The County of Santa Clara

Approved as Amended
Jan 24, 2017 9:30 AM

Consider recommendations relating to the replacement of the existing outdated Juvenile Hall Surveillance system.


Department:Probation DepartmentSponsors:
Category:ReportProjects:Surveillance Technology

Multiple Recommendations

Possible action:
a. Receive Anticipated Surveillance Impact Report for Juvenile Hall Video Surveillance System.
b. Adopt finding that the benefits of the surveillance technology outweigh the costs pursuant to Section A40-4 of the Santa Clara County Ordinance Code.
c. Approve Proposed Surveillance Use Policy for Juvenile Hall Video Surveillance System Security Camera Guidelines that has been reviewed and approved by County Counsel as to form and legality.



There is no new impact to the County General Fund as a result of this action. The $1,700,000 needed for this project will come from the $3,000,000 budgeted in a Special Programs Reserve for Surveillance and Security Capital Project Needs, set aside to fund security capital projects during the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget Process.



Benefits Outweigh Costs and Concerns

The benefits of the system outweigh the costs and any concerns by increasing transparency and accountability in Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. The system will also be used as an additional resource to enhance the ability to capture and accurately document incidents which arise spontaneously, such fights and use of physical restraints. This will allow for thorough and comprehensive investigations that occur in Juvenile Hall. The implementation and use of surveillance cameras will not pose a risk to civil liberties. Cameras will not be mounted in sensitive areas such as sleeping rooms, restrooms or shower areas.

The Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall currently has a Video Surveillance System which is obsolete and in dire need of replacement with a new modern surveillance system. The current surveillance system incorporates technologies dating back to 1998.  Most of the security electronics are over 10 to 15 years of age and have reached the end of their useful life cycle. Replacing the existing system with modern technology will provide a surveillance system that possess consistency in image quality for both monitoring and recording. New cameras will provide for additional coverage for current blind spots in areas such as, the booking area, dayrooms and classrooms. This system will enhance capture and accurately document significant incidents, which almost always occur spontaneously.



The recommended action will have a positive impact on youth and families by creating an environment that provides for a high level of safety and supervision.



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


The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.


Juvenile Hall currently has an outdated Video Surveillance System which does not meet the needs of the facility. This project will replace 150 existing cameras, along with adding 78 new cameras to increase safety and supervision while meeting Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) federal standards. If the project is approved it is anticipated that the Design-Build Request for Proposals would be completed in the summer of 2017, with a request for the Board approval of the construction phase coming in the fall of 2017.



The use of the current outdated video surveillance camera systems would continue but the Department will not have recording capabilities. This lack of recording capability impairs the Department’s ability to effectively investigate allegations as they occur. This technological advance allows the Department to effectively respond when necessary to ensure that youth in our care are receiving the protection they deserve.



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

The Clerk of the Board will notify Nick Birchard of the Probation Department.


Meeting History

Jan 24, 2017 9:30 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

One individual addressed the Board.

The Board approved written amendments to the surveillance use policy as submitted by Vice President Simitian.

MOVER:S. Joseph Simitian, Vice President
SECONDER:Mike Wasserman, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager, S. Joseph Simitian