REDWOOD CITY (CBS 5) - Changes designed to prepare inmates for jobs in the real world are coming to the San Mateo County Jail.
Sheriff Greg Munks said a proposed jail facility - just approved by county supervisors with a price tag of around $150 million - will offer prisoners a variety of education options from computer training to resume writing.
"The idea is that we want this jail not just to be a place where we lock people up…we want it to be a place where we can change people's lives," said Munks. "What we've learned is that jobs are key for successful reintegration into the community."
The sheriff said the new jail will also emphasize training prisoners in occupations from coffee barista to dog groomer.
"We'd like to explore the …opportunity of teaching people the whole coffee making barista skills," said Munks. "Then perhaps having our own kiosk outside of the Hall of Justice."
Some critics are asking about how the job training will alter the deterrence factor of a jail sentence to potential criminals.
"That's where we can't go overboard," said Munks, who noted that the traditional jail environment will still where career criminals will end up. "The new facility, that's where we're going to focus on the people who are that group that we think we can affect in a positive way."
The new jail will be built across the street from the Redwood City Police Dept. In an area called Chemical alley. It is scheduled to be completed by 2014.
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