One of Santa Barbara County’s jails which was supposed to be close this summer due to funding cuts is not only still open, it’s expanding its hours.
The County Sheriff’s Department had planned to close the Santa Maria Jail in July, because of the budget issues.
But, funds the department saved during the last fiscal year, along with some additional money from the County Board of Supervisors allowed the facility to remain open for limited operations, with the focus in bookings.
This week, the Santa Maria Jail was able to expand the hours, and days of its booking operations further, because of salary concessions made by Sheriff’s deputies.
The County will be getting additional funding from the state as it takes over responsibility for some convicts who would have normally gone to state prison, and the goal is to reopen the jail 24/7 early next year.
The north county facility is critical for the county, because its jail system is constantly overcrowded.