UPDATE: Napa Gets $13.47M for New Jail Alternative Building

Grant award would be 95 percent of $15M cost of jail building.

credit: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com
credit: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com
CLARIFICATION 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, 2013

From Elizabeth Emmett, Napa County Public Information Officer

"Just to clarify: The funds are not for a new jail," she said. "The funds are to build a facility that will house a program that is an alternative to jail.

"The facility will be sited on the same campus as the new jail,” she said

PREVIOUSLY: 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
Napa County has been selected to receive $13.47 million in State realignment grant money to build a 72-bed Staff Secure Facility on the proposed site for the new jail, county officials were notified last week.

An executive steering committee of the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) made the recommendation at its Dec. 12 meeting. The award will be considered by the full BSCC Board at its Jan. 16 meeting. The grant would represent nearly 95 percent of the estimated $15 million cost of the facility.

The Staff Secure Facility is an important component of the Community Corrections Partnership’s master plan to implement the State’s correctional system realignment initiative. 

The facility will be an alternative to the main secure jail, providing an environment that helps inmates build a foundation for transition back into the community. Inmates who are nearing the end of their sentences, and who meet certain requirements, would be “stepped-down” into the Staff Secure Facility, where they would continue to receive time-served credits towards their sentences. Instead of a traditional correctional setting, the Staff Secure Facility will contain four 18-person dormitories.

Residents would be required to participate in employment readiness training and access job search assistance, and could participate, based on their needs, in classes such as anger management, parenting classes, life skills, criminal thinking and low- level substance abuse treatment.

They also may be allowed, based on their individual case, to leave the facility to go to work or to job interviews, doctor appointments, access social services or to attend classes. Unauthorized leave of the facility could result in arrest for escape of a correctional facility, and the individual would be returned to the jail to face new charges.

“This is excellent news for our justice system and for our Community Corrections Partnership’s efforts to keep the public safe while also helping offenders work to overcome the factors in their life that lead to crime,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Brad Wagenknecht. “We know these programs work to reduce the likelihood that people will reoffend and return to jail, increasing the quality of life for the entire community.”

It is estimated that operating the facility would cost about $2.2 million each year, which would also be funded out of previously allocated State realignment funds.

As part of the application for the funding, in October the Board of Supervisors approved designating $980,000 as the matching funds required by the BSCC. The funds had already been earmarked for capital improvements. The County also had to demonstrate that it had a viable site for the facility, at 2300 Napa-Vallejo Highway, near Napa State Hospital. The Board approved an option agreement to purchase that land in October.

The County will release a Request for Qualifications to begin searching for an architect for the Staff Secure facility today. According to staff, the potential timeline for construction will depend heavily on the State’s process.

The BSCC committee recommended allocating a total of $500 million to fund requests from 15 of the 36 counties that submitted proposals. The funding comes from SB 1022, which provided for the issuance of lease revenue bonds to finance jail modifications statewide to accommodate offenders who otherwise would have been sent to state prisons.

Under the grant program, the County would build the facility and then be reimbursed by the BSCC, with project approval and oversight by the State Public Works Board and the State Department of Finance. 

Keri Brenner (Editor) December 16, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Posting for Elizabeth Emmett: “This is great news for our community. Just to clarify: The funds are not for a new jail. The funds are to build a facility that will house a program that is an alternative to jail. The facility will be sited on the same campus as the new jail. Thank you! Elizabeth Emmett, Napa County Public Information Officer.”


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