Hoquiam Jail Project Now Welcomes Larger Inmate Capacity

HOQUIAM, Wash. — A recently completed expansion of the Hoquiam Jail in Hoquiam will soon pay for itself, as reported by The Daily World. Police Chief Jeff Myers told the local newspaper that the newly expanded jail, which reopened April 1, now offers a greater inmate capacity. The additional bed space allows the facility to expand its contract with the Washington Department of Corrections to house felony probation violators at a cost of $85 per day.

The expansion, which was approved early in 2015, was originally estimated to cost $227,000, but the county ultimately accepted a $311,000 construction bid from Western Washington Construction Ltd. of Hoquiam. At the end of March, the project’s total estimated cost was around $370,000. Construction began on the project in October 2015, and Brian Shay, city administrator, told The Daily World that the project will likely be completely paid off within two to three years. The facility currently nets about $42,000 per month in revenue from the Department of Corrections contract.

The expansion created 12 cells for female inmates, and several existing female cells were converted to accommodate male inmates. The new capacity for male inmates stands at 18, bringing the jail’s total capacity to 30. “One of the biggest issues we’ve run into right now is we have trouble with housing females. We only have two cells, four bunks. We can get six in there and then it starts to get really tight. So there is a pretty considerable demand,” Myers said in a city council meeting prior to the project’s completion.

Additional work on the facility included renovating the jail’s shower area, providing new furnishings and installing security cameras and a fire alarm system, according to The Daily World.

Hoquiam Jail also offers the Swift and Certain Program, which works with offenders who violate the terms of their probation. Violations can include failing to report, testing positive for drugs or other minor infractions, according to The Daily World. Program offenders are housed in the Hoquiam Jail for one to three days. The shorter amount of time served in the jail allows participants to better maintain normalcy and employment. The program not only helps the offenders, but also lowers the facility’s operating costs.