PENDLETON — Umatilla County officials are once again pressing for state funding to renovate the Umatilla County Jail amid growing concerns of the jail’s ability to care for people who are arrested while suffering from addiction or mental health crises.

The project, aimed to better accommodate inmates facing medical issues, drug addiction or mental illness, was approved in 2020 to receive about $1.6 million in state funding provided by the sale of lottery bonds. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, lottery revenues “went south,” according to Umatilla County Commissioner George Murdock.

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Reporter primarily covering government and public safety in Umatilla and Morrow County.

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