Thursday, July 29, 2021

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Grand Jury inspects jail, juvenile detention facilities

The 2018-2019 Colusa County grand jury conducted their yearly inspection of the Colusa County Jail, and the Tri-County Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility and Maxine Singer Youth Guidance Center, in Marysville, and found the administration and staff of each is dedicated to improving the health, safety, and wellbeing of inmates and incarcerated youth. 

While no major issues were discovered at the Colusa County Jail, the grand jury found that the number of correctional officers the Sheriff’s Office is able to sustain has impacted the facility. They also noted the linear design of the old jail does not allow for continuous observations of inmates to maintain safe and secure custody of inmates. 

“The (grand jury) recommends Colusa County to proceed with new jail planning and construction to eliminate current safety and security issues caused by the linear design. 

Colusa County continues to work toward building a new jail. The county applied for and received funding under Senate Bill 863, also known as the Adult Local Criminal Justice Facilities Construction program, which provides up to $500 million in state lease-revenue bond financing authority for the acquisition, design, and construction of adult local criminal justice facilities. 

County officials have proposed a $20 million 26,600 square food facility to house 96 inmates. The new two-story jail is to be built on the northeast portion of the existing Sheriff’s Office property, and have 4,000 square feet of “yard” space.

Colusa County is also investing its $5.7 million SB 81 Local Youthful Offender Rehabilitation Facilities Construction Grant into a new Tri-County Juvenile Rehabilitation facility, which houses both male and female youth offenders from Colusa, Sutter, and Yuba counties. The new $20 million detention center is being constructed on a lot across the street from its current location on 14th Street, in Marysville. 

Both the Colusa County Jail, located in Colusa, and the Tri-County Juvenile Detention Center were built in the 1950s. 

The Juvenile Hall underwent improvements in the 1970s, and expansion in the 1980s. Camp Singer is located immediately adjacent to the detention facility. 

During their tour of the juvenile hall, the Colusa County Grand Jury noted the facility was neat, clean, and orderly. 

“Considering the age and wear on the buildings, they are in surprisingly good condition,” the report stated. “Clearly a great effort is made to maintain the buildings until a new facility can be built.” 

The juvenile hall and Camp Singer house youth between 13 and 19 years old. 

At the time of the grand jury’s visit, two females and 15 males were incarcerated in the juvenile hall, and 12 males and no females were housed at Camp Singer, which houses only non-violent offenders. ■

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