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Clatsop County is looking at converting the Oregon Youth Authority facility in Warrenton into a jail to replace the operation in Astoria.

The Oregon Youth Authority North Coast Correctional facility was closed on October 1, 2017. Next Wednesday (2/14) the Clatsop County Commission will hear a presentation prepared by planning consultant DLR group for a 148 to 152-bed facility priced at over $24 million.

The proposed plan would provide different areas for men and women, staff space, centralized control and supervision, and food service.

The county has struggled with the current jail which frequently runs out of room forcing the release of low-level criminals back into the community. The use of a ranking matrix system for determining who stays in jail has created several issues for both the courts and law enforcement over the years.

A different type of system is in the process that would trigger forced releases in cases where the inmate population exceeds jail capacity. The change is designed to better satisfy the concerns of the court and the District Attorney over appropriate release decisions and notification of those releases.

There have been several attempts to replace, rebuild and /or remodel the existing the county jail including moving some Sheriff's office functions out to Warrenton but the issues of forced releases remain. 

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