Detention Services Bureau

In April 2011, Governor Brown signed The California Criminal Justice Realignment Act of 2011 into law – Assembly Bills 109 and 117, shifting responsibilities for lower level convicted felons and adult parolees from State Parole to County Probation. On October 1, 2011, The Criminal Justice Realignment Act went into effect. There were several penal code changes relating to this realignment which directly affected how our department conducts business. Realignment’s most dramatic change relates to where sentenced felons serve their custody time as a result of the change in the definition of a felony. In addition, some offenders released from state prison are now supervised under a new supervision program called Post-Release Community Supervision (PCS). This new population is supervised by the County Probation Department and any revocation periods are served in county custody. Furthermore, state parolees are serving their violation terms in county custody as well. Under realignment, the Board of Parole Hearings continues to be responsible for all revocation hearings until relieved by the local courts in July 2013.

As a result of the implementation of the Criminal Justice Realignment legislation, eligible inmates, who would have previously been sentenced to serve a term of incarceration in a state prison, are now serving their term in a county detention facility, pursuant to California Penal Code 1170(h). To date, inmates in our custody sentenced under PC 1170 (h) make up a very diverse population and have many differing characteristics. To name a few examples, they have charges ranging from drug related offenses, DUI, burglary, vehicle theft, and identity crimes. There are inmates currently on active parole serving local prison time, as well as inmates who have never been to prison. The sentence range has typically been ranging anywhere between sixteen months up to seven years, thus far. These inmates can and may be housed in varying custody levels throughout our facilities, (i.e. general population, special needs housing, inmate workers, etc.). An inmate’s initial classification is determined by their original booking charges, criminal history information, medical/psychiatric issues or additional special conditions and information obtained from the initial inmate classification interview. The inmate is then assigned to the most appropriate housing location based on their classification designation.

San Diego Central Jail

The San Diego Central Jail has started a $3,000,000 project to replace the video surveillance system and touch screens within the facility.

As part of this project, SDCJ will add cameras and replace existing cameras. The new system will provide greater resolution and coverage throughout the facility. The zooming capabilities will assist deputies in investigating crimes and monitoring the actions of the inmates in custody. The touch screen system originally installed in the facility is being replaced and upgraded with new technology that will enhance the safety and security. Once completed, deputies assigned to control positions will have the ability to operate doors, answer intercoms, and monitor cameras all from one screen.

Vista Detention Facility

Vista Detention Facility (VDF) assisted with the development of three innovative projects that will assist the department in meeting AB 109 mandates. All three projects require collaboration and coordination with external agencies. None of these projects affect the department’s budget and are described in greater detail below:

In Home Outreach Team (IHOT)

VDF partnered with the County’s Health & Human Service Agency and assisted with the development of IHOT. IHOT is 3.5 million dollar project designed for individuals with serious mental illness who are resistant to seeking outpatient treatment; individuals that have numerous encounters with acute care or the legal system. IHOT will consist of outreach teams that provide assessment, crisis intervention, case management and support services to individuals with severe mental illness. IHOT will specifically work with individuals who have difficulty assessing and maintaining outpatient mental health services once released from jail or emergency acute care services.

Project Connect

VDF has partnered with Exodus Recovery, Inc., a private corporation that works closely with the San Diego Regional Center. Project Connect is an innovative program for persons with developmental disabilities who are currently involved or are at a high risk to become involved in the criminal justice system.

Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT)

Partnered with the County’s PERT organization in order to link with other law enforcement agencies regarding disposition of arrested citizens with mental health issues. The goal is to “Pass the baton” of legal/ medical care responsibility for mentally disabled/ mentally compromised inmates to VDF ensuring accurate psychiatric diagnosis and continuity of care.

An additional goal was to institute a process for detention’s deputies to attend the PERT academy. This improves detention’s deputy knowledge of mentally ill inmate management and links jail deputies to law enforcement deputies.

South Bay Detention Facility

The complete renovation of inmate housing units was accomplished in 2011. The renovation of these housing units took approximately nine months to complete and the process involved a thorough cleaning of shower areas, inmate cells and dayrooms. All inmate cells and dayrooms were painted along with other repairs and improvements to each inmate’s cell.

To enhance facility security, staff and inmate safety, new digital video recorders (DVR) were installed. The DVRs record video footage from most of cameras located inside and outside the facility. Sworn supervisors are required to conduct at least two video audits every pay period. These audits require each sergeant to review past video footage of their deputies to verify tasks are being performed according to policy. The sergeants are also looking for any security or safety-related issues.

George Bailey & East Mesa Detention Facilities

In July of 2011, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, County of San Diego General Services Division and County Supervisor Ron Roberts marked the beginning of a solar power project in Otay Mesa.

In late October of 2011, Sun Edison, the project contractor, completed the 1-megawatt array. Nine large canopies now cover the parking lot at the George Bailey and East Mesa Detention Facilities. The panels are expected to produce an estimated 1,629,761 kilowatt-hours of energy in the first year, or about 12 percent of the complex’s energy needs will be supplied from a clean, renewable source which will provide a cost savings. The complex includes the George Bailey Detention Facility, housing nearly 1,800 inmates, the East Mesa Detention Facility, housing approximately 500 inmates, and the East Mesa Juvenile Detention Center, holding about 350 youths.

Sun Edison will continue to own and operate the system under a 20-year contract. The county has agreed in turn to buy the system’s energy at a reduced rate. The first year could cost the county an estimated $185,000 for power.

Jail Information Management Unit

In 2011, the JIMS team addressed a range of issues arising from California’s recently adopted AB 109 legislation. New dispositions and arrest types were created in JIMS to identify inmates kept in our custody who would have been sent to prison before AB109 came into effect; specialized reports were created by our DSD engineers to capture AB109 data documenting the impact of this legislation on our inmate population.

Prisoner Transportation Detail

In 2011, the Prisoner Transportation Detail (PTD) provided transportation support for 58 law enforcement details to include warrant sweeps, DUI sweeps, Byrne Grant and Allied Shield operations. PTD has transported more than 170,000 inmates with cumulative mileage reaching in excess of 650,000. The department saved more than $96,000 dollars with the elimination of dental clinics occurring outside of detention facilities. A portion of these savings relate to transportation costs and have allowed PTD to commit more resources to meet the needs of the ever increasing clinic appointments of the inmate population. Deputies assigned to clinics have transported 1,573 inmates traveling a combined total of approximately 80,000 miles to clinics, courts, federal facilities and juvenile facilities.

Jail Population Management Unit

The Jail Population Management Unit (JPMU) had to overcome several challenges as a result of the California Criminal Justice Realignment Act of 2011 (AB109). The implementation of this legislation began on October 1, 2011. As a result, inmates meeting the criteria under this legislation who would have previously served their sentences in state prison are now serving their “local prison” sentences in our county jails. To date, the longest sentence imposed under this legislation to be served in a San Diego county jail is seven years.

From January 1, 2011 through November 30, 2011, our average monthly inmate population was 4774, with a monthly high of 4953 inmates and a monthly low of 4620 inmates. During the course of the previous year (2010), our average monthly inmate population was 4633, with a monthly high of 4759 inmates and a monthly low of 4492 inmates.

In addition to the challenges we face under AB109, new challenges have arrived with an ever-increasing inmate population requiring protective custody and administrative segregation status. As of December 1, 2011, there were 642 protective custody and 236 administrative segregation inmates in our custody. Those inmates represent 18.39% of our total inmate population. During the same period in 2010, the Sheriff’s Department had 511 protective custody and 112 administrative segregation inmates in our custody, representing 13.45% of our total inmate population.

Detentions Training Unit

The Detentions Training Unit began this year focused on perishable skills and leadership. Perishable skills are considered to be the high risk/low occurrence skills. These skills are identified as defensive tactics skills and firearms refreshers. The primary targeted audience was staff who had limited exposure to perishable skills training since the completion of the Academy or the initial assignment to a facility.

The other identified area was leadership skills in the area of Critical Incidents and Tactical Response. Training was developed to enhance the supervisor’s knowledge of their roles when incidents occur within their facilities. The targeted audience was trainers, and first and second line supervisors.

The Detentions Training Unit also made changes in the way we schedule staff for training. We introduced a new training notification and scheduling system. The new notification system requires the DTU corporals to have one-on-one contact with the facility staff. The DTU corporals access the training needs of the individual and schedule staff to the required classes. The new scheduling notification system also has a component which notifies the staff several times prior to the date of their scheduled training. Since implementing this notification process, the number of staff who missed their scheduled training has decreased.

This year we have been working diligently to certify all of the Detentions Training Unit staff as instructors in firearms, defensive tactics, less lethal and Taser. Having trained instructors allowed our staff to teach and provide refresher STC certified training. Having certified trainers has also allowed us to move forward in our training plan for the future which will include STC certified Simulator Training.

The Detentions Training Unit purchased a Simulator Training System. The simulator will be the primary training tool used for STC Taser and less lethal scenario related training.

Detention Support Division

State legislation also requires a Public Safety Realignment implementation plan be jointly developed by a cross-section of the criminal justice community. Staff from the Detention Services Bureau and Detention Support Division collaborated with the San Diego County criminal justice community, to include The District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Probation, Health and Human Services Agency, State Parole and the Superior Courts. After months of numerous discussions, meetings and committee research, The Community Corrections Partnership (CCP), which includes the following required representatives; The Presiding Judge (Danielsen), The Sheriff (Gore), The District Attorney (Dumanis), Public Defender (Coker), a Chief of Police (McCoy-Oceanside) and HHSA Director (Macchione) developed a Public Safety Realignment Plan that was approved by The County Board of Supervisors on September 27, 2011.

The CCP plan’s primary realignment goals were identified as the following:

  1. Efficiently use jail capacity
  2. Incorporate reentry principles into in-custody programming
  3. Incorporate evidence-based practices into supervision and case management of Post-Release Offenders; encourage judges to use evidence-based practices in sentencing

Utilizing projections provided to all counties by the state’s Department of Finance, it was anticipated 2,000 additional Post-Release Offenders would be supervised by the Probation Department combined with parolees being housed for revocations. In addition, our county was projected to house an additional 2,000 non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offenders to serve their time locally as a result of being sentenced to “local” prison time (served in our custody). Working with the Jail Population Management Unit, it was determined our department’s operational jail capacity was 5600 beds (4600 males and 1000 females), with an average of 4600 beds occupied prior to October 1, 2011. Utilizing the projected total influx of inmates to our system, The Detention Support Division was tasked with creating several state realignment applications to identify needs within the Detention Services Bureau. These spreadsheets use current staffing ratios to provide an estimate of personnel requirements for facility expansions. Estimated staffing costs based on base salary and current benefits are also included. Additionally, a spreadsheet was created to estimate the realigned population growth based on state assumptions and historical population data. This spreadsheet factors in potential sentence modifications, early release options, facility expansions and provides date estimates of when our system will reach capacity for both males and females. Our initial projections anticipated us reaching operational capacity in the early summer of 2012.

In addition, the Detention Support Division conducted extensive research on alternatives to custody in order to effectively manage the growing population. A proposal to add a County Parole and Alternative Custody (CPAC) Unit to the Detention Services Bureau to manage inmates eligible for alternative custody options was drafted and approved by the County Board of Supervisors. This unit will administer and operate an alternative custody program designed to allow certain offenders to serve their time in home detention while being monitored electronically. This program will decrease operating costs in managing our increasing inmate population.

Furthermore, to meet the challenges of the anticipated increased population system-wide due to the Public Safety Realignment, the East Mesa Detention Facility (EMDF) was identified to become the primary facility for male reentry programming. This plan includes increasing the number of inmates placed in the Local Re-entry Program (LRP) to 500. Correctional Counseling staff will be responsible for expanding the LRP program as well as facilitating other additional programming options offered to long term inmates at EMDF. Of course, in order to get EMDF up to capacity, this will necessitate the addition of staff to manage the increased classes, movement, medical and security needs. Currently, EMDF does not maintain 24 hour medical services. In order to effectively operate the programming and LRP, 24 hour medical care must be available. In order to do this, additional nurses are required to reach and maintain capacity. This proposal is a matter of ongoing analyzes and discussion between our department and the County Board of Supervisors.

In collaboration with all Support Divisions, within the Detention Services Bureau, as a team we addressed a range of issues arising prior to the implementation of realignment. Several Policy and Procedures affecting the manner in which inmates are booked into custody, classified and housed were updated. In addition, numerous training bulletins were disseminated amongst our staff. Specialized JIMS reports were created by our DSD engineers to capture realignment data documenting the impact of this legislation on our inmate population. These reports have been instrumental with updating capacity projections, financial impact and other statistical data. In addition, these JIMS reports have been a great tool for our allied law enforcement partners, such as the Probation Department, State Parole and the Courts.

As the implementation of this statute continues to progress, the Detention Services Bureau will continue to collaborate with allied agencies to effectively manage the impacts this legislation will have on our communities and detention facilities.

Food Services Division - By the Numbers

  Sheriff Probation Total
Number of meals prepared 6,545,064 1,271,417 7,816,481
Amount spent to prepare meals $6,582,021.67 $1,557,316.37 $ 8,139,338.04
Cost per inmate meal $1.01 $1.23 $1.04
Number of facilities 7 4 11

Inmate Processing Division

Since August 2010, the Inmate Processing Division (IPD) has worked vigorously on developing a web based Social Visitation program which would allow the public to schedule social visitations online. On a monthly average the IPD staff will answer 3,816 telephone calls to schedule social visitations.

This service was formally made available to the public on April 26, 2011 through a press release. During the first three months, 87,193 visitors accessed the application and scheduled a total of 20,304 visits. IPD is currently at a measurable decrease of 51% telephone calls at the detention facilities for the scheduling of social visits. IPD’s overall goal is to increase the usage up to 75%.

The e-Visit social visitation web based application is a positive contribution as another online customer service based program provided by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

Bureau Quick Facts