At the beginning of March 900 inmates were housed in the Yakima County jail. Today that number sits at 450 and Yakima County officials say it's mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Local police aren't arresting as many criminals. Judges are releasing many people who aren't a danger to the community and requiring them to make future court dates. Many of the counties in the state that have contracts with Yakima County to house prisoners in the Yakima County jail aren't sending those people to Yakima. All the factors that are lowering the population of the county jail in an effort to prevent a big COVID-19 outbreak in the jail system. Ed Campbell, Director of the Yakima County Department of Corrections says he hasn't seen the jail population this low since on or before 1988.
Those who are being held in the jail Today are those who have committed serious crimes or are determined to be a danger to the community. The courthouse remains closed and many trails have been postponed until later this year.