Law and Justice Council

Who We Are

The Benton County Law & Justice Council (the "Council") exists by virtue of RCW 72.09.300 and was created by Resolution of the Benton County Board of County Commissioners.  

The Council is currently chaired by Benton County Sheriff, Jerry Hatcher. Sheriff Hatcher serves as the public contact for any questions about Council business. His contact information can be found in the "Contact Us" section of this page.

The Council consists of representatives from the following elected offices, departments and municipalities:

  • Washington Department of Corrections
  • Benton County Board of County Commissioners
  • Benton County Sheriff's Office
  • Benton County Superior Court
  • Benton County Clerk's Office
  • Benton County District Court
  • Benton County Office of Public DefenseBenton County Risk Management
  • City of Kennewick
  • City of Richland
  • City of West Richland
  • City of Prosser

In addition, the Council is mandated to have no less than three Citizen Members.  Citizen Members are full voting members of the Council each of whom are residents of Benton County with an interest in criminal justice issues and with unique backgrounds that allow them to bring fresh, unique and valuable perspectives to discussions and Council actions.  Current Citizen Members are:

  • Frederick Brink - PNNL
  • Jefferson Coulter - NorthWest Justice Project
  • Raymond Kofoed - PNNL (Ret)
  • Dr. Rusty Morris, MD, Ph.D - Forensic Pathologist (Ret)

What We Do

As directed by RCW 72.09.300, the Council meets about, and takes action on, issues pertaining to local criminal justice. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Issues regarding jail management and coordination with the Department of Corrections
  • Local crime trends and the availability of criminal justice resources to address and respond to them
  • Sharing of resources including information, personnel and infrastructure, amongst local and state stakeholders to reduce duplication and maximize criminal justice efforts
  • Partnerships amongst local and state stakeholders to facilitate community policing and offenders supervision efforts to reduce recidivism and enhance responses to offender violations

Council Meetings

All Council meetings are open to the public.  The Council meets regularly with meetings currently scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of each month.  Meeting frequency may be changed as member availability, agenda items and other factors dictate.  Please see our meetings page for more information about meetings, especially if you'd like to attend.  


Benton County    620 Market Street    Prosser, Washington 99350
Phone: (509) 786-5710 or (509) 783-1310
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