Courtesy photo
Seven cities in South King County have a contract with the SCORE (South Correctional Entity) jail in Des Moines.

Courtesy photo Seven cities in South King County have a contract with the SCORE (South Correctional Entity) jail in Des Moines.

Federal Way returns to SCORE Jail with new agreement

Federal Way City Council approves $175,000 jail services contract which guarantees three inmate beds for $128 per day.

Federal Way has reentered a contract with the South Correctional Entity (SCORE) regional jail to secure an additional three beds for inmates.

Federal Way City Council unanimously approved the contract agreement at the Dec. 1 meeting. Located in Des Moines, the jail opened in 2011 and holds about 800 inmates. To accommodate health and safety guidelines for COVID-19, the jail’s population has been cut to about half capacity.

Federal Way’s 2018 decision to leave SCORE jail, publicly owned by multiple South King County cities, was prompted by the rising jail costs — an increase of about $4 million between 2012 to 2018, the Mirror previously reported. Federal Way officially departed from SCORE jail in January 2020 and has since recognized approximately $2.1 million in annual savings.

The 2021 total annual jail budget for the City of Federal Way is $4,330,300.

The new jail service agreement, approved Dec. 1, allows Federal Way to operate as a partner city — not an owner city as once before. Inmates will be booked for about $128 per day, compared to daily fees of $360 to book at King County Jail or $185 to book at Kent City Jail (including booking fees for both).

The annual $175,000 contract is a reallocation of funds already in the city’s jail budget and adds another location to the city’s current roster of five jails including King County, Kent, Puyallup, Issaquah and Yakima jails.

With the current contract jails, Federal Way has 13 beds guaranteed for inmates. In approving the agreement with SCORE, three more beds have been added for a total of 16.

Guaranteed beds are generally lower cost than non-guaranteed, said Police Chief Andy Hwang at the Dec. 1 meeting. In re-joining SCORE, the Federal Way Police Department has a more stable ability to house inmates, and reduces the amount of time officers are outside of city limits due to SCORE’s proximity. A round trip excursion to King County Jail could take an officer 2 to 2.5 hours, whereas a roundtrip to SCORE is about 30-40 minutes, Hwang said.

This reduces officers’ emergency response times for local Federal Way residents in need, he said.

Hesitations over the agreement when first introduced at the Nov. 17 council meeting noted concerns about alleged inmate complaints, community feedback, the city’s decision to leave so recently and about lawsuits against SCORE for previous inmate deaths. Since opening, the jail has had six inmate deaths and investigations have revealed SCORE has not been at fault for any of the incidents, said SCORE Executive Director Devon Schrum.

SCORE offers 24/7 registered-nurse level medical care, along with having a doctor and dentist on-site five days a week and a mental health professional available seven days a week, Schrum said. SCORE also offers free vaccinations for inmates and provides a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment program to help opioid-addicted inmates.

A motion to approve the contract was made by Councilmember Linda Kochmar and seconded by Councilmember Martin Moore, who had previously attempted to kill the jail service contract entirely at an earlier council meeting.

“If I were ever going to go to jail … I’d rather be at SCORE than at King County Jail, I can tell you that,” Kochmar said.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Photo via Pexels
King County residents needed for first respiratory study using Apple watches

UW study to help find if devices can detect early warning signs of acute respiratory infections, such as COVID-19 and flu.

Photo courtesy of Johnson and Johnson (jnj.com)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine halted in Washington over side effect

Following federal guidance, Washington health care providers are temporarily pausing Johnson &… Continue reading

t
Kent Police reactivate school zone speed cameras | Update

Cameras are at six elementary schools; fines are $136 or $248 based on speed

Kent’s World Relief Seattle will receive a grant between $15,000 and $25,000 from a national nonprofit to help feed children ages 0 to 5. COURTESY PHOTO, World Relief Seattle
Kent’s World Relief Seattle receives grant to help feed young children

Between $15,000 and $25,000 from national No Kid Hungry campaign

t
Kent School District elementary students return to buildings | Photos

April 12 marks first day back to in-person learning since closure in March 2020 due to COVID-19

WSP photo
Man jumps to death from freeway overpass near Federal Way

Incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. April 12 near the S. 375th Street overpass.

t
Legislature approves streamlined sales tax mitigation funds for Kent

Measure worth $12.1 million to city over next five years

File Photo
High court ruling spurs effort to retool state’s drug laws

Meanwhile, the Blake decision has gotten people out jail, charges dismissed and possibly clemency for some.

The Bridges housing development in Kent. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter
Developer withdraws Kent land-use change to allow townhouses

City Council turned down Oakpointe Communities proposal in March

Most Read