Saturday, June 12, 2010

Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report finds county jail system overcrowded, unsafe

The Santa Barbara County jail system continues to be overcrowded and unsafe for both officers and inmates, according to a new report from the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury,

Although programs and services have been implemented to thin out the Goleta main jail population over the years, the grand jury concluded that the county should construct a 300-bed jail in Santa Maria.

The independent, volunteer grand jury urged the Board of Supervisors to secure the estimated $24 million needed to build the jail and to work with the sheriff to fund the approximate $17 million needed in annual operating expenses.

Sheriff Bill Brown is scheduled to approach the board June 22 with funding options, such as a safety sales tax.

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