County Awarded $38.9 Million Jail Grant

Funds Will Build Recidivism-Reducing Wing at North County Facility

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office will soon be getting a $38.9 million grant it applied for in October, according to an announcement Thursday by the California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC). The Sheriff’s Office — which had to get the board of supervisors’ go-ahead to apply for the funding — had pushed for the money to build a new 52,208-square-foot, 228-bed wing onto the planned North County Jail that will be devoted to recidivism-reducing programs. The money comes from a state bill, SB 1022, that puts bond sales toward jails that implement such programs. The total pot of money was $500 million, with $160 million of that reserved for 14 counties, including Santa Barbara, that are classified as medium-sized.

The $38.9 million award for the new wing — to be called the Sheriff’s Transition and Reentry (STAR) Complex — will come in addition to the $80 million in state funds already allocated for the construction of the North County Jail, which is expected to be completed in 2018. Sheriff Bill Brown has said that the $80 million is no longer sufficient to cover additional costs brought by AB 109, the state law passed in 2011 that transferred the responsibility of certain inmates from the state to the counties. Since AB 109 began, Brown has said, the population of the Main Jail — located in South County, on Calle Real — has increased by 11 percent, with half of the inmates there because of AB 109. Certain housing units at the Main Jail will close when the new complex opens, but which ones haven’t been finalized, said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

After the award was announced on Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office released a statement. “This is another huge step in constructing an appropriately sized jail in North County,” Brown said. “The new facility will help alleviate the added burden we are bearing as a result of a AB 109 Criminal Justice Realignment, which has shifted the responsibility to us for housing approximately 160 inmates who would have formerly been sentenced to state prison. The added award of almost $39 million will also result in a substantial infusion of additional dollars into the local economy.”

Chief Deputy Laz Salinas, who is in charge of the jail’s custody operations, also made a statement on the award. “Securing the additional funding is a huge accomplishment for not only the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office but for our partners within the community and the citizens of Santa Barbara County,” he said. “The funding will allow us to help meet the needs of our inmate population and provide much needed programming designed to help reduce the rate of recidivism in our county.”

Hoover said that the office still has to receive official written notification from BSCC, as well as formal acceptance of the award from the supervisors. In authorizing the Sheriff’s Office to apply for the grant in October, the supervisors also agreed to the award’s stipulation that the county provide a 10 percent match. The board said at the time that until or unless a different funding source is determined, the county’s $3.9 million match will come out of its $29 million rainy-day fund.

Some supervisors took issue in October with the fact that the STAR Complex will increase the yearly operating costs for both the Main Jail and the 376-bed North County Jail by about $310,7000 a year. Hoover said that the Sheriff’s Office will look into perhaps using AB 109 money to help bridge that gap, but how the county will foot the annual bill for the total operating costs remains unclear.

Hoover added that the Sheriff’s Office is still in the process of open recruitment for custody deputies; open recruitment ends on January 30.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Great work, Sheriff Bill Brown. We need the extra jail. This is a free country where people can choose the lives they wish to lead. Some unfortunately choose lives of crime, instead of lawful conduct as expressed by legal codes of conduct.

Number one reason we have a high prison population because more than anywhere else, people are given the freedom to choose how they conduct their lives. Those who continue to make poor choices need to be taken out of a free society, because they harm others.

It was the individual's choice to violate the rules society has chosen by lawful means to impose upon itself. When individuals chose to violate those rules of conduct, they risk the legal consequences for their choices. They are not victims of anything, other than their own personal choices.

Jail is a legal consequence in response to our society's commitment to legal justice. The swifter and surer the legal consequences for illegal conduct, the better for everyone.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 9:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, good news is that this helps in BUILDING the jail. The bad news? Where exactly is the money for Maintenance and Operations???? You know, the approximate $3 million annually to run.

BeachFan (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 9:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Which as soon as it's complete....
will be renovated at the cost of millions to become your run of the mill three bunk storage facility for the "tourist unfriendly"!

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 10:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Jail is a legal consequence in response to our society's commitment to legal justice"

I recently spent six night in jail for sleeping in a church alcove...with permission!

You can believe me when I say that foo fighter's "justice" will be unimaginable.
(At least that's what it says in the bible about a thousand times!)

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 12:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Don't sleep in church alcoves. Go where your SSI checks and the federal safety net can give you permanent shelter.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 4:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the churches don't mind people sleeping in their alcoves wth is it to you?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 6:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

foo, the "Number one reason we have a high prison population" is the crazy three-strikes get-tough laws which filled 'em with non-violent minor crimes minorities! Get it straight.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 7:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Don't sleep in church alcoves.".

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 4:03 p.m.
(Tribute song to Foo)...

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 8:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 21, 2014 at 9:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Any convicted criminal who makes the choices to commit two additional crimes earns no sympathy. Get them off our streets. Now. Allowing them three bites at the apple is pretty generous in the first place.

Choices, it is all about choices. And the people of California chose to get these serial criminals out of our lives, permanently. Good choice.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2014 at 9:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The average American commits 3 felonies a day thanks to the volumes and volumes of state and federal legislation:

There are plenty of felonies that aren't really crimes. Selling a very small amount of cannabis to an adult friend is a felony. That is a non-crime.

I know one of the three strikes has to be a violent felony, but I don't know that committing 1 violent felony and 2 non-crimes deserves life in prison necessarily, certainly not if they already did their time for the violent felony and now they are getting caught committing non-crime felonies.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2014 at 10:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

foo, "Any convicted criminal" deserves...yet we rehab Eliot Spitzer, we rehab the reputations of lots of folks...nonsense as usual, goo, mean foo

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2014 at 10:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You guys are too much!

Maybe Foo would see things differently if he hung out with me for a while.
let's let the Dolphin join us, we'll make it a pod!

By the way, no SSI or any other assistance save the good Lord...
and I say, let the ones who can afford it do all the moving. I'm here to stay!

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2014 at 1:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Stick with local issues, DD because you and I both can cherry pick minutiae and rejoinders ad nauseum, which would be only all sound and fury, signifying nothing. Lazy to fall back on answers like you just gave. Two wrongs don't make a right. You can handle this.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2014 at 6:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Grants are nice but finite. How do we pay to operate this thing once it's built? Sheriff Bill is depending on his union-captive illiberal cronies to fund it using what for money?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2014 at 7:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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