NAPA, Calif. — Work began June 9 on the new $17 million Napa County Jail correctional reentry facility in Napa. When it is completed in the summer of 2018, the 23,000-square-foot facility will include 72 beds and support employment and education programming as well as supportive services that aim to decrease recidivism.
The facility is intended to provide rehabilitation and reentry support for lower level offenders in an effort to decrease the long-term need for more costly jail beds, according to local news source the Times Herald. As such, the facility will feature classrooms and program areas that will allow administrators and staff to provide mental health and counseling services, drug and alcohol addiction support, employment training and counseling and other life skills classes that will help ensure inmates’ success upon release.
“The facility underscores the commitment of Napa County to criminal rehabilitation and the safety of the community,” Napa County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Belia Ramos told the Times Herald. “This project would not be possible without our state partners, and the innovation and collaboration among county agencies, particularly our probation and corrections departments.”
Also speaking with the Times Herald, Corrections Director Lenard Vare noted that the project “highlights the county’s emphasis on evidence-based practices.”
Vila Construction Co. of Richmond, Calif. is the project’s general contractor and the Sacramento, Calif., office of Vanir Construction Management will serve as construction manager. The new facility was designed by Nacht & Lewis, also of Sacramento and has received financial support from both state and county funding sources as well as from the county’s general fund.
The project marks the first phase of work on what will eventually be the county’s new jail. The existing 264-bed jail structure sustained significant internal damage during a 6.0-magnitute earthquake in August 2014. After examining the damage, the county elected to relocate dozens of male and female inmates to the nearby Solano County Jail and the Fairfield County Jail.
The existing jail was first built in 1976 and underwent an expansion 12 years later. However, no new beds or treatment areas have been added in the interim. This is particularly problematic as upwards of 30 percent of the county’s inmates have also been diagnosed as having a mental health issue requiring medication and/or special housing, according to the grand jury report.