For the first time in decades, county has surplus jail beds

September 17, 2013

The average daily jail population of 1,765 in the King County Jail is well below history averages, according to the Aug. 14 edition of The Prosecutor’s Post, a regular email newsletter from King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

The year 2000 showed a population of 2,943 inmates on any given day.

The numbers owe their drop to factors including the construction of the South Correctional Entity facility by a group of South County cities and a decline in the number of people held in custody while awaiting trial.

In the past decade, criminal justice leaders in King County have built more alternatives to secure detention, so they can monitor people awaiting trial in the community instead of in jail. That correlates with a gradual decline in the crime rate during that time, which relieves some pressure on the county jail.

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