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SANTA PAULA, Calif. - County officials and contractors held a groundbreaking ceremony at Todd Road Jail on March 6 to begin the expansion project that will result in a 64-bed unit designed to house inmates with medical and mental health issues.

The Health and Programming Unit has been in the planning stages for several years. However, construction of the project is now expected to move quickly on the 64,000 square-foot facility. In addition to 64 beds, the project will provide a clinic and programming unit for inmates with medical and mental health needs. Changes in the prison system in California, known as realignment, have created longer stays for some inmates housed in county jails. This has created a greater need for expanded medical and mental health care within local facilities, including those in Ventura County.

The total cost of the project is $61,265,000, with 90 percent of the funding being administered by the state of California’s Board of State and Community Corrections. The remaining 10 percent, or approximately $6,128,000, is being contributed by the County of Ventura.

One of the goals of the project is to utilize as many local subcontractors as possible. Sletten Construction, the lead builder, has held one of two planned pre-construction workshops to attract local subcontractors.

Todd Road Jail opened in 1995 with a capacity to house 796 inmates. While the expansion only provides a four-percent increase in total housing capacity for the Ventura County Jail system, it creates a significant change in the resources available to the most vulnerable inmates.

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