YAKIMA, Wash. -

As authorities step up the prosecution of gang members, the Yakima County jail is using segregation techniques to keep inmates safe in jail.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that officials say anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of the jail's roughly 770 inmates hold some form of gang affiliation.

When inmates are first booked into jail they are asked if they have any affiliation with gangs so they are not placed with rival gang members. Jail officials say the system works when inmates cooperate, but some fear admitting gang affiliation will incriminate them.

A state Supreme Court ruling last year made such admissions inadmissible in court.

The jail maintains separate housing units for both Norteno and Surenos affiliates.