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Originally published Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

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Benton Co. wants ex-inmates to pay up

Hundreds of former jail inmates owe the Benton County Sheriff's Office money for costs they amassed while behind bars, and authorities are trying to collect.

The Associated Press

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You accept the risk of putting low lifes in your jail, you eccept the liability. Do you... MORE

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KENNEWICK, Wash. —

Hundreds of former jail inmates owe the Benton County Sheriff's Office money for costs they amassed while behind bars, and authorities are trying to collect.

The sheriff's office recently sent out nearly 1,800 bills to collect more than $1 million in outstanding debts.

The Yakima Herald-Republic says (http://is.gd/PhZWA7) the action isn't unprecedented but did prompt some complaints from recipients.

Spokeswoman Julie Thompson says the department is trying to recoup money the county spent on inmate charges such as nurse visits, prescription costs and property damage.

She says the department is hoping to contract with a collection agency to help collect the debts.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

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