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Plan to fully open Oxbow hits snags

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County leaders and Sheriff Rosie Rivera are hoping to alleviate jail overcrowding by fully opening Oxbow Jail, but they’re running into problems with funding and staffing.

Sheriff Rosie Rivera told the County Council on Tuesday that Oxbow would only have the funds and staffing to open a 184-bed pod by July 1, the Deseret News reports. County leaders originally hoped to open all 552 beds at the long-shuttered jail.

Adding the 184-bed pod would give Oxbow 368 beds, but it would also raise mandatory overtime for jail deputies from the current four hours per month to 16 hours per month.

There are 78 vacant jobs at the jail currently. Rivera said deputies are leaving for higher wages and better benefits elsewhere. In addition, 26 of the jail’s workforce is eligible for retirement in 2020.