SAN DIEGO (CNS) - After years of slamming the overcrowded and dilapidated conditions at the area's primary jail for women, the San Diego County Grand Jury described the Las Colinas Detention facility as "well kept" and "well maintained" in a report issued Wednesday.
The panel had no criticisms of the facility in Santee after a visit last September. Harsh condemnation of conditions at Las Colinas in the past led the county to commit to building a new, larger women's jail.
Groundbreaking for the new Las Colinas Detention Facility is scheduled for this summer, according to the grand jury report.
Other female detainees are housed at the Vista Detention Facility, which also holds male inmates.
One of the challenges jail officials face is a rising need to separate various categories of prisoners. In 2008, 12 percent of inmates had to be kept apart from the general population -- either because they were in protective custody, were sexually violent or for other reasons. The figure is now up to 18 percent.
The grand jury said Gov. Jerry Brown's public safety realignment will likely increase the figure further. State officials, however, say only non-violent inmates will stay in local custody.
The only recommendation made by the grand jury was for the county to offer Saturday parental visiting hours at a juvenile girls' rehabilitation facility.
The county Probation Department was ordered to respond to the report by July 31.