Monday, August 4, 2014

Grand jury reports on Nevada County court holding facility

June 17, 2014
The Union of Grass Valley
By Liz Kellar

The Nevada County grand jury on Monday released a report investigating the Nevada City holding facility inside the county courthouse.
The report noted the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office has responsibility for the management of county correctional facilities at the courthouse, and that additional security cameras are needed, because a security desk electronically controls access through the facility with cameras to monitor the conditions.
The new report noted that last year’s report also found this deficiency.
“The 2012-2013 Jury Report recommended upgrades to the Courthouse camera security system,” last year’s report read. “Staff responded to the Jury Report Recommendations as follows: ‘The current camera system was purchased by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and is the sole property of the Court. While the Court will coordinate any system changes and camera placement with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department, we do not expect that the county will contribute funds to purchase additional cameras for a system that they do not own.’
“The NCSO response was that ‘… there was no funding available,’” that report concluded.
The nearly 150-year-old Nevada County Courthouse, which overlooks the historic downtown of Nevada City, was poised for a $108 million upgrade after the state deemed it “unsafe, substandard, overcrowded and functionally deficient” in 2009. But the project has been put on indefinite delay.
“The safety of county and court employees and the public is compromised by a lack of security cameras in some areas of the Courthouse,” the new report found. “This issue has been on the forefront for several years without resolution.
“The Nevada County grand jury strongly recommends the Superior Court, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada County Board of Supervisors work together to obtain funding for safety and security upgrades,” the report said.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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