Friday, May 2, 2008

Yakima County Jail Receives "Acceptable" Rating; First Time in Several Years (KNDO-Yakima, WA)

Yakima County Jail Receives "Acceptable" Rating; First Time in Several Years
Updated: May 2, 2008 11:57 AM EDT

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Inspectors from Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently graded the Yakima County Jail on 116 different areas and found only six areas of deficiency.

That gives the jail an "acceptable" rating by I.C.E. standards for the first time in several years. Jail administrators say they have always been given an "at-risk" rating in the past.

Department of Corrections Director, Steve Robertson, says he knows things are improving at the jail, but that it is nice to hear outside agencies echo that sentiment.

"Other people are telling us, 'You're getting your act together. You've got a good operation and it's getting better all the time'", says Robertson. "That's what we're after".

The Yakima County Jail is used as a holding facility for illegal immigrants who have been arrested and are waiting for their charges to clear. Some are at the jail only a few days before they are turned over to I.C.E., but others are there for months.

From July 2006 to June 2007, detaining illegal immigrants cost Yakima County almost $2 million. The Department of Corrections applied to receive grant money from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, but only received $100,000.

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