Jail

County Considers Wage-Theft Ordinance

What Santa Clara County's campaign finance reports tell us about the region's political landscape.  (Photo by khrawlings, via Flickr)

Santa Clara County will consider an ordinance to punish employers for wage theft, a charge that would disqualify businesses from public contracts and give workers a formal recourse to lodge complaints against stingy bosses. The motion going before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday would direct the county to come up with a draft ordinance over the coming months. Supervisor Dave Cortese brought forward the idea, citing a 2008 study by the National Employment Law Project that says two-thirds of the 4,387 low-wage workers polled in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago were denied full compensation.

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County Combines Addiction Treatment, Mental Health Departments

South County Airport could be getting a new name. (Photo by Ikluft, via Wikimedia Commons)

Given that clientele often overlaps, Santa Clara County will integrate its departments of Drug and Alcohol Services and Mental Health. Also, on the agenda for Tuesday’s county Board of Supervisors meeting: a new name for the South County Airport, making campaign disclosure forms available online and funding an anti-terrorism law enforcement communications network.

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Grand Jury Reports Dominate Board of Supervisors’ Next Meeting

Three Civil Grand Jury reports will go before the Board of Supervisors next week.

The people in charge of providing financial and protective services for Santa Clara County residents run a department lacking structure and accountability, according to a just-released Civil Grand Jury audit that goes before the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Other items on the board agenda include grand jury reviews for health inspections of food trucks and farmers markets, and a review of Juvenile Hall.

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County Sheriff’s Office Scraps Proposal to Limit Jail Mail to Postcards

Stacey “Steeda” McGruder, right, helped bring awareness to a proposal by the Sheriff’s Office to limit jail mail to postcards. The proposal was scrapped last week. (Photo by Jennifer Wadsworth)

Santa Clara County inmates will continue receiving mail after jail officials abandoned a contentious plan to limit correspondence to just postcards. Jail chief John Hirokawa originally brought up the idea earlier this summer in hopes of limiting the amount of drugs smuggled in through envelopes or postage stamps. But the community put up a fight, saying the mail restriction could dry up prisoners’ ties with friends, family and life outside their cell. The county jail and Elmwood Correctional Facility receive about 200,000 pieces of mail a year. If the postcard-only policy passed, the county would have become the first in Northern California to enact such a ban and one of a few-dozen in the nation.

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