Options for reducing the number of inmates at the Mason County Jail were discussed during a Mason County Commission briefing with officials from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office Monday. Undersheriff Jim Barrett, Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling and Chief Administrative Deputy Theresia Ehrich briefed all three Commissioners on the concepts Sheriff’s staff are pursuing to address overcrowding at jail.
One way to reduce the jail’s population is alternative sentencing which would include inmates completing community service such as litter pick up and Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM). The details on how these ideas will work are still being worked out and the alternative sentencing still need concurrence from the County’s Judges. However, the concept would save what Commissioner Tim Sheldon called a “boatload of money”. However, the idea will mean hiring additional personnel for the Jail and Sheriff’s staff wants to start that three to four month process now.
Sheriff’s staff also talked about possibly contracting with Yakima County as another jail facility to send prisoners.
Along with the personnel necessary for the alternative sentencing, the Sheriff’s Office still has openings for Correctional Officers – particularly female officers – and is interviewing candidates for Jail Chief.
No decisions have been made on alternative sentencing, EHM or a contract with Yakima.