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Calaveras County Loses Appeal For More Jail Funding

Sacramento, Ca — Calaveras County has lost its appeal before the State Correctional Standards Authority in regards to securing $26 million, rather than the $10 million that the county is set to receive from AB 900 jail funding.

Sheriff Dennis Downum left disappointed after speaking before the appeals panel in Sacramento this morning. “The three member panel was very sympathetic, but in the end I think they basically decided they didn´t want to disrupt the process,” says Downum.

The Sheriff argued that the County was not getting a fair shake in how the state chose to calculate the net number of beds that will be gained. “There is a process where if you are going to build 160 beds, and if you have an old dangerous jail to tear down with 65 beds, you only get a net gain of 95,” says Downum. “We asked the state to give us credit for 160 beds, and we would then replace the 65 on our own, and they refused to do that. If we got credit for 160 beds, we would be ahead of everyone in the process.”

He says the CSA formula makes the Calaveras County project less cost effective than the three other counties ranking ahead, Kings, Madera and Yolo.

If one of those counties would fail site inspections or not live up to items listed in the grant application, Downum says Calaveras could still wind up with the $26 million requested.

Written by BJ Hansen