Help Me Understand . . .
Terms We Use
A detainer is a document an agency or parole or probation officer uses to notify another agency, such as a jail, to hold a person in custody in a correctional facility until a warrant is issued by a court.
When jail beds are full and no other release options are available, the jail is forced to release inmates in accordance with state law (ORS 169.046(2)). Jail staff strive to release inmates who have the strongest ties to the community and who pose the lowest risk to public safety compared to the other inmates being held. Jail staff members perform a risk assessment to determine which inmates should be released. The Washington County Sheriff's Office website offers additional information on forced releases
A person can be released from jail custody with the legal obligation to appear in court on a future date (ORS 135.255). A person may be released on his or her own personal recognizance or into the custody of another person or agency (ORS 135.260).
This is often appropriate for first-time offenders charged with a non-violent crime, such as DUII or Theft, with strong ties to the community and a background showing they can be trusted to appear in court.
When a person is arrested, the court sets a security release amount (ORS 135.265
). The inmate or a friend or family member may post security as a promise to ensure the inmate appears in court at all appropriate times. In most cases, a 10% deposit toward the full security amount is required to secure their promise. Many people call this "posting bail". If bail is posted and the person fails to appear in court, the bail is forfeited to the state courts and they can enter a judgment against the person who posted the bail for the remaining 90%.
A warrant is an order signed by a judge that authorizes an officer or the jail to take a specific action. Warrants can direct law enforcement to take actions to enforce a court judgment or to make a search, seizure, or arrest.
For example, if an inmate is in our jail for DUII and their case is resolved in Washington County, we check for warrants before releasing them. If, say, Yamhill County issued a warrant for their arrest for theft in their jurisdiction, our jail must hold the inmate and arrange for them to be transported to Yamhill County to answer to the new charges in that court. The warrant is a court order for law enforcement to arrest and bring that person to Yamhill County. If the person is already in jail somewhere, the warrant requires the jail to keep them in custody until transportation to the next jail can be reasonably arranged.
Questions and Answers
Did other Oregon jails operate the same way as Washington County?
Yes, honoring ICE detainers was a common practice among most jails in Oregon.
Why does a Clackamas County case change things in Washington County?
When a person sues the government or another person in court, the judge's decision sets a precedent to be used when interpreting the law in future similar cases with similar facts. This means that other people who are in the same situation with the same facts can sue and use it as an example or as justification for them to be treated the same way. We made immediate changes in our practice to follow the case law and effectively stop any future Washington County inmates from suing based on the new interpretation of the law 8 CFR 287.7
Will the woman (plaintiff) in the Clackamas County case be paid damages?
The next step in the case, Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County, is for the U.S. District Court to schedule a hearing and hear evidence from both parties. The court will decide whether damages (money) will be paid to Ms. Miranda-Olivares and, if so, how much. Again, Clackamas County would have the opportunity to appeal the court decision. An appeal means the county would be asking a higher level court, the 9th Circuit Court, to review the decision and render a second opinion. The appeal process could take years.
What happens if this court decision is appealed?
An appeal means the county would be asking a higher level court, the 9th Circuit Court, to review the decision and render a second opinion. The appeal process would likely take years.
Why does the jail ask people if they are "foreign born"?
If a person is arrested for any crime, jail deputies will ask whether they are foreign born as part of the jail booking process. This helps jail officials know if the inmates need to be notified of their right to contact consular officials for their country of birth. The notice is mandated by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, an international treaty.
Do all people arrested by ICE get deported?
No, all persons investigated by ICE are not deported. A decision to deport a person depends on their criminal and immigration histories and a number of other factors. They may also be eligible to apply for relief from removal or be released on bond or supervision while their immigration case is resolved. In other words, immigration law is very complicated and there are no foregone conclusions regarding the ultimate outcome.
Also, not all persons who are foreign-born are non-US citizens. Many acquire citizenship through their US citizen parent(s) or immigrate legally and later become naturalized US citizens. It is equally important to note that there is no guarantee that just because ICE places a detainer on the person, they will be deported.
Does the Sheriff or jail officials help decide if a person should be deported?
No, only ICE makes decision about deportation. Local law enforcement (city police or sheriff's deputies) does not investigate or determine who is subject to deportation and who is not. That is the job and purview of ICE. The change this week means that we will not be holding any inmates in jail after their criminal cases are resolved unless ICE obtains an arrest warrant signed by a judge.
If ICE gets a warrant for the arrest of a person, will the Washington County Jail hold them for ICE?
Yes. Warrants are court orders and the jail must comply with court orders.
Are other types of detainers still honored by the jail?
The judge's decision in Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County only affects Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers. The Washington County Jail will honor all other types of detainers, such as those placed by probation officers when their probationers reoffend or fail to follow a court order.
How will this change impact forced releases?
When jail beds are full and no other release options are available, the jail is forced to release inmates. Jail officials strive to release inmates who have the strongest ties to the community and who pose the lowest risk to public safety compared to the other inmates being held. Jail staff members perform a risk assessment to determine which inmates should be released.
Previously, the jail could not force release any inmate with an ICE detainer. Now that our jail is no longer honoring ICE detainers, that factor is no longer considered. Those with previous ICE detainers will be treated the same as other inmates.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office website offers additional information on forced releases.