YAKIMA — Yakima County jail inmates will now pay a $50 booking fee.
Yakima County commissioners approved the measure Tuesday during a regular business meeting.
“I think it’s about time we start having our convicted inmates pay,” said Commissioner Mike Leita.
Previously, the jail had not assessed a fee when booking suspects into the jail. The fee, which goes into effect June 1, will be assessed to all local inmates, said Department of Corrections Director Ed Campbell.
“I think this is the approach the county should take to help offset some of the costs,” Campbell said after the meeting.
The jail’s inmate population averages more than 750, and roughly 450 of them are local inmates. The remaining inmates are being housed under contracts the county has with other communities.
A $50 fee assessed to 450 inmates would equate to $22,500.
Under state law, jails are allowed to assess booking fees of up to $100 or equal to the cost of the booking process, whichever is less.
Inmates will be informed of the fee at the time of booking. Fees will be returned to inmates whose cases do not result in convictions.
“It’s just another step in helping us offset cost and make those who are convicted responsible for some of the cost of their incarceration,” Campbell said.