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County Soliciting Feedback on New Jail

County supervisors and the Sheriff will hold a jail planning study session to determine factors such as number of beds and design configurations.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will hold a workshop this afternoon to discuss plans for constructing a new maximum-security jail in Redwood City.

The board is holding the workshop as an informal study session to talk about various aspects of planning for a new jail, including the number of inmates it will hold, how to pay for it, and how the state's realignment plan could affect the scope of the project, according to the head of the sheriff's jail planning unit.

"It's basically a study session," Lt. Deborah Bazan said Monday. "The spirit of it is so the Board of Supervisors can have an informal dialogue about the scope of the project."

Sheriff Greg Munks will present the board with various options for a new jail, which is slated to be built on a 4-acre site on Chemical Way in Redwood City, Bazan said.

The proposals include a combined men's and women's maximum-security facility that would house up to 832 total inmates, according to the sheriff's office. The proposed jail is estimated to cost between $150 and $165 million.

A second proposal would be for a "partial" or "phased build" project that would provide up to 552 new beds for inmates, and is estimated
to cost between $145 and $160 million, according to the sheriff's office.

The current jail is overcrowded, according to county officials, with nearly 1,000 inmates being accommodated in facilities built for less
than 700.

San Mateo County will be further impacted by the state's realignment plan, which will require that some nonviolent prisoners who would have been sent to state prisons be housed instead in county jails.

The sheriff's office estimates that realignment -- due to take effect starting Oct. 1 -- could require the county to house up to 400 more inmates per year at local facilities.

The board will not be taking any formal action at Tuesday's planning workshop, Bazan said.

The sheriff will take direction from the board and return with recommendations for the jail plan at the supervisors' meeting on Oct. 4, Bazan said.

The two-hour study session is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in board chambers in Redwood City.

--Bay City News

Yolanda Garcia September 13, 2011 at 01:49 PM
Spend money on Education not new jails!
Andy C September 14, 2011 at 10:10 PM
If you build it, they will come...

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