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Environmental review to help with new jail decisions

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Environmental review to help with new jail decisions

KGMI News Reporting
By Karen Taylor

FERNDALE, Wash. – An environmental review is beginning for a new and bigger jail in Ferndale.

Many have voiced concerns that the jail will be too big.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo says they need it to be bigger so they can keep more services like medical care inside the jail.

Play Bill Elfo on new jail

Elfo says the current jail is at double capacity with about 470 inmates.

A citizen jail planning task force recommends the new jail have at least 20-percent more space.

A professional jail planner hired by the county recommends the new jail house about 600 inmates.

Elfo says they will know the exact size of the proposed new jail in the next couple months after the environmental review is complete.