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Whatcom County Washington
Whatcom County - County Jail - Washington
Whatcom County Jail

Facility Information

The Whatcom County Jail, is the county level detention facility for Whatcom County, Washington.  It is located in Bellingham, Washington. It is operated by the Whatcom County Corrections Bureau, which also operates the Whatcom County Interim Work Center.

The Whatcom County Jail is a maximum-security facility.  The Whatcom County Interim Work Center is a minimum and low-medium security facility.  The Whatcom County Jail is responsible for holding approximately 245 prisoners daily.  The Interim Work Center averages 130 inmates.  An additional 30 inmates, on average, are serving their time through Electronic Home Detention.  The goal of the Whatcom County Jail is to provide a secure holding facility for those people who are legally confined within the county.

The Whatcom Corrections Bureau Deputies are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the jail.  These duties include: booking, population control, meals, medical care, prisoner transports, court security, and court appearances.  In addition, the Whatcom Corrections Bureau is responsible for overseeing a state wide transport chain that links the various jails and detention facilities in Washington State.  They are responsible for transportation between Skagit and to the Snohomish County Jails.

The Whatcom Corrections Bureau has alternative programs that can divert offenders from jail, maximizing the space that Whatcom County has, while helping reduce interruptions to the community.  They are considered alternative forms of incarceration.  The goals of alternative programs are to: divert participants who pose minimal risks to the community to alternative programming; institute fees for alternative sentencing to help offset costs of correctional supervision; establish objectives for participants and assist participants in meeting them; and maintain intensive contact with participants, even though they are not incarcerated.  Whatcom currently has four different alternative programs: electronic home detention, work release, in-custody work crew, and out-of-custody work crew.

The Whatcom County Corrections Bureau is a division of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.  The Whatcom County Sheriff is Bill Eflo.  The Sheriff’s Office is a local law enforcement agency for Whatcom County.  In addition to law enforcement, the Sheriff’s Office handles evictions, fingerprinting, house checks, process serving, sex offender registration, sheriff’s sales, and the corrections bureau.

Whatcom County Corrections handles offenders who have been booked by arresting agencies and are accused of crimes that are of sufficient severity to require prompt detention until they complete their sentence, post bail, or are released from jail.  While incarcerated, inmates must abide by detention rules, regulations, procedures, posted notices, and verbal orders.

Whatcom County Jail does not have one major resource you would expect to find at a jail: a law library.  However, inmates can still get access to legal materials.  Inmates who need legal materials, including statutes, case law, court rules, and court forms can fill out an Inmate Request Form and send it to the Law Library.  There may be limitations to the material provided to an inmate if the inmate is represented by a lawyer or if the requested materials are not related to his criminal case or other legal claims related to his incarceration.  Inmates will be charged copying fees that will be deducted from the inmate trust account.

Whatcom County Jail Addresses

Physical Address

Whatcom County Jail
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225

Whatcom County Interim Work Center
2030 Division St.
Bellingham, WA 98226

Mailing Address

Whatcom County Jail
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225

Inmate Mailing Address

Inmate Mail
Whatcom County Jail
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225

You can write to an inmate at the Whatcom County Jail as long as you comply with jail rules.

All letters must be in white envelopes.

Mail may include letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, written documents that have been forward for signature, legal mail, and U.S. Postal money orders.

Any items not listed above are considered contraband.  Contraband mail will either be returned to sender or investigated for criminal violation.

All incoming mail is distributed within 24 hours of being received at the jail, with the exception that no mail is distributed on weekends or holidays.   Mail is distributed directly to the person addressed. All incoming mail will be opened and inspected for contraband and for money.  Any money sent in U.S. funds will be deposited to the inmate’s trust account, unless the inmate owes money.

Inmates may not have more than 20 pieces of mail in their cell at any point in time.

Inmates can receive magazines and books.  Magazines must be sent directly from the publisher.  Books must be send from the publisher, from, or from

Mail containing any of the following items will be returned to sender: address labels or stickers (except for address labels in the return address, which may be copied and given to the inmate); blank cards; blank postcards; cardboard; laminated items; confetti; plastic; personal checks, money orders issued by someone other than the U.S. Postal Service; metal clasps, Commissary items; mail items; plastic; gambling items; coupons; more than 10 coloring, puzzle, or magazine pages per envelope; books or magazines unless shipped from the publisher or an acceptable book seller; food items; letters written with gel pens; letters that have metallic ink glitter; letters with glued items in them; letters with perfumes or cosmetics; Polaroid pictures with their backings; racist materials; inflammatory materials; gang symbols; sexually explicit materials; hand gestures; nude or seminude photos; ribbon; string; stickers; tobacco products, White-Out; greeting cards; and non-white photos.

Phone Numbers

The Whatcom County Jail’s main information number is 360-778-6500.  The office hours for the jail are 8:00am to 4:30pm.  The Whatcom County Interim Work Center’s number is 360-778-6450.  The office hours for the work center are 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Whatcom County Jail Inmate Roster

The Whatcom County Jail has a jail roster.  This roster allows you to search current Whatcom County Jail inmates.  You can search by entering a name or the first few letters of the name and clicking Search.  You can also leave the search bar empty and click Search to display the whole list.  The list will only include inmates who are currently incarcerated, not any inmates who have been released.  The list that it displays will include the inmate’s full name, cell number, booking date, and i.d. number.  It also has a VINE Link record for the inmate.  If you click on the VINE Link, you get the inmate’s age, gender, race, date of birth, ID number, custody status date, custody detail, booking date, location, and reporting agency.  You can also sign up for VINE notifications in case the inmate is transferred or released. 

Inmate Bookings / Recent Arrests

The Whatcom County Jail has a recent bookings inmate roster list.  This list contains the inmate’s name, charges, the arrest type, the bail amount for each charge, the booking date, the booking time, and the VINE Link. 


The Whatcom County Jail does not have an online mugshot roster. 

Jail Visitation

The Whatcom County Jail has designated visitation times, which are different from the visiting times for the Jail Interim Work Center. 

Jail visitation hours are:

1st and 3rd Floor Saturdays from 8am to 11am and Sundays from 8am to 11am. 

2nd Floor Units 2A, 2B, & 2C Saturdays 1pm to 4pm.

2nd Floor Units 2D, 2E, & 2F Sundays 1pm to 4pm. 

Because visiting is based on the inmates housing, which is subject to change, you should check the jail roster for housing assignments prior to visitation.  Otherwise, inmates are responsible for informing visitors of any location changes.

Inmates who are kitchen workers can visit at any time during visitation, as long as they are not scheduled to work.

You cannot bring recording devices or cell phones into the visiting areas.

People who are visiting are subject to search.

If you have a no-contact order or restraining order with the inmate, you cannot visit the inmate.

If an inmate or visitor violates jail regulations or Washington State Law during a visit, the visit can be terminated, the visiting privileges may be terminated, and the visitor may be subject to arrest.

Jail inmates are permitted 1, one-hour visit each week.

All adult visitors must have current picture ID that includes the inmate’s full name and date-of-birth, and visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian unless they are visiting a parent.  Unaccompanied minors may visit a parent, but have to supply a copy of a birth certificate.

Inmates who are in the Interim Work Center are permitted 4, 15-minute visits each week.

Legacy Inmate Communications processes all visits and visitors.  Contact them at or by phone at 1-888-729-4236.  You must have a Legacy Friends and Family Account in order to visit.  You must schedule visits at least four hours in advance; no immediate visits will be available.  Visits can be 5, 10, or 15 minutes.  Visits are via video and can be from the lobby for free or from a computer or an android device for a fee.

Inmate Phone Privileges

The Whatcom County Jail allows inmates to make outgoing phone calls and allows incoming attorney phone calls.  However, it does not permit other incoming phone calls for inmates.  If you have an emergency and need to contact an inmate, you may contact the jail and let them know about the emergency conditions.  The jail may choose to relay the message to the inmate, but you may be required to provide proof of any emergencies.

Inmates are allowed to call their attorney and make 1 personal telephone call after being booked.  If inmates are uncooperative during booking, their booking calls may be delayed.  In addition, inmates may place outgoing calls.  Those personal calls have to be collect, and are monitored, and recorded.  Inmates can also use funds from their inmate accounts to pay for phone calls.  Legacy provides phone services for the Whatcom County Jail.  You can add funds to an inmate’s phone account on the Legacy website or through one of the kiosks in the jail facility.

Inmates have access to phone calls from 6:00am to 10:00pm.  Inmates can call public defenders for free.  The jail monitors and records all personal telephone calls, but not attorney calls.  There are non-dialing telephones found in each module for public defender calls; inmates are to answer those phones and notify the inmate whose attorney is calling.

Inmate Trust Accounts / Commissary

The Whatcom County Jail uses Touchpay to service inmate commissary/trust accounts.  To put money into an inmate’s account, you can use the kiosk in one of the facilities or go to the Touchpay website. 

The Whatcom County Jail’s commissary vendor is Aramark.  You can order iCare packages from Aramark on their website.  Inmates can receive up to two iCare packages each week.  Aramark allows you to purchase food and supplies.

Legacy provides phone services for the Whatcom County Jail.  You can add funds to an inmate’s phone account on the Legacy website or through one of the kiosks in the jail facility.

Bail Information

In Whatcom County, bond and bail amounts are both set by the court.  In determining the bond amount, the judge is not trying to penalize an accused.  Instead, the court is trying to ensure that a defendant appears at trial.  Therefore, the court will consider several factors, including what crime was charged, the defendant’s resources, the defendant’s ties to the community, and the defendant’s history of compliance or non-compliance with bail conditions.

You can pay bail at the court during the court’s office hours.  Bail for Bellingham Municipal Court, Whatcom County District Court, and Whatcom County Superior Court can be paid at the court’s office during regular business hours.  Those business hours are generally Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm.  During the court’s non-office hours, you can pay bail at the jail.  The jail accepts cash bail as well as bonds from approved bail bonding companies.  While the jail cannot recommend a bail bondsman, you can find a list of approved bonding companies in each of the jail’s housing units.

An inmate who has sufficient funds to pay bail can post bail during the booking process.  In addition, inmates can bail their own bail and bonds when those funds are received and deposited into an inmate’s trust fund account.

Payment of bail or bonds issued by other jurisdictions is allowed at any time.  Those bail and bonds are taken at the Main Jail and the Interim Work Center during non-business hours and on the weekends.

You can pay bail or bond by credit card payment at the Touch-pay kiosks located in the lobbies of both the Main Jail and the Interim Work Center.  You can also pay bail online at  There are transaction fees if you use the online system.

Inmates will not be released if they are intoxicated.  Inmates who post bail or bonds but have a blood alcohol level higher than 0.05, they will not be released until their alcohol levels are below 0.05, and only to sober third parties.  If there is no sober third party, then the parties will not be released until their blood alcohol levels are 0.0.


The Whatcom County Jail, located at 311 Grand Avenue in Bellingham, Washington, and the Interim Work Center, located at 2030 Division St. in Bellingham, Washington combine together to form the Bureau of Corrections for Whatcom County.  The jail’s phone number is 360-778-6500.  The Interim Work Center’s number is 360-778-6450.  You can find out whether an inmate is in the jail or the work center by looking at Whatcom County’s Jail Roster.

The Bureau of Corrections consists of the Whatcom County Jail and the Whatcom County Interim Work Center.  The two different facilities have different purposes.  The Whatcom County Jail is a maximum-security facility, while the Whatcom County Interim Work Center is a minimum and low-medium security facility.  Together, the two facilities generally hold around 405 inmates.  There are approximately 245 inmates at the Whatcom County Jail and 130 inmates at the Interim Work Center.  Another 30 inmates or so may be serving through in-home detention.

In fact, the Whatcom Corrections Bureau has significant alternative programming opportunities for low-risk offenders, which can keep them out of jail or allow them to participate in work programs while incarcerated.  This alternative programming provides benefits for defendants because it keeps them in the community and is less disruptive for them.  It also provides benefits for Whatcom County Corrections Bureau because of the fees associated with alternative sentencing.


Year Built or Opened: 1985 Warden or Supervisor: Sheriff Bill Elfo Daily Inmate Count: 297 Total Capacity: 212 Security Level(s): minimum - medium

Inmate Name
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225

Phone Number(s): 360-778-6500
Fax Number: 360-738-2494
Email Address: [email protected]

311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225