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Sheriff’s Department to close 84-bed unit at the Pierce County Jail in January

Post by Steve Maynard / The News Tribune on Dec. 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm with 3 Comments »
December 20, 2012 10:32 am

Tacoma’s decision to shift its misdemeanor bookings to Fife’s jail isn’t the only change coming to the Pierce County Jail in January.

Due to a drop in bookings this year and budget cuts for next year, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is closing an 84-bed unit in the jail on Jan. 1, reducing the jail’s budgeted capacity to 1,381 inmates, said Undersheriff Eileen Bisson.

Nine unfilled corrections deputies positions were eliminated in the 2013 county budget, which assumes the closure of the 84-bed unit.

For the first 11 months of 2012, the jail had an average daily population of 1,289, Bisson said.

The county budgeted for some decline in inmates from the state Department of Corrections and the City of Tacoma. But it didn’t expect or plan for the Tacoma City’s Council’s decision Tuesday night to use Fife’s jail for booking misdemeanor offenders next year to save money.

The sheriff’s department and the county’s budget and finance department are studying how much revenue the county stands to lose because of Tacoma’s switch to Fife’s jail. That study won’t be completed until early January, said county budget and finance director Gary Robinson.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. tomwa007 says:

    Just goes to show that we pay sheriff’s depatment employees and guards too much when we send inmates to other jurisdictions to house them to save money.

  2. Remember when the new jail was finally built after the thing was voted down by citizens 2 or 3 times? The cost overruns due in part to snafu’s in the electronic locking and unlocking systems? The promise that if the jail were built we would all be safer and the jail more secure with it’s larger capacity . The saga continued with statements from jail authorites ( after they built the jail) saying that now they could NOT afford to fully staff it .

    I guess the best thing to come out of this latest chapter is perhaps a recognition that more mental health services for all might be a cost effective thing for the community and might in the future cut down on the number of mentally ill who act out or feel the only way to get 3 hots and a cot is to commit a crime and go to jail , an expensive proposition for all .

  3. terrysaasaa says:

    I can assure you that the Corrections Officers of the Fife City jail and the Puyallup city jail makes more in salaries and benefits than any County employee makes.

    Naive individuals love to make derogatory comments about union employees but you try walking in their shoes for a while and see if you have what it takes to be one of them.

    Same to all of the warhawks who love wars but have never served in the military because of fear.

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