Members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees toured the Marion County Jail and Marion County Circuit Annex Court on June 6, getting a firsthand glimpse of jail operations. Marion County elected officials including Commissioner Kevin Cameron, Sheriff Jason Myers, and District Attorney Walt Beglau were all hand to give legislators information on the tour.

The tour focused on how inmates with mental illness are processed and monitored through their length of stay. The average stay for an inmate in Marion County is approximately 10 days, though inmates with more serious charges face much longer stays according to Myers.

“It’s important for our state leaders to see how we do it at the county level,” said Cameron, who previously served as House Republican Leader in the Oregon State Legislature.”At Marion County, we work together to do things as effectively and efficiently as possible and we are proud of the high standards we hold for ourselves.”

AOC President Bill Hall’s initiative for the year is “Stepping Up,” which is a national effort to reduce the number of mentally ill individuals in county jails. At counties across Oregon like Marion County, jail staff works to screen and identify inmates with mental illness so that they can receive appropriate treatment and care.

Contributed by: Patrick Sieng | AOC Public Safety Policy Manager