Eva Knott 7:03 p.m., May 17
State Releases $600M for Jail Expansions
The state’s Corrections Standards Authority Board last week announced the release of $602,881,000 in funding to be made available to individual counties looking to increase their jail capacity.
The money is authorized by Assembly Bill 900, known as the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007. This is the second round of funding in a push to create a total of 10,000 new beds across the state — phase one saw $617 million awarded to 11 counties, including $100 million to San Diego for 842 new beds at Santee’s Las Colinas detention center for women. Total cost on the reconstruction project is expected to be about $268 million. Ground is expected to be broken late next year, with the project completion set for November 2015.
“Increased bed space will assist local jails in implementing much needed reforms called for in the 2011 Public Safety Realignment law,” said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation secretary Matthew Cate, who also chairs the CSA Board. Among other things, the law requires the Department to expand educational, vocational, and substance abuse treatment programs for incarcerated individuals and parolees.
Funding comes as California faces orders from the federal Supreme Court to reduce severe overcrowding at state prisons over the next year and a half. In addition to the $1.2 billion in jail funding over the two phases, AB 900 earmarks another $5.5 billion for prison expansion, to be funded through lease revenue bonds.