County completes construction on south jail
Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, board supervisors cut ribbon on new South County Detention Facility in Porterville
PORTERVILLE – Perhaps nobody is happier to see a multi-million-dollar government facility project come to a close than Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies, who watched the ribbon cutting for the south county’s newest jail. Saving valuable hours of time, and getting brand new equipment, deputies in charge of Tulare County’s newest jail can look forward to saving time and money.
Unveiled last week the South County Detention Facility will house inmates who are on trial at the courthouse in Porterville, a few miles away, reducing transportation time and costs drastically. The 100,000-square foot facility has four units branching off of one central control station, transitional housing, a kitchen, bakery, classrooms, laundry room, medical area and much more.
“It’s a brand new facility in a completely different part of the county,” Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said. “Progress requires innovative change and that’s what this building represents for all of us.”
Boudreaux, who spoke at the ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Aug. 28, said that he hopes the people they introduce to the facility only have to view it once.
“What we’re really trying to do is keep people from coming through this door twice,” Boudreaux said. “We do realize it happens, but that’s really why this facility was built – It’s focused on rehabilitation.”
The modern $72 million jail will house up to 519 inmates and was paid for with a $60 million grant from the State of California.
The building is designed to provide the safest environment for both detention officers and inmates with a state of the art security electronics system and cameras throughout the building. Sheriff Boudreaux said inmates will start being housed in the new jail in about 4-6 weeks. The facility should be fully operational within about a year.
This is the first detention facility built in Tulare County since the completion of the Adult Pretrial Facility in 1999. The County competed for $60 million in grant money from the state. The county contributed up to $12 million from a onetime expenditure from the General Fund as well as from Capital Projects.
Inmates have recreation space, storage space for their belongings, and multi-purpose rooms for programming and various classes. The facility uses a modern housing pod design, with four units branching off one central control station. The building is designed to create the safest environment for detentions officers and inmates. It has a new security electronics system and there are 172 cameras throughout the entire building. This reduces the number officers needed to monitor the safety of the facility at any given time.
In addition, the facility is intended to create efficiencies in the delivery of public safety services in South Tulare County. Currently, all of the County’s detention facilities are located in or north of Visalia. This will be the only detention facility in the southern portion of Tulare County.
The project began in 2012 when the County received notification from the State that they had been competitively selected to receive these funds. Construction was completed in June of 2019 and the State Fire Marshal granted occupancy on June 14. Construction took three years to complete. During the past four years, the County has taken great care to work with numerous State agencies, the City of Porterville, and other local partners. The design of the project required three separate phases, all of which were reviewed and approved by several state agencies.