Whatcom County Jail Timeline

A history of the Whatcom County jail since the construction of the existing facility.

Presented by Public Safety Now: compiled by Ray Baribeau, Jail Volunteer and Wendy Jones, Chief of Corrections Bureau.;xNLx;Learn more at [BuildASafeJail.com](http://www.buildasafejail.com). ;xNLx;;xNLx;[Produced by [Iosac Services](http://www.iosac.com)]

Jail opens

New Whatcom County Jail opens with on-site laundry and kitchen to accommodate offenders/inmates with total capacity of 148.

Staffing levels increased

Jail minimum staffing levels increased for safety upon order of Sheriff Brandland due to consistently high Jail populations.

Release some offenders with misdemeanor warrants

Memo to Jail staff authorizing offenders with misdemeanor warrants to be booked and, if they meet personal recognizance criteria, to be released.

Capacity increased to 160

Capacity increased to 160. Converted female Work Release space to 8 bed male dorm. Expanded 3K unit into adjacent storage room to gain 12 beds.

165 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 165.

169 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 169.

206 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 206.

First booking restrictions

Overcrowding triggers first booking restrictions to control population.

Overcrowding documented

Document prepared for Undersheriff Dave Wareing highlighting jail overcrowding issues.

223 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 223.

Contract Work Release

Contract with Security Specialists Plus to house male Work Release inmates.

Jail alternatives

Jail alternatives expand in numbers.

One Day Offender

One Day Offender program initiated off-site at NWW Fairgrounds.

Law & Justice Council established

County Council establishes the Law & Justice Council by Resolution No. 1993-015. This action complies with RCW 72.09.300 and formalizes the Criminal Justice Working Group.

Capacity to 224

Second bunk welded into all second floor cells adding 64 beds.

221 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 221.

235 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 235.

More booking restrictions

Jail population continues to grow with further booking restrictions implemented. If offender was a threat to public safety, room was made.

Memo to Under Sheriff Wareing

Memo to Undersheriff Dave Wareing regarding Jail population and capacity issues.

245 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 245.

Capacity to 238

Additional bunks installed in large dormitory on first floor and all female inmates moved into this 30-bed room.

Blue Ribbon Panel established

Executive Kremen establishes a Blue Ribbon Panel on Criminal Justice and Public Safety Needs to determine the most serious problems confronting the W.C. Criminal Justice System.

Blue Ribbon Panel methodology

Blue Ribbon Panel on Criminal Justice and Public Safety Needs adopts a methodology for analyzing and then presenting their findings to county government officials.

263 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 263.

Jail Alternatives Program moves/expands

Jail Alternatives Program staff & offices move to into a County storage building and create the Jail Annex. Provides additional workspace for Correctional Officers and storage for booked offenders’ personal property in the Main Jail. Alternative programs eligibility expands to allow more offenders to participate therefore diverting more offenders from full custody.

NIC recommends population limits

National Institute of Corrections (NIC) technical assistance grant document reports W.C. Jail is crowded with daily populations exceeding original design capacity by significant amounts. Recommends limits on Jail population.

Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations

Blue Ribbon Panel on Criminal Justice and Public Safety Needs submits its recommendations to Executive Kremen that include the following for the Sheriff’s Office Corrections Bureau: 1) Construct and operate a bare bones 750 bed minimum security facility. 2) Add one Lieutenant and five Corrections Officers to the County Jail Staff. 3) Combine the operations of Adult Probation, Juvenile Probation, Juvenile Detention, Attorney Assignment, and the County Jail into the Corrections Division of the Sheriff's Department. 4) Recommend that the County Council pass the 0.1% sales tax for Criminal Justice.

Request bail/booking review

Jail Sergeants request that Jail Chief Ray Gordon review bail and booking policies regarding misdemeanor warrants.

256 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 256.

223 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 223.

Jail begins releasing offenders

Jail begins releasing offenders prior to release date, if not a danger to the community.

Building & Fire/Safety serious issues

Notified by Bellingham City Building and Fire/Safety inspectors of serious structural and electrical issues with the Main Jail facility. County directed to create a plan of correction.

Jail overcrowding memo to Sheriff Brandland

Memo with supporting documents of Jail overcrowding sent to Sheriff Dale Brandland, Undersheriff Dean Sandell & Chief of Corrections Dan Fitzgerald.

Early release order

Sheriff Brandland convenes a criminal justice system-wide meeting to address the Jail overcrowding. Result: All judges sign standing order to allow the Jail to early release inmates who had served 82% of sentence after good time credit.

0.1% sales tax for criminal justice purposes

County Council passes and Executive Kremen signs Ordinance 99-072 imposing a 0.1% sales tax for criminal justice purposes pursuant to RCW 82.14.340. Monies collected shall be distributed to all jurisdictions. Note: Sale tax recommended in 1997 by Blue Ribbon Panel on Criminal Justice and Public Safety Needs.

253 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 253.

16.2% of inmates released early

The percentage of inmates released early reaches 16.2%

Whatcom team attend NIC workshop

Team from Whatcom County, consisting of Councilman Ward Nelson, Deputy Administrator Dewey Dessler, Sheriff Dale Brandland, Undersheriff Dean Sandel, Chief of Corrections Dan Fitzgerald, and Jail Lt. Wendy Jones attend “Planning of New Institutions” a four-day workshop in Colorado run by NIC on how to plan for a new corrections facility and is designed to help jurisdictions avoid common pitfalls.

Law & Justice Council makes recommendations

Law and Justice Council issues Plan Phase II that recommends remodel and expansion of the Main Jail in highest priority category.

Enhanced Law & Justice Council established

County Council Special Committee of the whole reviewed Plan Phase II. County Council establishes an Enhanced Law & Justice Council by Resolution No. 2000-034.

County Council adopts Proposed Jail Improvement Projects

County Council adopts Six-Year Capital Improvement Program (ORD 2000-046), which includes Proposed Jail Improvement Projects: A medium/minimum security corrections facility is included in this capital improvement program in deference to Law & Justice Plan Phase II.

239 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 239.

Capacity to 256

Converted Jail Records Storage room to dormitory with 18 additional beds.

Municipalities develop own jail alternatives

W.C. local municipalities develop jail alternatives programs within. Ferndale & Blaine begin offender work projects.

Yakima contract not feasible

Bellingham and Ferndale investigate contracting Yakima County Jail for beds. Determined contracting beds not feasible.

Temporary inmate housing examined

W.C. Corrections Bureau examines proposals for temporary housing of inmates. Variety of scenarios are brainstormed and presented to Sheriff’s Office Administration.

227 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 227.

Memo for more booking restrictions

Memo to Sheriff Brandland from Jail Lt. Jones regarding instituting additional booking restrictions: i.e. exclusion of felony probation violators who failed to pay Legal Financial Obligations (LFO).

Bill Elfo appointed Sheriff

County Council appoints Bill Elfo to the Office of Sheriff upon the resignation of Sheriff Dale Brandland (elected District 42 State Senator).

236 ADP

Jail’s average daily population (ADP) reaches 236.

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