County Loses Out on Competition for Jail Funds

Orange County lost out in a statewide competition for funding for a $40 million refurbishing of its Intake Release Center in Santa Ana.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department requested $36 million in state funds to rebuild two floors to create 257 “special use” beds for mental/health services; the county then was to provide $4 million for the facility through which 60,000 inmates cycle each year.

But a team of experts for the California Board of State and Community Corrections on Nov. 2 rated Orange County’s bid last among 10 large counties competing for $240 million in jail funds.

The counties funded were: San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda, Ventura, state records show, with the state set to make the final decision on the recommendations this week.

“We are obviously disappointed,” said Steven Kea, Orange County’s assistant sheriff for custodial operations. But he added the quest was “an uphill battle” — because the four counties selected for jail competition previously had not been funded, which gave them an advantage in scoring.

Rex Dalton is a San Diego-based journalist who has worked for the San Diego Union-Tribune and the journal Nature. You can reach him directly at

  • Jacki Livingston

    Awwwww. Too bad. Guess they will just have to keep stealing fromc comatose patients.

  • Debby Bodkin

    Thank you—partial justice!!!!! No state or federal funds should be granted to the OC Sheriff, OC District Attorney or OC Board of Supervisors until they all clean their houses of obstructions of justice, crimes against children, adults and employees. Maybe start with releasing a truthful report about what was found in the John Derek Chamberlain beating death and the circumstances surrounding the death.

  • LFOldTimer

    Looks like the gravy train has broken down. Time to add a special tax (or fee) on the citizens stuggling to make ends meet. Wait for it.