BSCC Approves Enhanced Jail Inspection Process
Proposed new process will increase accountability and transparency for jails that fall below BSCC’s minimum standards
SACRAMENTO (Feb. 13, 2020) – In a major step toward ensuring swifter action when local jails fail to meet minimum standards, members of the Board of State and Community Corrections today unanimously approved a plan to put in place a more focused process that will speed up remediation plans for increased accountability and transparency when deficiencies in local detention facilities are identified.
BSCC establishes minimum standards for the design, construction and operation of local jails and detention facilities, and inspects all 558 adult and juvenile detention facilities at least every two years to ensure those minimum standards are being met. Reports on these inspections are produced and posted online here. After the inspections, BSCC identifies areas of non-compliance and works with local officials to develop Corrective Action Plans.
Under the enhanced inspection process that will be made final at the Board’s June 2020 meeting, BSCC would require counties to identify remediation plans within a defined time frame of the inspection to address items of noncompliance. If the deadline is not met, the item would be placed on the agenda of a BSCC Board meeting for further discussion and follow-up. The Board would request the presence of the Sheriff to explain how the county intends to come into compliance on items the Board considers serious.
“Facility inspection is a critical part of our work, and greater transparency and accountability are essential,” said Chair Linda Penner. “It’s a great challenge, and it’s going to make a difference.”
The new process may result in more frequent inspections than the current biennial cycle. The new inspection cycle will begin on July 1, 2020. The Board also approved a process that would similarly enhance accountability for juvenile detention facility inspections. This is consistent with Governor Newsom’s proposed 2020-21 budget, in which he called “to strengthen the state’s oversight of county jails.”
Between now and the June meeting, the Board asked BSCC staff to seek public input, which staff will do through noticed hearings and by seeking input through the BSCC website.
Additionally, the BSCC is undergoing its biennial Title 15 regulation review and amendment process. Together, these actions will result in improved regulatory structures and administrative oversight.
The mission of the BSCC includes providing leadership, coordination and technical assistance to promote effective partnerships and practices in California’s adult and local criminal justice systems.
For more information please contact Allison Ganter at Allison.Ganter@bscc.ca.gov or 916-323-8617
For media inquiries please contact Tracie Cone at Tracie.Cone@bscc.ca.gov or 916-322-1054