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Jail Services and Alternatives to Incarceration


Each county, city, and town is responsible for the prosecution, adjudication, sentencing, and incarceration of misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses committed by adults in their respective jurisdictions, and referred from their respective law enforcement agencies, whether filed under state law or city ordinance, and must carry out these responsibilities through the use of their own courts, staff, and facilities, or by entering into contracts or interlocal agreements to provide these services. Jail overcrowding, costs of prisoner care, drug offenses, and the growing number of mentally ill in the jail system are issues faced by local governments. This page provides an overview to local government corrections. Its main focus is interlocal contracting and alternatives to incarceration. A number of the contract examples have reached their termination dates. In some instances no new document has been executed. MRSC would appreciate receiving updated interlocal contracts, please Contact MRSC.


  • Ch.72.09 RCW - Department of Corrections
  • RCW 72.09.300 - Local Law and Justice Councils - Law and Justice Plans
  • RCW 70.48 - City and County Jails Act
    • RCW 70.48.071 - Standards for operation -- Adoption by units of local government
    • RCW 70.48.130 - Emergency or necessary medical and health care for confined persons -- Reimbursement procedures -- Conditions -- Limitations
  • RCW 39.34.180 - Criminal Justice Responsibilities--Interlocal Agreements
  • Laws of 2011, Ch. 148 - Triage Facilities - Adds triage facilities to the types of facilities to which a law enforcement officer may take a person who is suffering from a mental disorder for short-term detention and evaluation.

Interlocal Jail Agreements

  • Statutory Reference: RCW 39.34.180 Criminal justice responsibilities -- Interlocal agreements -- Termination

Counties Providing Jail Services to Other Counties

  • Skagit County and Snohomish County Interlocal Agreement for the housing of inmates; The agreement commenced on01 /01/2011, continues with automatic renewals each year. Compensation will be based on housing rates of $62.50 per day, per secure jail bed.

Counties Providing Jail Services to Cities

  • Adams County and Othello Interlocal Agreement for provision of prosecution, adjudication, indigent defense, sentencing, and incarceration services for misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses, 01/2004 with automatic renewal.
  • Benton County
    • Prosser, Kennewick, Richland Interlocal Agreement for the use of the Benton County jail facilities for the duration of 01/01/2012 through 12/31/2016; includes Benton County agenda item for meeting of 12/20/2011
    • Poulsbo Interlocal Agreement for housing inmates at the Benton County jail, through 12/2003 with annual renewals
    • Kennewick Interlocal Agreement for joint use of the jail facilities and services located at the county justice center 2007-2011
  • Chelan County and Leavenworth Interlocal Agreement for housing inmates in the Chelan County Regional Jail, 10/12/2008; automatic renewals
  • Clallam County
    • Sequim Interlocal Agreement for prisoner confinement services, beginning 11/04/2008; no termination date (Contract No. 815-08-004)
    • Clallam County Sheriff's Office Memo Re 2012 Rates for jail daily bed rate and medical per diem for Sequim and Port Angeles, dated 08/22/2011
  • Clark County and Battle Ground Interlocal Agreement for jail and correction services; term 01/01/1997 until terminated
  • Cowlitz County
    • Longview Interlocal Agreement for housing inmates in the Chelan County jail, initial term of agreement is 01/01/1997 to 12/21/2005, followed by automatic annual renewals
  • Grant County and Grand Coulee Interlocal Agreement to provide Grand Coulee with jail and district court services including probation, prosecution, and public defense; term 1/98 to 12/08,
  • King County
    • Black Diamond Interlocal Agreement for jail services; term 01/01/2012-12/31/2020
    • Sammamish Interlocal Agreement for jail services (amends and restates agreement of 11/2002), dated 05/01/2010 and extends to 12/16/2016
    • King County cities Interlocal Agreement Amendment to jail services agreement - Includes amendment and ordinance, final action 10/11/2010 - King County Legisearch
  • Okanogan County
    • Auburn Interlocal Agreement for housing prisoners; term 12/01/2006 to 12/31/2008, renewable for successive periods
    • Okanogan County and Des Moines Interlocal Agreement for jail services from 04/2000 until termination, annual fee review
  • Skamania County
    • Battle Ground Interlocal Agreement for incarceration services; term 04/01/11-12/31/13, can be extended for one year periods.
    • Camas Interlocal Agreement for jail services, 07/2003 - contract current except fee now $65/day
  • Snohomish County and Goldendale Interlocal Agreement for jail services, includes Addendum 1; term 01/14/2010-12/31/2014
  • Walla Walla County and Walla Walla Interlocal Agreementfor jail services (Walla Walla Resolution No. 2004-11), term;07/2004 to 07/2014
  • Yakima County

Cities Providing Jail Services to Other Cities

  • Auburn and Des Moines Interlocal Agreement for incarceration of misdemeanor inmates in Auburn jail, continues through 12/31/2004 with annual renewals
  • Buckley and Covington Interlocal Agreement to house post trial prisoners at Buckley for short periods of time; begins 01/01/2011 with automatic annual renewals
  • Forks
    • Poulsbo Interlocal Agreement to furnish prisoner confinement services to Poulsbo, effective 06/01/2010 for a period of three years; agreement will be renegotiated every three years
    • Port Angeles Interlocal Agreement to furnish prisoner confinement services to Port Angeles, effective 06/01/2010 for a period of three years; agreement will be renegotiated every three years
    • Sequim Interlocal Agreement for prisoner confinement services, 06/01/2010; renegotiated every three years
  • Marysville and Lake Stevens Interlocal Agreement for jail services; term 2009-2012, Seventh Amendment, effective 1/01/2010 - File contains original ILA
  • Sunnyside and Yakima Interlocal Agreement for the housing of inmates; term 01/01/2010-12/31/2010 with automatic renewal
  • Wapato and Battle Ground Interlocal Agreement for correction and indention services; term 01/01/2008 with annual renewals
  • Yakima and Union Gap Interlocal Agreement for detention of some (male) Union Gap prisoners; term, from date of signing to 12/31/2012

Cities Providing Jail Services to Counties

  • Sunnyside and Kittitas County Interlocal Agreement for the housing of county inmates; term 01/01/2010-12/31/2010 with automatic renewals

Cooperative Jail Facilities

  • King County
    • South Correctional Entity (SCORE) - Formed by interlocal contract between Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Renton, Tukwila, Burien and SeaTac to provide sufficient capacity to replace the jail space being lost when existing contracts are terminated; allow all inmates to be housed within King County; provide for long-range capacity needs of the owner cities for the next 20 years; allow for programming space for education, community transition and job training; provide jail services at a cost effective rate for the owner cities; provide operational control for the owner cities; provide jail services that are conveniently located for the owner cities; provide efficiencies for criminal justice partners (2008)
    • Northeast Cities Jail Planning Group - A proposal for a jail in northeast King County which was abandoned when King County extended its jail contract. The website is not active, but is retained for information purposes.
      • Executive's proposal to extend jail contract clears way for cities to consider shelving plans for a new municipal jail in northeast King County, King County Executive News, 05/13/2010
  • Benton County Justice Center About the Bureau of Corrections - Provides incarceration and alternative program services to all law enforcement jurisdictions within Benton County: Kennewick, Richland, West Richland, Prosser and Benton City (Project began 2000)
  • Chelan County Juvenile Justice Facility - Chelan County, Cashmere, Chelan, Entiat, Leavenworth and Wenatchee (Project began 1995)
  • Multi-County Facilities
    • Chelan County Regional Justice Center - Serves Chelan and Douglas County
    • Martin Hall Juvenile Center - The facility began operation in November 1997 through an agreement among the Boards of County Commissioners in Whitman, Adams, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Douglas, Asotin, Lincoln, Ferry and Spokane counties. The Board of Directors is composed of one commissioner from each participating county

Alternatives to Incarceration

Local governments are seeking alternatives to jail to reduce jail overcrowding and effect cost savings. The state Department of Corrections provides work programs in which city and counties may become partners. Several jurisdictions have their own programs. Programs include reporting to the jail during the day, electronic monitoring, work release, work crews, and community service.


  • Statutory Reference: RCW 9.94A.680 - Alternatives to total confinement
  • Pretrial Justice Institute Resources - Resources for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to explore national legal standards and evidence-based and promising practices in administering the pretrial stage of the criminal case process
  • A Second Look at Alleviating Jail Crowding: A Systems Perspective, U.S. Office of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, 10/2000, NCJ 182507

Home Detention

See also provisions in interlocal jail service agreements

Community Service and Work Crew Programs

City and County Corrections Programs

  • Clark County Corrections - Services include: education, electronic home confinement, investigations (pre-trial and post sentence), pre-trial release, probation servicese, dui offender programs, screening for court appointed attorneys, woman offender services, work crew, district court, and specialized courts
  • Cowlitz County Offender Services - Description and accomplishment
  • Kent Jail Programs - Offers a variety of jail alternatives for non-violent offenders, includes application forms
  • Lynnwood Detention (Jail) Division - Provides statistical information (2008-2009)on usage and costs paid by contracting agencies
  • Pierce County Detention and Corrections Center - Includes mission statement and goal; topic include: jail facilities, visiting jail, health services, classification, commissary, pretrial services, chaplaincy, inmate money, road crew, nursing, become a corrections deputy

Special Topics


Offenders with Mental Health Disorders

Medical and Health Care for Confined Persons

RCW 70.48.130 - Emergency or necessary medical and health care for confined persons -- Reimbursement procedures -- Conditions -- Limitations

In enacting RCW 70.48.130, the legislature declared its intent that all jail inmates receive appropriate and cost-effective emergency and necessary medical care. RCW 70.48.130 requires governing units, the health care authority, and medical care providers to cooperate to achieve the best rates consistent with adequate care. As referenced in RCW 70.48.130, "governing unit" is defined in RCW 70.48.020(6) as "the city and/or county or any combinations of cities and/or counties responsible for the operation, supervision, and maintenance of a jail."
RCW 70.48.130 covers several issues related to the provision of medical and health care for confined persons, including payment. Although the confined person generally is responsible for paying for his/her medical and health care, RCW 70.48.130 addresses which entities pay for which expenses based upon the circumstances at issue (e.g., whether the person is eligible under the health care authority's medical care programs) and the means by which those entities can seek reimbursement. One of the scenarios addressed by RCW 70.48.130 relates to reimbursement for law enforcement agencies, including with respect to those agencies whose officers initiated the charges on which the person is being held in jail. RCW 70.48.130 also includes several references to chapter 74.09 RCW, which is a means by which providers receive reimbursement in some circumstances.
An issue of potential interest is that reference to "law enforcement" was previously deleted from RCW 70.48.130 and that wording has returned because the changes to the statute that deleted the wording expired on June 30, 2009. AGO 2005 No. 8 interprets a key provision of RCW 70.48.130 as it reads currently, with the "law enforcement" reference in paragraph (5) included. According to AGO 2005 No. 8, "subject to reimbursement by arrestees who are financially capable of paying for their own medical care, and setting aside certain cases in which the state is responsible for the expenses in question," the costs of providing necessary medical care to arrestees ultimately falls on the unit of government whose officers made the arrest, absent an agreement otherwise. Counties and cities do not always agree, however, regarding which agency is responsible for paying which expenses, especially where an agreement does not exist addressing such issues.


Reentry Programs

Siting of Correctional Facilities (Jails, Work-Release, and Others)

  • Jails ("local correctional facilities") are by statutory definition considered to be essential public facilities and consequently subject to the provisions of RCW 36.70A.200 (Effective01/01/2012) Scroll down page tosection with effective date
  • Siting Local Government Facilities
    • RCW 70.48.180 - Gives counties the specific authority to locate and operate jail facilities at any place designated by the county legislative authority within the territorial limits of the county, including within the city.
    • RCW 70.48.190 - Grants similar authority to cities and allows cities to locate municipal jail facilities within the territorial limits of the county in which the city or town is situated.
    • While the Growth Management Act’s intent is to establish a collaborative process involving cities in the siting of essential county-wide, regional, and state facilities, the specific authority of RCW 70.48.180 controls. While the county would be required to follow the city’s permitting requirements, the city could not prohibit the siting of the essential public facility within the city. The city must follow a process for EPF siting that is consistent with the adopted county-wide planning policies.
  • Siting State Government Work Release or Other Community-Based Facility
    • RCW 72.65.220 - Siting process for the Department of Corrections and/or its contractors must undertake in siting work-release or other community-based facilities.
    • WAC 137-57-050 - Site selection procedures for work/training release site

Additional References



Organizations and Agencies

Last Modified: July 21, 2016