Tehama County Board of Supervisors considers jail expansion

Dec 2, 2014 8:07 PM by Charlene Cheng

The Tehama County Jail, built in 1974 to house 225 inmates, is no longer big enough to serve the needs of the community.

"We need the additional space. We're going to need the additional space in the future to keep our county as safe as possible," Sheriff Dave Hencratt said.

The Tehama County Board of Supervisors is considering a $22 million, 34,460 square foot project that will add 64 beds, and space for kitchen, laundry, and counseling services.

The new facility would sit on Madison Street at the current site of the Red Bluff Library, right across from the existing county jail.

"I am on board thinking that we need jail space. Do I believe that this is the best location? Not necessarily. Am I opposed to this location? No, I'm not opposed to this location. I am opposed to you closing my street," Red Bluff mayor Daniele Jackson said.

The proposal calls for fencing off a part of Madison Street between Pine and Oak.

Mayor Jackson is just one person who has written a letter objecting to the project, a sentiment some residents share.

"We have another stakeholder, which we haven't heard mentioned. Caltrans, 36 is a state highway. It has engineering standards, it also has capacity which can't be exceeded," said Bill Belcher, a retired Caltrans employee.

Others just wanted to take the opportunity to point out that while the expansion of the jail may be necessary, a little foresight may have prevented the onslaught of criminals.

"I am discouraged by the necessity to spend five times the money on the housing and monitoring of criminal offenders than the library. Please remember moving forward, that by building a library and funding it appropriately you are taking strides to reduce the criminal contingent in the future," said William McCoy, superintendent of the Red Bluff Union Elementary School District.


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