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'We are absolutely against the expansion': Debate continues about expanding the Sacramento County Jail

Those in favor of the expansion say it will help create more beds for inmates, while those against say it will only encourage law enforcement to arrest more people.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The empty lot behind the Sacramento County Jail is where a potential expansion will take place if the vote goes through at Wednesday's Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting.

But some in the community say the expansion is a terrible idea.

“People are living on the street because they don’t have housing. People are not receiving the mental health and healthcare that they are entitled to. Once we address those issues, we would see the population of the jail dwindle,” said community member, Tiffany Moyer.

Over on Facebook, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office is urging people to stand in solidarity with the jail expansion, saying in their post the new facility would include enough bed space to meet expected population growth.

Councilmember Katie Valenzuela who represents District 4 says that’s not entirely true.

“It's not even an additional jail cell space. It’s a treatment center, so it’s really just going to serve the people in the existing jail, which why we are trying to separate the jail release from what this facility really represents,” said Valenzuela.

The project will also ensure the jail complies with a lawsuit called Mays v. County of Sacramento, which alleged the county "failed to provide constitutionally-required mental health and medical care to people in the jail."

In a Board of Supervisors synopsis, county staff said the requirements can't be done in the Main Jail facility due to square footage limitations. They added the project isn't about increasing bed capacity at the jail.

“What we need them to do is set aside significant resources to make sure the people coming out of this jail are not just ending up back in the street, not just ending up without the deep services, and we know how to do this if we invest appropriately,” said Valenzuela.

ABC10 reached out to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office for comment, but they declined.

The sheriff's office did say they will have a presentation at the Board of Supervisors meeting about why they believe the expansion will be beneficial for the community and current inmates.

Watch more on ABC10: Historic partnership made to address homelessness in Sacramento city, county

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