Clackamas County Jail: History
1845 The first public building in Oregon was a jail — the first jail west of the Rocky Mountains. And it was built in Oregon City. It was two stories tall, 18 feet square and made of wood.
1854 A second jail is built. In addition, a 8-by-4-foot steel box may have been used as a temporary jail when other accommodations weren’t available. It was windowless, seated two — uncomfortably — and may be over 150 years old.
1884 The County’s fifth courthouse is built in Oregon City, and the County Jail moves into the basement. There are reports of prisoners talking to the public through the bars.
1937 The sixth and final courthouse opens at the same location in 1937. Its basement jail became overcrowded — and a determined prisoner could reportedly cut through the weak steel grating with a knife. The federal government refused to approve it for holding federal prisoners.
1959 The Clackamas County Jail is built at its current site in Oregon City. It has a capacity of about 86 prisoners.
1982 The Jail is remodeled, and an addition constructed — raising its capacity to 164.
1990 Another addition is constructed to accommodate the Oregon Corrections Intake Center (OCIC) — adding 300 beds, administrative space, and new medical and booking facilities.
2002 The OCIC moves to a new location, and the Clackamas County Jail absorbs the vacated space. Thirty beds are converted to an in-house laundry service — increasing the total number of jail beds to 434.