SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. — The Siskiyou County Jail is near capacity and 99% of its inmates are felons. In October of 2011 California Bill AB-109 took effect, forcing those felons to do their time in local county jails.
The sign may read “Siskiyou County Jail”, meaning it’s meant to house mostly misdemeanors, but the Sheriff is calling it a “mini-prison”; that’s because right now the place is filled with felons, rather than inmates spending their time in state prison they’re doing it in local jails.
Right now, only one percent of the inmates at the Siskiyou County Jail are in for a misdemeanor. The rest are felons some sentenced to four and five years. More felons means prison politics come into play, causing more fights and disruptions among inmates and also causing a crowded environment.
Prison Manager Lt. Jeff Huston says most inmates are now double-bunked. The original design for the jail allows for only four single cell units making it harder for him to separate the ones who can’t get along.
“They all don’t mix. So, I only have so many ways to separate them, and it’s getting more and more difficult when I keep getting more and more felons in here,” said Lt. Huston.
Officials are working to build a new jail with a better design. The Siskiyou County Jail has until October 21st of 2013 to purchase a property for the new jail. They are already in negotiations for one right now.