Benton County Commissioners consider changes to justice center
KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Benton County Commissioner’s Office is assessing the cost-effectiveness of having a Department of Corrections, independent of the sheriff’s office. Benton County Sheriff’s Office is currently in charge of maintaining the jail, but District 1 County Commissioner, Jerome Delvin, said he has spoken with six counties across the state that have changed the leadership of their jail systems to be more economic, and allow the sheriff’s office to focus on other aspects of law enforcement.
“Taking the jail off their plate of responsibilities frees up more time, said Delvin. ” The only difference is the jail would be run by the county commissioners. “
Delvin said the county may consider hiring a third-party consultant to research the move, but intends to speak with other counties and law enforcement groups first.
Delvin presented the motion at a meeting two weeks ago, which was passed 2-1, with County Commissioner Shon Small voting against the motion. With the upcoming sheriff election, Delvin said it is a good time to consider other options for the justice center.
If Benton County decides to move forward with the new plans, a decision for the new Department of Corrections will likely not be made until January of next year.