BSCC Steering Committee Recommends Funding for Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office Proposal to Increase Programs and Treatment for Inmates
The Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Executive Steering Committee today approved Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff’s grant application for $70 million under SB-844 (which provides financing for correctional facilities’ construction). The application will now go to Board members for final approval in June.
“Today was a good day for those who care about public safety in Contra Costa County and also want to see treatment for mentally ill offenders as I do,” said Sheriff David Livingston. “The State’s Steering Committee saw the value of our jail and mental health treatment project and voted to fund it. Now the real work begins in reaching out to stakeholders and the community to build the best possible project emphasizing inmate mental health treatment, education opportunities, visitation, and family reunification services.”
The largest segment of the incarcerated population in Contra Costa County consists of high-security inmates. These inmates are currently housed at the outdated, inadequate, and overcrowded Martinez Detention Facility (MDF), which was built in 1978. Additionally, due to the design of the facility, there are very little educational, vocational, re-entry and mental health programs available to those housed at the MDF. There are approximately 660 high- security inmates housed daily at the MDF, a facility designed to hold only 384.
With SB-844 funding, the Office of the Sheriff wants to replace 416 high-security beds at MDF and establish a dedicated Re-entry Services Complex, all located within the secure perimeter of the existing, medium-security West County Detention Facility campus. Additionally, a state of the art mental health treatment unit will be added. On average, there are 220 male mental health inmates in custody on any given day.
“Contra Costa families will be safer with this state-funded project and we will move forward quickly with the Board of Supervisors to get it done,” said Sheriff Livingston.