Hillsboro, Or. – Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett has announced emergency measures at the country jail to deal with the coronavirus. Garrett tells Oregonlive some 60 inmates will be released by today.
Here’s what changes are happening now in the Washington County Jail:
- As of Saturday, all social visiting at the jail has been canceled until further notice.
- We’re working to offer inmates additional phone calls and video visits, where some of the costs will be covered by the sheriff’s office.
- Inmates will not be allowed to congregate in groups of more than 20 at a time.
- Extra cleaning routines are in place to keep the facility as sanitized as possible, including before and after inmates are allowed in common areas.
- Inmates will be eating meals inside their cells to adhere to recommended social distancing recommendations.
- All inmate programs have temporarily been canceled.
- We’re working to lodge all inmates in single-occupancy cells.
- We’re working with the courts to release some low-level offenders with future court dates.
- Inmates with short or nearly completed sentences may be considered for early release.
- Our population management staff will use our force release options when necessary.
- We’re working to implement a screening process for both inmates and staff entering the facility, to include a temperature reading.
- Our jail medical staff is equipped with COVID-19 testing kits for in-house testing.
The sheriff says deputies will issue citations where possible instead of booking suspects into jail. He’s asking police chiefs in the area to ask their officers to do the same thing.