Law Office of Leonard Matsuk Articles Female Inmates Moved to Maximum Security Jail

Female Inmates Moved to Maximum Security Jail

By Law Office of Leonard Matsuk  Mar. 8, 2011 3:34p

Light Security “Farm” Closed Due To Budget Cuts

Thanks to the looming budget crisis, the sheriff’s office in Sonoma County has been forced to close the minimum security jail which had housed many low security female inmates.

Sonoma County has fallen on hard times, as with the rest of the state, and budget shortfalls have affected every aspect of the law enforcement agencies and their operations. The sheriff’s office has had to shuffle around much of the existing jail structure. Thanks to a decreased number of female inmates in recent years, the North County Detention Facility made an obvious target for closure.

The northern jail is known to be far less strict than the main female jail operation, lending it the nickname of ‘the farm’. Many of its former inmates have been moved to the main detention center located on Ventura Avenue in Santa Rosa, a much harsher prison designed to hold maximum security prisoners.

State Cites Additional Concerns In Closing

Though admittedly on of the primary factors in the closing of the north jail was budgetary concerns, the state said that it had several other compelling reasons for ending the segregation of females along existing lines.

On of the most important considerations was numerical. Thanks to changes in the way sentencing has been handled, as well as an overall decrease in crime rates, fewer and fewer female prisoners have been placed in jail in the past few years. There is no reason to pay for two separate sets of facility staff if all the inmates can be folded into one detention center, state officials said.

Another concern was a growing population of prisoners with mental illnesses and gang affiliations, meaning that inmates are less and less ale to be grouped together in large numbers, which rendered the design of the north jail less than ideal.

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