Few people would count the Multnomah County Jail as a reason to love Portland. But significantly shorter jail stays and a smaller inmate population set even one of the worst places in the city apart from the rest of the country.
Nationally, an average jail stay is 23 days, according to data published in 2015 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge. In Portland, the turnaround is about half that, at just 12.5 days in January. It was even lower in December, at 11.27 days.
Those numbers include only inmates who actually stay in jail and disregards anyone booked and immediately released on recognizance. Multnomah County hopes to reduce that time even more through new programs to quickly divert people suffering from mental health disorders or addiction out of jail and into treatment programs.