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Plan To Reduce Overcrowding Will Move Prisoners To County Jails

The San Diego County Sheriff’s office estimates about 300 women prisoners will serve their sentence in county jail instead of state prison. It’s part of the plan to relieve overcrowding in state prisons.

The Las Colinas Detention Facility serves as the primary point of intake for ...

Above: The Las Colinas Detention Facility serves as the primary point of intake for women prisoners in San Diego County.

San Diego’s only women’s jail, Las Colinas, is crumbling and overcrowded; County grand juries have called it a disgrace for years. A new $220-million replacement jail is now in the works, but won’t be finished until 2015.

Commander John Ingrassia of San Diego’s sheriff’s department says more than 640 women are currently held in Las Colinas, which has a court ordered capacity of 500.

Ingrassia says the county has converted buildings to increase capacity.

"On that end it is overcrowded, but every inmate is in a bed," said Ingrassia. "But you also have issues with the age of the facility, so the medical area is inadequate. Once we have the new facility on line we should have close to 900 inmates - maybe a little more - but we should have 1,216 beds."

Ingrassia says there are technically enough beds for 900 women at Las Colinas, but conditions will be inadequate until the first phase of the new jail comes on line.

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