From the Office of the Sheriff
Sheriff Dennis L. Dotson
For Immediate Release
Date: June 28, 2006
Sheriff Dennis Dotson announced today that effective July 1, 2006, Lincoln County inmates will be assessed a daily fee of $30.00. State law allows Oregon jails to assess a daily fee of up to $60.00 per day for sentenced inmates. While this is a new program in Lincoln County, charging sentenced inmates to be housed in jails is not a new concept to Oregon jails.
Prior to making this decision, a number of Oregon Sheriffs and Sheriffs from other states shared their experiences and beliefs about inmate assessments with Sheriff Dotson. Several of the common comments shared by these Sheriffs were that while fees do not pay for the cost of services, they do:
- Teach responsibility to inmates to make better decisions in money and budget management.
- Teach inmates to plan on needs for the week – medical, copying, or commissary.
- Creates deterrence for some people to not return to the jail.
The Lincoln County Jail currently assesses fees for:
- Commissary items, hygiene items, and sandals (these items are taken with the subject when released).
- Photocopies for legal purposes.
- Records requests, which charges individuals for copies of requested paperwork.
- Incoming hygiene/commissary pack ($3.00).
- Medical services/and some medication – which is charged through Health and Human Services.
As this is a new program for the jail, it will be closely monitored and evaluated to determine if the desired goals are being achieved.
Some people will undoubtedly feel that this new assessment is unfair, but is it? Everyone can avoid the fees by not engaging in criminal behavior in Lincoln County. In fact, more than 92% of Lincoln County citizens will not be impacted by this assessment because they’re not engaging in criminal behavior.
With jail overcrowding continuing to be a problem in this country and in Lincoln County, it is prudent to employ all the tools available to us to deter people from committing crimes and ending up in our jail.
Return to News Releases.