Northern Branch Jail


The Northern Branch Jail facility (NBJ) is sited for the north county, which is the source of more than 57% of the county jail population, and will be located on approximately 6 acres of a larger 50-acre County owned parcel at the corner of Betteravia Road and Black Road in near proximity to the County’s largest city, Santa Maria.  The NBJ will cover approximately 136,000 ft.  Construction began on September 6, 2016 and is expected to be complete in 2019.

The NBJ will be a 376-bed, Type-II jail facility, with the necessary supporting infrastructure to operate independent of the Santa Barbara Main Jail in the southern part of the county.  The facility will house both male and female inmates, in a mix of medium security, high security and isolation cells, and will include 32 special use beds for mental health and medical purposes, along with an outpatient medical clinic.

The NBJ design is intended to be expandable to meet the projected future needs of the county justice system.  The number of beds address: (1) immediate bed needs, (2) court orders to reduce overcrowding, (3) the need to mitigate existing stipulations for early release of sentenced inmates, (4) increased need for medical and mental health services for current and future population, (5) housing of inmates in housing units not suited for their classification, and (6) the anticipated increase of parole violators and sentenced prisoners under AB 109.  Use of alternatives to incarceration will continue, as well as plans for expanded programs to mitigate some of the forces driving the need for future expansion

Programs spaces are provided in all housing units to limit inmate movement.  Larger program spaces will also be provided along the central corridor.  The Sheriff’s Treatment Program, a substance abuse prevention program, will be expanded into the NBJ soon after opening.  The NBJ will have centralized classroom space and a computer laboratory.  Santa Barbara County has just concluded participation with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) in the Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) program to provide direction to defining the best available programs, selecting the most appropriate inmates, and verifying outcome measures.

A wide range of services will be considered for implementation based upon available providers, inmate welfare funding, and the needs of the inmate population, including but not limited to:

For additional information and project documents, please visit:

For further information contact:
Courtney Cazenave
Administrative Office Professional Sr.
(805) 681-4398
4436 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93110

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