Edward Flores, Santa Clara County's chief of correction, said running Elmwood is a task that's been made much harder over the last few years due to fiscal cuts to the county government.
Over the last five years, Flores
said $28 million in cuts to the county's correctional system have occurred.
"We've met those cuts with staff reductions, revenue measures and reorganization," he
added for the 2008 fiscal year, the Department of Correction
will have to make $8.38 million in further cuts.
"There is no additional monies out there; there's less money to do things," Flores
said staffing levels at Elmwood
would not change in the near future. Flores added that needed physical improvements at Elmwood such as installing more surveillance cameras, lighting and a requested east gate sallyport to use as a place to better isolate and inspect incoming and outgoing vehicles, has been asked for by his department, but will likely not come.
"Those items are in the millions and it requires essentially capital money layouts," Flores
said areas that are prone to security problems are being more closely monitored by the jail.
"We're making more checks of the east gate," he
In addition, he
said more supervision of guards has taken place and changes in some older procedures have also been made.
"We're doing more thorough point-by-point security," Flores
added that stronger disciplinary actions have been taken against guards who are seen as not properly doing their jobs. He
said the jail has always taken any perceived problem seriously.
"We have zero tolerance for escapes," Flores
"They should feel as safe living there as if they were living miles away," Flores