positions FOR Measure 20-340 levy:
(This information furnished by Charlcie Kaylor, League of Women Voters of Lane County)
The League of Women Voters of Lane County (LWVLC) supports Ballot Measure 20-340: Renewal of Jail and Youth Services Five-Year Levy.
The original levy went into effect in 2013 when pretrial release of people in custody for violent crimes occurred due to lack of jail capacity. No releases of this kind have happened since the levy has been in place. The tax rate will remain the same. Annual independent audits show that funds collected have been used as promised.
The levy continues to provide funding to maintain a minimum of 255 local jail beds plus mental health and addiction services for those who need them. These services are offered while in jail, and discharge planning is used to try to improve chances of success and decrease recidivism upon release.
Without levy adoption, a return to pre-2013 funding levels will hinder efforts to treat offenders for the medical conditions, detox and mental health assistance needed upon entry and beyond.
Jail services must not just be about filling beds. Yes, serious offenders need a place to be detained, but persons who are incarcerated also need to be given opportunities to make a positive reintegration back into the community.
Renew the Jail and Youth Services Five-Year Levy. Vote Yes on Measure 20-340.
(This information furnished by Sheriff Cliff Harrold)
Lane County must maintain a functional jail in order to have an effective public safety system. Measure 20-340 does not raise your taxes, it maintains the same level of funding so that we can continue to keep violent felony offenders in custody until their cases are resolved. Failure to renew this levy will have catastrophic consequences to our community.
Prior to the levy’s original passage in 2013, the Lane County Jail was forced to release thousands of offenders each year. This was not because the courts ordered them to be released, but from a lack of capacity to hold them. Many of these offenders committed violent felonies along with Measure 11 offenders – individuals that by statute were supposed to be held, but were released back out onto the streets due to a shortage of funded jail beds.
These types of releases fail to maintain any connectivity to the offender, which generally results in the offender failing to appear in court. This causes a need for arrest warrants to be served and the offender to be brought in again – only to be re-released due to lack of jail capacity. This revolving door is extremely inefficient for all facets of the public safety system: police officers, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, judges, and more. Defense attorneys never get a chance to meet these offenders before they are back out on the streets, and the judges and court staff continually re-schedule hearings due to the inability to ensure the defendant’s appearance.
There is also the fear and anguish felt by the victims of these crimes who are seeing their attackers back out again.
Please join me in ensuring that our community continues to have this critical piece of our public safety system by voting yes on 20-340 by May 16th!