YAKIMA – As authorities step up the prosecution of gang members, the Yakima County jail is using segregation techniques to keep inmates safe in jail.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reported ( that officials say anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of the jail’s roughly 770 inmates hold some form of gang affiliation.
When inmates are first booked into jail they are asked if they have any affiliation with gangs so they are not placed with rival gang members. Jail officials say the system works when inmates cooperate, but some fear admitting gang affiliation will incriminate them.
A state Supreme Court ruling last year made such admissions inadmissible in court.
The jail maintains separate housing units for both Norteno and Surenos affiliates.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.