Sonoma County is gearing up to build a new 160-bed detention and probation facility next to the Santa Rosa County Jail at a price tag of more than $65 million, the Press Democrat is reporting.
Construction of the facility will be mostly paid for by state funds following a decision by Governor Jerry Brown to reconfigure jails to reduce overcrowding in state prisons and prevent the high rate of recidivism, estimated at 70 percent.
But the new facility will require an additional $10 million from Sonoma County to fund operations, even as the county’s budget deficit continues to grow.
Sheriff Steve Freitas argues the project is good investment because it would provide minimum security housing for offenders transitioning out of jail, reduce overcrowding at state prisons and reduce their chances of re-offending, according to the Press Democrat.
But critics say the money would be better spent on drug treatment and other diversion programs that keep people out of jail in the first place.
The project will be discussed at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.