Today’s approval of the next phase of the County’s Jail Plan is a major step forward in improving our custody system and reducing crime in our community. We have taken a very deliberate path over the last few years to reach today’s decision, analyzing cost implications, service needs and jail population forecasts.
This is not just about constructing a new facility. We have addressed the safety needs of both our staff and inmates, and developed plans to better manage our jail population by focusing on the need for comprehensive mental health and drug rehabilitation services. We cannot have a “one size fits all” system for our inmates; rather, we need to work across County departments and with community-based organizations to develop programs that will reduce recidivism and make our neighborhoods safer. In some cases this may mean diversion programs that help inmates recover from their issues or addictions to become contributing and law-abiding citizens. We must develop forward-thinking options for improving how we manage our facilities and our inmates.
Today’s approval allows us to further refine design and physical plans, develop a detailed construction and operating budget, and determine a timeline for the replacement of Men’s Central Jail and the development of the Mira Loma Detention Center.