More than 300 people were on hand as Sheriff Mike Boudreaux cut the ribbon for the new South County Detention Facility in Porterville.
The modern $72 million jail will house up to 519 inmates and was paid in part with a $60 million grant from the State of California.
This is the first jail in the history of Tulare County that is not located in the Visalia area, Sheriff Boudreaux said. Now, with the opening of the new jail, detention services have extended to the southern part of the county.
“It’s a brand new facility in a completely different part of the county,” he said. “Progress requires innovative change and that’s what this building represents for all of us.”
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 feet facility has four units branching off of one central control station, transitional housing, a kitchen, bakery, classrooms, laundry room, medical area and much more.
“What we’re really trying to do is keep people from coming through this door twice,” Sheriff Boudreaux said. “We do realize it happens, but that’s really why this facility was built - It’s focused on rehabilitation and we’re hoping that they don’t see the doors twice.”
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.
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.