Voters across the United States took to their polling places Nov. 8 to determine the outcome of races, initiatives and amendments large and small; a number of which focused on funding correctional and justice construction projects. Correctional News has compiled a brief round up of successful local-level efforts across the nation to fund both new projects and improvements to correctional and justice facilities.
San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy on March 23 notified the California Board of State and Community Corrections to rescind the City and County of San Francisco’s earlier request for $80 million in SB 863 funding. The written notification, directed to the board’s Deputy Director of County Facilities Construction Magi Work, also included a request to withdraw a 180-day extension of the deadline to submit a final proposal. The funding was originally intended for a project to replace the city and county’s aging jail facility.
Facing closure for being out of compliance with state regulations, the current Marion County 20-bed jail, located in Yellville, now faces potential replacement by a new, 62-bed jail costing an estimated $7.2 million.
The $45 million Accountability and Restitution Center (ARC) in Tumwater has now sat empty for more than four years. Although upkeep on the facility costs the county roughly $430,000 annually, Thurston County commissioners and Sheriff John Snaza continue to disagree on how to properly fund the facility’s opening, forcing the county to rely on its increasingly inadequate 1970s-era jail facility.
The lack of specialized housing for inmates with severe mental illness in the soon to be completed Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) is the latest point of contention for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO) and the city’s mayor. Though the new 433,000-square foot prison will improve significantly on New Orleans’ hurricane-ravaged correctional facilities, it currently does not include a unit for inmates living with acute and sub-acute mental illness. This has prompted Sheriff Marlin Gusman to propose construction of another new correctional facility.
On April 17 the City of New Orleans and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office signed a partial settlement concerning sweeping improvements to the Orleans Parish Prison (OPP). These changes, required under terms of a federal consent decree, address improvements to both living conditions and management of the facility. Costs for the court-ordered upgrades have been estimated at up to $22 million.