The County of Santa Clara


Under advisement from January 23, 2018 (Item No. 9): Receive report from Office of the County Executive relating to the New Jail Replacement Facility.


Department:Office of the County ExecutiveSponsors:



There are no fiscal implications to this informational report. If additional spaces are added to the facility, this could result in additional costs. Depending on the nature of the additional spaces, there could be a delayed opening date and additional construction costs of approximately $1 million per month. 


As part of the Board action on January 23, 2018, the Board made two referrals for additional information relating to the New Jail Replacement Facility.

The first referral asked for programmatic design framework that addresses goals regarding recidivism, gender responsiveness, usage of visitation and booking areas, and an outline of program space usage for initial needs and anticipated flexibility of space usage for future use; and provide a list of key initiatives in the areas of Jail Diversion and Reentry.  The second referral asked for details of health programs and medical services that will be provided in the New Jail, for inmates prior to release.

Below is additional information that responds to these referrals with information available based on the current stages of design:


The New Jail design provides space to support educational, rehabilitation and vocational programming, as well as, mental health treatment space. These programs are designed to enhance the offender success rate once outside of the correctional environment. Additionally, the New Jail provides space within the Reentry housing units for Reentry Staff to connect offenders with services and programs on the outside. To the extent that the offenders take to the treatment and program courses and use the out of custody services, these evidence-based programs are designed to help lower the rate of recidivism when they are taught to fidelity. There are no studies that we are aware of that jail design leads to reduced recidivism. However, we have found that reduced recidivism comes from the evidence-based programs mentioned above, along with reentry discharge planning and continuity of services upon release.

The New Jail project is based on research on the impact of light, color, materials, acoustics and access to nature murals affect mental and physical well-being. This research is being used to inform design decisions throughout the new facility.  Research shows that facilities that integrate color, light, and natural elements can have significant, positive effects on the psychological and physical health of both inmates and officers.  Use of natural materials, such as wood and plantings in dayrooms, may offer a more normalized environment, which can be beneficial to inmate behavioral change. Normalized environments can actually be less expensive, and experience shows that inmates in a more normalized environment will vandalize it less.

Gender Responsiveness

To address gender responsiveness concerns, the facility has been designed to ensure that space can be utilized as a meditation room in the Women’s Reentry Dorm and Step-Down Unit so that female inmates will have quiet space for medication.  There is also a contact visitation area for parent/child interaction as part of the Reentry Housing units.  The Women’s Reentry Dorm will have a makeup counter and mirror near the showers, and there will be lactation rooms inside of each female housing unit.  Given how often female inmates are the bridge to their families and children, additional phones will likely be added to the Women’s Reentry Dorm and Step Down Unit.  We are exploring the possibility of having on-line visits with family using the Video Visitation system so inmates can have online visits with long distance family members.

Visitation Areas

The facility is being designed with five visitation rooms on each housing floors. We are working on a schedule to provide up to 10 one-hour visits per visiting booth each day, which would provide up to 250 inmate visitors per day.  Some of the rooms are also being designed to be somewhat larger so that a small family can visit together.  This is in addition to video visitation availability in each housing unit and which will help to supplement visitation opportunities for inmates in this facility.

Intake Booking Area

The possibility of adding an improved replacement for the Intake Booking and Release area at this site was examined. The team visited modern intake booking/release areas in other jails, reviewed best construction practices for managing the medical and behavioral health needs of newly arrived arrestees, and looked at how this space could be incorporated into this project site. Given the complexity of the intake booking function, this space would cost approximately $24 million and an additional $10 million to add the square footage needed to support this space. It would be necessary to add space in the basement of this site to incorporate a new Intake Booking area. Moreover, additional construction time would also be necessary to incorporate this into the design.

Program Space Usage

An important focus of this new facility is to have abundant space dedicated to programming and the ability of the space to be flexible enough for the various programs being contemplated for this new facility.  Some floors with two housing units are being designed with four multi-purpose rooms, one in each unit and two community rooms in the core area. Some floors with three housing units are being designed with five multi-purpose rooms, one in each unit and two community rooms in the core area.  As of now, these spaces are contemplated for programming use nine service hours each day. The units will be in use from 8:00am to 10:00pm, so this allows for the nine service hours, plus the daily operational requirements such as inmate and staff meals, inmate count, pill call, and other daily routines and/or uses of the facilities. It should be noted that to accomplish this, the facility needs to be staffed properly, and the appropriate number of contract providers were available to provide this amount of programming. 

The importance of this design is that it will allow the facility and its occupants to have more space and choices of which classes/therapy they will take advantage of both in their housing unit and out on the core area of their housing floor. It will also be designed to split some of these multi-purpose rooms to further subdivide spaces for meditation, religious services and other needs where smaller spaces work better.  Based on visits to other facilities, the focus has been on designing the appropriate and right amount of space, with more time after the design phase to plan and to get community input on programming needs and opportunities. As an example, the Reentry Housing Units are being designed to ensure Reentry Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) will be able to have full functionality to lead classes and groups in the multi-purpose rooms dedicated to those housing units. This allows CBOs to utilize all multi-purpose rooms in a flexible manner, as opposed to operating out of one dedicated area.


Key Initiatives in the areas of Jail Diversion and Reentry

As requested, below is a list of various jail diversion and reentry efforts:




Planned Implementation Date

Pretrial MH div

PTS/Dept. 61

Divert low level mentally-ill defendants from prosecution


Pre-Filing Div


Divert first time offenders from prosecution


CAPS Service


Maintain individuals on the JAC List awaiting treatment beds in the community through intensified supervision and wrap type services


Sobering Center


Divert 647(f)PC from jail booking


Pre-Booking Diversion


Provide alternative drop off for law enforcement for low level misdemeanor offenders


Mobile Crisis Teams


Divert 5150 holds from hospital/jail


Crisis Residential Facilities


2-15 bed facilities accept individuals direct from community


Crisis Stabilization Unit


Provide walk-in or drop-off service for those in crisis


Muriel Wright


15 mental health crisis residential treatment beds and 30 substance use residential treatment beds


EMP/CTS Supervision Program


Release program where defendants receive custody credits for time served on EMP


Dept. 61 Warrant Release Program


Release of warrant returns from Dept. 61 to PTS


Misdemeanor Warrant Pretrial Release Program


Release of misdemeanor warrant returns to PTS


Young Adult DJJ Pilot


Transfer of 18-21 year olds from Jail to Juvenile Hall


1270.1PC Misdemeanor EMP Release Program


Release of misdemeanor defendants after 30-days in custody


Jail Citation Policy Revision and Booking Criteria



Increase eligibility for citation release of jail bookings and guide for law enforcement to follow on when to cite vs. book



Community Bail Fund


CBO to provide bail positing for defendants in jail


Home Detention/Work Release Program


Release of defendants to home detention/ work furlough


Accept Credit/Debit Payments for Bail at Jail


Allow defendants to pay bail with credit/debit cards


Community Release Project


Allow defendants to be released to CBO for community supervision


Re-Review of Release Decision of Jail Detainees


Low-to-medium risk defendants in jail are re-reviewed by Court every 30 days for consideration of release

Sep-18 *upon hiring of new staff

Community Paramedicine Pilot


Allow for transport to alternate locations other than jail/hospital


Mother's Jail Diversion Program


Divert mothers from jail



Health Programs and Medical Services

The new facility will contain dental clinics, ophthalmology/optometry clinics, physical therapy services, a surgical clinic for pre op and post op appointments, and also space for kidney dialysis. Providing these services on-site increases inmate access to these services and decreases custody transportation issues and costs to Valley Medical Center and other providers (such as kidney dialysis). These facilities are being added as they are in demand throughout our jail facilities and it would be best to be able to provide these services on-site instead of having to provide transport and security for Valley Medical Center or another medical provider depending upon the service provided (such as dialysis).  Given recent additions to dental and optometry clinics, data is being collected and analyzed to better prepare for those needs in this new facility.  The focus now is on adding the appropriate space to provide these services and designing for the new health programs that can be provided to inmates prior to their release.


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


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


The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.


This project consists of the replacement of an outdated jail facility at Santa Clara County’s Main Jail Complex with a New Jail building on the existing Main Jail South site.  The conceptual plan for the replacement jail is a single building approximately 243,000 square feet in size. The existing three-story, 133,000 square-foot Main Jail South building will be demolished prior to the construction of the replacement jail facility. The replacement jail facility will be designed to address the changing nature of the inmate population as well as the increased length of stay in custody as a result of the State of California’s AB109 Realignment program.  The replacement facility will not only replace an outdated facility, but it will also address the need for inmate programs (education, substance abuse, job placement, life skills, etc.) along with the need to provide mental health treatment.

While the New Jail Replacement facility has 535 beds, systemwide there will a net decrease of 212 rated beds. The number of existing beds will be reduced due to the demolition of Main Jail South and the closure of some male and female housing units at Elmwood. Suicide resistant cells are being incorporated into the design and 3% of the cells will be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.

The proposed facility will include a Reentry Services floor for male and female inmates who have 90 days or less remaining on their sentences. These inmates will receive intensified programing, and services from Community Based Organizations and out-of-custody medical and mental health care, and employment resources. Of the 180 beds designated for Reentry, 120 are for male inmates and 60 are for female inmates.

The proposed facility will also address the current lack of mental health bed space for those diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and other behavioral health diagnoses (BHD).  SMI is defined as a psychiatric condition characterized by psychosis, mania, severe depression, severe anxiety or posttraumatic stress, or other symptoms which significantly impair functioning of an individual.  BHD is defined as a psychiatric condition characterized by mild to moderate depression, mild to moderate anxiety, substance abuse related symptoms, or other symptoms which typically leave functional ability intact, or only mildly impaired. Without treatment housing, SMI and BHD inmates are at elevated risk of deterioration in function, and may require acute care to stabilize their conditions. Inmates with SMI or BHD conditions who deteriorate are at elevated risk of suicidal, self-harm, violent, assaultive, and other destructive behaviors. Long term treatment of these conditions in a proper setting may reduce recidivism as patients learn to cope with their conditions once out of custody.  The new facility includes 55 acute mental health beds (35 for male inmates and 20 for female inmates) and includes classroom and treatment space.  Once stable, inmates can be rehoused to a 300-bed step down mental health unit also located in the new facility that provides continuation of mental health therapy and observation. Of those 300 beds, 240 are for male inmates and 60 are for female inmates.

The proposed facility will provide inmate program space that largely does not exist currently at Main Jail South.  Each floor in the new facility has three housing units with treatment and program space to serve the entire inmate population on each floor.  The proposal would increase the current treatment and program space, recreational yards, and incorporate community classrooms on each housing floor.  Suicide resistant cells are being incorporated into the design and at least 3% of the cells will be ADA compliant.


The Board will not receive the additional requested information conveyed within this report as the New Jail Replacement Facility projects moves forward with design efforts.

Meeting History

Mar 20, 2018 9:30 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Supervisor Wasserman requested that Administration provide an off-agenda report to the Board on date uncertain relating to funding allocation and possible unforeseen expenses resulting from delays in construction of the New Jail Replacement Facility.

Vice President Chavez requested that Administration contact the Presidents of Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility, Architecture for Justice, and Impact Justice to obtain information relating to empathetic design impact and programming during construction of the New Jail Replacement Facility.

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


Mar 20, 2018 9:30 AMVideo (Windows Media) MP4 VideoBoard of SupervisorsRegular Meeting

1:30 PMNot include, for example, the new sheriff's office staff that will be needed, and, um, some other construction and so on. So this number is going to get bigger. Supv simitian: all right. Colleagues? Comments or questions? I was going to say thank you, but under the circumstances that seemed - - . If there are no comments or questions and if the report speaks for itself with the comments from our staff, then let me just ask the clerk to please post our voting screen. The motion on this item is to simply receive the report from the office of the county executive and the harvey m. Rose associates. We have a motion by supervisor cortese. Could we get a second from supervisor ken yeager, thank you very much. If all five members would please vote on their screens.

1:31 PMAsk the clerk to please tally the vote and display over head. The measure passes 5-0. Thank you very much. Then that takes us to item number 13. And.
I'm going to ask our jail project team to introduce themselves. Supv simitian: I do is have one card from Mr. Ron hanson on this item and Mr. Hanson you want to come up now and share your thoughts with us, and then we' go to the team.
1:32 PMFirst I urge the acceptance of this report ask your continued support of this project. We all agree that in an ideal world we would close and subsequently demolish our jails. But we do not live in an I world and so facilities to detain persons from time to time are necessary. Recognizing that, I compliment the sheriff's office and their county staff for their efforts to design what I consider to be a 21st century jail facility that, among other things, will help those that are transitioning from yale back into our community. And reduce the number of ja beds in the county. In summary, again, I urge the board's continued support for this project. Thank you very much. Supv simitian: thank you. All right presentation?
1:33 PMCounty executive office.
Captain david sepulveda.
Thank you. so this is the report back responding to two referrals from January 23 on the new jail replacement facility. The first referral was asking for problematic framework regarding recidivism, gender responsiveness, to visitation and booking areas, program space for initial needs and anticipated flexibility of space for future and then also a l of key initiatives in the area of jail diversion and reentry. And then the second referral. To start with resid is vamp, the goal has been to - - . Connect with services and programs on the outside. There are no studies that we are aware of that jail design leads to recidivism. However, we have found that reduced recidivism comes from the evidence-based programs along with discharge planning and continuity of services upon release. We are working to incorporate the impact of light color materials acoustics, access to nature murals that do affect mental and physical well-being. We have found that facilities that integrate these factors can have significant positive affects on the psychological and physical health of both inmates and officers. With respect to gender responsiveness, the facility is being designed to have meditation space and contact visitation area for parent-child interaction as part of the reentry housing units. Given how often female inmates are the bridge to their families and children, additional phones will likely be added and this s also in addition to video visitation. For visitation the schedule will need to be worked out to provide up to 10 one-hour visits per day, per booth and this could provide up to 250 inmate visitors per day. On top of that would be video visitation opportunities. The possibility of adding an imed replacement for intake booking at this site was examined. The team visited modern intake booking release areas in other jails and reviewed best construction practices for managing the medical and behavioral health needs of newly arrived arrestees. Given the complexity of that intake booking function, the space will cost approximately 10, 24 million and in additional 10 million to add the square feet necessary to support this space. Due to the cost and square feet this was not included. With respect to program as an important focus to the new facility to have abundant space dedicated to programming and the ability of space to be flexib enough - - . As of now the floors are being designed with multipurpose rooms both in the housing units, and in the court area. And the importance of this design is it will lou the inmates to have more space and choices of classes. If will also be designed to split some of these multipurpose rooms to further sub divide spaces from meditation, religious services, and other needs where smaller spaces work better. Based on visits to other newer jail facilities, the focus has now been on designing the appropriate and right amount of space with more time after the design phase to plan and get community input on programming needs and opportunities. With respect to health and medical the facility is expected to have the dental clinics, optometry clinics, physical therapy, a surgical clinic for pre and post-opt, and then al space for kidney dialysis. This will definitely providing this on site will increase inmate access to these services and also decrease custody transportation issues and costs to valley medical center. Same with the health, the focus is now on adding the approprie face to provide these services to inmates prior to their release. With that overview, we're available for any questions. Supv simitian: supervisor yeager? Supv yeager: yes, just one quick question. On the health programs and medical is services which very glad that we're including that in the new facility but are some of these programs things that we could be doing now that aren't being done now that we could include in the near future or do we need to wait for the new facility?
1:38 PMI know for dental and optometry, much of this is being provided now. Optometry is starting and I think dialysis is also being explored in the current facilities but i'll let matt add.
1:39 PMWe are putting him in place with his schedule. I'm hoping to have him up and running some time in april, as soon as we can get the appointment portion of it up and running. Dialysis for doing some research into whether there are mobile units i'm waiting for responses back from similar companies that do provide that in a custodial is setting. That would cut down on the transportation costs quite a bit. As soon as I have more information, i'd be glad to share it with you. Supv yeager: I think we all know what a better service we can provide if it's hat the jail ad can be far less expensive than having them being taken elsewhere, row thank you. Supv simitian: supervisor wasserman? Supv wasserman: thank you, president simitian. Through you I wanted to direct a comment to our ceo, but I thi i'll direct it to the coo this time instead and captain tony and all the rest of yo well. In item number 12 previously, I know we're on 13 now, previous it was mentioned one-time costs and that number could get bigger. Now we're talking in item 13 second paragraph under fiscal implications, there aren't any fiscal implications to the report, but there are to the actions. I always chuckle when I see t first sentence. This could result would result in additional costs depending on the nature of the additional spaces there could be delayed opening date or approximately a million dollars per month. My question to you, my question to the administration, all this through the chair, is we is have numbers in these reports. 184, 78. 3, but we're told those numbers will get bigger. We're told if this happens it will be a million dollars a month more. To me a million dollars a month is kind of a round number. It's very open ended and the concerns I have, I know at certain times I try and get se dollars for some specific projects, whether they be 25,000, gift thousand, and there's some - - they're sometimes difficult to find that additional money at this time in the budget process to do something I think is an immediate need which is the min ms. Lopinski compared to these dollars we're talking about here. Where are these dollars going to come from? On the previous item, quote, these numbers will get bigger and we're talking about numbers here that exceed a quarter of a billion already. On this item here, maybe a million dollars per month more. What is the plan.
1:42 PMFor the jail itself - - on the million dollars that you're talking about, those are just the cost of a project like tt when you delay it every month. I in fact, if you recall wn we first brought this project forward it was a much bigger project with 800-some beds and reduced it down to 465 or something like that. We pushed for that reason for staff to take that to bscc. They're going to give us 80 million-dollars. Supv wasserman: at the end of the project.
1:43 PMYes. to push it and get approvaln February so we wouldn't have t wait until the next meeting. Most of it will be general fund dollars. Supv wasserman: thank you for that info, and i'll conclude, Mr. President, with this. item 12 talking about additional dollars that's an estimate of what they'll cost. At some point off-u agenda, where appropriate, wherever, i'd like to know what our estimad costs are and what our genel fund bucket is is that we've allocated towards the jails. 26 million more in expenses but we have 42 million in reserve. Then i'm good. But if you tell me we might e 42 million more in expenses and 26 million in reserve then I see a problem that i'd like to action ahead of time and perhaps contribute to over the next year or two rather than all of a sudden have a meeting that says we need to take more rainy day fund or cut some service elsewhere. So thank you.
1:45 PMSupervisor, May I through the president - - on on January 23 what went to the board included the costs of approximately 257 million to the county that the county would be contributing. Of that the plan was to finance a portion sort of in addition to the general fund contribution. So we've been working closely with oba and the finance agency just so that there are no surprises. As of now, item 12, 54 million sort of that has been allocated for the new jail is in that table, but in one-time funding but the future of funding and commitment to your point has not yet been incorporated. To miguel marquez's point, everything that the board and the public has wanted included up to January 23 is covered in the estimate we have as of if we are to make future chans to the project, it will likely result in increased costs and potential delays.
1:46 PMTony, through the chair, I appreciate the fact that what we've estimated so far we havea plan for. I appreciate that. But like I said in item nu 12, we were told this will g up. This is the only number we can give at this time, but this will go up. And if it's going to go up m interested in where the money's going to come from. I hear you saying what we've estimated, what we've projected, we have a plan for, but I haven't heard is what for what we haven't estimated but we know is come we don't have a plan and that's kind of what i'm concerned about and would like to hear back more about that. Got me? Thank you. Supv simitian: supervisor chavez. Supv chavez: I want to thank you very much for really trying to respond to a number of issues that are raised around how design can impact outcomes for people who are in custody. I want to make a request th you continue this work that the staff reach out to the president of architects designers and planners for social responsibility, and architecture for justice and impact justic these are non-profit organizations or for-profit companies just to get information from. What they all have in common I they're very interested in how design impacts outcomes for people who are in institutions. For example, how do you design medical facilities which I think people give a lot of thought to and the last thing I want to say is that I appreciate that i'm pushing on something that is not - - it's not like everybody's doing it. It's partly why i'm interested in the county taking a look at what we could and should be doing. I think we should be leaning this particularly because when you build a facility like this you build it for a - - it's going to be around a long time.

1:50 PMPlease post the tally on our overhead. That passes 5-0. Thank you very much. Takes us to item number 14. Custody health services report on main jail north intake booking area.
This matter will be handled by matt who's here with us.
1:51 PMWith the changes that have gone on we put in privacy screens that are similar to what you will find at one of the health clinics. Um, we have separate tracks for both male and females there.

Powered by Granicus