A California senator has asked the Contra County Board of Supervisors to reconsider plans for a $95 million jail expansion. The plan was approved earlier this year; $70 million would be provided throughout state grant funding while the remaining $25 million would be paid for by the county.
Annual operation costs are estimated to cost$5 million.
The senator said she believes that the facility is unnecessary and hopes that pending legislation would allow many current pre-trial defendants to be released on their own recognizance.
Those who support the expansion say it’s needed because the Martinez Jail is overcrowded. Once the West County Detention Facility expansion is complete, about 400 inmates will be transferred from the Martinez Jail to the new facility.
Others point out that upgraded facilities will allow the Sheriff’s Department to ensure that mentally ill inmates will have access to programs that can better address their medical issues.