Prison officials open up $600 million for jail construction to 25 counties

State officials have invited 25 counties to apply for a total of $602 million to construct new jail beds, after narrowing the list in recent days.
The bond funding, available under a 2007 law known as AB900, will be awarded by March and will allow a number of counties to expand their jail capacity. It comes as the state implements “realignment” the governor’s plan to address overcrowding in state prisons by letting thousands of low-level offenders serve their time in local jails instead of state prison. Advocates for prisoners oppose the release of funds.
The counties given the green light to apply for the funds are: Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Fresno, Stanislaus, Tulare, Monterey, Yolo, Sonoma, Placer, Kings, Shasta, Sutter, Madera, Imperial, Napa, Siskiyou and Tuolumne. Additonally, Kern, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Amador and San Benito counties are being asked whether they would like to forgo earlier AB900 funds awarded to them and instead reapply for this round of bond money.
Leslie Heller, an official with the Correction Standards Authority, said the majority of the state’s 58 counties expressed interest in the money, and that the counties invited to apply were chosen solely on the increased number of prisoners they are expected to be housing under realignment.
“We knew with realignment there would be a lot of interest, and we know there is not enough money to go around to all the counties, so we thought, ‘Let’s find out how many are interested, then pick an appropriate number from that to go through the application process, so they don’t expend their resources unnecessarily’,” she said.
She added that there is “absolutely not” enough money for all 26 counties, and that some may not ultimately choose to submit an application.
For more information on AB900 funding, visit this website.

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1 Comment

  1. I think this is an excellent approach for addressing overcrowding. It allows counties to manage their populations better if done right.

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