Remember when the city and county were fussin’ and a-feudin’ over Seattle’s jail contract (because the city’s contract was up, and the county didn’t want to extend it)?
Well, it looks like Seattle won’t have to build its own municipal jail after all.
King County and the city of Seattle have reached an “agreement in principle” to house city misdemeanor defendants in the King County Jail in downtown Seattle through 2030, rather than transferring them to a new, 800-bed facility in Des Moines (known as the South Correctional Entity, or SCORE) or building a new jail in Seattle. King County Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Mike McGinn, along with city council member Tim Burgess and King County Council member Bob Ferguson, announced the agreement at a press conference this morning.
The agreement, which goes through 2030, would cap the number of Seattle inmates in King County jail at 228 next year, and the city would pay for a minimum of 175 beds regardless of how many inmates are using them; those numbers would rise steadily through 2030.
Burgess said the agreement means the city will not have to consider building a new jail “for at least 20 years,” and credited Constantine for “chang[ing] the conversation about jail services” when he came in to office last year.