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Possible Jail Crowding Solution Nixed

Sheriff Bill Brown has been forced to abandon one of the solutions to jail overcrowding he frequently touted during his successful election campaign last year. On the campaign trail, Brown had suggested that transferring Santa Barbara county jail inmates to a vacant jail facility located in Tulare County could provide a temporary solution to the county’s long-term need for more jail space. At the time, Tulare County lacked the funds to operate the facility, so it sat vacant. Since then, the Tulare County Sheriff has secured the funds to run the jail, and now all but 130 beds are occupied. And according to Sheriffs spokesperson Erik Raney, those beds are spoken for as well. In the meantime, the Santa Barbara Grand Jury has issued yet another report expressing exasperation at the overcrowding taking place at the county jail, holding the county supervisors-as well as the county sheriff-at fault for not finding the funds needed to build and operate a new north county detention facility.

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