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Thursday, November 10, 2011

How Many Occupiers Can Police Arrest?

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 4:23 PM

We are preparing for a showdown this Saturday night when the city declares Occupy Portland officially evicted from its two parks at 12:01 am on Sunday morning.

While Occupy Portland hasn't come out with a consensus decision for whether they'll stay or go, given past history and this morning's shouts of "We're not going anywhere!" it's clear that some individuals will certainly stay in the parks until they're forcibly removed.

Multnomah County jail is currently at 88 percent capacity of its maximum 1,310 inmates, says Sheriff Spokesman Steve Alexander. The jail has a policy for times of large arrests, it's called the Capacity Management Plan (pdf). The plan states that if the jail reaches 97 percent capacity (Alexander says it's 95 percent capacity), the jail has to start releasing people. They have a complicated matrix to determine who to release, but it's the lowest-level offenders who are deemed least likely to re-offend.

Based on the current numbers, if police arrest more than 95 people, the jail will have to start making releases. There is no plan to open more beds somewhere else in the county to take extra prisoners.

Occupy Portland media outreach guy Reid Parham sent us a note saying that Occupy has information from city commissioners' officers saying the city will push to hold arrested Occupiers for as long as possible, since the protesters will potentially return to the park whenever they're released.

Remember Chris O'Connor's letter about protesting? Give it another read through to note what people will likely be arrested for, how to prepare for arrest (don't forget medications and that lawyer's number Sharpied on your arm!), and that getting arrested is a big fucking hassle.

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