Next Tuesday, San Francisco County Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will be addressing the Board of Supervisors with a request for $80 million to fund construction of a new San Francisco jail. Construction costs are estimated to be at least $300 million--$700 with debt service--altogether.
Mirkarimi, who faces reelection in 2015 after a controversial arrest and reinstatement, argues that the new jail will be necessary when the seismically vulnerable Hall of Justice, which houses 828 arrestees, will be demolished. But opponents believe that existing facilities are underused, and that not all detainees awaiting trial need to be behind bars. Even law enforcement officials question the need for new construction.
If you are concerned about spending public money to build more jail space, call your supervisor and email to express your concerns.