Does Benton County need a new jail, and does it need to be almost triple the capacity of the current facility? Will it improve public safety? How much will it cost to operate?
These are among the questions to be addressed at a meeting hosted by the Corvallis City Club in anticipation of a November 3 referendum asking voters to approve issuance of up to $25 million in bonds to build a new jail near Philomath.
The meeting will be held at 7 pm Tuesday, October 6 at the Majestic Theater in downtown Corvallis. It is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary.
Benton County currently leases about half its jail capacity from outside the area. The sheriff’s office has stated that building new capacity would increase public safety and potentially allow the department to offer inmates mental health assistance when they need it. A community group has formed in opposition.
On hand for this discussion and audience questions will be Benton County Sheriff Scott Jackson, Presiding Benton County Circuit Court Judge David B. Connell, District Attorney John Haroldson and Citizens Against a New Jail chairman David Grappo. City Club leaders will moderate.