Santa Cruz County
There are seven
detention facilities that comprise the jail system in Santa Cruz County. Six
are operated by the Santa Cruz County; the seventh, Camp 45, is operated by the
1. Main Jail
7. Camp 45
The Main Jail,
Rountree facilities, Blaine Street and the Court Holding cells are operated by
the Santa Cruz County Sheriff. Juvenile Hall is operated by the Probation
Department. The budget for each of these facilities is under the control of the
county Board of Supervisors. Camp 45 is operated by the California Department
of Corrections, and its budget is under the control of the State of California.
The Grand Jury is
mandated by California Penal Code § 919(b) to inspect and report on the
conditions and management of the jail facilities within the county. To satisfy
this mandate, the Criminal Justice Committee and other members of the Grand
Jury: (1) inspected the Main Jail, Rountree facilities, Blaine Street, and
Juvenile Hall; (2) spoke with management, staff, and inmates at each facility;
(3) reviewed previous Grand Jury reports, paying particular attention to prior
recommendations; and (4) reviewed California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation inspection reports for each facility.
The Santa Cruz
Main Jail is located at 259 Water Street, across the street from the County
Courthouse. Three visits were made. The first visit was during the afternoon
and early evening on September 29, 2006, the second visit in the afternoon on
Sept. 30, 2006, and the third visit in the evening on Feb. 2, 2007.
Main Jail Findings
2006, the average daily number of inmates housed in the Main Jail was 340.
On September 29 and 30, 2006, the total inmate population was 317.
Approximately 10 percent of these inmates were female. On Feb. 2, 2007,
the population was 321. Although there are a maximum of 424 beds
available, the Main Jail’s rated capacity is 311. This capacity is set by
the California Corrections Standards Authority, which inspects the jail
every two years.
Sheriff’s 2007 report on overcrowding, presented to the County Board of
Supervisors in February 2007, reported that, “Although jail
bookings decreased by only 1 percent, the average
monthly population at the Main Jail is down 10 percent compared to 2005. The average monthly Main
Jail population in 2005 was 386 in comparison to 346 in 2006.”
April 2007, the Governor and California State Legislature approved a
prison reform measure aimed at easing overcrowding at state prisons. The
measure includes $1.2 billion in funding to increase the number of beds at
county jails statewide by 13,000, with a requirement that counties
receiving state funds match 25 percent of the state’s contribution.
Counties that assist the state in providing re-entry facilities and mental
health programs for state prison parolees will receive preference from the
state for the local jail funding.
jail population consists of both male and female inmates who have cases
pending, have been sentenced, or who are awaiting sentencing.
Approximately 75 percent of inmates housed in the jail are repeat
offenders. On Sept. 30, 2006, 80 percent were not yet sentenced.
jail population is segregated, with members of competing gangs housed in
separate units, each with their own recreation room and exercise yard.
Inmates with psychological problems, sex offenders and those who are
violent are also segregated from the rest of the Main Jail population.
Meals are served separately to eliminate contact. Jail inmates come into
contact with inmates from other wings only during travel to court
least one bilingual officer is on duty during every shift. Corrections
officers said the Sheriff’s Office neither actively encourages nor
discourages officers to learn Spanish, a prevalent language of inmates at
Sheriff’s Office spent $99,000 in 2006 on remodeling and mildew removal in
one of the shower facilities at the Main Jail.
who are drunk at the time of their arrest are put in the jail’s drunk tank
for a minimum of five hours. The Sheriff’s Office collects information on “serial inebriates,”
those arrested at least four times within a 30-day period on suspicion of
being drunk in public. The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s office
uses the information as part of the implementation of Proposition 36, the
statewide measure passed in 2000 that allows first-
and second-time nonviolent, simple drug possession offenders the
opportunity to receive substance abuse treatment instead of incarceration.
who is admitted to the jail for 14 days or longer is examined by a doctor.
The jail also offers limited dentistry (including pulling teeth, but not
fillings or more extensive dental work). Testing of inmates for
tuberculosis is now mandatory.
are two nurses on duty overnight, more during days.
entire corrections staff was retrained in the use of stun guns in fall
2006 following the death of an inmate in custody who had been subdued by a
stun gun. Stun guns were reintroduced back into the jail in October 2006.
records during the September visits were found stored out in the open in a
hallway, possibly in violation of Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act privacy requirements.
The records were stored properly in a storage room during the
November 2006, the Sheriff’s Office initiated regular one-hour Sunday
tours of the Main Jail that are open to the public. Approximately 250
people had toured the Main Jail as of May 2007.
officers work 12-hour shifts with no overlap of shifts.
of March 13, 2007, 12 corrections officer positions at the jails were
busy nights, particularly Fridays and Saturdays, the jail cannot accept
and process persons arrested as fast as they are brought to the jail. As a
result, police cars from all the county’s law enforcement jurisdictions
often queue up outside the jail, with police personnel forced to wait,
sometimes more than an hour, for their turn. During this time, the
officers are off the streets rather than patrolling.
Main Jail is scheduled to install a new fingerprinting system that will
enable officers to scan a prisoner’s thumb print as soon as they drive
into the intake port. This system will begin the process of identifying
the prisoner, saving the officer time later into the intake process. The
same fingerprinting system will also be used to scan prisoners before they
are released from jail, providing positive identification and reducing the
chance that an inmate will be released erroneously.
county’s only booking facility is in the Main Jail. Police working in the
south part of the county must transport persons who are arrested to the
Main Jail in Santa Cruz for booking.
of a new “prisoner classification system,” recommended by the National
Institute of Corrections, is due to be completed this spring or summer.
One of the expected benefits of the new system will be a more
comprehensive analysis of new prisoners, possibly resulting in an increase
in the number of inmates qualifying for rehabilitation programs rather
than incarceration in the Main Jail. Also, as recommended by the National
Institute of Corrections, a “Jail Population Control Officer” has been
appointed temporarily to monitor jail overcrowding until the new
classification system is completed, at which time a “classification team”
of corrections officers will take over the task.
services at the Main Jail, as well as at the other corrections facilities
in the county, are provided by the Santa Cruz County Health Services
the majority of counties in California, medical services are contracted
out by the county’s Sheriff’s Department to private companies. In most of
the remaining counties, the Sheriff’s Department is responsible for
providing medical care for inmates. The model used in Santa Cruz County
with the county’s Health Services Agency responsible for providing medical
care for inmates is unusual, though not unique.
California Code of Regulations establishes requirements for medical care
in county jails. Title 15, Minimum Standards for Local Detention
Facilities, Article 11, Medical/Mental Health Services, Sec. 1200,
establishes that the Sheriff’s Office is ultimately responsible for the
provision of health care within the jails. It states, “Responsibility for
Health Care Services: (a) In Type I, II, III, and IV facilities, the
facility administrator shall have the responsibility to ensure provision
of emergency and basic health care services to all inmates.”
Medical Services is a small portion of the Santa Cruz County Health
Services Agency’s responsibilities and budget. The overall budget for the
Health Services Agency is $135 million; the total budget for Detention
Medical Services is $3 million. Of the 20 Health Services Agency’s
Detention Medical Services positions, two-thirds are nurses. Four and a
half positions in Detention Medical Services were vacant as of March 2007.
Health Services Agency is working toward computerization of all reports
and paperwork, but computerization of jail reports for the handling of
medications and tracking medical reports has been delayed.
staff turnover at the jail has been high, partly attributable to the
higher salaries nurses can earn both locally at private health
institutions in the county, including the hospital, and in jails in other
counties. There have been suggestions that the Detention Medical Services
department, because it comprises only a fraction of the entire Health
Services Agency’s mission, is not being given the attention or resources
necessary to operate efficiently, and that Detention Medical Services is
losing trained, experienced personnel, resulting in lost productivity and
expertise and higher training costs. Salaries for detention medical
services personnel are currently under review to determine their
competitiveness with other similar positions. County administrators and
labor representatives for nurses initiated negotiations for a new contract
in spring, 2007.
Interim Director of Detention Medical Services is conducting an assessment
of costs, staffing, issues involving who has authority over detention
medical services staff, and state statutory guidelines for providing
medical care to inmates. The goal of the assessment is to determine, 1)
whether inmate care is best managed through the county’s Health Services
Agency; 2) if the county would be better served by having the Sheriff’s
Office manage Detention Medical Services itself; or 3) if the Sheriff’s
Office should contract out to a private health provider. The report is
projected to be completed sometime in 2008.
Main Jail Conclusions
facility is well-managed. Officers and staff conducted themselves in a
professional manner during inspections, answered questions asked of them
in a thorough and knowledgeable manner, promptly provided backup
information when requested and exhibited a sense of pride in their work.
at the Main Jail continues to be a problem. Although the Sheriff’s Office
is actively working to find solutions, the state’s recently approved
prison reform package may increase the number of prisoners serving their
sentence in county jail who previously would have been incarcerated in a
institution of mandatory testing for tuberculosis has reduced the risk to
staff and inmates of contracting this illness.
new program of public tours at the Main Jail is a positive step in
developing stronger community relations between the Sheriff’s Office and
Health Services Agency does a professional and adequate job of providing
detention medical services for the Main Jail and other corrections
facilities in Santa Cruz County, but it does not appear that this
arrangement is the most effective and efficient for either the Health
Services Agency or the Sheriff’s Office.
pay scales for both health services workers in the jail and corrections
officers continue to make it difficult to attract and retain experienced
lack of computerization in handling medications and tracking of medical
reports exacerbates the difficult and time-consuming work that nurses must
perform at the Main Jail.
lack of a booking facility in the southern portion of Santa Cruz County
reduces the time officers are available in their own jurisdictions.
Main Jail Recommendations
Sheriff’s Office should implement its new prisoner classification system
as soon as possible and continue to look for additional ways to reduce
Sheriff’s Office should aggressively pursue opening a second booking
facility in the southern portion of the county, as well as additional
methods of expediting the process for officers delivering arrestees to the
Sheriff’s Office should continue to offer tours of the Main Jail to the
public and consider extending the practice to its Rountree facilities in
Board of Supervisors should evaluate the compensation given to Sheriff’s
Office corrections staff and the Health Services Agency’s Detention
Medical Services staff to assure the parity of pay of those positions
compared with similar jobs elsewhere.
Sheriff’s Office and Health Services Agency should expedite their review
of the most effective and cost-efficient way to provide health services to
the jails, including reviewing the possibility of contracting out some or
all of the jails’ health care needs to a private company.
Sheriff’s Office should encourage Spanish language training for
Main Jail Commendation
administrators and staff and Detention Medical Services staff should be
commended for their professionalism.
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors
September 1, 2007
Santa Cruz County
2, 3, 17, 19
22, 25, 26
September 1, 2007
Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency
September 1, 2007
Rountree Medium and Minimum Security
Facility is located on Rountree Lane in Watsonville. The facility was built in
1993 on 11 acres and incorporates both medium and minimum security facilities
for male inmates who have been sentenced. The medium security facility houses
inmates who have been determined to not require the maximum segregation
provided by the Main Jail, but who still require locked incarceration and/or
segregation from other prisoners; the minimum security facility houses inmates
who are determined not to pose a threat, qualify for work-release programs and
do not have a high level of criminal sophistication. Both Rountree facilities
house inmates who have been convicted and sentenced for up to one year in jail.
Grand Jury visited the Rountree facilities on Nov. 11, 2006. The maximum
capacity of the Rountree medium security facility is 100 inmates; the
population on Nov. 11 was 70. The minimum security facility has a maximum
capacity of 280 inmates; the population on Nov. 11 was 90.
are at least five correctional officers on duty at any given time at the
medium security facility. Three officers work the day shift at the minimum
security facility, three work the swing shift, and two work the overnight
living areas are dormitory style. A correctional officer is present in the
dormitory at all times.
annual state inspection for Rountree, conducted on June 27, 2006, found
the facility in substantial compliance with environmental health,
nutritional, and medical/mental health policies. It noted, however, “the
lack of any onsite medical records for use by medical staff raises
concerns regarding the ability to make accurate diagnostic and treatment
decisions onsite. Currently, the Main Jail staff must be contacted to
receive any medical history, diagnoses, or treatment decisions. This
degree of communication is intensive and occasionally results in lack of
sufficient data being transmitted.”
dining halls in both the medium and minimum security facilities were
clean, the floors mopped, tables wiped clean. Prisoners are served a
sufficient quantity of food to meet state-mandated daily caloric
brick pathway on the south side of the medium security building is cracked
and presents a trip hazard.
- A nurse
is on site at the facility four days a week, Tuesday through Friday, for
eight hours each day. Medications are distributed twice a day in marked
bubble packs that help prevent the wrong medications from being
distributed to inmates. If an inmate is injured when a nurse is not
present, or the injury requires more extensive treatment, the inmate is
taken to the Main Jail or Watsonville Medical Clinic.
SAFE (Substance Abuse Free Environment) Program, which involved counselors
visiting the facility every day with voluntary programs for prisoners
aimed at ending drug use, was cancelled as of June 30, 2006. Funding for
the program, which had been court-ordered, was not renewed by the county.
The Sheriff’s Office determined that the program was ineffective. Inmates
who participated in the last SAFE Program offered at Rountree in 2006
before it was cancelled had already re-offended and been rearrested
several months later.
is an automated external defibrillator (AED) at Rountree, but staff does
not feel comfortable operating it.
program modeled after the minimum security facility requires prisoners to
begin their day by sitting up and being active when they wake rather than
simply lying in bed all day and sleeping and then being more disruptive at
night. The program was initiated in the medium security facility in
October 2006. On Monday through Friday, inmates are required after eating
breakfast to make their beds and clean themselves up. They can go to
classes, or if they choose, they can sit on their bunk, but they are not
allowed to lie down and go back to sleep.
number of activities available to inmates in the medium security facility,
including ping pong tables, weights, and additional educational
opportunities, has been expanded to provide inmates with more incentive to
be more active during the daytime.
is the primary language for approximately half of the inmates in the
medium-security facility. Seventy percent of the Rountree staff speaks
Spanish and a Spanish-speaking officer is on duty most, but not all, of
cameras are being added above the guard watch stations in each unit in the
medium security facility to increase officer safety and inmate monitoring
Rountree medium security facility does not house women. There is presently
no medium security detention facility in Santa Cruz County for women; they
are either housed in the high security Main Jail, or if they have been
sentenced and meet certain criteria, they are housed at the minimum
security Blaine Street facility.
does not house mentally unstable inmates who need frequent medical
attention medication. It also does not house inmates with chronic medical
conditions that require regular medical care. Those inmates are housed in
the Main Jail facility.
noted in previous years’ Grand Jury reports, the lack of an on-site nurse
precludes inmates who require cardiac, psychotropic drug combinations, or
injectable medications from being placed in the medium or minimum security
The Health Services
Agency, which is responsible for providing medical care for prisoners, is
studying the possibility of expanding the availability of nursing care at
Rountree to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The results of that study
were due this past spring.
at the minimum security facility, also known as “the farm,” are monitored
by head counts taken three times each day.
7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, inmates at the farm are
outside the facility at work on work crews or off-premises on work-release
farm includes a well-equipped computer lab that provides basic computer
skills and training, and an auto repair shop for learning basic automotive
repair and body work skills.
population center of the county is shifting to the south and there is no
booking and intake facility other than at the Main Jail in the city of
physical appearance of the facility, including the kitchen and living
areas, is exemplary.
confidence in how to use the facility’s automated external defibrillator
is not sufficient.
administrators have increased the number and variety of activities
available to inmates in the medium security facility during the daytime.
Concurrently, the program initiated to prevent inmates from sleeping or
lying in bed all day helps redirect their energy, resulting in more
productive days and less disruptive nights.
is not adequate to ensure that at least one Spanish-speaking corrections
officer is on duty at all times.
lack of a medium security facility that can house lower-risk female
inmates and chronically ill inmates results in inmates who would qualify
for such a facility continuing to serve sentences in the more severe
environment of the Main Jail.
nursing staff would enable the Sheriff’s Office to shift some low-risk
prisoners out of the overcrowded Main Jail and into the less-utilized
medium security facility. It could also decrease costs related to
transportation and treatment of inmates to the Main Jail or a local clinic
when they are sick. It may or may not be cost-effective to expand the
nursing staff at Rountree, given that it has not been determined how many
inmates would benefit or what the transport costs would be.
minimum security facility continues to be a positive and productive
alternative to more restrictive incarceration for low-risk inmates to
serve their time productively and take advantage of educational
opportunities that can decrease their potential to re-offend.
records for inmates are not kept onsite at the Rountree facility. However,
the county’s Detention Medical Services utilizes a screening process that
prevents inmates with medical conditions that necessitate a higher level
of medical care from being transferred from the Main Jail to Rountree,
minimizing the potential for diagnosis and treatment complications.
and safety within the medium security units will be improved by the
planned addition of cameras above the guard watch stations.
a booking and intake facility at Rountree would reduce travel time for
officers coming from South County.
Sheriff’s Office should provide guards with additional training in using
the onsite automated external defibrillator.
Sheriff’s Office should encourage additional Spanish language training for
Sheriff’s Office should review the report from the Health Services Agency when
completed to determine whether expanding nursing at Rountree is warranted.
Sheriff’s Office should aggressively pursue adding a booking and intake
facility at Rountree.
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors
September 1, 2007
Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz County
Juvenile Hall, located at 3650 Graham Hill Road, was built in 1968. Undergoing
several modifications over the years, the facility currently has a capacity
level of 42 beds. The Juvenile Hall site also houses Juvenile Court and some of
the Probation Departments' offices. About 25 of the county’s approximately 70
probation officers are dedicated to serving juveniles.
Santa Cruz County
Juvenile Hall has been designated a model site for the Annie E. Casey
Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) — one of only four
facilities in the nation. The objectives of JDAI are:
reduce the number of children unnecessarily or inappropriately detained.
minimize the number of youth who fail to appear in court or re-offend
redirect public funds toward successful reform strategies.
improve conditions of confinement.
The Grand Jury
visited on Oct. 21, 2006, and again on March 23, 2007. This year’s budget
included an allocation of $175,000 to install new video monitoring cameras and
new intercoms to communicate with inmates in their rooms; as of March 23rd,
proposals for the work were being evaluated with installation anticipated to
start in the next few weeks; the new cameras and intercoms will make staff feel
safer and wards more comfortable.
Juvenile Hall Findings
Hall has been rated to house 42 juveniles by the California Department of
Corrections. The average daily population in October 2006 was 24 and in
March 2007, it was 35. In recent years, Juvenile Hall regularly housed
more than 50 juveniles at a time. The Santa Cruz County Probation
Department has experienced considerable success at finding alternatives to
incarceration for juveniles arrested or awaiting trial.
between the ages of 12 to 18 are housed in two different units: the “A”
unit houses older, more sophisticated offenders who have committed more
serious crimes, and the “B” unit houses girls and the younger and less
sophisticated detainees. There have been no escapes during the past year.
who are sentenced are sent out of county to one of the facilities operated
by the Department of Juvenile Justice to serve their sentence. There are
no DJJ facilities in Santa Cruz County.
facility is over 30 years old but appears to be well maintained. It is
clean and orderly. There is a modest capital investment made annually.
recreation yard is relatively small, uncovered and paved with asphalt and
concrete. There is an attractive ball field, an asphalt volleyball court
and grassy areas adjacent to the building. These areas are not currently
used by the facility since they are not secured by necessary fencing. And,
while less serious offenders could use the area without the secure
fencing, Juvenile Hall does not have enough staff with the new level of
credentials necessary to cover the inside and outside areas at the same
inspection of the kitchen and dining area found it clean and orderly. An
evening meal ready for serving suggested that detainees are given food
that is healthy, tastes good and meets nutritional guidelines set by the
juvenile is provided with a secure living space; they double up in some
rooms but there appeared to be ample space. The rooms contain a sink and
drinking fountain. Recently, the doors to the rooms were replaced and
modified to swing out into the hall rather than into the rooms, freeing up
living area and increasing safety.
day rooms, classrooms and a library appeared to be clean, orderly and well
stocked with reading materials, television, computers and video equipment
(i.e., projector in classroom, video entertainment equipment in the day
to staff, Juvenile Hall does not have adequate heating and there is no air
conditioning. Replacement of the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
system has been identified for future funding.
staff seemed genuinely concerned with the welfare of the youth brought to
the facility. Their emphasis appeared to be on matching the needs of the
juvenile to the appropriate community resource (versus detention and
warehousing). Youth selected for detention are only those considered high-risk
(e.g., danger to the community, unlikely to appear for court date) or
those needing a place to stay while awaiting placement with parents, a
social program or foster care.
brought to Juvenile Hall undergo two extensive risk assessments to determine
who poses a threat to the public and who can be released to house arrest.
The assessment includes determining drug use and thoughts of suicide.
Detainees are given a complete physical, including testing for
tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases. The exams are private and
one detainee at a time.
of the staff is bilingual; half speak Spanish.
breakfasts are no longer served due to funding limitations. Some juveniles
don’t feel it is worth the effort to get up so early for cold cereal in
the morning and expressed a desire to have hot meals reinstituted.
detained are given medical attention including checks for physical abuse,
an annual physical and immunizations. Nursing staff is available on-site
(not around the clock). All staff is trained in CPR, 24 hours of training
mandated each year. There is no automated external defibrillator on site
(but they want one, primarily for staff due to remoteness of
Cruz County Juvenile Hall has child mental health services eight hours per
day, seven days a week and drug and alcohol specialist services 40 hours a
Hall has its own community school for instruction provided in three school
rooms through the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. Juveniles receive
180 minutes of schooling each day, the same as public schools; school is
year-round; students rotate during the day to different rooms; teachers
stay in the same room.
variety of programs are offered to youth, including those from Barrios
Unidos, yoga, substance abuse counseling, writing, and poetry instruction.
The poetry program is immensely popular among the wards and offers them
instruction in the writing arts. It gives participants the opportunity to
have their writing in a weekly newsletter published by Pacific News
Service. This program provides a therapeutic opportunity and builds
Juvenile Hall Conclusions
facility continues to be well managed with staff who appear to listen to
the juveniles and work to improve, as best they can, the lives of the
youth they serve.
the new video monitoring and intercom installation is completed, staff
will be better able to communicate with inmates in their rooms and will
make staff feel safer and the inmates more comfortable.
of the new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system would improve
conditions for staff and wards.
covered (shaded) recreation yard would allow for greater outdoor physical
activity during inclement weather.
that get the juveniles outdoors on a more regular basis are extremely limited.
the fencing around the upper field would allow the detainees to use the
spacious grassy area, a basketball hoop and volleyball net and have access
to a general open air feeling not found in the rest of the facility.
needs to work to attain the new level of credentials to monitor the inside
and outside areas at the same time.
hot breakfasts, if only on weekends, would improve morale.
an automated external defibrillator on site would be desirable due to the
remoteness of the Juvenile Hall site.
Cruz County can be proud that it is a model site of the Annie E. Casey
Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative.
Juvenile Hall Recommendations
- The Board of Supervisors should
prioritize the fencing required to use the adjacent ball field, volleyball
court and grassy courtyard to increase exercise opportunities for the
- The Board of Supervisors should
ensure that the money budgeted to upgrade the heating and ventilation
system at Juvenile Hall be implemented.
money should be budgeted and allocated by the Board of Supervisors for the
construction of a covering over the courtyard area, which would provide an
outdoor exercise area during poor weather conditions.
programs that would get the juveniles outdoors and provide an educational
experience, such as Life Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz,
should be considered.
breakfasts should be reinstituted, at least on weekends.
should be allocated for an automated external defibrillator.
- The Board of
Supervisors should commend the Probation Department and Juvenile Hall
staff for their professionalism and their dedication to the community.
Board of Supervisors is to be commended for its continuing support for
investment in capital improvements to Juvenile Hall, such as the funds
authorized for new video monitoring cameras and new intercoms.
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors
September 1, 2007
Santa Cruz County
Women’s Minimum Security Jail is located at 144 Blaine St., Santa Cruz. It has
been in operation since 1984. Female inmates who have been sentenced and rated
minimum security are housed here. The jail facility, a converted residence, is
located in a residential neighborhood behind the Main Jail. It has a maximum
capacity of 36 inmates. Blaine Street is currently operated at less-than-full
capacity due to screening criteria, which disqualifies many inmates from being
Blaine Street Findings
1. To be housed at the Blaine Street
facility, women must have no history of violence in jail and have not been
charged with a violent crime.
2. Six inmates walked away from the facility
in 2006. Four were caught in 2006 and two were caught in February 2007. If a
woman walks away, she is not chased; instead, a warrant is issued. When
captured, the woman is returned to the Main Jail facility and charged with a
3. The average age is 20-30 years old, and
the ethnic makeup mirrors the county population.
The recidivism rate is estimated at
approximately 40 percent. Currently no records are kept to track recidivism.
5. Because there are no medical facilities
at Blaine St. and a nurse only visits four times a week, women with mental
health problems, with medical conditions such as diabetes, or those who are
being treated with psychiatric medications are not housed at Blaine St. Inmates
can be taken to the Main Jail next door or the classroom can be used when
privacy is required, but in the event of a medical or safety emergency, it can
take at least two minutes for emergency personnel to arrive from the Main Jail.
6. All staff is trained in CPR and first
aid, but there is no automated external defibrillator
located at Blaine Street.
7. All women housed in this facility at the
time of the Grand Jury visits were incarcerated for drug and/or alcohol
charges, and most are incarcerated for methamphetamine use. Some are charged
with other crimes committed while under the influence of drugs.
8. Women are urine tested on admission. If
there are any drugs identified in their systems, they are sent to
detoxification at the Main Jail.
9. Inmates are allowed family visits of one
two-hour visit per week. With supervision from Child Protective Services (CPS),
they could have 2-3 visits per week. Visits usually take place in the dining
and patio areas.
10. Several programs and services are
available to the inmates.
program called New Direction works to reduce the risks of children who live in
the county and whose parents are incarcerated. This service is provided by a
partnership of the Santa Cruz County Probation Department, Sheriff’s Office,
SAFE (Secure and Free Environment, a Residential Substance Abuse Treatment)
Program and community-based, non-profit Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student
Outside is a program available to help lessen the trauma of
incarceration for inmates and their families, to provide information that can
lead to positive changes, and to assist ex-offenders with their re-entry into
addition to work release programs, inmates are kept busy with numerous facility
work programs. Job assignments available are cooking at Blaine St. and the Main
Jail, cleaning the facility, yard work on the grounds, laundry and a mending
service for inmate uniforms.
is a classroom with computers at Blaine Street where word processing and other
computer skills are taught by Adult Education.
Ave. Women’s Center offers inmates domestic violence services.
programs are offered.
Weavers comes quarterly to sing with the women.
of the in-house classes offered are GED, substance abuse education, Narcotics
Anonymous, Alcohol Anonymous, positive parenting, yoga, crochet and knitting.
10.9 Gemma is a non-profit organization that has
just started offering classes to Blaine St. inmates. Gemma is committed to
helping women reunite with the community after incarceration. Their program is
structured toward assisting inmates recover from drugs and alcohol as well as
empowering them in the transformation of their lives.
the time of the February Blaine St. review, six or seven inmates were taking
classes in the new Gemma day program. These inmates were screened before being
enrolled in the Gemma programs.
of the classes and services Gemma provides are: life skills; relapse prevention; anger management; assistance with career
choices, job applications, resumes, job searches and resource directories;
classes in reading, math, and GED preparation; domestic violence assistance and
resources; help with obtaining birth certificates, California ID, and/or
driver’s license; and court advocacy assistance.
The inmates the Grand Jury spoke to provided
grateful they were at Blaine Street instead of the Main Jail.
inmates praised the staff, especially the supervisor, Minnie Rodriquez.
inmates felt they were being helped by the drug prevention programs. One person
said that this was her first opportunity ever to go through a drug program.
Most praised the support they were getting from the other women at the
facility, and one said it felt like they were the family she never had.
Street staff hopes that the county could develop a new program to help them to
reduce on-the-job stress. Exercise programs and gym memberships were suggested
by staff members.
Blaine Street Conclusions
Blaine Street facility appeared to be well managed, orderly and
like Gemma, New Direction and Friends Outside are beneficial to the
well-being of inmates and aid in rehabilitation.
Blaine Street Recommendations
Because drug use crimes are consensual in nature,
programs like Gemma, New Direction, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous
are crucial to rehabilitation. These types of programs should continue to be
available to inmates, and inmates should be encouraged to participate.
An automated external defibrillator should be installed at Blaine Street.
A stress relief program should be developed for
Specific records should be kept to track recidivism.
This data could be used to develop programs to assist in reducing recidivism.
Blaine Street Commendations
Grand Jury would like to commend the Sheriff and the Blaine Street staff
for their excellent attitude toward the inmates. Our escort’s manner
toward the inmates was indistinguishable from her manner toward us.
Deprivation of liberty is the court ordered punishment for inmates'
offenses. Jail staff should not (and at Blaine Street does not) add to the
punishment by their basic treatment of inmates.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner
September 1, 2007
Court Holding Facility
Court Holding Facility
The Court Holding
Facility is located in the basement of the Superior Court building located at
701 Ocean Street in Santa Cruz and is operated by the Santa Cruz County
Sheriff’s Office. Inmates are transported by vehicle from their custodial
facility and held at this facility before and after their court appearances.
Court Holding Facility Findings
Court Holding Facility passed inspection June 26, 2006, by the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
facility consists of five large concrete rooms for holding inmates. Three are
for male inmates, one is for female inmates, and one is for juveniles and
inmates who need to be segregated from others.
50 inmates per day are held in the court holding rooms.
may change into personal clothing before appearance at a jury trial.
rooms are monitored by video surveillance.
the past year, the Sheriff’s Office has added video surveillance cameras
outside the entrance to the facility and stairwell leading to courtrooms.
However, the Sheriff’s Office does not possess the equipment needed to record
the facility’s video surveillance.
facility was found to be clean and well maintained.
Court Holding Facility Conclusions
facility is well organized and operated in an efficient manner.
the video surveillance at the Holding Facility is not recorded, there is no
record of activity at the holding facility in the event of a problem.
Court Holding Facility Recommendation
surveillance at the Holding Facility should be recorded to provide a record of
activity at the holding facility in the event of a problem.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner
September 1, 2007