Columbia county sheriff Jeff Dickerson says the jail in Saint Helens is in compliance with a federal judge’s recent ruling that counties cannot hold people suspected of being in the country illegally without probable cause. (ICE holds)
Today’s jail roster shows the majority of inmates in Columbia county are on U.S. Marshall’s holds, which keep them locked-up pending federal trials. Those holds are not affected by the judge’s ruling.
Renting beds to the feds is a significant source of revenue for the jail, according to Dickerson. He says the rentals are expected to bring in two-million dollars this year, about half the jail’s budget.
Dickerson says if voters reject a May 20th jail levy he would have to shrink the number of available beds, which could make many of those bed rental dollars disappear.
There are 105 inmates today in the Columbia county jail. Dickerson says, if the levy fails, Polk county has agreed to accept up to ten inmates from Columbia county.