VISTA (CNS) - County officials Friday opened a dormitory-style jail designed to help San Diego-area military veterans who have run afoul of the law successfully re-enter free society.
The goal of the Veterans Moving Forward wing at the Vista Detention Facility is to offer inmates who have served in the armed forces guidance and support toward "easing their transition back into the community and assistance with keeping them out of jail for good," according to a San Diego County Sheriff's Department statement.
The specialized unit can hold up to 32 inmates in a situation somewhat comparable to military barracks. All will have access to such benefits as behavior-modification classes, vocational training, substance-abuse treatment and employment preparation.
"Providing services such as Veterans Moving Forward and Veterans Court is pivotal to their success and to community safety," Sheriff Bill Gore said.
Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins described the program, which is expected to expand to other local detention facilities, as a good example of the county's "focus on building a smart criminal-justice system."
"By linking veterans and others to the in-custody and community programming that addresses their issues and needs, we can help them build more positives futures while protecting the public at the same time," Jenkins said.
The enterprise is a joint project of the Sheriff's Department, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and community providers.
As of this week, a total of 270 military veterans were in custody locally, according to sheriff's officials.
Viewing events for Monday's solar eclipse, in which 57 percent of the sun will be covered for a time in San Diego, are scheduled to take place around the area.
San Diego Gas & Electric officials said they expect to lose about 500 megawatts of solar energy production during Monday's eclipse, but they expect to have enough power on hand to meet demand.
People across the country are getting ready to view an historic solar eclipse. News 8's Chief Meteorologist Matt Baylow headed to a small town in Wyoming to view it and brings us the story.
If you're planning on watching Monday's solar eclipse you'll need to head east as morning clouds along the coast will likely block those near the beaches from seeing the celestial event.
In San Diego, the "Great American Eclipse" will have maximum visibility at 10:23 a.m. Monday, August 21. Southern California residents will have about 60 percent darkness at that time.
With just a week to go, many people across the U.S. are buzzing about the "Great American Eclipse."
Hundreds of people rallying against illegal immigration and counter-protesters opposing their stance were squaring off today along the shore at Broadway and Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.
The San Diego LGBT Community Center and other social justice groups held a rally against hate in response to the Alt-Right rallies held across the country in recent days.
A whale watching boat spotted a whale four miles off the coast of Point Loma entangled in fishing line.
A man was seriously injured when he was struck by a hit-and-run motorist in the Mira Mesa community of San Diego, a police officer said Sunday.