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Monday, 12 May 2008 03:38

Amador Jail Funding Comes Up Short

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slide8.pngAmador County came up short when state prison officials announced their distribution priorities for new jail funding on Thursday, May 8. According to the Amador County Sheriff’s Office, it was a “great disappointment” to hear that in the small county category, Amador placed seventh on a priority list of ten behind Yolo, Kings, Madera, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Shasta.In other words, any counties ranking below fourth were not recommended to receive funding. Fourth place Calaveras County scraped the bottom of the funding list and received the remaining ten million after the lion’s share was distributed amongst the top three. The top three qualifying counties were recommended to receive 30 million each. “This was a huge disappointment,” said Sheriff Martin Ryan.

The two counties had partnered up with San Joaquin County to provide a regional re-entry facility for returning inmates, a key component of the prison-reform legislation that authorized state funds to expand county jails. In a TSPN interview exclusive, Sheriff Ryan described the current local jail as “chronically overcrowded.” Amador County’s request includes plans to expand the current 75 bed jail to 165. On the day of our interview, Ryan said they were currently holding 21 females in an 11 bed space, and that the jail typically runs 10 to 15 percent over capacity. Amador County has seen a 118% increase in inmates since 2002, most of whom are parole violators. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary James Tilton made it clear at the meeting that this would not be the final grant decision. During the next 90 days, the Corrections Department will review all applicant counties that have complied with grant approval requirements. Sheriff Ryan says the fight for funding is far from over.

Read 1026 times Last modified on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 01:55