S. Ore. judges rush sentences to beat jail cuts

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- Faced with a shrinking jail capacity because taxpayers voted down a tax increase, judges in Josephine County managed to get a dozen jail inmates sentenced and on their way to state prison before they had to be released from jail.

District Attorney Stephen Campbell said Tuesday that judges took an extra day last week to finish up cases where defendants had already pleaded guilty.

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says many of the prisoners would have had to be let out before sentencing as the jail cuts back from about 120 beds to just 60 in coming weeks.

Earlier this month, voters emphatically turned down a $12 million a year levy to fund law enforcement and plug a budget gap left by the expiration of a federal subsidy for timber counties.