The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office is celebrating the $1.6 million approved by the Oregon Senate to fund the renovation of the county jail.
Once completed, this renovation will help the jail staff to better accommodate inmates who suffer from mental health, alcohol and drug, and medical issues. The current setup in the jail isn’t equipped for the continued increase in the number of persons with these types of problems, according to county officials. With the renovation, the Umatilla County Jail will be better equipped to provide a secure area where inmates in crisis could be temporarily housed until they’re treated and stabilized.
This project was one of Sheriff Terry Rowan’s goals to help address the mental health crisis and drug and alcohol addictions. He and his staff have worked on this project for the past two years. Rowan worked closely with Oregon Rep. Greg Smith, Sen. Bill Hansell, Rep. Greg Baretto, and Umatilla County Commissioners George Murdock, Bill Elfering and John Shafer to get the project funded.
“Funding the Umatilla County jail expansion was my top priority this session,” said Smith. “This investment will give our public safety personnel the space and tools needed to help those in crisis. With the assistance of Sheriff Rowan, Sen. Hansell, and Rep. Barreto we were able to successfully ensure project funding.”