Seattle should join other cities in King County to build a single jail, rather than going it alone, says a study reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The report found that Seattle’s cost to house an inmate would be cut in half if it joined other cities in building a jail. While the new jail could still be built at one of four possible locations in the city already identified, collaborating with other cities means there are more potential sites.
Most cities in King County used to house all their inmates in the county facilities. Space has become increasingly tight there, forcing cities to look elsewhere. Officials said that by 2012 there would be no room to hold any misdemeanor offenders — people arrested for crimes such as theft, domestic violence or drunken driving. Four possible jail sites in Seattle were announced and public meetings began in June, along with controversy and public outcry as neighborhood residents made their opposition clear.