UPDATED: Josephine County Jail releasing 40 inmates today

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Josephine County sheriff's office says it's releasing 40 inmates Wednesday from the jail at Grants Pass, including people charged with robbery, assault, rape and other sex crimes.

The office says the jail population is being reduced to 60 — a number that can be safely managed by the 18 guards remaining after budget cuts.

Of the 60 beds, up to 30 are reserved for federal contracts, which generate about $1 million a year in revenue. Of the 30 that remain for local control, about 20 are taken up by Measure 11 inmates who are required to be jailed due to serious charges.

Officials plan a 10:30 a.m. news conference Wednesday to detail how federal cutbacks in payments to timber counties affect local government in Josephine County.

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