The sheriff's office recently sent out nearly 1,800 bills to collect more than $1 million in outstanding debts.
The Tri City Herald said that the action isn't unprecedented but did prompt some complaints from recipients.
Spokeswoman Julie Thompson said the department is trying to recoup money the county spent on inmate charges such as nurse visits, prescription costs and property damage.
She said the department is hoping to contract with a collection agency to help collect the debts.
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