9.0 Local Community Use of the ARC
Prior to 2000, a number of local communities contracted with Thurston County for the housing of
their misdemeanant offenders at the jail. Subsequent overcrowding at the jail led to the discontinuation of
this relationship and the failure of the initiative to build a regional justice center that would governed
jointly by the county the local communities effectively ended discussions of a cooperative approach to
detention needs between Thurston County and nearby communities. With the completion of the ARC,
Thurston County will have detention space available for use if mutually agreeable terms can be worked
out among the parties.
We interviewed local government officials in the all the primary municipalities in Thurston County
to determine the level of interest in potentially leasing jail beds from the county to address their detention
needs. These communities included Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey, Yelm, and Tenino. All community
leaders expressed strong misgivings over leasing beds from Thurston County based on their past history
on this issue. In all cases, the municipalities have established relationships with other jails that are
currently meeting their needs in an economical, satisfactory manner. The Nisqually Jail, which will soon
be expanded, is the preferred provider of detention services for most of these communities, providing
beds on a guaranteed basis for approximately $50 per day per inmate.