A new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury reports says that despite the construction of a new county jail complex, it alone isn’t enough to fix decades old jail overcrowding problems.
The county is regularly over its 819 bed capacity, with the average population often running around 1100 inmates. The report says that while the new, mostly state funded 376 bed jail is an important step towards fixing the problem, the more than half century old main jail will still be needed.
The Grand Jury says the county needs to spend at least $15 million dollars over the next decade to fix, and update the current jail. It says the county hasn’t come up with a plan to fund the work, but needs to develop one.