REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — San Mateo County’s new $165 million jail facility, the Maple Street Correctional Facility, will soon be open for business. County officials, including Sheriff Greg Munks, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony March 2 and the first inmates will be transferred on March 19.
Sheriff Munks said at the event that the new three-level, 832-bed jail marks a new approach to corrections, and that officials hope to see improved inmate outcomes. The jail’s primary purpose was to decrease overcrowding at the nearby co-ed Maguire Correctional Facility, but according to Munks it will also serve other critical functions.
“This project was never about simply building a larger jail to house more inmates. Instead, this facility represents our commitment to improving the lives of the men and women who are in our care and custody,” Munks said in a statement. “We will do so by conducting meaningful assessments of their needs and by providing innovative programming to improve their chance for a successful re-entry into our community.”
With the addition of this new facility, higher security male inmates will remain in the existing Maguire Correctional Facility, leaving the new jail for females and lower-risk males. This will make it easier for families to visit low-risk inmates, as the Maguire facility is located downtown, while the new jail will be located at more accessible venue.
The facility, which will house both male and female offenders, is a significant step up from the current women’s facility in particular, which has outdated technology, insufficient visitation areas and plumbing challenges. In contrast, the new 260,000-square-foot jail anticipates LEED Gold certification, and a new 200-camera network that will provide added safety and security for both staff and inmates.
“The primary goal is to reduce overcrowding in a new efficient building,” Public Information Officer for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Sal Zuno told the San Mateo Mercury News at the event. “It’s about rehabilitation, providing them skills and giving people a second chance.”
“It’s not a warehouse with a revolving door,” San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Warren Slocum said in a statement. “Our goal is to help our inmates return to their families, return to their communities and be able to lead productive lives.”
The San Francisco office of design, planning and engineering firm HOK served as lead architect on the project. Sundt/Layton, a joint venture between Sundt Construction, based in Tempe, Ariz., and Layton Construction, from Salt Lake City, Utah, served as the construction manager.
County officials, who led guided tours of the facility at the ribbon-cutting event, also praised the project for being completed on time and under budget.