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King County has long struggled with paying mandatory overtime to jail King county adult detention officers in the absence of proper staffing.

According to a database of King County employees' salaries obtained by the Tacoma News Tribunesome corrections officers nearly doubled their annual salary because of overtime alone. According to data, corrections officers also made up 40 percent of the county program to provide taxi rides in the event of unexpected overtime or personal emergencies.

On Tuesday, during a sometimes frustrating public meeting, Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention DAJD officials briefed the county that it's even struggling to hire 15 full-time employees that the county approved in the budget. Lots of reasons, according to county staff, but among them: King County jails' wait times in steps in the hiring process also don't help; apparently, everything is done with paper hard copies of hiring files.

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And then there's the trouble in finding quality candidates who want to do the job in the first place. But it may be even more enlightening to look at what's driving up staffing needs.

One of the root causes of corrections officer overtime, according to the most recent King County DAJD report, is the number of inmates who are transferred to the hospital and were guarded there. Another major issue in staffing is the growing jail population.

Adult and Juvenile Detention &...

Over the last five years, the average daily population in King County jails has steadily increased by more than inmates. There King county adult detention lots of potential drivers to why the jails are filling up with more people, according to the county, but one way to reduce the jail population seems straightforward. According to the county jails, "a decision to de-emphasize a certain class of crime, such as property crime, not to charge a certain group of crimes, or a decision by the court not to hold low level offenders could decrease the pressure on the adult population over a long period of time.

Last month, some locals and the Seattle Police Officers Guild freaked out that King County prosecutors were dropping 1, low-level King county adult detention charges. Locking people up for low-level offenses is likely costing the county more than it's keeping anyone safe. You might also be interested in these: Inbox Jukebox Track of the Day: Newsletters Sign up for the latest news and to win free tickets to events.

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King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. Health Services. 5th Ave, King County Correctional Facility, Seattle, WA, King County Adult Detention web page.


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