Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Reverts to “Open Booking” Policy Starting Tuesday

Portland, Ore. — In a joint effort with local leaders and public safety collaborators, Multnomah County Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell has directed the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office to reinstate an “open booking” policy, effective from August 15, 2023. This policy modification signifies that individuals apprehended within Multnomah County for any felony or misdemeanor offense specified in the Oregon Revised Statutes will now be eligible for jail booking.

The decision to return to the open booking approach comes in the wake of an altered booking criterion initially implemented in 2020, which was intended to navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19 outbreaks in the county’s correctional facilities. Throughout 2021 and 2022, the Sheriff’s Office collaborated with partners to assess public safety requirements and responded by adjusting booking standards accordingly. Concurrently, a comprehensive reevaluation of adult inmate housing, spatial utilization within the correctional centers, and service and program provisions for inmates was undertaken.

Additionally, two recent bills, House Bill 2645 and House Bill 2005, endorsed by Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, have been incorporated into the new booking criteria. House Bill 2645 enables law enforcement to levy charges against individuals found carrying one gram or more of fentanyl as a Class A misdemeanor. Meanwhile, House Bill 2005 criminalizes the possession of firearms lacking a documented serial number.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to collaborating with agency partners to judiciously manage the jail population while upholding public safety demands across the county’s communities. It is important to note that all decisions pertaining to pretrial release orders will continue to be determined by the Multnomah County Courts, adhering to the guidelines stipulated by the Presiding Judge Orders and Senate Bill 48. Further developments will be communicated as they unfold.