Sutter County Jail gets $10M for expansion
Sutter County will get more than $10 million to expand its jail, which law enforcement officials said will provide a needed hand in managing state realignment.
"We should be doing really well for a long time after this," said Sheriff J. Paul Parker, saying the added bed space from jail expansion should serve the county for 20 to 25 years.
The money, announced Thursday as part of $602 million in jail construction or expansion grants given statewide by the state Corrections Standards Authority, was expected after county officials applied for it last fall at the state's invitation.
An expansion will add about 50 beds to the jail, as well as allow improvements to medical, kitchen and safety features such as interior fire sprinklers, Parker said.
The jail's original construction in the 1970s was in a pie shape, with the on-duty jailers at the center. The expansion will allow the department to fill in a missing "slice" without adding more staff because the oversight is still in the center, Parker said.
Though the grant program for jail expansions dates to 2008, this round of funding was specifically designed to assist counties dealing with realignment, under which those convicted of certain crimes serve their sentences in county jails rather than state prisons. As well, those who would've been under state parole previously now answer to county probation offices instead.
Sutter County Probation Officer Christine Odom said so far, her office is seeing a few more people than were projected, but not an overwhelming amount.
"It is difficult to get programs up and running in such a short time," Odom said, noting realignment only went into effect last fall. "We want to do this right."
Under the grant of $10.25 million, Parker said, the county will be expected to contribute a 10 percent match.
Timing on when actual construction will begin depends on how soon the local match is available and Sutter County opts to proceed, he said.