Riverside County, Ca., will need 2,300 more jail beds in the next decade to accommodate a swelling inmate population, says a study reported by the Los Angeles Times. The expansion, a 70% increase over current jail space, could cost up to $358.1 million. Among the proposals is construction of a second high-rise jail tower, with 1,600 beds in downtown Riverside.
County supervisors ordered the study because of their concern about the growing number of inmates released early because of jail overcrowding. Last year, more than 3,100 inmates went free before their sentences expired. Sheriff Bob Doyle advocates building two “hub” jails at each end of the county. The earliest such facilities could be operating is 2 1/2 years, he said. A separate county executive’s study focuses on expanding existing jails.