Northern Branch Jail's housing area | Credit: Courtesy

Santa Maria, Calif. – The Sheriff’s Office Custody Division has populated the Northern Branch Jail as an additional step to safeguard the wellbeing of inmates and staff while we continually work to mitigate the spread of COVID. The Northern Branch Jail (NBJ) reached final completion in November 2021 but had not been cleared for occupancy until today. Towards the beginning of the current COVID outbreak in the Main Jail, the Sheriff’s Office recognized that the opening of the NBJ would offer a much-needed opportunity to decompress the population in the Main Jail and control the spread of COVID. 

A team of teams came together to expedite the final items that were needed for approval to occupy the NBJ. We would like to thank the Sheriff’s Office NBJ Transition Team, Sheriff’s Office Systems and Technology, General Services, and SJ Amoroso Construction. Earlier today, 244 inmates were transferred from the Main Jail to the Northern Branch Jail. Prior to transport, each of the inmates were tested for COVID and furnished with N95 masks for the transportation. 

Sheriff Brown said “Seeing the Northern Branch Jail finally occupied is like watching a ship being launched from dry dock. There have been many challenges and delays during the construction process and due to the pandemic, but, because of the efforts of many people, the vessel is finally underway. Our communities will be safer, and the lives of many offenders will be changed for the better, as a result of this state-of-the-art facility. My thanks to everyone inside and outside the Sheriff’s Office who worked so hard to make this day possible, and to those who will now work within the facility providing care, safety and hope to others.”

Friends and family members of incarcerated individuals are encouraged to check, “Who’s In Custody” link to determine if their friend or family member has been moved to the Northern Branch Jail.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, inmate visitation has been suspended indefinitely at both jail facilities.


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