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Clackamas County Jail

2206 Kaen Rd
Oregon City, OR 97045
Phone (503) 655-8331

Interview with Lisa, Bill, Ron, Cindi and Holly

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Lisa: I was sentenced to one weekend in jail, treatment through NW Treatment, and license suspension for 17 months due to the late December appearance. I wanted my license back so bad that I would have walked on water to get it. I have never drank alcohol and driven since that night. I drove a stake in when they took the breatholizer out of my truck that I would never again drink and drive. The breatholizer was the most important part of the treatment for me. It makes a person realize how often they think about having "just one beer." Hah!
Bill: 48-hours
Ron: 48 hrs jail. (Did 31 though, because of my failure to appears) GO TO COURT! 30 day license suspension. 262 dollar fine.
Cindi: 20 days, and 18 months post prison probabtion
Holly: 120 days and it was

JM: Did you spend time in a holding cell after your sentencing? If so, what was that like? If you didn't where did they they take you instead?
Lisa: No, the holding cell was the night I was arrested. I knew some of the officers (like my neighbor was there to greet me in the morning) and I don't remember waiting long at all to get to my new "room."
Bill: I spent about 6 hours in a holding cell, the drunk tank. It was a ~30x30 cement room with cement benches and a toilet/sink combo with a semi private barrier. There was no toilet paper. There were about 20 men being held for various offenses.
Ron: Yeah for about 8 hours. I was stressed the whole time...Are they going to forget about me??? Your not out till your out.
Cindi: I sat in the holding tank for a few hours before then housed me, the holding tank was way over crowded and quite loud. We were packed in there like sardines.
Holly: I was in a holding cell after the sentencing and it is awful and small and they left me in there for awhile. It is freezing cold in the cell and I was handcuffed on my hands and feet and it is very uncomfortable. There is a toilet and sink in the cell but there are also other women that come into the cell after their sentencing.

Life On the Inside
The current incarnation of the Clackamas County Jail is in Oregon City. As it turns out, the very first public building constructed in Oregon City way back in 1845 was a jail. That building is long gone but the new facility can hold up to 434 inmates. Each year there are approximately 16,000 offenders who are booked and processed through the jail. Clearly, there is a lot of turn around.

A former inmate at Clackamas County Jail found the boredom to be the worst thing about the jail. There is no television and the best source of killing time is reading books or playing cards or dominoes. Each cell block was allowed one hour a week to go outside into the yard. The accommodations are a combination of open dorm layouts for short timers and smaller two man cells for inmates who will be "guests" longer.

On the official website for the jail, they boast that 36,000 meals are served to inmates each month at a cost of 91 cents per meal. As you might expect, that doesn't leave a lot of room for variety or flavor.

Good Behavior Policy
As with many other jails across the country, overcrowding is a big issue to deal with at Clackamas. The state passed a law that if the jail exceeds 90% of capacity they will have to institute a forced-release schedule. This has less to do with earned good time as it does to merely speeding up release to free up beds. There is also an Electronic Home Detention program that provides for convicted offenders to serve out their sentence in their homes with an ankle bracelet.

The official good time policy is 20% reduction of a prisoner's sentence. This breaks down to 10% for good behavior and 10% for program compliance or showing up for work.

Visitor and Telephone Policy
Inmates are allowed to make collect calls during the day provided the phones are open. For visitations, you need to be put on the official jail visiting list form. This is given to every inmate upon their arrival. They are allowed to have six visitors on this list.

A criminal background check will be run on everyone on the list. Inmates are granted two days a week for visits and these days vary depending on where they are house. You'll need to rely on the inmate to tell you when their visit time is.

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