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The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a plan Tuesday for a phased opening of the county’s new jail in Roseville beginning early next year.

Construction of the 189,000-square-foot jail began in 2009 and is nearing completion.

Known formally as the South Placer Adult Correctional Facility, the jail is located in the Bill Santucci Justice Center, 10800 Industrial Ave. The center also features a courthouse building constructed by the county and an office building used by several county departments. The center is west of State Route 65 between Blue Oaks and Sunset boulevards.

The phasing plan approved by the board Tuesday calls for initially opening two areas of the new 390-bed jail: a 120-bed housing unit and a dormitory-style minimum-security facility with 120 beds. When the latter opens, the county will close an outdated minimum-security barracks in North Auburn that was built in 1941. It currently houses about 160 inmates.

In a report to the board, the Sheriff’s Office and County Executive Office estimated the first-phase opening will cost about $7.8 million during the 2013-14 fiscal year, including $6.1 million for on-going expenses and $1.7 million for one-time costs. To help staff the new jail, the Sheriff’s Office plans to hire 36 correctional and other employees.

“I think that staff, working with the Sheriff’s Department, has done an admirable job of solving what was a fairly substantial problem in year one and ongoing by making a number of suggestions that have resulted in some operational efficiencies,” said Supervisor Kirk Uhler. “So I say we move forward.”

“Thank you all for your hard work in bringing this forward,” Chairman Jim Holmes told staff after the board voted unanimously to approve the phasing plan.

“It has not been easy. It has been very complicated, very expensive, yet very critical,” Sheriff Edward N. Bonner told the board, saluting staff from his department and the County Executive Office for working collaboratively to develop the phasing plan.

The net addition of 80 jail beds will help the jail manage increases in its inmate population experienced because of public safety realignment, a state-mandated program that shifted responsibility for many adult parolees and lower-risk offenders from the state to counties.
The number of inmates at the county’s North Auburn jail has risen significantly since the state began implementing realignment in October 2011. The staff report noted that the jail’s average daily population has climbed from 528 in 2011 to 598 in 2012 and 626 for the first quarter of this year.

The staff report emphasized that approximately 50 percent of the jail inmates who have already received sentences are Placer County’s responsibility because of realignment.

“To date, the longest court-ordered sentence to be served locally is eight years and four months, well beyond the one-year sentences originally envisioned for county jails,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Wayne Woo, the jail commander. 

A county needs assessment in 2008 recommended construction of the new jail and the Board of Supervisors approved the project in June, 2009. Funding for the $105 million project came from capital facility impact fees paid by development projects and from General Fund revenue set aside over the years.

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