West Seattle jail? Still possible – but not needed before 2017

A new development in the jail-site fight: The planning process for a new municipal-misdemeanor jail is still moving ahead, with a West Seattle site (Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way) among the 6 possible locations. However, the potential need for that jail (in which Seattle would partner with other cities) is moving further into the future. Last fall, the city and county agreed to a 3-year extension of the contract for the county to handle misdemeanor offenders; by the time the proposal got to the Seattle City Council Public Safety and Education Committee today, it had become a 4-year extension, through the end of 2016. (Here’s the council bill; here’s an explanatory memo.) It doesn’t cover all the city’s expected needs for that time, warned council staffer Peter Harris, so they will need to keep contracting with Yakima (and possibly the new south-end jail) for some space. But the agreement requires the city to confirm that it has no expectation that King County will be able to handle its misdemeanor-offender needs beyond 2016, which means the jail-planning process continues, though Councilmember Sally Bagshaw noted, “There’s little stomach for building a new jail.” (As noted earlier, Bagshaw is in West Seattle tonight, guesting at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at 7 pm.) The committee voted unanimously to approve the 4-year extension; it goes now to the full council.

4 Replies to "West Seattle jail? Still possible - but not needed before 2017"

  • samson March 17, 2010 (5:09 pm)

    why West Seattle? and where in? there is not enough room for that!!!! and prisoners could find a million way to escape through homes… what’s wrong over the mountains as they could not climb the mountains… No way! I am out of here…

    • WSB March 17, 2010 (5:13 pm)

      This issue was intensively covered for about a year … and things have quieted down since then … but we keep our radar up for any mention, because, as in this case, significant developments can appear seemingly out of nowhere. Three sites in the city and three sites in other cities are under consideration. Originally, there were TWO West Seattle sites – this one and one along Myers Way – that one was taken out of consideration. An environmental impact report on the potential sites is in the works and due out sometime in the next quarter – http://necmunicipaljail.org is the official site with background and updates. I don’t believe the mountains would have qualified in this case – none of the cities in this effort have mountain territory, that I know of – TR

  • CB March 17, 2010 (7:05 pm)

    You can’t have laws without jails.

  • grant March 18, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    why not build a new “Alcatraz” somewhere?

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