The new South Placer Jail facility sat idle for over a year after it was finished because there was no money to staff it, but now jailers are preparing to open the facility in a few weeks.
More than 200 inmates will soon be transferred to the state of the art jail which is designed to bring services to its housing units rather than transport inmates down hallways for doctors or lawyer visits. That makes for more efficient use of jail staff and makes it safer for guards and inmates.
The jail has a capacity of 460 inmates, but jail officials say they want to make sure there is enough money to run the jail before they commit to more prisoners. The new jails kitchen will eventually handle 10,000 meals a day, enough to provide the main jail in Auburn with its food needs. The added efficiency should save more money for the county.
The facility was planned in 2007 and was built with county funds without the need to borrow. The funding crunch came at the worst time just as the state turned over housing inmates who formerly went to state prison to individual counties.
The new jail has the land and the infrastructure to expand to 900 beds relatively easily. The space will come in handy if the inmate population continues to grow.