As the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors reconvenes for its initially conference of the yr, 1 subject it won’t deal with is the jail method.
The board was scheduled to listen to suggestions for shifting the jail system today. But at the ask for of county administration, supervisors won’t hear about any recommendations right until Jan. 25. The recommendations ended up deferred after prior to by Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, who elevated concerns last November. County officers did not promptly reply to a ask for for remark.
“My hope is that there’s a much more major consideration of all the community engagement that has happened about the last 12 months,” Ellenberg instructed San José Highlight, including she’d like to see the report pay attention to statewide trends that are shifting away from producing new jail services in favor of mental well being and local community-primarily based services.
Ellenberg mentioned she does not want to remove present county jails.
A personnel report launched previous November termed for establishing a in depth procedure prepare for men and women involved in the legal justice program and coming up with possibilities to incarceration. The report also proposed a new optimum-safety facility for up to 500 inmates.
Anti-jail activists outraged by the jail proposal prepare to supply testimony at the Jan. 25 hearing. Jose Valle, a member of Silicon Valley De-Bug, mentioned his organization is planning to launch a report that will spotlight good reasons to not make a new jail.
“As significantly as what the group would like, they have not expressed anything at all about seeking this new jail,” Valle instructed San José Spotlight. “I desire they would consider a distinctive method and really listen to the people… what the people within (jail) want.”
In October 2020, the board explored the strategy of making a psychological well being facility instead of a new jail next a remarkable reduction in the jail populace thanks to COVID-19 issues. Lawmakers backed absent from this choice very last February after the county reported this would leave hundreds of inmates in deplorable residing situations. Santa Clara County is also below obligations imposed by a 2018 federal consent decree to make improvements to the jail setting for inmates.
One frustrating issue in the jail method is the significant amount of mentally sick inmates. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office environment, which oversees jail functions, not too long ago estimated approximately 25% of inmates have a major mental disease, and a lot of close up ready weeks or months for access to treatment method beds at psychiatric amenities. The jail program is impacted by the shortage of psychiatric remedy beds in Santa Clara County, which only has approximately 18 beds for every 100,000 residents— underneath the suggested state ordinary of 21 for each 100,000.
“There is no safe higher-acuity extended-phrase facility in our county at all,” Ellenberg explained. “We have a scarcity of facilities and services in the course of the complete continuum of will need.”
Leslie Zeiger, a volunteer organizer with Showing Up for Racial Justice at Sacred Coronary heart, said quite a few persons with psychological disease experience their very first mental health and fitness intervention although incarcerated.
“That’s a sizeable problem,” Zeiger advised San José Highlight, including the county needs to address rehabilitation and options to detaining people today in advance of trial, these types of as releasing people into the care of group-primarily based businesses.
Contact Eli Wolfe at [email protected] or @EliWolfe4 on Twitter.