Part I discussed the Main jail. The remainder of the Sheriff's Department facilities, the Probation Department facilities, and the Municipal Police Departments are reported in Part II per California Penal Code 919(b) mandate.
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT FACILITIES
Santa Maria Branch Jail
This facility is located in a rural area of Santa Maria and has a capacity of 35 inmates. The jail processes and houses suspects brought in by deputies from Santa Maria, the Santa Ynez Valley, Lompoc, New Cuyama. It also receives suspects brought in by the Santa Maria, Guadalupe, and Lompoc Police Departments, California Highway Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, and Probation Officers. Patrol cars enter through locked gates into a secure compound. Suspects are then booked in a trailer in this compound, which is also used to perform drug and alcohol tests. Transportation between the Santa Barbara Main Jail and Santa Maria is constant throughout the day and night. Honor Farm inmates as well as inmates accepted into the alternative sentencing programs, work-furlough and Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (SWAP) are housed or monitored by Santa Maria correction officers.
Male Honor Farm
The Male Honor Farm, adjacent to the Main Jail complex, houses sentenced, pre-trial and some work-furlough inmates. The facility was built in 1967 and has no fire sprinkler system. The roof is termite infested and the latrine is scheduled to be repaired and remodeled in August, 2000. While the facility is adequate, it will soon need a major overhaul or total replacement. The State Board of Corrections conducts an inspection biannually.
The Male Honor Farm has four dormitories. Three dormitories face a central control area. One of the dormitories houses pre-trial detainees who do not have any assigned work. Another dormitory houses inmates who may work outside the facility. Those who prepare food are housed in a separate dormitory. This position is eagerly sought after as these inmates can also use the exercise weights. The fourth dormitory is a substance abuse counseling unit that utilizes the 12-step program in helping inmates to become drug and alcohol free. The facility has a day room where inmates have access to a small library and television. Sack meals are distributed for breakfast and lunch. Hot meals are prepared for dinner. Clean clothing is distributed on a regular basis. On the premises are a print shop and laundry where inmates may work.
Sentenced inmates are required to participate in various county work crews. The Sheriff's Department and other public agencies use inmate workers where appropriate. The County realizes approximately $1.7 million in annual savings by utilizing inmate workers.
FINDING AND RECOMMENDATION
Finding 3: The Grand Jury found the Male Honor Farm facility in a dilapidated condition.
Recommendation 3: The Grand Jury recommends that the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff's Department begin immediate repairs to the roof and latrine and install a fire sprinkler system.
La Morada-Female Honor Farm
La Morada, the Female Honor Farm, is a minimum-security facility for non-violent female offenders located in a neighborhood in Santa Barbara County. Utilizing a house with a large garden, the farm is capable of housing 36 inmates including four inmates in work-furlough programs. There appears to be no negative impact on the neighborhood.
The house is located next door to the County Coroner's Office. The atmosphere is home-like with numerous cozy couches in the living room and comfortable shared bedrooms. Bathroom facilities are clean and private. The inmates' kitchen is cheerful and modern. The garden is well manicured and functional. The inmates provide for themselves by raising vegetables, flowers and fruit in the garden and do their own manual labor such as digging ditches for irrigation systems. They do their own cooking as well as laundry and housekeeping.
Inmates have several educational courses which are taught in a separate building on the grounds. Classes in parenting skills, General Education Development (GED) courses, nutrition and health as well as drug rehabilitation classes are offered. All persons working in the kitchen have to complete the nutrition and health classes.
The Female Honor Farm stay is from three to six months. Visitation is weekly and geared to family visits allowing children. There is a designated area with play equipment and seating to create a comfortable visiting environment.
Other responsibilities of the female inmates include work at the adjacent Coroner's facility, catering services for various Sheriff's Department events, highway weeding and trash collection for Caltrans and work at various nonprofit organizations such as the Red Cross, Dalmatian Dreams and the Food Bank. In 1999, the inmates worked 4,913 days. The total dollar value of the inmates' work at the Female Honor Farm in 1999 (valued at minimum wage) was $225,998.00.
Given the opportunity to work together, inmates have a better chance to transfer acquired skills to the outside world. Inmates give back to the community while learning new skills. The La Morada Staff does an excellent job providing educational opportunities for inmates.
Isla Vista Sub-Station
The Isla Vista Foot Patrol Sub-Station started as a joint operation by the Sheriff's Department and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 1970. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) joined it in 1994 to deal with the community's driving under the influence (DUI) problems.
Within its jurisdiction are off-campus housing for UCSB students, Devereux School and Friendship Manor (a Seniors' Residential facility). The population of Isla Vista is 50 percent students. Staffing of the sub-station is Mainly from the Sheriff's Department (23), and UCSB supplies four personnel (including a secretary) and the CHP is responsible for the two bike patrol officers. The facility is an ordinary building in a downtown commercial area. Even though it has no holding capacity, we include it in the report because of its unique set-up and its effectiveness in community policing.
Until the early 1990's, Isla Vista was the premiere destination for Halloween activities for thousands of students gathered to party, thus creating an intolerable situation with excessive drinking and street violence. Because of a five year crackdown by the Sheriff's Department and vigorous enforcement of drinking laws and amplified noise ordinance, crime statistics have been falling. "Operation Halloween 1999" was a very successful example of their proactive "no tolerance" approach that saw an increase in arrests and criminal citations (341 compared to 157 in 1998) with no major crimes or serious injuries. This allowed the community to participate with the students to celebrate Halloween in a safe and sane manner.
We commend the Isla Vista Sub-Station leadership and personnel for actively cooperating with local organizations to establish a safer community.
Lompoc Valley Sub-Station
This sub-station shares the site with a county fire department facility and the Sheriff's Mounted Patrol. The sub-station is located on a rural road and serves the unincorporated areas of the Lompoc Valley. There is one interview room at this facility with no detention capability.
The incorporated city of Buellton contracts with the Sheriff's Department for police services. Their facility is housed in a small building and the parking lot is shared with the library, post-office and city offices. The station has no permanent detention facilities, but utilizes a bench with 'O' rings to temporarily restrain suspects.
Solvang/Santa Ynez Sub-Station
The Sheriff's Department performs the municipal police function under a contract for the city of Solvang and also provides coverage for the unincorporated areas of the Santa Ynez Valley. It uses a collection of rooms in a large building, which also houses a library, courtroom, veterans' club-rooms and several city government offices. The station has a partially barred room to secure suspects.
New Cuyama Sub-Station
The sub-station is located in a converted residence. The building is well-maintained and clean. A barred holding cell is available for temporary detention prior to taking detainees to the Santa Maria Branch Jail for booking.
The Carpinteria Sub-Station/Police Department provides services under contract with the city of Carpinteria and also serves the unincorporated area including the communities of Montecito and Summerland. With a staff of 29 including 27 deputies, the sub-station is located next to the city hall. The city of Carpinteria provides and maintains the sub-station. It has three holding cells and an interview room. Suspects are quickly transported and booked at the Main Jail. No meals are provided as holding time does not exceed two hours.
PROBATION DEPARTMENT FACILITIES
With a budget of about $29.7 million, the Santa Barbara County Department of Probation employs a staff of approximately 381 including 136 deputy probation officers and 106 juvenile institution officers. Vigorous grant writing and a constant search for alternative funding sources have succeeded in producing 60 percent of the budget, with the County responsible for only the remaining 40 percent. In 1999 it received 6,290 juvenile referrals and supervised 4,681 juveniles. It also supervised 7,400 adult probation cases and handled an additional 2000 warrant cases.
The Probation Department operates four separate facilities for juvenile offenders. It is the department's responsibility to detain and provide treatment for male and female youthful offenders. The juvenile halls located in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria are designed to hold offenders from the time of their arrest until their disposition hearing, when they are sentenced to a treatment facility operated by the County or by the California Youth Authority. The County's treatment facilities include Los Prietos Boys' Camp and Tri-Counties Boot Camp. The latter is a cooperative facility for nonviolent offenders between the ages of 13 to 17 from Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. The Probation Department also supervises a home confinement program with electronic monitoring
Because of an acute lack of space to accommodate the rising numbers of juvenile offenders especially in the North County, overcrowding continues to be a tremendous problem. Juvenile offenders are constantly transported between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria depending on their assigned location for court appearances.
Santa Barbara Juvenile Hall
The Santa Barbara Juvenile Hall is a facility designed and built over 50 years ago. It can accommodate 56 juveniles. Often the capacity is exceeded due to the numbers of offenders. During one visit, there were 66 minors including 20 from North County. Juveniles' length of stay varies from a few hours to a few weeks with the average being around six days.
The Santa Barbara County Education Office provides education. Four teachers and two instructional assistants instruct the minors daily. Because of the transitional nature of the program, class rosters are created daily. The minors attend school for 250 minutes divided into five periods. There are four classes with physical activity in the fifth period.
The program is managed behaviorally using a point system. A room with a restraint system was observed. At a later visit, we saw that it had been removed to make a new cell. Other forms of control include, after warning, OC Spray (similar to pepper spray).
The minors are provided with clean underwear daily and clean jump suits twice a week. The Community Action Commission provides food. Minors help with simple preparation and serving the food.
The living facility is clean, light, and cheerful. The age of the facility is apparent, but the facility is well Maintained. The educational facility was crowded and somewhat run down. The staffs of both departments (Probation and County Schools) show concern for the juveniles. An atmosphere of hoping to help was evident rather than simply house the juveniles.
The staff of the Probation Department and Santa Barbara County Education Office exhibited genuine interest in the welfare of the juveniles.
FINDING AND RECOMMENDATION
Finding 4: The facility is old and in need of repair and upgrading. The educational facility is rundown.
Recommendation 4: The facility would benefit from remodeling to upgrade to current standards.
Santa Maria Juvenile Hall
The Santa Maria Juvenile Hall facility was built in 1977, with an addition completed in late 1999. With the opening of the new addition, there are now 40 rooms. Two new modular classrooms were also added. The expansion was much needed. It decreases but does not eliminate the need to transfer juvenile offenders to Santa Barbara when the Santa Maria facility is full. The facility is clean and well lit. During the Grand Jury's inspection of the new classrooms, it was noted that the fire sprinkler heads and the lighting fixtures are potential dangers within easy reach. Some safety deficiencies observed were: Panel D in the electrical room needs blanks installed in circuits 17 and 39 through 41. Electrical fittings installed outside the area of the emergency generator are not weatherproof. Also noted were exit lights with burned out bulbs.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Finding 5: Routine maintenance inspections are not performed.
Recommendation 5: A weekly staff walk-through should be instituted to detect and initiate corrections of routine maintenance problems.
Finding 6: Design and construction deficiencies in the electrical room and generator area need correcting.
Recommendation 6: Electrical safety corrections should be made. Panel D in the electrical room needs blanks installed. Outside electrical fittings should be made weatherproof.
Finding 7: Sprinkler heads and lighting fixtures in new classrooms, are easily accessible to juveniles as dangers.
Recommendation 7: Sprinkler heads in classrooms should be recessed and Plexiglas lenses installed over fluorescent light fixtures.
Los Prietos Boys' Camp
Tri-Counties Boot Camp
Los Prietos Boys' Camp and Tri-Counties Boot Camp are located 20 miles north of Santa Barbara within the Los Padres National Forest. In 1994, a 30-year lease was signed with the U.S. Forest Service. The two camps share the land and some facilities (dining hall, gym, school, and health facility), but have separate living quarters and, most importantly, separate schedules. This insures autonomy in the different programs.
Sections 880 through 891 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code provide codified authority for the development, implementation, and operation of juvenile probation detention facilities in the State of California. Los Prietos Boys' Camp was established in 1945 to serve the youth of Santa Barbara County. The Tri-Counties Boot Camp was established in 1997 as a joint, collaborative project between Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. The respective Boards of Supervisors from these counties granted operational approval and authority by Board Resolution in compliance with standards in Title 15 and 25 of the California Code of Regulations (California State Board of Corrections).
The Los Prietos Boys' Camp offers a varied and challenging program for mid-to-high risk juvenile offenders. It serves 56 minors from Santa Barbara County with contracted beds to San Luis Obispo and Santa Cruz counties when available. It offers two program alternatives: a 90-120 good (as earned by a point system) day accelerated regimen and a six month institutional program. Both of these programs have up to a six-month community after care phase.
The Tri-Counties Boot Camp offers a unique placement alternative and early intervention program for low-level, nonviolent juvenile offenders. This program houses 40 wards, 20 from Ventura County, 15 from Santa Barbara County, and five from San Luis Obispo County. The program includes a 90-120 good day institutional phase and up to a six-month community after care phase.
Through the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO), educational programming is provided. Each minor/ward is assessed for educational needs.
Programming is individualized for academics: reading, writing and mathematics. Vocational training includes computer Maintenance. The minors/wards work on donated computers, which are gifted to needy families after repair.
Multiple counseling services are offered. They are individualized and can include Alcohol Anonymous (AA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), and family counseling as well as behavioral counseling. Community volunteers lead the CA and AA courses. Physical conditioning is offered through calisthenics twice per day and work crews. The work crews are an important component of the programs. Minors/wards work at least two hours per day in the Los Padres National Forest, in the kitchen and/or the grounds of the camp.
The goal of the Los Prietos Boys Camp and the Tri-Counties Boot Camp is to reintegrate an otherwise disenfranchised population of juvenile offenders into their respective communities as responsible, productive, and chemical-free individuals. The programs recognize the value and need for structure, discipline and accountability, but also focus on the need for therapeutic intervention, the development of vocational and education competencies and familial involvement with respect to the rehabilitative process. The camps' military orientation emphasizes the development of a work ethic, physical conditioning, the building of character and provides the means by which minors/wards can learn positive behaviors and attitudes which are transferable to all areas of life. Volunteers such as a soccer coach who donates time weekly and church representatives who volunteer for two weekly services contribute to the balance of the program. In addition, volunteer speakers come up monthly to motivate and stimulate the minors.
With the help of an artist from Santa Barbara, for example, the camp crew completed a beautiful Japanese sand garden. The Community Arts Commission, who commissioned the local artist to work with the minors, sponsored this effort.
Upon arrival, a minor/ward receives a copy of the Orientation Manual in English or Spanish as well as participates in a two week orientation. He is assigned to a squad/platoon, which becomes his small group from which he learns the dynamics of working cooperatively with a group.
All minors in Los Prietos Boys' Camp receive biweekly behavioral evaluations and Tri-Counties Boot Camp wards receive weekly behavioral evaluations in the areas of school, work areas, counseling, conduct and personal hygiene, and physical training. This includes an evaluation of the squad/platoon as a group. The evaluators are all staff with whom the minor/ward works. All discipline is treated as an educational tool. Program staff manages the implementation only. The evaluation procedures are complex and detailed so as to identify problems as clearly as possible in order for learning to take place. If a minor/ward feels an injustice, there is a grievance process he can utilize.
If a minor/ward is successful, he can earn special privileges such as the opportunity to go on educational trips, work during special events in town, and shorten his stay at the camp.
The 1999-2000 Grand Jury made several visits to the camps and were treated with utmost hospitality at all times. The feeling of the Grand Jury members at each departure was one of appreciation for the fine program in place. Minors/wards were treated with respect by the Staff and through this opportunity were learning to treat Staff with this given respect.
The Grand Jury commends the staff of both camps for their efforts in character building of the wards/minors.
Volunteers from the community provide service at the Camp. The Grand Jury commends the Camp for community involvement in the Japanese Sand Garden.
MUNICIPAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS
As reported in the 1998 Santa Barbara Grand Jury Report, the Main problem in all of the municipal police departments is overcrowding. Towns have grown as has the crime rate. However, the police facilities have not expanded to meet this demand.
The problem is exacerbated when bond passage by public vote has been denied as occurred in 1999 to the Santa Barbara Police Department request. Grants are not applicable as they are often targeted to programs and not facilities.
Santa Maria Police Department
The 1999-2000 Grand Jury made several visits to the Santa Maria Police Department (SMPD). Its jurisdiction covers an area of 19.6 square miles with 200 miles of roadway. The population of Santa Maria is currently 71,961.
The SMPD has 122 full-time employees plus 30 adult volunteers, 12 Explorer Scouts and 12 Reserve Officers. Its Emergency Communications Center is staffed with 13 courteous and efficient communication technicians who respond to all emergencies.
Community based policing is an integral part of the SMPD. The SMPD actively recruits citizen volunteers. This fine group of volunteers is used throughout the Police Department and the city, serving in such areas as the Crime Lab, Crime Analysis, Crime Prevention, and the Record's Bureau. A volunteer patrol takes care of abandoned vehicles and vacation house checks. Ingenuity in making do is exemplified by combining parts from five donated Humvees to assemble one for use in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program.
The facility has one temporary holding cell used for detaining suspects. There are two interviewing rooms where suspects are interviewed and booked. The Police headquarters' building is close to capacity due to an increased population in the city and the need for more employees in the department.
The Grand Jury made several observations during their numerous visits. At all times, the staff was very cooperative and helpful. The basement corridor (Figure 1) continues to be the area where hard copy records are stored as was observed in the 1998-1999 Grand Jury report. Storage in the corridor narrows the passageway enough to restrict the fire exit. In addition, records could be damaged if the basement is flooded.
Figure 1. Basement corridor
Several electrical violations were observed as recently as March 14, 2000. In the mechanical room where distribution panel "DS" is located, there is no three-foot clearance as required by code. (c.f. National Electrical Code Article 110-16) A blank plate is required to cover a gap below the "Fire Station Air Compressor" circuit breaker on the Main electrical distribution panel (Figure 2). This gap (see arrow) could be hazardous and could allow small rodents to enter the panel and short the system. (c.f. National Electrical Code Article 110-12a)
Figure 2. Main electrical control panel
Another concern was the Property and Evidence Room. It should be more secure with improved utilization of space. The narcotics are stored in an unlocked filing cabinet during the day. Confiscated weapons stand next to a refrigerator storing biohazard materials. Cleaners, lubricants, and other chemicals are stored on top of the refrigerator. Weapons and the refrigerator are in view from the hallway outside the Property Room.
The Grand Jury asked for a copy of the independent audit that was performed on the Department's Evidence/Property Room. The audit was conducted in 1998 by an Officer from the Lemoore, California Police Department. The audit gave the Department a very good rating with few recommendations for improvement. The audit found no ventilation system in the area of the narcotics locker. This could cause a health hazard due to strong chemicals from the narcotics. It was recommended that some form of ventilation system be installed in the area.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Finding 8: The Santa Maria Police Department continues to store hard copy records in the basement where they obstruct a fire exit and are subject to water damage.
Recommendation 8: The Property and Evidence Room could store the records that are presently in the room used to store the records currently stored in the basement. A separate entrance and a partition could be designed so as not to commingle both functions. This could be either in the lower level or the mezzanine.
Finding 9: The property room storage area is not laid out efficiently. The aisles are too wide creating wasted space.
Recommendation 9: The services of a space utilization expert is recommended to examine the entire building to make better functional use of space. There is commercially available space saving shelving on tracks that does utilize all available storage space. (Figure 3)
Figure 3 Example of space-saving shelving
Finding 10: The refrigerator and confiscated weapons are exposed to view from the hallway outside of the property room. There are also cleaners, lubricants, and other chemicals stored on top of the refrigerator. (Figure 4) This refrigerator is not on an emergency circuit that provides electricity during a power outage.
Figure 4. Refrigerator with cleaning supplies and stored confiscated weapons
Recommendation 10: The refrigerator and confiscated weapons should be stored in the adjoining room where they cannot be seen from the outside hallway. The items on top of the refrigerator should be stored in an approved storage cabinet in the caged area just outside of the property room. An emergency outlet should be installed for this refrigerator that will be energized when the emergency generator is activated.
Finding 11: There is an electrical three foot clearance violation at distribution "DS". A blank plate is also missing in the main distribution panel in the generator room.
Recommendation 11: Qualified personnel should correct all violations and a thorough inspection of the entire facility be conducted on all mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.
Guadalupe Police Department
This facility utilizes several rooms in an old building in the city of Guadalupe. The building, which is adjacent to an elementary school and a residential neighborhood, is in need of repair and maintenance. The Police Department shares the facility with other city offices. A large room, opening to a parking lot, contains a linear (barred) cell. This cell is used to temporarily hold detainees.
Lompoc Police Department
The Lompoc Police Department Maintains a "Type I." jail 24 hours a day, seven days a week with bed space for 28 inmates. It is separated into male and female sections. A "Type I." jail allows the short term holding of inmates for up to 96 hours prior to arraignment. Jailers are assigned to insure the safety and well being of the inmates while in custody.
During 1999, 2,179 inmates were processed through the Lompoc police department jail. There were 97 juveniles processed. This department operates with 46 police officers and 30 civilian employees.
As part of community outreach, "Lompoc Police Beat," a local television program, has been on the air each and every Thursday night since July 18, 1997. This informative hour of television provides valuable crime prevention tips, displays pictures of "Lompoc's Most Wanted" and features speaker presentations from various law enforcement agencies.
Santa Barbara Police Department
Of all the sites that the Grand Jury visited, nothing illustrates the lack of space more vividly than the Santa Barbara Police Department (SBPD). It continues to occupy a cramped outdated facility built in 1959 to accommodate 97 officers and staff when the city's population was 58,000. Now housing 229 employees, closet space becomes office space, and office space for one person has five detectives squeezed into it. The emergency operations center also serves as a community-training center, briefing room, and report writing room. The crime laboratory, photo laboratory and technical departments are severely undersized and need modernization. There are two holding cells and several interview rooms. Suspects are expeditiously transported to the Main jail. Because of lack of space, victims occasionally are interviewed in an open environment.
Severe lack of parking space necessitates police cars parking in the street. The public and the staff are ill-served with such lack of space.
In 1999 the SBPD received 50,547 calls for service, a decrease of five percent over 1998. Community-oriented policing spearheaded by the late police chief, include Project DARE, Citizen Academies and Neighborhood Watch. Extra vigilance and community involvement in drug and crime problem areas have helped to reduce crime. The Community Sobering Center near the downtown nightclub area is an alternative to incarceration for inebriated clients.
The Santa Barbara City Council is belatedly addressing the need for a new facility. In the November 2, 1999 election Measure B was introduced to raise $36.7 million in bonds for a new police station and for improvements in Fire Department facilities. Unfortunately, the measure only garnered 44.9 percent of the vote.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Finding 12: The SBPD occupies extremely congested quarters, which impede staff members from doing their job with maximum efficiency. This is detrimental not only to the staff but also to the public. This need has been obvious over the years and the Santa Barbara City Council has been derelict in dealing with this need.
Recommendation 12: It is now time for the City Council to prioritize this serious need and provide the financial means to give immediate temporary relief by perhaps decentralization (e.g. establish a sub-station). The City Council should also include in its budget a fund for facility expansion or a new station and seek different kinds of financial instruments to achieve this.
Board of Supervisors:
Santa Maria Police Department:
Santa Barbara Police Department:
Santa Barbara City Council:
Santa Barbara County Education Office: