Santa Barbara County Supervisors are expected to vote next week on accepting a nearly $39 million dollar state grant to allow an expansion of the new county jail which is already under construction.
The Northern Branch Jail being built in Santa Maria will have 376 beds, to help deal the county’s chronic jail overcrowding problem.
A state grant paid for 90% of the approximately $96 million dollar project.
The County received a second grant for the proposed expansion of the new jail, which will again cover 90% of construction costs.
The “S.T.A.R.” complex would add 228 beds to the new jail, brining the total to 604 beds.
It’s intended to provide transitional housing, as well as programs for inmates nearing release.
The biggest issue the county now faces is the additional operational costs of the new facilities, which is estimated to be in the $18 million dollar a year range starting around 2018.