Sheriff’s office sponsors jail documentary


Kitsap County writer

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is sponsoring a film that explains the role of the jail in the community.

The 24-minute documentary, titled “Beyond the Myths, the Jail in Your Community,” was produced by the National Department of Corrections and made available to Kitsap County free of charge.

“It wasn’t filmed here but jails have a lot in common with each other,” said Deputy Scott Wilson, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “It tells people what they really need to know about jails.”

While there is no familiar scenery in the film, Sheriff Steve Boyer and Corrections Chief Ned Newlin taped a short intro to provide a local angle.

“It is important that we educate the public about what the jail does,” Wilson said. “Most people aren’t even aware that it is there. But it is a viable part of the community and a stable employer.”

The Kitsap County Jail has an annual budget of nearly $11 million and employees 105 people. Seven positions are currently open and will not be filled in the foreseeable future because of budget restrictions.

The jail contracts out medical and food services, although the kitchen uses some inmate labor.

Wilson said jails serve two purposes: To hold accused criminals for trial and to hold people who have been convicted of crimes for which the sentence is one year or less.

The public service film contains several “man on the street” videos that show a range of opinions about incarceration, according to Wilson.

The film has already been shown on Bremerton-Kitsap Access Television (Comcast Channel 12 and Wavecable Channel 3). Additional screenings are scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec 27, 9 p.m. Jan. 2 and 5:30 p.m. Jan. 4.

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