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Grand Jury Rebuffs Calaveras Response To Jail Problem

San Andreas, CA — The Calaveras County Grand Jury is saying the county´s response to its jail crisis is not good enough.

The overcrowded jail problem was highlighted in the 2005-06 Grand Jury Report. When the jail was built in 1963, it could fit 47 inmates to serve the population of 11,000. Since then, the county´s population has almost quadrupled. An increase in size now allows 65 inmates, but that´s still for a population over 43,000.

In response to the report, the Board of Supervisors said it would explore funding options, including considering going to voters for a bond.

In a new report issued earlier this month, the jury says it does not accept the board´s response. It feels the board has rejected the jury´s recommendation to curtail development until a jail plan is in place.

The jury´s latest report tells the county that voter approval is necessary for a new jail. It recommends the county have a proposal in front of voters by November.

County Counsel Jim Jones says the county is in the process of coming up with a response to the jury´s recommendation.

The grand jury is convened every year to review county government and special districts. The final report is a compilation of the jury´s findings on its various investigations. The jury´s final report will be issued June 30.

Written by Vanessa Turner.