Columbia County Jail out of business


April 13, 2023

-Submitted photo

Heightened caution of an expensive lawsuit that potentially might have stemmed from the Columbia County Jail's antiquated and outdated standards prompted Sheriff Joe Helm to close the facility for the time being, officials announced this week. To the left of this catwalk are the doors to the four five-foot by seven-foot cells, with the two additional fold-up bunks on the wall of the 1874 former ship's brig.

DAYTON–The last few inmates in the Columbia County Jail were moved out about a week ago, most relocated to Walla Walla County, where they'll be housed while the two counties work out a cooperative agreement in place of operating a local jail here.

So ended a 136-year span of Columbia County Sheriff's Office operating a local jail.

Sheriff Joe Helm, in consultation with Prosecuting Attorney C. Dale...

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