PENDLETON, Oregon – Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan says capacity continues to be a problem at the jail and staff is forced to employ the matrix system which is designed to determine which inmates would pose the least threat if released due to overcrowding. Rowan says capacity is more complicated than just the number of bunks.
“Depending on the diversity of the population that we have in the jail, it dictates what we’re doing,” he said. “What we continue to run up against is the lack of single-cell resources.”
The planned renovation will offer those single-cell resources, but in the meantime Rowan said things get complicated when inmates are suffering from addiction or mental health issues.
“We have to be very creative in how we’re placing these inmates and classifying them, and making sure that they’re getting the help that they need,” he said.