Prioritizing jail bed space to promote social distancing

Saturday, March 21, 2020

King County Jail
Photo courtesy King County

The King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention is working with its partners in the criminal justice system – courts, King County Department of Public Defense, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Department of Corrections, and law enforcement – to prioritize jail beds for those who pose the greatest risk to public safety.

That will help ensure that the Jail Health Services staff has the adequate space they need to provide care for those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, King County correctional facilities are not accepting people who are arrested for violating the terms of their state Department of Corrections (DOC) community supervision.

They are also working with DOC to transfer anyone who is in a King County correctional facility on a DOC warrant back to state custody. By the end of next week, this could result in all 180 people in custody for DOC warrants transferring back to DOC custody.

Jail leadership has also asked law enforcement to prioritize booking people into correctional facilities for violent crimes against people during the pandemic, to create more opportunities and space in our correctional facilities for increased social distancing as advised by Public Health—Seattle and King County.

There were 1,766 people in custody at adult correctional facilities Thursday, down from 1,940 on March 1. The county is exploring all options to further reduce the number of people in custody as quickly and safely as possible for the health of the entire community.

Additional details regarding correctional sites here.


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