More than two decades after the Hall of Justice prison was classified as seismically unsafe, San Francisco officially plans to shut down the rundown facility within the next six months.
Led by regulator Sandra Fewer, the board of directors voted 10-1 on Tuesday to pass laws requiring the accelerated closure of the No. 4 District Jail on the seventh floor of the courthouse at 850 Bryant Street.
While Mayor London Breed had previously ordered the closure until July 2021, inmates must now have moved out by November 1st.
“This legislation just creates a mandate to close a facility that everyone agrees must close, just on a more aggressive timeline,” Less said ahead of the vote. “Let’s do what needs to be done.”
Fewer found support for their legislation when inmate numbers fell below 700 during the COVID-19 pandemic, well below the long-established goal of not having more than 1,044 inmates in the system to close the prison without the overcrowding both remaining facilities.
While Sheriff Paul Miyamoto has raised concerns that inmate numbers might rise again after the crisis ended, he appeared to have stopped opposing the law after several changes had given him more “flexibility to accommodate future fluctuations in the prison population.” carry”.
Indeed, the legislation instructs a subcommittee of the Sentences Commission to draw up an emergency plan for the accommodation of inmates in the event of an influx of inmates after the prison has been closed.
However, the subcommittee, which will report in August and October, must not consider moving inmates to another county or adding new prison beds to the system outside of the redevelopment of an existing facility such as the No. 2 County Jail.
“Our office is determined to close the No. 4 District Jail to ensure the health and safety of everyone there,” said Miyamoto, who tried to close the prison by sending inmates to the Alameda District and moving to the No. 4 District Jail 2. Rehabilitated unsafe, outdated and dilapidated. “
Only regulator Catherine Stefani voted against the legislation, saying it was struggling to balance the necessary closure of the facility with the city’s public safety needs.
“Although I agree, we have to close this prison,” said Stefani. “I don’t think we can do that until I demonstrate to my constituents in some way that we are not endangering victims of crime, particularly domestic violence and victims of sexual assault.”
Stefani said she has not yet received any responses from the sheriff, including about the charges facing inmates who are being released in order to reduce the prison population. The defense attorney and prosecutor have agreed on the early release of at least 40 people to clear prisons and prevent a coronavirus outbreak behind bars.
Supervisor Norman Yee, president of the board of supervisors, said the prison would not be closed “irresponsibly”.
“It is dangerous and irresponsible for anyone to spread misinformation and rumors that this legislation is somehow making us less safe,” Yee said. “We do not release anyone who would pose a threat to themselves or the public.
“We ensure public safety while also making sure that this unsafe facility cannot continue to operate,” he added.
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