The Benton County Jail has two holding cells and two waiting rooms. These are used to process new arrestees.
They are also the only rooms available for intoxicated, uncooperative, or suicidal inmates. When these rooms are full, the Jail is closed to new arrests.
What does it mean to close the Jail?
When the Jail is closed, no new arrestees can be processed. The Benton County Jail is the only jail in the county. That means that all individuals arrested in Benton County - whether by Corvallis Police, Philomath Police, Albany Police in North Albany, Oregon State Police, or our own Benton County Sheriff's Office Deputies - must be brought to our Jail.
If the Jail is unable to process new arrests, the Officer or Deputy must decide whether to cite and release the person they've arrested or hold them until the Jail re-opens. If they decide, for public safety reasons, to hold the individual, the arrestee has to be kept under constant surveillance until space is available. Usually this means that the Officer or Deputy is not available to respond to emergency calls.
How often does this happen?
In 2017, the Jail was closed to new incoming arrests for a total of 140 hours.