Continued Efforts to Rent Out Jail Space in Yakima County
Over the last few years Yakima County has lost millions of dollars due to the loss of jail bed rentals. The county spent millions to build a new jail at State Fair Park to house many of those inmates from other communities. Unfortunately when the jail bed rental market collapsed Yakima County ran out of money and was forced to close the jail because it could not afford to operate it.
The county is not giving up efforts to rent out jail beds because it needs the money and the loss of jail bed rental revenue has forced the county to cut the department of corrections budget and county officials say they cannot affort to cut the department any more.
This week Department of Corrections director Sergeant Ed Campbell visited Mt. Vernon to meet with Skagit County officials interested in renting jail beds from Yakima.
“There’s a group there that wants to build their own jail, however they are four to five years out, so they do have an immediate need to rent jail beds, there were several city and county officials that voiced some very positive feelings about renting beds from Yakima County,” says Campbell.
Campbell is hopeful that Skagit County leaders will rent jail beds from Yakima County but no timetable was given on when a decision will be made.