Who is in the Whatcom County Jail, and why are they in jail?

The average combined daily population in the current jail and work center facilities is 325. Approximately 50 percent of the jail population experiences some form of mental illness while roughly 80 percent of the jail population experiences a substance use disorder. Approximately 90 percent of those booked and held in custody have been charged with at least one felony offense. 

Snapshot of Charges from April 24 – May 1, 2023


Description of Crime

# of People

% of Total Population 

A Felony

Murder; bank robbery, robbery, assault, or burglary with deadly weapon



B Felony

Robbery; attempted murder; assault (severe bodily harm); assault with car (usually DUI); burglary of home; manufacture/intent to distribute drugs; auto theft; possessing a stolen gun



C Felony

Assault First Responder; domestic violence; DUI; attempt to elude police; felony harassment 



Gross Misdemeanor

Assault (usually in domestic violence); DUI; violate no-contact order; probation violation 



View the “Who’s in Jail” presentation for a more detailed breakdown of jail population statistics. 

Show All Answers

1. What's in the Justice Project Implementation Plan?
2. Who is guiding the work of the Justice Project?
3. What is the timeframe for proposed projects in the draft Implementation Plan?
4. How is the work of the current Justice Project different than previous efforts and ballot measures?
5. How will the public be informed about progress toward implementation plan projects and goals? How will the county be transparent in tracking progress?
6. How can community members provide feedback, ask questions, and offer input on the Justice Project and Implementation Plan?
7. What funding is available for proposed projects in the Implementation Plan?
8. What efforts have already been made to increase and enhance services for substance use disorder, mental health, and emergency response in Whatcom County?
9. What incarceration prevention and reduction strategies are being implemented?
10. How are people with lived experience and BIPOC communities involved in this process?
11. Who will provide oversight for Implementation projects?
12. What is the plan for replacing the jail?
13. Will funding a new jail and behavioral health center limit or reduce funding for substance use disorder, mental health, and other wraparound services?
14. Who is in the Whatcom County Jail, and why are they in jail?
15. Why are people in the jail pretrial?
16. Can the County eliminate bail?
17. What criteria are used to determine jail size, and how many beds are being proposed?
18. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed location for a new jail and behavioral health and treatment facility?
19. What are the cost estimates for all the proposed facilities?
20. How was money from the 2004 tax (ballot measure) spent?