As required by law, the Inyo County Grand Jury visited all prison and detention facilities in the past year. Their recently released report says the Inyo County Jail, City of Bishop Police Station, Owens Valley Conservation Camp and Juvenile Hall were found to be “clean, safe and well managed.” There were, however, some issues at each facility.
The Jury recommended more consistent monitoring of those in the Inyo County Jail for detoxification. The Jury called for installation of the new video surveillance system at the Juvenile Hall as a number one priority when funds become available. The Jury also suggested moving ahead with a new fence for the west parking lot, and they said staffing can still be an issue at Juvenile Hall.
At the Bishop Police Department, the Jury suggested painting holding cells, establishing a budget for ultimate relocation of the Police Department to a larger facility, creating private interview spaces, considering use of more overtime instead of more officers and installing bullet proof glass for the dispatcher’s window.
At the Conservation Camp prison, the Jury recommended an awareness program for the public regarding contraband packages. The Jury reported that the Conservation Camp inmates have performed more than 100 community service projects in both Inyo and Mono.
In other Grand Jury Report issues, the Jury pressed Southern Inyo Hospital for more detailed accounting of the expenditure of the special tax voted in about seven years ago. The last Grand Jury had also asked for this, and this year’s Jury commended the Chief Fiscal Officer for setting up a separate Special Tax account. The Jury did recommend that the Hospital “itemize and formalize monies received and expended through the Special Tax account.”
Southern Inyo Hospital has long struggled to keep going, and hospital district voters had offered strong support with more tax money to the only hospital between Ridgecrest and Bishop.
On another issue, the Jury voted unanimously to support the proposal to consolidate County office space. After a tour of County offices, the Jury found that Inyo County is “in dire need of consolidated office space.” The Report says all existing offices have safety concerns, limited space, a lack of privacy for interviews and no storage. The report said, “Money is wasted on leased space, tenant improvements and high utility costs.”