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State grant eases jail expansion costs

POSTED March 9, 2012 8:56 p.m.

A grant of $80 million is headed to Stanislaus County to assist in the efforts of expanding the county’s correctional facility.

The grant is funded by California’s Corrections Standards Authority, which announced Thursday it was awarding $602 million to 11 counties for the expansion or construction of county jails.

The awards are intended to ease overcrowding and implement the state’s realignment program, which has shifted the responsibility of lower-level inmates and parole violators to the county level.

“This provides a major boost for California counties to house local inmates safely and effectively,” said Matthew Cate, CSA chairman and CDCR secretary. “These awards, coupled with the ongoing funding to counties, demonstrate California’s commitment to helping our counties successfully implement realignment.”

Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties were awarded $100 million each. Stanislaus will receive $80 million, and Tulare and Santa Barbara $60 million each. The CSA also awarded $33 million to both Kings and Shasta counties; $23.626 million to Imperial County; $10.255 million to Sutter County; and $3 million to Madera County.

Stanislaus County’s grant will fund a significant portion of the $132 million expansion of the Public Safety Center.

“(The) action by the CSA Board has a significant positive impact on local jail bed capacity and public safety,” said Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson. “This award will allow Stanislaus County to invest in critically needed public safety facilities including a Day Reporting Center which supports our goal of expanding and strengthening community-based programming which focuses on vocational, education and rehabilitative opportunities for criminal offenders.”

The grant will also fund 384 additional maximum security beds; a medical and mental health wing with 72 beds; and a new morgue facility located in downtown Modesto.

The expansion also will bring in 94 custody-related jobs.

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