Funding approved for more jail space
Thirty-two beds will be added to the crowded South Lake Tahoe Jail in the upcoming months after the county approved funding to make more double occupancy cells.
The addition has been anticipated and needed for five years, authorities said.
“We’ve been running at maximum capacity for quite some time now,” said Lt. Randy Peshon, who runs the facility. “Plus it also puts us in a better position to accept overflow from the Placerville jail.”
The jail’s capacity is 126 inmates, but anything more than 115 crowds the building, Peshon said. Inmates are assigned to areas with similar criminals, so sex offenders could be with other sex offenders, Peshon said.
The lieutenant added that the overcrowding is so bad that a times an inmate is released when a new one is booked.
“When we get up to 115 (inmates) we have to take a real hard look on who we’re going to get out the door,” he said.
The jail is set up with two floors of dormitory style bunk beds which can house 16 inmates. The remaining cells hold one bed.
Sheriff Jeff Neves originally wanted 60 additional beds, but that would have required significant remodeling, he said. Thirty-two beds were enough so only slight adjustments will be made.
The extra beds will be added to single cells, turning them into doubles.
“As far as the capacity, it’s been an area of concern for quite some time,” said Dave Solaro, county supervisor.
Neves said the department is beginning to research adding two pods to the Placerville jail. It would basically double the current capacity of 243 inmates, he said.
The construction company of Thomas Haen won the bid and contract for the South Lake Tahoe addition. Construction will begin sometime next month and last for two weeks, Peshon said.
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