Audit finds public safety levy funds used as promised to voters once again

Audit finds public safety levy funds used as promised to voters once again
Posted on 01/27/2021

An annual, independent financial audit of the use of public safety levy revenue has found that funds have been used as promised to restore local jail beds and critical youth treatment facilities.

 

The audit was conducted by Moss Adams, LLP and covers funding and expenses during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The first six annual audits also found that funds were used appropriately and as promised.

 

The  five-year levy, which was renewed in May 2017 with overwhelming support from voters,  promised to maintain a minimum of 255 local jail beds, eight youth detention beds, and eight youth treatment beds for critical youth services for the duration of the levy. Both the Sheriff’s Office and Youth Services have exceeded those promises to the voters. 

 

Prior to the levy, there were only 125 local jail beds. On July 1, 2013, the Lane County Jail opened an additional 131 local beds with funding provided by the levy for a total of 256 local jail beds. The Sheriff has continued to reopen jail beds with levy funds over the last seven years, which has resulted in a decrease of capacity based releases.  The additional jail beds have also ensured that inmates being held on violent felonies and measure 11 crimes are not released due to lack of capacity in the Jail as they were prior to the levy. 

 

Lane County Youth Services maintained 16 youth detention beds and 16 youth treatment beds during the 2019-2020 fiscal year – double the capacity promised by the levy.

 

“The public safety levy has allowed us to not only more than double the number of jail beds available, but to increase the mental health services provided to those in jail.  We are so thankful for the community’s continued support, and to all of the community agencies who have partnered with us to provide comprehensive services within the jail.” said Sheriff Cliff Harrold.

 

The audit report can be found online.