Yakima County jail

YAKIMA, WA - On Tuesday Benton County commissioners will vote on whether to take control of the jail.

At the moment the Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher oversees the jail.

Commissioners have referenced the Yakima County jail, which is run by commissioners as an example.

Yakima County Sheriff Robert Udell explained the business model the county has in place.

"The jail is run by a director (Ed Campbell) who answers directly to the commissioners. The commissioners then set the budget for the jail and it's funded by a combination of money from the tax payers, people right in here, fee's that are paid by agencies, locally, that put prisoners into the jail, and also monies that come from outside contracts," said Udell.

Sheriff Udell also says his work load would be completely different if his office handled the jail.

"I've talked to some sheriff's who have jails and they say the issues in their jails can take 50 to 70% of their time."

However most jails are managed by sheriff's.

"In this state I think still the majority of jails are handled by the county sheriff, but it is a big business deal. There's a lot of money involved and I think that's when commissioners look at a jail, and all the money it requires, that's when they believe they should be more involved," said Udell.

The Yakima County jail has been managed by commissioners since 1993.

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