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Changes emerge at the Lincoln County Jail

Lincoln County Jail
Newport

The Lincoln County Jail will begin accepting arrestees for more charges on June 9th. Through continued community partnerships the Lincoln County Jail has been able to verify through testing if an Adult In Custody (AIC) is COVID-19 positive or negative prior to housing.  With that in mind, there is still a real concern based on the reemergence of the infection as our County, State and the Country begin to open up.  Jails are extremely susceptible because of their very nature for outbreaks and quick infections because of multiple inmates in a single cell area.

Although social distancing is challenging in a jail cell, passageways and in “the yard,” it is the cornerstone of reducing the transmission of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19.  All Sheriff’s Office staff as well as our AIC have been required to wear a face covering, have their temperature checked once per day, and to the best extent possible, practice social distancing.  The ability to enforce these precautionary measures allows the management team to evaluate facility and community needs on a daily basis.  The goal is to balance safety in the community with safety in the jail. 

The operational needs of our facility and community safety remain our priority.  The jail serves as a functional component of the criminal justice system.  We understand the need to operate a safe facility while also ensuring our community feels safe.  

As a community partner, we are looking to expand our ability to hold individuals accountable but also understand that jail is not always the most effective choice.  We know that if we are able to address the underlying cause of bad behavior we can assist the individual with getting the resources he/she needs to improve their lives.  Then over time we will not only reduce our facility population butl also ensure a safer community for everyone.

Sheriff Landers stated, “We were fortunate to have programs in place like our pretrial release program and our COMET (Community Outreach and Mental Health Enhancement Team) program prior to COVID-19.  These programs provide solutions so we can keep our community safe while reducing our jail population due to COVID-19 concerns.

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