Released: April 10, 1996


In accordance with the requirements of California Penal Code Section 919(b), the Grand Jury is required to "inquire into the condition and management of the public prisons within the county." This report applies to those detention facilities maintained by the following incorporated cities of Santa Barbara County: Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Solvang. Buellton does not have a separate facility. It has been merged with Solvang. In addition to the city-maintained detention facilities, the two Sobering Centers in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria were inspected.


To inspect the facilities to ensure they meet the California Code of Regulations, Title 15, Subchapter 4, Minimum Standards for Local Detention Facilities, Articles 1-7.


The Grand Jury visited the detention facilities in each of the cities at least twice. The first visit was announced; all others were not. During these visits inspections were made of the areas used for incarceration and all other related areas pertinent to the housing of prisoners. The Grand Jury interviewed administrators regarding administrative and operational procedures and problems in the detention facilities.


The detention facilities in Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Solvang are all small holding facilities. No one is detained for more than a matter of hours. Because of the short detention periods no food preparation or medical facilities are necessary on site. Additional observations specific to each city follow:

Carpinteria - 5775 Carpinteria Avenue, Carpinteria, CA 93013
Solvang - 1644 Oak Street, Solvang, CA 93464

Carpinteria and Solvang have contracted the operation of their detention facilities to the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department.

Guadalupe Police Department - 4490 10th Street, Guadalupe, CA 93434

The detention facility consists of a large room which contains: one holding cell (with one wooden bench), two chairs with handcuffs, the booking area, the citing area, work tables and the evidence locker. This room is in full view of the parking lot. There are no shades or drapes on the windows.

Lompoc Police Department - 107 Civic Center Plaza, Lompoc, CA 93436

The City of Lompoc is the only city in Santa Barbara County that maintains a Class 1 jail. The maximum stay for any prisoner at the Lompoc jail is 96 hours, except for trustees who can stay longer. Prisoners are either transported to the Santa Barbara County Main Jail or released. The capacity of the jail is ten cells (25 beds) and houses both male and female inmates in separate areas.

Violent prisoners are isolated and can be restrained, if necessary. They are usually sent to the Santa Barbara County Main Jail.

The Grand Jury was informed that food preparation at the jail meets statutory requirements. Should the need arise, medical attention is available at the nearby hospital, since there are no medical personnel at the jail.

Santa Barbara Police Department - 217 East Figueroa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

The detention facility consists of two holding cells that can house two inmates each. The maximum holding time is four hours.

Santa Maria Police Department - 222 Cook Street, Santa Maria, CA 93454

The detention facility consists of two holding cells that can house two inmates each. The maximum holding time is four hours.

Sobering Centers

Santa Barbara - 17 East Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Santa Maria - 812-A West Foster Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455

One of the newer concepts in the management of public drunkenness is the establishment of Sobering Centers. Persons who have been apprehended for being drunk in public may be detained in a Sobering Center, usually for six hours, then released. The expense of transporting them to the County Jail, paying the booking fee and subsequently prosecuting them is thereby avoided. This saves the cities a significant amount of money.

Persons who have been apprehended for being drunk in public can be admitted to the Sobering Center seven times. On the eighth occasion, they are criminally prosecuted. Persons apprehended for the crimes of being drunk and disorderly or for drunk driving do not have the option of being admitted to the Sobering Center. They are always prosecuted.

This program is currently in effect in Santa Barbara (opened in March, 1994) and in Santa Maria (opened in December, 1994). The Santa Barbara City Police Department contracts out its Sobering Center to the Threshold to Recovery organization. The Santa Maria operation consists of a cell located within the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Station and is operated by the Sheriff's Department. Authorities have stated it is a practical and cost effective way to handle this problem.


FINDING 1: The lack of window coverings in the Guadalupe Detention Facility could be a great hazard to any officer or inmate.

FINDING 2: The city detention facilities in Santa Barbara County appear to be well managed.

AFFECTED AGENCIES (California Penal Code Section 933c requires that comments to Grand Jury Findings and Recommendations be made in writing within 60 days by all affected agencies except governing bodies, which are allowed 90 days. The Grand Jury requires all responses be submitted on computer disk along with the printed response):


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