Mission: Together: maintain custody, security, and control in a safe, efficient and constitutional manner.


The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking applicants for both Corrections and Patrol Deputies. If you, or someone you know wants to earn a “gold star”⭐, and work in a supportive community, visit our Civil Service page for more information.

Jail Recruiting Video

Jail History

The Mason County Jail provides incarceration services for Mason County law enforcement agencies. Washington State Law establishes that the Board of County Commissioners is responsible for the physical facility and that the chief law enforcement officer (Sheriff) is responsible for facility operations. The facility is located adjacent to the County courthouse in the incorporated area of Shelton, Washington. The most recent facility was constructed with 45 inmate beds in 1985. In 1986 the facility opened and was subsequently operating at maximum inmate capacity.

Throughout the years, there have been three independent outside jail operational studies. Those studies found the jail to be understaffed and overpopulated. To obtain more inmate beds, the County added double bunks in rooms designed as single occupancy. An existing inmate recreation area was turned into inmate housing, adding more bunks. Today there are 93 general population male and female beds in the Mason County jail and 18 additional beds utilized for low-risk inmates assigned to inmate labor programs.

Within the 93 general population beds, we have separate housing areas; male inmates must be kept separate from female inmates, and within those populations, maximum security inmates must be kept separate from minimum security inmates. In addition, we must individually house inmates who feel their safety is at risk and inmates who we think may be at risk as victims, and inmate workers must be housed separately from all other inmates. The likelihood of having the perfect number of inmates to fit into each identified area is zero. To safely run a facility, the average daily population must be around 10-20% less than the number of actual beds, meaning a population cap of 80 allows us to safely house inmates in the proper areas. In 1993 there were 58 beds in the jail. The average daily inmate population was 62. In 2004 the average daily inmate population grew to 95! That is 146% over capacity! Today, the daily jail population hovers around 110.As recently as 2015, the jail housed up to 150 inmates at one time. This severely jeopardized our ability to efficiently run a safe, orderly, and constitutionally sound facility. Sheriff Salisbury petitioned the Board of County Commissioners to start outsourcing inmates to other counties to mitigate the safety concerns within the facility. Mason County started sending the excess prisoners to Lewis, Nisqually, and Forks jails. To keep the inmate population at manageable levels, Mason County outsourced an average of 30 prisoners daily, which cost about $90,000 monthly. This continued until March 2017, when a 3-year jail internal renovation project was complete. The renovation allowed us to bring back the outsourced inmates and stop the significant outsourcing expenses. With the outsourced inmates back in Mason County, the inmate population was still significantly above jail capacity. Recognizing significant safety concerns to staff and inmates, the likelihood of prisoner civil rights violations, and due to lack of staff and facility space, in July 2017 Sheriff Salisbury was forced to implement jail booking restrictions. Those restrictions prohibit the incarceration of individuals committing minor crimes. The jail is the hub of the Criminal Justice System. Without an adequate amount of inmate housing and Corrections staffing, the inability to incarcerate those who victimize members of our community results in compromising public safety.

Programs Available to our inmates:
  • Drug and Alcohol Classes
  • Home Monitoring
  • Work Release
  • Alcohol Monitoring
  • Day Reporting
  • DUI Alternative to Jail Program
  • Community Inmate Labor Program
  • Mental Health Services
To send mail to an inmate, address the mail as follows:

Inmate Name
c/o Mason County Jail
P.O. Box 519
Shelton, WA 98584

Or Deposit Online Using Access Corrections Website