San Luis Obispo County

SLO County gets ready to open new $40 million women's jail

Jail will sport nearly 200 beds and upgraded tech

SLO County gets ready to open new $40...

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - Dozens of inmates at the San Luis Obispo County Women's Jail are on the move.

"We're finally here and I'm proud to say that we've built a very nice facility," says Chief Deputy of the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office Rob Reid.

Their current facility lacked space needed to host not only more inmates but also mre educational and therapeutic programs.

"When inmates do the programming they behave better, they start their reintegration into society a little bit better and they may help them work on some of their personal issues that they have outside of jail," Reid explains.

This new jail is nearly four times the size of the their current facility. Reid says that greatly benefits the local community, telling us: "We're not gonna have to release people because of overcrowding - we currently have a facility rated for 43 and we're anywhere between 60-100 on any given day. This facility has space for 194."

The jail has stepped up safety and security to match the new amount of inmates by installing more than 150 new cameras. The sheriff's office says these new cameras will not only cut back on the amount of people they have to employ to watch the inmates but it also allows them to always know who goes in and out of doors instead of someone having to radio it in.

The jail has also installed video visitation rooms which previously had to be retrofitted in their old facility. "One of the benefits is there's more hours of visiting available we don't have to move inmates throughout the jail to get them to a site they can actually do it within their housing units," says Reid.

The inmates' time at the jail can vary drastically, some stay an average of a year and a half while one inmate is currently serving a 12 year sentence at the jail.

The overall construction cost for this new jail is estimated at $40.7 million but the State of California contributed a significant amount of that under AB 900 grant funds.

The women will move into this new facility April 6th. The SLO County Sheriff's Office says there's interest in building a new men's facility but they won't move forward with it until they have secured the funding

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