The current Calaveras County Jail was built in 1963. It was originally constructed to house 45 male inmates, 4 female inmates, and 10 juvenile inmates. While there were housing units assigned for our female population, typically female inmates were housed in the Amador County Jail.
From 1963 until 1980, sworn deputies rotated time between the staffing the jail and patrol duties. They also manned the 911/dispatch center as part of the jail until a new dispatch unit was added in the early 1980’s. Correctional officers took over the duties of the jail in 1980, much to the relief of the patrol deputies.
Due to growth in the community, more bed space was required. Thus, in 1983, the first modifications to the jail were set in motion. A new Male Housing Wing was added and an existing wing was converted to house the growing population of female inmates. Modifications and additions were done to the kitchen, visitation and laundry rooms, along with the construction of a library. A secure exercise yard was also added.
Even with these expanded facilities, population growth overwhelmed the jail and dangerous jail overpopulation situations were occurring. A population cap was placed on the jail in 1993 by the Calaveras County Superior courts to help control the overpopulation problems.
In 1999 the jail saw its second expansion push with the addition of a maximum-security wing. This wing was built to separate the more violent offenders from the general jail population. It also had increased safety features to aid the Correctional staff. Even with the addition of these eight beds, there continues to be overpopulation problems.
Plans for a new jail have been in the works for several years. In 2007 the voters of Calaveras County approved Measure J which authorized bonds to meet the match requirement for State funding to build a new Adult Detention Facility and Sheriff’s Administration complex. This new facility is slated for completion in 2013.
For information on the overpopulation early release percentages see the Calaveras County Jail Weekly Booking Report.