Alternative Sites For Future Juvenile Detention Facility

DATE: April 20, 1999 
TO: Board of Supervisors 
SUBJECT:Alternative Sites For Future Juvenile Detention Facility 

SUMMARY:
Last November, the County made an option payment for the San Pasqual Academy for the purpose of analyzing this site to determine its feasibility as a future juvenile detention facility. This analysis is currently underway.

Based on information received to date and a tour of the site, we firmly believe the County should immediately stop work on the environmental impact report and cease all efforts to purchase the San Pasqual Academy. In addition, the Chief Administrative Officer should conduct a search for other possible sites to place a new juvenile detention facility in a location to best serve the growing juvenile delinquent population, and return to the Board within 30 days with a report on sites that would be feasible alternatives to the San Pasqual Academy. Finally, the Chief Administrative Officer should develop a master plan for Probation's Institutional Services, including an update on the immediate need for additional beds in the juvenile detention system.

Recommendation(s):
VICE-CHAIRWOMAN DIANNE JACOB AND SUPERVISOR BILL HORN 
1. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to immediately stop work on the environmental impact report and cease all efforts to purchase the San Pasqual Academy.

2. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to negotiate for the recovery of some or all of the costs of the County's option payment.

3. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to conduct a search for other possible sites to place a new juvenile detention facility in a location to best serve the growing juvenile delinquent population, and return to the Board within 30 days with a report on sites that would be feasible alternatives to the San Pasqual Academy.

4. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to develop a master plan for Probation's Institutional Services, including an update on the immediate need for additional beds in the juvenile detention system, and return to the Board within 30 days.

Fiscal Impact: 
If approved, this request will result in no additional costs or staff years.

Background:
On February 10, 1998, the Board approved an appropriation of $2.0 million in "seed" money for a North County Juvenile Justice Center. This project would provide a new 300 bed juvenile hall and court complex in North County. The County's Capital Improvement Program for FY 1998-1999 included the North County Juvenile Justice Center and stated that the project requires a site analysis/identification and the potential acquisition of land.

On March 16, 1999, the Board of Supervisors approved a grant application for $37 million from the State Board of Corrections. If successful in receiving the funding, a plan must be developed and a site located which is appropriate for this use. Under the terms of the grant application, the County is committed to constructing a juvenile detention facility and operating that facility within 90 days of completing the construction.

Last November, the County made an option payment for the San Pasqual Academy for the purpose of studying this site for a future juvenile detention facility. The environmental impact report is currently underway.

Based on information received to date and a tour of the site, we firmly believe the County should immediately stop work on the environmental impact report and cease all efforts to purchase the San Pasqual Academy. Concerns have been raised about water, sewer, traffic, fire, air and noise pollution, public safety, the San Pasqual agricultural preserve and the impact on the San Dieguito River Park. The San Pasqual Valley lies within the San Dieguito River Park focused planning area and any detrimental environmental impacts in the future could harm the effort to preserve this treasured and unprecedented river park.

Although the County has in the past identified other possible sites for a new juvenile detention facility, a thorough search needs to be conducted so that alternative sites are brought to the Board's attention for consideration. The search for alternative sites should identify locations which are closer to the growing juvenile delinquent population and should focus on such issues as prisoner transportation costs, environmental concerns and the impact on the juvenile justice system.

This Board letter would direct the Chief Administrative Officer to immediately stop work on the environmental impact report and cease all efforts to purchase the San Pasqual Academy. In addition, the Chief Administrative Officer would conduct a search for other possible sites to place a new juvenile detention facility in a location to best serve the growing juvenile delinquent population area, and return to the Board within 30 days with a report on sites that would be feasible alternatives to the San Pasqual Academy. Finally, the Chief Administrative Officer should develop a master plan for Probation's Institutional Services, including an update on the immediate need for additional beds in the juvenile detention system. We urge your support for this proposal.

Respectfully submitted,

DIANNE JACOB 
Vice-Chairwoman

BILL HORN 
Supervisor, Fifth District