Sheriff Michael Johnson and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office are pleased to inform the public that plans are in motion to reopen the closed floor of the Shasta County Jail no later than Thanksgiving of this year (November 23, 2023).
The Sheriff’s Office will accomplish this task by utilizing both sworn and non-sworn staff that will be pulled from various divisions within the agency. Through our on-going recruitment and retention efforts, the goal will remain to fill the vacant correctional positions to allow those staff who will augment jail operations to return to their regular positions.
Some may wonder why the decision to use staff from different divisions was not done sooner. From the beginning, Sheriff Johnson has said the goal was to reopen the floor as soon as practical and current conditions are now allowing that. When the jail floor was closed in July of 2022, there were several challenges being faced by our agency including:
• The Sheriff’s Office was short-staffed in nearly every division (Patrol, Records, the
Coroner’s Office, and other support services).
• Rural areas of our county were hoping for resident deputies to reside in their communities (while appointing true resident deputies is still a challenge, the Sheriff’s Office has introduced the Rural Deputies Program assigning particular deputies to focus on certain area’s needs).
• The Sheriff’s Office was attempting to fully launch the Marijuana Eradication Team (MET)
to address the scourge of illegal marijuana grows on our county. Addressing the crime and
environmental damage caused by illegal grows was a county priority and deputies were
needed to staff that team.
We did not want the citizens of Shasta County to suffer by our not being able to adequately perform our services. What has changed since July of 2022 is that, with staffing levels in nearly every division other than the jail now at healthier levels, we feel we can allocate personnel to augment jail operations and also meet the public’s expectation of service in the community.
Our work is not done. In the past year, numerous efforts were made to address the jail staffing issue (new hires, hiring bonuses, and improving working conditions). Our retention efforts in the jail remain a challenge and will continue to be a focus. Recruitment and retention plans in the jail will consistently be evaluated and improved. Recently, the Board of Supervisors passed one phase of our staffing plan and we are hopeful that, with their support, the other parts of the longterm staffing plan will follow.
The time has come to reopen the jail floor and hold more offenders who are diminishing the quality of life in Shasta County accountable for their actions. Thank you for your continued support and patience.