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New Proposal Ideas in Store for Yakima County Jail

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A drunk tank for DUI offenders and an expansion of diversion programs for mentally ill inmates are among the latest proposals to make the Yakima County Jail run more efficiently. the idea? To let low-risk inmates out of jail on home monitoring until they go on trial. That takes new booking rules for law enforcement. The law and justice committee proposed changes to Arrest warrants, which would streamline information to get people on electronic monitoring, without ever going to jail. Prosecutors are working on a list of crimes they feel don’t require immediate jail time. So far, first-time offenders for things like forgery would not be booked. A separate pre-trial unit would screen inmates who are booked, recommend who gets be released and supervise the monitoring. Judges are in favor of the plan and want the system in place by the new year.

Commissioners will review a preliminary budget next week and need to adopt a formal plan in November.

The Law and Justice Committee will meet again in two weeks.

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