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EXCLUSIVE: Jails refuse to take in felons due to staffing shortages in Washington state

“Our Corrections Deputies are working double shifts multiple times a week and being held over. Without more staff we cannot increase our capacity in the jail and have to restrict booking."

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Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
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Wanted felons are being refused by jails in Pierce County, Washington due to a shortage of corrections staff. The Post Millennial has obtained paperwork from bounty hunters who delivered wanted felons to the jails but the staff at the facilities refused to accept custody of the prisoners.

Sergeant Darren Moss Jr., Public Information Officer for the Pierce County Sheriff told The Post Millennial, "We have strict booking restrictions in place due to staffing shortages. COVID outbreaks require us to shut down individual units also, but staffing is the main culprit. We have 55 Correction Deputy positions (open) and may see more retirements and transfers by the end of the year."






“Our Corrections Deputies are working double shifts multiple times a week and being held over. Without more staff we cannot increase our capacity in the jail and have to restrict booking," he added.



According to the sheriff’s office, “Persons arrested for NEW CHARGES not listed above, who are cooperative with agencies and remain complaint through the booking process will be processed using the following:

"NEW FELONY CHARGE ARREST (BOOK & RELEASE PROTOCOL “B&R”) o Booked and released from custody with a court return date ~2 weeks from date of arrest (this includes photographs and fingerprints)"

"NEW MISDEMEANOR CHARGE ARREST (SPECIAL IDENTIFICATION PROCESS “SIP”) o Booked and released from custody with a court return date (this includes photographs and fingerprints)"



Additionally, "warrant arrests are limited to the following Pierce County cases only"



In July, the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD) in Washington state closed the booking area at their Seattle jail due to a lack of staff.

Two months ago, DAJD decided to close the Regional Justice Center (RJC) booking area due to staffing shortages. As a result, the booking area at the RJC will remain closed for the remainder of the year. Due to the closure of the RJC booking, the King County Jail in Seattle is the only operational booking facility for all of the King County Jail system.

In February, Public defenders and corrections officials in King County asked to end jail bookings for individuals that are not being held on non-violent felony charges in response to dire staffing shortages and a surge in coronavirus cases.

Staffing shortages following the ‘defund the police’ movement, Covid vaccine mandates, anti-police "reforms" and public officials hostile towards police have decimated Washington’s law enforcement and corrections agencies, which has, in turn, led to a massive spike in crime.
 
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