Jail closing beds after deputies get better jobs

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- The Josephine County jail has to shut down a cellblock because so many deputies are leaving for other jobs with a more certain paycheck.

Jail Commander Vicki Smith tells the Grants Pass Daily Courier (http://bit.ly/GTu3wc ) that authorities will have to start releasing 30 of the 150 inmates next week, including burglars and parole violators.

Three corrections deputies have quit and three more resignations are pending. Three patrol deputies have also quit, and two more are pending.

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says he doesn't blame deputies for leaving for a new job with a steady paycheck.

The Josephine County sheriff's office will be laying off 58 people if voters turn down an increase in property taxes this May. The county has been struggling to stabilize finances since a federal timber subsidy expired.

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Information from: Daily Courier, http://www.thedailycourier.com