Sheriff Greg Munks plans to spend up to $3 million to house an estimated 98 inmates at the Alameda County Jail for the next two years to ease local overcrowding until San Mateo County’s new correctional facility opens.
On Tuesday, Munks will ask the Board of Supervisors to let him sign an agreement with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for housing between June 1, 2014, and June 1, 2016, with an extension option if needed. The cost will be borne by the money the county received for state realignment.
Overcrowding at the Maguire Correctional Facility is not a new problem and the 2014 average daily inmate population is 912 despite being rated for 688 beds. The Women’s Correctional Center has 84 beds but averages between 120 and 150 inmates.
The closure of other correctional facilities in San Mateo County over the last 15 years, mainly due to budget cuts, eliminated roughly 400 other beds.
The state realignment shift of prisoners to local custody beginning in October 2011 further increased the housing challenge and that population is roughly 20 percent of the total number of jail inmates, according to Munks.
The county is currently building the 576-bed Maple Street Correctional Center which is 280,000 square feet and can be built out to 832 beds. The new jail isn’t expected to open until January 2016 and Munks told the board in a report that excess inmates have to housed somewhere in the meantime.
One option is reopening the former La Honda Medium Security Facility but the site is remote, is expensive to operate and can only house certain classifications of inmates.
The second and preferred option is paying Alameda County for space. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office will charge San Mateo County per day $125 each for one to 15 inmates and scale down to $85 each for more than 46 inmates.
The Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 1 in Board Chambers, 400 County Government Center, Redwood City.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102