The need for jail expansion and improvements in many of California’s counties has led the state to offer $602 million in funds for just that purpose. Only eleven counties were chosen to receive a portion of that sum.
Because of the new “realignment plan,” many jails throughout the state are dealing with severe overcrowding. The money will help some of these facilities to make updates and expansions in order to improve conditions and allow for more beds.
Three of the counties that applied – Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles – each received $100 million. Stanislaus County received $80 million; Santa Barbara and Tulare each were granted $60 million. Smaller amounts will be given to the other five counties. Kings and Shasta Counties will each get $33 million; Imperial County $23.626 million; Sutter County $10.255 million; and Madera County $3 million.
Each county has its own needs which can be seen to with these funds, such as adding beds or changing from dorm-style cells to individual cells.
The funding was included in last year’s Public Safety Realignment Legislation, which will transfer certain low-level offenders into county jails instead of state prisons. There will not be additional money for local jails’ construction projects, but it is hoped that the governor’s tax plan will be passed by voters. This will give counties a constant stream of revenue that can be used for these projects.