Conditions dangerous in many older county jails

Crook County put a $10 million bond measure on the November ballot

A Crook County Sheriff's Office vehicle. September 15, 2016, (Crook County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
A Crook County Sheriff's Office vehicle. September 15, 2016, (Crook County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) — A county jail in central Oregon is so bad that the sheriff himself says it’s an embarrassment.

To improve things, Crook County put a $10 million bond measure on the November ballot to build a new jail. But such measures are unpopular among voters. The problems mirror those in many other counties across the United States, with aging facilities holding an increasing number of people.

John Bishop, the executive director of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, which inspects jails in the state, said some are so old that they can’t pass many of the inspection standards.

Bishop said many old jails are extreme fire hazards, and that a tragedy is waiting to happen.

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