Tehama County Considering Jail Expansion

Mar 27, 2013 8:23 PM

Tehama County leaders are considering bulldozing the county library to make room for a 64-bed jail expansion.

The new plan was presented to Tehama County Supervisors Tuesday as a way to ease pressure on the 36-year-old building that was last renovated in the 90s.

"The old half is very labor intensive and not very efficient," Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt said.

On top of being nearly four decades old, Sheriff Hencratt says one of the biggest problems is that the Tehama County Jail has been operating at or above its state-rated capacity of 191 inmates for some time.
114 of those inmates are in the jail because of AB 109 and would have gone to state prison before realignment.

"Just the fact of a full jail, causes problems all by itself, because there is no room to move people around and segregate even if we want to do maintenance," Hencratt said.

That's why the proposed expansion would demolish the library across the street to make room for a building that would increase capacity by 64 beds.
It would also include space for the county's day reporting center, which currently has about 90 inmates passing through the old juvenile hall.

"The more efficient we can be, the better we are both fiscally and public safety wise," Hencratt said.

The expansion would come without any costs to the county, because there is around $20 million available for the expansion through the SB 1022 construction grant.
So, even though he isn't happy about the added inmates the sheriff says he's doing his best to turn lemons into lemonade.

"I'm not a big fan of AB109, but it has allowed us to do some things that we wouldn't be able to do without it," Hencratt said.

The Community Corrections Partnership is still working to complete the jail needs assessment study that's required for the grant.
They are already scouting new locations for the library.


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