County Wins $36 Million Grant to Alleviate Jail Overcrowding
October 10, 2012
The county jail is slated for a $40 million expansion and remodel, thanks to a $36.3 million state grant, awarded Sept. 13.
The project, expected to be completed by 2017, will add 288 beds to the routinely overcrowded facility, which now houses as many as 1,150 inmates a night, well over its 825-inmate capacity.
Overcrowding, according the the Sheriff's office, creates risky conditions for both inmates and officers. The remodel plans include streamlining housing units to improve evacuation routes and get rid of the labyrinthine hallways additions that have been tacked on over the years. The jail was originally built in 1972.
The expansion project comes as county jails across California brace for some 30,000 inmates to be released from state prisons. That's part of Gov. Jerry's Brown's realignment plan as set forth in AB 109, a response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that ordered the state to reduce its prison population by about 30 percent.
County officials estimate 364 inmates will be headed for the jail in Salinas over the next two years. That's about 1.07 of the total, based on the proportion of state prison inmates who come from Monterey County.