Hot off the press: Here are the recommendations made by this year's grand jury charged with looking into how well (or, y'know, not so well) Multnomah County runs its corrections facilities:
1. Maintain an active oversight committee
to inquire into all aspects of the jail and detention system in Multnomah County, including medical services and juvenile detention. The committee should be required to investigate the conclusions and recommendations of each year's corrections grand jury.
The most pressing concerns which require the attention of the committee are:
a. Resolution of contracts and agreements to house adult and juvenile detainees from other jurisdictions below cost
b. The use of sick leave, compensatory time and overtime
c. Staffing patterns
and levels in the jails and juvenile detention facility
d. The full costs of all jail and detention facilities
e. The need to reinstitute alternative sentencing programs
2. The county should continue to explore options for the opening of the Wapato Jail
facility, which is vital to the safety of the community. This should include both the option suggested in the District Attorney's report and the plan to expand Wapato and lease Inverness to federal authorities.
3. The county should privatize the health care system
in the jails and should use the savings acquired from that move to fund additional community-based mental health care treatment.
4. The county and the oversight committee should continue to monitor the performance of release officers and probation and parole officers whose functioning is critical to the effective operation of the jails.
5. The county should attempt to enlist the aid of the Governor's Office to facilitate a more efficient exchange of information between states regarding inmate identity.
6. Inmates should not be released before they are identified
, unless required by law.
7. The county needs to look at the staffing patterns at the juvenile facility and determine if that facility can be run more efficiently.