Cutting Capacity At County Jail will Impact County's Budget - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cutting Capacity At County Jail will Impact County's Budget

YAKIMA, Wa -  Lowering the capacity at the county jail will help control the inmate population, but it will also limit the beds that are available to rent out to other counties.  That's an important revenue stream for the county, but Yakima County Corrections Director Steve Robertson says it's something they are doing with careful consideration.

Yakima County Corrections decision to cut capacity at the county jail by eight beds could cost the county up to $175,000 dollars a year in revenue from bed rentals.  "This has to be done. The commissioners know it has to be done and we're going about it very carefully and very strategically that we get the best results," says Steve Roberston, Direcotor of Yakima County Correctionsl.

He says the six beds in booking were never intended to be used for bed rentals.  This move will make sure that never happens.  "It's my opinion that they were used as part of Yakima County's total capacity when trying to figure out how many beds were available for bed rentals."

But, Roberston says he understands just how dependent the county is on revenue from the county jail.  That's why they're not making any dramatic cuts right away. "You take beds out of the equation, you take money off the table and it effects all of the rest of the general fund," he says.

Yakima County Corrections recently announced that it's ending contracts with Bremerton and Fife Counties in January.  That will cut capacity by an additional 15 beds, and they also announced they're cutting capacity at the Restitution Center by 36.