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Sacramento County Board of Supervisors set to vote on jail expansion

Sacramento jail expansion plan divisive among public
Sacramento jail expansion plan divisive among public 02:28

SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will be voting on a $465 million expansion to the downtown jail. The board heard from the public Wednesday afternoon ahead of their vote to address overcrowding at the main jail.

The county plans to release 1,000 inmates as a result of the Mays Consent Decree, a court order that requires adequate mental and medical care as well as suicide prevention services to inmates.

The board meeting was filled Wednesday with people on both sides of the issue.

"We need it. I don't think letting a thousand more people out is going to solve anything," concerned resident Matt King said.

County experts say the jail is not able to meet those standards due to the high volume of inmates. Therefore, many of them may be let out. According to county experts, the jail has limited staffing for mental and physical health assessments. The building is not ADA compliant and due to the structure of the building, they are unable to make adjustments. Parts of the building are also vulnerable to flooding.

Michael Ault, the director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, advocated on behalf of businesses. He said an expansion means more help and services to inmates.

"If they had another facility that helped with mental health, that helped with drug addiction, that helped with some of these issues, it could make the jail not the only option but it would also help alleviate some of the population challenges," Ault said.

Meanwhile, Mackenzie Wilson, with Decarcerate Sacramento, opposes the expansion and said the money should go toward rehabilitation programs and crime prevention services.

"What we're seeing is our crisis, our trauma is all being treated within the jail instead of having access outside of it," Wilson said.

The county needs a majority vote for the expansion to be approved, but due to the amount of public input they will be hearing, a vote will not likely take place until Thursday.

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