Appeals Panel Recommends Jail Funding Change

SACRAMENTO — A panel of BSCC board members is recommending that the full Board adopt the panel’s decision to award Stanislaus County $40 million in jail construction funding. The Board of State and Community Corrections voted in January to approve the Executive Steering Committee’s recommendations to allocate $500 million in lease revenue bond funding to 15 counties under SB 1022. Stanislaus and two other counties that did not receive funding appealed the ESC’s decision. At the appeal hearing on Tuesday the panel also recommended that the Board deny the appeals of Humboldt and Monterey counties. Those counties could not show that their applications included accounting documents proving each had specifically allocated the required 10 percent match of the total project costs. The Board will consider the appeal panel’s decision at its meeting March 13, 2014 in Sacramento. Stanislaus County’s appeal focused on the County’s readiness to proceed and whether all environmental analyses had been completed and all applicable statues of limitations had expired under the California Environmental Quality Act. The County argued that it completed all environmental review for jail construction projects on the site but in an abundance of caution filed another CEQA document establishing that no additional review was needed. The filing of that new document started a new statute of limitations period. County officials said they did not present information about past environmental review because the Request for Funding Proposal specifically stated that previously filed documents should not be submitted. The appeals panel viewed Stanislaus’ submission as technically in error, but granted the county’s request because the county had previously completed environmental review. In considering SB 1022 funding, construction projects deemed most ready to begin were more heavily weighted in considering SB 1022 funding. Thirty-six counties applied for funding and were ranked according to how closely they met the requirements of AB 109’s landmark reform to house and rehabilitate non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual offenders in their home communities. The ESC recommended that 15 counties receive funding at the January Board meeting. Counties then had 30 days to appeal the decision. The appeal panel was made up of three BSCC Board Members: Judge William Pounders (Ret.) of Los Angeles, Sheriff Dean Growdon of Lassen County and Secretary Jeff Beard of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. If upheld by the Board the decision to fund Stanislaus County’s $40 million reentry facility at its existing public safety center in Ceres would move it up the funding list for medium-sized counties. That move would bump from funding San Joaquin County, which was set to receive $33.3 million toward the $40 million it requested for a new facility with program space. Tulare County would move down to San Joaquin’s slot and receive $33.3 million toward its $40 million award for a jail and day reporting center. The BSCC board will consider the panel’s recommendations at its regularly scheduled meeting on March 13, 2014. Counties that will be impacted by the appeals board’s decision may wish to appear at that meeting. The Board will have the following options: adopt the panels’ decision; amend the decision; or order a further hearing. The decision of the full board shall be final. Realignment seeks to improve rehabilitation results by keeping offenders close to families and support systems. It includes constitutionally guaranteed funding for proven programs that support offenders’ successful transition back into the community. SB 1022 specified that counties would be considered that are seeking to replace or upgrade outdated facilities and provide alternatives to incarceration, including mental health and substance treatment. The BSCC was established by 2012 legislation to serve as an independent body providing realignment leadership and technical assistance to the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems. Information about all of the projects can be found on the BSCC website Additional Information or Questions? For additional information or if you have questions about this Public Notice please feel free to contact: Tracie Cone P (916) 322-1054