The County of Santa Clara

Fiscal/Budget Item

Consider recommendations relating to the installation of Suicide Prevention Measures in Existing Cells in Main Jail North and the Elmwood Correctional Facility. (Facilities and Fleet Department)


Department:Facilities and Fleet DepartmentSponsors:
Category:Appropriation Modification (4/5 Roll Call Vote)


  1. Printout
  2. F85 33

Multiple Recommendations

Possible action:
a. Approve establishment of a capital improvement project for design and construction of Suicide Prevention Measures in existing Cells in Main Jail North and the Elmwood Correction Facility (collectively, County jails), Project No. 263-CP17030.
b. Approve Request for Appropriation Modification No. 33 - $1,384,500 transferring funds from General Fund Contingency Reserve to Project No. 263-CP17030. (4/5 Roll Call Vote)



There is an impact of $1,384,500 on the General Fund Contingency Reserve as a result of this action, as funds to support the work performed under this contract are needed.  There is a $5,000,000 jail capital reserve, but those funds have been reserved to support the award of the construction of the Main Jail North floor 4 and floor 5 cell modification project when bids are received in fall of 2016.


Suicide prevention expert Lindsay Hayes has recommended that the County designate and modify cells in the County jails for housing inmates when there is a need to minimize protrusions that could be used to commit suicide.  Staff from the Department of Correction, Custody Health Services, and Facilities and Fleet have worked together to identify 32 existing cells in Main Jail North and 21 existing cells in the Elmwood Correctional Facility that can be modified and designated for this purpose . The scope of work for this project includes the following:

·        Remove upper bunk (bed) where they exist, grind smooth and patch holes/imperfections as necessary.

·        Remove clothes hangers where they exist, grind smooth and patch holes/imperfections as necessary.

·        Replace existing wooden and steel doors with large vision panel doors without protruding handles and beveled hinges.

·        Replace existing stainless steel sink/toilet combos OR plumbing that there are no splash guards or anti-splash slits.

·        Remove lower bunk (bed) and replace with heavy molded plastic or solid concrete slab with rounded edges.

·        Remove any stools (beds will serve as a seat to use at the table).

·        Relocate all electrical switches to the outside of the cell.

·        Light fixtures should be recessed and caulked with tamper-resistant caulk.

·        Triangular corner tables are preferred where the existing tables do not meet requirements.

·        Vents and the perforated metal cones that protect the smoke detector need to be changed to a screen that cannot be used to thread a noose through.

Approval of the Recommended Action would allow for the design of the modifications and cost estimates so that existing cells could be modified for suicide prevention measures. The amount requested is a rough order of magnitude estimate.  The final project budget would be validated prior to beginning the construction work.  If approved, the goal is to complete the modifications by spring of 2017.


The recommended action will have no/neutral impact on children.


This recommended action will have a positive impact on senior inmates with suicidal thoughts by providing a safer cell to support their housing needs.


The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.


Over the course of the past year, a great deal of focus has been placed on Santa Clara County’s Correctional system. This project was identified as part of the overall jail reform efforts, as reported to the Board of Supervisors at the meeting on June 28, 2016, Item No. 13.


The project would not commence at this time.


The Clerk of the Board will notify Roger Soohoo of the Facilities and Fleet Department.

Meeting History

Aug 16, 2016 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting
MOVER:S. Joseph Simitian, Vice President
SECONDER:Mike Wasserman, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager, S. Joseph Simitian


Aug 16, 2016 9:00 AMBoard of SupervisorsRegular Meeting