San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved budget for new jail


[Alan Yan] San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors






The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a budget of $44.2 million for the new jail in Redwood City on Sept. 25, 2012.

The board voted 5-0 on a budget that gives funding for a new jail in Redwood City.

The board President Adrienne Tissier said, “it’s a lot of money but it may also help with our jail population.”

The State of California was forced to reduce overcrowding in state prisons last year, so they moved low-level offenders to county  jails.  This lead to overcrowding in the county jails. Sheriff Greg Munks recommended building a new jail on Chemical Way, which was unanimously approved by the board in May 2012.  The jail was set to cost between $145 million to $160 million.

Supervisor Dave Pine said, “I don’t think all of those 322 people can be out of jail.  I just don’t.”

“I don’t like how they’re taking money to build a new jail instead of spending it on education which prevents prisoners in the first place,” said sophomore Nico Camerino.

Robert Hoover, Program Manager for Reentry in East Palo Alto stated, “we also know that probably 60-70 percent of people in these jails are from the poor communities in the county. Communities like ours have a 60-70 percent high school dropout rate. Those are the people that are going to end up in your jails” when he criticized the board for not using the jail funds to educate people instead.

Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson defended the purpose the jail, stating that “we are going to call it a facility and not a jail because we are going to be making a change with how we actually treat people within the facility.”

The board meeting was packed with protesters and was overwhelmed by an extra 90 minutes of unscheduled public comments.  Protesters in the end walked out unhappy with the results of the vote shouting “no new jail.”

The jail is only in the first phase of planning and is slated to finish construction in 2015.