California Report: Jail Construction Funding Update
By: Nick Warner, Managing Partner, Warner & Pank LLC (11/07/2011)

Nick WarnerThe State of California, having now enacted historic criminal justice realignment, continues to pursue AB 900 projects for local jail construction as part of the ongoing efforts and commitment to increasing local jail capacity. On October 7th the Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) released the AB 900 Phase II Request for Applications. The pertinent documents for the jail construction funding process can be found on the CSA AB 900 web page.

Under Phase II jail construction financing, up to $602,881,000 is conditionally available at this time. Interested counties have now submitted their Interest Statements and a bidder’s conference has been held to discuss requirements of the Request for Application (RFA) process.

The RFA is intended to solicit applications to establish an ordered list of projects, and to allocate financing within the Phase II authority for the addition of beds in county jail facilities. Recent legislation specifies that two funding preference shall be considered by CSA in determining a list of eligible projects. These include: 1) counties that committed the largest percentage of inmates to state custody in 2010; and 2) counties that relinquish their Phase I conditional awards and seek a Phase II award, provided those counties continue to assist the state with siting reentry facilities. You can access the status of each county within Phase II at: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/CSA/CFC/Docs/Counties-Status-in-AB-900-Phase-II-RFA-Process-10-26-11.pdf.

Now that counties have submitted their Interest Statements, eligible counties must submit their application package to the CSA office in Sacramento no later than 5:00 PM on January 11, 2012. The two-step application process designed by CSA is being utilized in order to avoid having counties not likely to be initially awarded in this process expend resources unnecessarily.

The specific applications requested will be based on the respective ordering of counties within the preferences established in legislation and this RFA process. These applications will be assessed by the Executive Steering Committee (ESC) for project worthiness, including cost effectiveness, with recommendations forwarded to the CSA Board to take action on funding awards as may be deemed appropriate.

The changes occurring in California counties as a result of criminal justice realignment, including a shift in the state prison population to county jails and local supervision has made the allocation and expenditure of AB 900 Phase II funding even more imperative.

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