Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1993 NO. 11 > Jun 2 1993

Counties have the authority to define certain local offenses and to prescribe penalties for their commission including the imposition of specific costs.  Subject to certain limitations, a county may include as a cost a multiple booking fee imposed on persons convicted of such county offenses and sentenced to serve time in the county jail on intermittent days.  Such a multiple booking fee could offset the cost to the county of processing the individual in and out of jail.2.  A county does not have the authority to impose a multiple booking fee on individuals serving time in the county jail on intermittent days who have been convicted of violating a state statute.  The Legislature, rather than the county, specifies the punishment for state crimes including costs.

AGLO 1979 NO. 11 > Feb 21 1979

(1) The Board of Prison Terms and Paroles is both authorized and required by RCW 9.95.040 to fix a minimum duration of confinement in the case of a person admitted to a state correctional facility under RCW 36.63.255 while on appeal from a felony conviction. (2) In such a case the Parole Board is further authorized by RCW 9.95.110 to release on parole, without the concurrence of the courts, a person admitted to a state correctional facility under RCW 36.63.255 even though that person's appeal is still pending.

AGLO 1978 NO. 11 > Mar 21 1978

The Washington State Board of Prison Terms and Paroles is not required to fix a mandatory minimum prison term under RCW 9.95.040 in those cases where a conviction is accompanied only by a special finding, entered pursuant to the provisions of RCW 9.41.025, that the individual in question was armed with a firearm at the time of the commission of his offense; in order for the Board's discretion to be so restricted there must, either in addition or instead, be a special finding entered pursuant to RCW 9.95.015 specifying that the individual was armed with a deadly weapon at the time of commission of the crime.

AGLO 1979 NO. 14 > Mar 20 1979


(1) In view of § 1, chapter 60, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., amending RCW 74.09.510, inmates of a city or county jail or other penal or detention facility are no longer ineligible to receive medical assistance from the state during the period of their incarceration.

(2) The provision of medical assistance by the Department of Social and Health Services to city or county jail inmates remains, however, subject to the discretion of the Department of Social and Health Services.

(3) To the extent that a county or city jail inmate is eligible for medical assistance under RCW 74.09.510 and WAC 388-86-060, there is nothing in either the statute or the regulation which purports to limit the period of time during incarceration with respect to which medical assistance is to be provided.

AGO 1980 NO. 21 > Nov 13 1980

If a city or town police officer arrests a person for committing a felony within the corporate limits of the city or town and turns such person over to the custody of the county sheriff because the arrest was for a violation of a state law and not a city or town ordinance, it is the county, and not the city, which is then responsible for paying the care, housing and board of such prisoner while he is in the county jail‑-both before and after arraignment.

AGO 1983 NO. 24 > Nov 4 1983

Identification and application of criteria to be used in determining the eligibility of a community for state funds appropriated by § 51, chapter 76, Laws of 1983, 1st Ex. Sess. for the one‑time cost impact to communities associated with locating additional state correctional facilities.

AGO 1951 NO. 145 > Oct 3 1951

Prisoners in county jails may only be compelled to work (1) not more than eight hours a day, (2) on public roads, county buildings and county grounds, (3) designated by the county commissioners, (4) under general rules promulgated by the superior court judges.