WENATCHEE — Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday ordered the state Department of Corrections to pause transfers of new inmates from local jails to state prisons to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The pause is in effect from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7.
The DOC has an inmate population of 13,674 across its 12 prisons, as of Sept. 30. Within its facilities, there are 83 active COVID cases and there have been 15 COVID-related deaths, 6,708 confirmed cases and 6,610 recoveries, according to DOC data.
Chris Sharp, director of the Chelan County Regional Justice Center, said he expects “little to no” impact from Inslee’s order.
“If we have an individual that receives a prison sentence during this pause, that individual will remain here at CCRJ until we transport them to DOC after the pause,” Sharp said Thursday in an email. “With our incarcerated population being less than 135 individuals we have the bed space to accommodate this pause to assist DOC.”
Prior to the pandemic the jail averaged about 230 inmates.
This is the second pause on new inmate transfers since the pandemic began: Inslee ordered an 18-day pause in December 2020.