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Grand Jury Report Highlights Overcrowding at Santa Cruz Main Jail
by Santa Cruz Progressive Newswire
Wednesday Jun 18th, 2014 12:25 PM
On June 17 the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury released the report "Main Jail Inspection Report: No Room at the Inn", which highlights issues of overcrowding at the Santa Cruz Main Jail. The report found that issues that need improving include, "overcrowded housing, unsafe security conditions, and inadequate staffing".

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During the Grand Jury inspections it was noted that the housing unit for short­term, minimum security inmates and inmates awaiting arraignment was disproportionately overcrowded compared to other housing units. According to the Grand Jury report, in 2013, the Main Jail’s monthly number of inmates was always over capacity, ranging from a low of 29 to a high of 100 inmates.

During one Grand Jury visit to the Main Jail, the Grand Jury observed that a general population housing unit designed for 18 inmates contained 40 inmates, some of whom were sleeping on the day room floor in temporary plastic beds referred to as “boats".

The Grand Jury report also noted that instances of inadequate oversight of inmates at the jail were observed during the inspections: a video monitor's view was obstructed, and an issue was observed with Central Control, which monitors most of the jail by video surveillance and also controls all entries and exits. The Grand Jury visited Central Control twice during the day shift and on one of those occasions noted that only one officer was staffing it.

This report on overcrowding at the Main Jail follows two other Grand Jury reports released this year concerning the County Jail System: "Five Deaths in Santa Cruz" and "Juvenile Hall Meal Preparation Program" (see Santa Cruz Grand Jury Releases Reports on Jail Deaths and Juvenile Hall Meals ).

Santa Cruz County Grand Jury

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by skeptical
Thursday Jun 19th, 2014 9:56 AM
I would be careful believing this report, as it would likely be used to justify using tax dollars to building a new jail or upgrading the current one. Better to ban jails altogether...
by Santa Cruz Progressive Newswire
Thursday Jun 19th, 2014 12:31 PM
This article about the report should have mentioned the jail over crowding issues in the Main Jail are within individual cell blocks. The Main Jail has enough space to house everyone, but due to mismanagement by the jail's staff, some cell blocks are being overcrowded.

Please read the attached Grand Jury report for more details!
by G
Thursday Jun 19th, 2014 4:49 PM
"sleeping on the day room floor in temporary plastic beds referred to as “boats""

Yep. In between protests, that was a very common sight. Racks and boats packed the place, especially on weekends.

Deaths too, I was incarcerated when two or three of them happened.

Denial of direct requests for medical care were also a problem, which is an explicitly codified crime, but who can jail the jailers...
Within one month of the completion of the current jail to replace the shithole where the MAH event center is today (completed on the site of working class housing condemned and destroyed I might add)... Within ONE MONTH, a jail that was, at that time, built to relieve overcrowding, had people sleeping in the day room.

They ALWAYS find more victims to put in jail.