Replacing San Jose’s Main Jail will cost something on the order of $280 million and, from the groundbreaking, take about 30 months to complete.
On Tuesday, Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors will discuss plans to build a new jail offset by $80 million in state funding.
The new building would sit right next to the existing three-story jail off of Hedding Street. It would consist of a 325,000-square-foot building with five housing floors and 815 medium-to-high-security risk beds, according to the county.
A new facility would address the changing needs of the incarcerated population, which includes more mentally ill inmates as well as those serving more time in local jails because of statewide prison reform.
The jail would include a re-entry services center for men and women on the last leg of their sentence who need help getting on their feet upon release.
It would also include more space dedicated for inmates diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders and addictions. As of last spring, the county housed about 450 inmates with serious mental health issues and nearly 1,600 with behavioral health diagnoses.
“Long term treatment of these conditions in a proper setting may reduce recidivism as patients learn to cope with their conditions once out of custody,” the county noted in a report.
Under the proposal, the new jail would dedicate more space for inmate classes and other programming.
The county also identified needs for more medical space, including dental, ophthalmology and optometry, physical therapy and surgical clinics. Currently, inmates wait up to two months for urgent dental treatment because of a lack of space. And inmates get treated for eye diseases but not routine eye care.
An influx of inmates with physical disabilities means the county will also have to expand physical therapy services. Additionally, providing space for surgeries at the new jail would save money by limiting transportation to and from Valley Medical Center.
- Sourcewise, a nonprofit that manages federal funding for the elderly, has been taking money from its senior nutrition programs and spending it on other services. That leaves the county to “foot the bill,” according to staffers. On Tuesday, supervisors will vote on paying that bill, some $116,490 of reserve cash.
WHAT: Board of Supervisors meets
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Clerk of the Board, 408.299.5001