image text: do not renew the lane county jail levy. Vote no on measure 20-340 on the May 2023 ballot.

About Us

Do you believe in investing in solutions that have been proven to increase the safety and well-being of our communities? We do. Decades of research have shown that putting money into jails does not make our communities safer, and can actually cause more harm. That's why we, as Healing Not Handcuffs, a collaboration between Eugene-Springfield Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and the Eugene-Springfield chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), are opposed to Measure 20-340, which would allocate $22+ million annually towards the jail and youth detention in Lane County.

We believe that communities are safer when everyone's basic needs are met, rather than when there are more jail beds. Affordable housing, good schools, access to healthcare, and jobs that pay a living wage are all factors that can reduce crime before it occurs. When people's needs are met, they don't need to resort to survival crimes. Moreover, when there's meaningful mental health care available, some illnesses can be corrected before actual harm is done. It's difficult to imagine how someone can heal while in jail, which is why we advocate for investing in alternatives to incarceration that prioritize restorative justice and other forms of accountability.

Let's work towards creating safer communities by investing in solutions that address the root causes of crime. Join us in opposing Measure 20-340 this May.

Alternatives to Jail

Lane County, Oregon, like many places in the United States, has struggled to find effective alternatives to jail for individuals with mental health issues or substance abuse problems. Alternatives to jail programs in Lane County are still in the process of being developed and expanded. However, there are a few notable programs and initiatives that are making strides towards providing alternatives to incarceration:

  • CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets): A mobile crisis intervention program run by the White Bird Clinic that provides mental health and substance abuse crisis services as an alternative to police intervention.
  • White Bird Clinic: A non-profit organization in Eugene that offers a variety of services, including counseling, medical care, and crisis intervention.
  • Lane County Stabilization Center: An upcoming facility that will provide short-term care and stabilization for people experiencing a mental health crisis, as an alternative to jail or emergency room visits.

These programs and initiatives demonstrate a growing recognition of the need for alternatives to jail in Lane County, and a commitment to providing compassionate and effective care for those in crisis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Initially intended as a temporary measure to address the immediate needs of the county jail, the levy has become a long-term funding mechanism for the jail. The ongoing success of the levy has allowed the council to continue allocating funds towards the jail instead of investing in critical mental health projects like the upcoming behavioral stabilization center. However, if the levy were to fail, it would force the council to prioritize the funding of mental health services and other community-based solutions that address the root causes of crime and provide true rehabilitation for individuals in need. By investing in these community-based solutions, we can create a safer and healthier community for everyone.
A large proportion of individuals who are released are actually non-violent, such as those who have committed property crimes. It's crucial to acknowledge that most people in jail are being held before their trial and are therefore not yet convicted of a crime. By investing in community-based solutions such as mental health resources, housing, and education, we can address the underlying causes of crime and prevent harm from occurring in the first place. Furthermore, there are alternative approaches to conventional incarceration, such as restorative justice practices, that prioritize healing and restitution rather than punishment.
No. In fact, it is not legal to bill Medicaid for health services provided in a jail. The same person, receiving medical and mental health services in health care facility, if eligible for Medicaid would actually bring more money into the community because the majority of the cost of Medicaid is paid by the federal government. If the county wanted to provide medical and behavioral health services, they would be far more effective doing so in their existing clinics - and investing in more of them. Also, addiction treatment is most effective when the person seeking treatment wants to stop using - treatment provided in the context of incarceration removes the option of voluntary participation because they are in jail.


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Contact Us

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Alternate Spending

The jail levy is set to provide a substantial amount of funding, ranging from $22 million to $25 million dollars annually, for the next five years. To put this into perspective, it's equivalent to spending $23 million a year to add 242 extra jail beds on top of the existing 125 beds. However, there are alternative ways to utilize this money for the betterment of the community. If you were in charge of spending $23 million a year to promote community safety, what would you purchase annually?

Total Cost: $0

Current Detainees

A large proportion of individuals who are held in Lane County Jail are accused of non-violent crimes, such as disorderly conduct, trespassing, or driving uninsured. It's also crucial to acknowledge that most people in jail are being held before their trial and are therefore not yet convicted of a crime.

Category Count
Total Inmates 312
Non-violent Offenders 199
Total Violent Offenders 113
Violent Felonies 91
Violent Misdemeanors 22
Measure 11 84
Murder 16

Last update: 2023-05-28 6:00 AM