Grand jury addresses staffing, jail capacity in Multnomah County

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A report reviewing the correctional facilities in Multnomah County was released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office on Monday.

For a period of several weeks, a corrections grand jury focused on facility staffing, whole person services acknowledging the impact cycles of incarceration and recidivism, equity and inclusion, facilities capital improvement, juvenile programming with an emphasis on trauma-informed approaches, and other topics.

“As we continue to persist through the COVID-19 pandemic, the corrections grand jury report remains paramount to both understanding and advancing the effectiveness of local corrections facilities, not as punitive institutions but as venues for rehabilitation and healing despite our external challenges,” said Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt. “I am committed to collaborating with county partners and impacted communities to continue integrating the recommendations of the CGJ.”

The grand jury recommended increase staffing, a lower percentage in jail occupancy and more programming for certain facilities.

Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese responded to the jury’s findings.

“MCSO values the meaningful work by the corrections grand jury as they review the conditions and management of corrections facilities throughout Multnomah County,” Reese said. “This report is constructive and sensible in its recommendations, and we have already taken steps to address impacts to services and resources for adults in custody and improve employee satisfaction.”

The report also addresses the Prison Rape Elimination Act, pandemic response, food and assisting defense attorneys in obtaining signatures from adults in custody.

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