The Union County Jail was opened in 1979 and houses a maximum of 37 inmates. Each year the facility averages 1,200 bookings with prisoners coming from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, La Grande Police Department, Oregon State Police and Union County Community Corrections. In addition, Wallowa County houses their inmates in Union County.
Union County Jail also has two alternative sentencing programs; House Arrest and Work Crew.
The House Arrest Program of the Union County Jail requires a person to wear an ankle bracelet that sends out a signal to a monitoring company. The person is allowed certain “out of area” times for such event as going to work, attending school, keeping appointments or doing necessary shopping, Out of area signals that occur outside pre-approved times will result in the person being brought back to jail to complete their sentence. Newer GPS bracelets allow deputies to program exclusion zones. If a person enters one of the exclusion zones the monitoring company is notified and the person will be brought back to jail. To qualify for the House Arrest Program a person’s sentence order coming from the courts must allow for alternative sentencing. There is a $25 hook-up fee and there is a daily fee that is based on the type of bracelet that is used.
The Work Crew Program of the Union County Jail is an alternative sentence that is included in a person’s sentence order from the court and is usually in lieu of jail time. The work crew does various jobs including picking up trash, stacking firewood, shoveling snow, building or tearing down fence or clearing brush from roadways. The Work Crew goes out Sunday-Wednesday. Participants meet on the “L” Street side of the jail near the white van. The fee for work crew is $10 a day. There is no fee for people sentenced to work crew by Union County Community Corrections. Those on work crew must bring their own lunch and provide their own clothing suitable for the weather conditions.