Santa Barbara County has been awarded a $60 million dollar grant for a new North County Jail Complex to help ease the jail system’s ease overcrowding, with another $20 million possible down the road.
In 2008, the State Correctional Standards Authority had awarded the county $56 million dollars for the new jail. However, the county reapplied last year, with a chance of upping the amount. The new grant also has fewer strings with it. Instead of making a 25% match as required with the first grant, it’s now only obligated to make a 10% match.
Sheriff Bill Brown says with the change, he now wants to build a larger jail, 376 instead of 304 beds, and it would include a medical, and mental health facility.
But, the County still faces major challenges. It has to come with an additional estimated 17 million dollars a year to staff, and run the new jail.