Napa County breaking ground on $17M inmate-transition center

The first phase of what will be the new Napa County Jail is set to break ground June 9.

A 72-bed, 23,000-square-foot 'correctional re-entry facility' will be built on 24 acres at 2300 Napa-Vallejo Highway, south of Napa State Hospital. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned at the site at 1:30 p.m.

The goal of this $17 million project is to reduce recidivism by providing lower-level offenders with opportunities for employment and education through structured programs and services that decrease the long-term need for expensive jail beds, according to the county.

The state chipped in $13.5 million, and rest comes from money dedicated to criminal justice and from the county's general fund.

'The facility underscores the commitment of Napa County to criminal rehabilitation and the safety of the community,' said Supervisor Belia Ramos, chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors.

It's a collaboration among county agencies, particularly the probation and corrections departments, she said. There will be classrooms and program space available to meet the needs for mental health counseling, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and job-training and employment services. The goal is to help inmates become self-sufficient, productive members of society once they're released, the county said.

During the last quarter of 2016, 38 percent of those who were placed on supervision with the probation department had previous convictions.

'These incentive-based programs improve a person's behavior through time, preparation, programming, and the tools to stay out of custody,' said Lenard Vare, corrections director. 'This project highlights the county's emphasis on evidence-based practices.

Set to be at the groundbreaking ceremony, held at 1:30 p.m., include Ramos, Napa Superior Court Judge Mark S. Boessenecker, interim County Executive Officer Minh Tran, Corrections Director Lenard Vare and Chief Probation Officer Mary Butler.

Construction of the facility is scheduled to be completed in summer 2018.

The August 2014 Napa earthquake heavily damaged the existing 264-bed jail at 1125 Third St., forcing authorities to shift some inmates east to Solano County. Officials said the jail also lacks facilities to treat inmates with mental health needs.

The project for the new jail has been in motion since 2004. The jail was part of the Hall of Justice when it was built in 1976 then expanded into an annex finished next door in 1989. The county has been considering demolishing the 52,000-square-foot jail annex to allow for more downtown redevelopment.

The team for the latest transitional-housing project is led by general contractor Vila Construction Co. of Richmond, Sacramento-based architecture firm Nacht & Lewis and Vanir Construction Management, also of Sacramento.

Vila's subcontractors include Yelton Co. of Vacaville for site demolition, Keith J. Gale Engineering, Napa, earthwork, utilities and asphalt paving; R.E. Maher, American Canyon, site and building concrete; Bay Area Concrete, Livermore, concrete polishing; American Fence Co., Norwalk, fences and gates; Metal Set, Richmond, structural steel; King's Roofing, Patterson, metal and asphalt roofing, siding; CDC, Santa Rosa, millwork and countertopos; Progress Glass, Cotati, glazing; Northern Pacific, Santa Rosa, drywall; Skyva, exterior insulation and finishes; Peterson Tile, Santa Rosa, ceramic tile; Streamline Painting, Santa Rosa; Myers Restaurant Supply, Alameda, foodservice equipment; Margvee Fire, Sacramento, sprinklers; Peterson Mechanical, Sonoma, heating, air-conditioning and automation; Northern Electric, Santa Rosa, electrical, communications, audio-visual and security; Marina Landscape, Lodi; and Tyrrell Plumbing, Vacaville.

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