San Andreas, CA — Until a plan is in place for a new jail facility in San Andreas, development should be curtailed. That was a finding of the 2005/2006 Calaveras County Grand Jury Report.
According to the recently released report, the Calaveras County Jail is inadequate to meet the current and future needs of the county.
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.
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.
The jury says, due to the jail´s limited capacity, inmates are routinely released early, causing it to become a felon only facility.
Smaller offenders have realized that little or no jail time will be served for their crimes. The report says this is exacerbating the methamphetamine epidemic.
The jury also says the county is beginning to see epidemic increases in drug offenses and gang activity.
Its solution is for the Board of Supervisors to immediately come up with a plan for a new jail. Until then, it says further development should be curtailed.
The full report can be viewed at the county´s website.
Written by Vanessa Turner.