility operations, the American Corrections and American Jail Associations recommendations and constitutional considerations as provided by the United States Constitution.