Yakima County proposes regional jail facility

Yakima County proposes regional jail facility »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- A new proposal emerged to address the city and county jail problems here in Yakima. That idea calls for a regional jail that would combine both operations.

Right now, Yakima's considering expanding the city jail to save money it pays to the county.

Yakima spent $50,000 so far to study the issue. The city spends over $2.2 million a year for a 110 bed contract with Yakima County.

Yakima County commissioners want to explore the regional idea. It would mean a partnership between the county and city of Yakima.

They admit their jail expansion hasn't worked, and think Yakima city council members should consider the jail proposal, before making any final decisions about expansion.

"Unfortunately, the county a decade or so ago rushed into a decision thinking the sky was the limit and it came crashing down. And, we're dealing with that today," said Yakima County Commissioner Mike Leita.

Despite talk of a regional jail, Yakima City Council members Tuesday decided to spend another $35,000 on design plans for a possible expansion.