Stanislaus sheriff has jail space, but not the staff

MODESTO - California sheriffs usually complain about the lack of jail space to house the prisoners in their area. In Stanislaus County, the opposite is happening.

By the end of the weekend, 126 jail beds in the Modesto area will be empty and unused because the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department can't find enough employees to manage those facilities.

"This is people leaving through attrition, leaving for other counties or the state, and not having the applicants to fill those positions," Sgt. Keith Rakoncza explained.

Rackoncza said the department currently has 36 openings, which are tough to fill because of hiring practices.

"We have standards and guidelines getting through the process," Rakoncza said. "Out of 100 applicants we might get 1 or 2 percent of those applicants that are actually hired."

The 126 empty beds represents about 10 percent of the county's jail capacity.


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