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Posted on January 16, 2014 | 5:09 p.m.

Santa Barbara County Awarded Nearly $39 Million in Jail Funding

Source: Kelly Hoover for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is pleased to announce that on Thursday morning in Los Angeles, the Board of State and Community Corrections awarded Santa Barbara County full funding in the amount of $38,976,000 for the SB 1022 Construction of Criminal Justice Facilities grant.

Santa Barbara County submitted an application to the BSCC in October for the construction of the Sheriff’s Transition and Reentry (S.T.A.R.) Complex.

The S.T.A.R Complex will be located on the same site as the future North Branch Jail and is anticipated to be built in conjunction with the currently planned jail construction project. The S.T.A.R. Complex will provide additional housing specifically designed to help inmates transition from a custody setting back to the community. The building will also provide a space for education and life skills classes as well as substance abuse treatment. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Alternative Sentencing Bureau will be relocated to this facility.

Chief Deputy Laz Salinas, who oversees the Custody Branch of the agency, represented Santa Barbara County at the BSCC meeting on Thursday and was pleased to hear the announcement.

“Securing the additional grant funding is a huge accomplishment for not only the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office but for our partners within the community and the citizens of Santa Barbara County," Salinas said. "The funding will allow us to help meet the needs of our inmate population and provide much needed programming designed to help reduce the rate of recidivism in our county.”

Out of 11 medium-sized counties that applied for the funding, Santa Barbara County was one of only four that were awarded the full amount requested.

“I want to thank the members of the sheriff and county team who developed this proposal which was awarded full funding," Sheriff Bill Brown said. "This is another huge step in constructing an appropriately sized jail in North County. The new facility will help alleviate the added burden we are bearing as a result of AB109 Criminal Justice Realignment which has shifted the responsibility to us for housing approximately 160 inmates who would have formerly been sentenced to state prison. The added award of almost $39 million will also result in a substantial infusion of additional dollars into the local economy.”

Upon official written notification from the BSCC, the Sheriff’s Department in conjunction with County General Services will seek formal acceptance from the Board of Supervisors for the conditional award.

— Kelly Hoover is a public information specialist for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

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