EUGENE, Ore. -- Times have certainly changed at the Lane County Jail.
"It used to be that if you went to the Lane County Jail on almost any charge, you were going to be there for a couple of days. Well now you're talking about hours," said Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner. "That's tragic when you think about it."
Turner said that county budget cuts will mean cutting the number of jail beds almost in half, from about 230, to about 120 beds.
"That will be easily the lowest in the state, if not the lowest in the country, for the number of prisoners that we hold in this county," he said. "We have to decide between a really violent person and a super violent person, which one do you release?"
Not only will beds be cut, but the number of people with misdemeanors on supervised probation. Turner said that means high-risk offenders will be unsupervised when they ought to be.
Lane County woman Michelle says that's a scary reality for her family. Michelle asked KVAL News not to reveal her face or last name, but said her ex-fiance, Derek Howlett, has had his fair share of run-ins with the law.
Lane County Parole and Probation said Howlett is currently on probation for an Assault in the Fourth Degree charge. The Lane County District Attorney's office said in that case, it's a misdemeanor charge, and under the cuts, people like Howlett would not be supervised.
"Where is the safety for our families?" asked Michelle. "You want to raise your children to think that they live in a safe environment, in a safe place. But how can you say that when it's not there?"