Franklin County Jail Expansion in the Works - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Franklin County Jail Expansion in the Works

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PASCO, Wash.- Saying the jail is severely overcrowded, Franklin County is making another push to expand it.

The jail hasn't been updated in 20 years, in that time, the county's population has doubled and the Sheriff's office says they have three people in cells originally designed for only one.

It was designed to hold 105 inmates, but the County says the population routinely breaks 200 on the weekends, and averages around 180.

On top of that, it's a diverse mix of criminals that sometimes leads to other problems in the jail, so they've designed a plan to expand the jail with new medium and minimum security facilities.

"For somebody who just went out and did something stupid over the weekend or you know was picked up on maybe traffic violations, or failure to pay a ticket or something, you know, they're not as high a risk as those who have been brought in for maybe a murder charge," said Fred Bowen, Franklin County Administrator. 

The County says the new proposal will also keep construction and operation costs down.

They're asking the state and federal government for funding and also considering raising the sales tax to help pay for the expansion.

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