San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks has wanted a new, big jail for a long time. It wasn’t until the county found itself responsible for the detention of state prisoners that he finally won his battle. Now, the county will move ahead building the new prison, even if it isn’t quite as large as he had hoped for originally.

The partial build plan, which constructs the entire jail and then phases in new beds as need arises, will give the county he ability to house 640 more inmates.

But one supervisor, who voted against the new construction project, would have rather seen the money go towards preventing crime and reforming criminals, as a way to reduce the need for housing inmates. But according to the Chairwoman of the Board, the new Realignment plan was a game changer that forced the county to reexamine how it planned to deal with its newly expanded responsibilities.

The answer, in the eyes of a majority of the supervisors, was this new prison.

From the Palo Alto Daily News:

On a 4-1 vote, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized Sheriff Greg Munks to build the large jail he has been lobbying for.

The only caveat is that one floor must remain empty of beds until there’s a pressing need for it to house additional inmates. So instead of opening with 768 to 832 beds, the new jail initially will come equipped with 576 to 640 beds.

But that so-called “partial build” option didn’t sway Supervisor Dave Pine, who cast the dissenting vote.

Read the full article here.