Governor Celebrates Adelanto Detention Center Expansion Project Groundbreaking


CHAPLAIN SMITH:
 
Good morning. Today we're gathered together to start a building program in which a large amount of time, planning and effort has been committed. Let us come before God and ask for his continuing blessing upon this endeavor. Please join me in prayer.
 
God in heaven, it is in you which we live and move and have our being. It is our privilege to invite you here as the guest of honor on this groundbreaking dedication of the Adelanto Detention Center Expansion Project. It is our request that you would bless this endeavor and all whom are involved. But more than that and of first importance, we desire that you would be here with us this morning and every day during its planning, construction and final completion. Among other things, oh God, you are the creator of the human mind which you've modeled in some fashion after your own great mind. Though we acknowledge that your thoughts and ways are infinitely higher and more profound than ours, we glory in the notion that we may on our own level think some of your thoughts after you in this place. We ask for wisdom and strength to accomplish the task before us, as your will dictates, in safety, in security and in peace. We thank you for these precious gifts.
 
I also ask on behalf of those gathered here that you would indeed bless each of these, our government officials; Governor Schwarzenegger, Secretary Cate, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Rod Hoops and the executive staff, the city officials of Adelanto, the California Highway Patrol, the sheriff's deputies, officers, planners, administrators and the workers. Please give us the grace to make a difference for the good whenever and wherever we find ourselves now and in the years ahead. For all who are here, may we draw courage and strength from you, oh God. May we serve God, our country and all of humanity with compassion, integrity, honor, wisdom and strength.
 
And now may you be pleased with what is done here this morning. Thank you for your holy presence. It is in your holy name, the name above all others, that I pray. Amen.
 
MC:
 
 Thank you. Please be seated.
 
Today marks the end of the planning phase and the beginning of the construction phase of the Adelanto Detention Center. The expansion of 1,368 jail beds has been the highest priority for Governor Schwarzenegger, retired Sheriff Gary Penrod, our current Sheriff Rod Hoops as well as Secretary Cate, our county board of supervisors and our elected representatives. Today's ceremony has been eagerly awaited.
 
I would like to take a moment and recognize some important people whose assistance and support were critical in getting the project to this point. Governor Schwarzenegger; Assemblymember Steve Knight and Assemblymember Kim Donnelly; our board of supervisors, Chair Gary Ovitt, Vice Chair Josie Gonzales, First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt and Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford; our County Chief Executive Officer Mr. Gregory Devereaux; Sheriff Rod Hoops; retired Sheriff Gary Penrod; Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Matt Cate; our Office of the Sheriff, Undersheriff Bill Abernathy; Assistant Sheriffs Glen Pratt and Warren Nobles; our Board of Deputy Chiefs Ron Cochran, Paul Cook, John McMahon, Dennis Casey and Bob Fonzi. And last but not least, the commander of the Adelanto Detention Center, Captain Jon Marhoefer. (Applause)
 
We have several more partners we wish to recognize: The Department of General Services, Chief Deputy Director Stephen Amos; Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the Governor, Susan Peppler; the Governor's Office Public Safety Liaison Tom Sawyer; Corrections Standards Authority Deputy Director Bob Takeshta; Field Representative Leslie Heller; Don Allen and Diana Fredrickson.
 
From the town of Apple Valley: Mayor Scott Nassif; Mayor Pro Tem Barb Stanton; Councilmembers Rick Rowley, Ginger Coleman and Curt Emick; Town Manager Frank Robinson.
 
From the city of Adelanto: Cari Thomas, mayor; Councilmembers Charles Valvo, Ed Camargo; and Jim Hart the city manager.
 
Some other folks are Sheriff's Inmate Welfare Committee, Sheriff's Information Exchange Committee.
 
I'd like to give all those people a round of applause too. (Applause) If I've missed anyone I apologize.
 
Sheriff Rod Hoops was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1957. Upon graduation from high school he moved to California and attended California State University, Fullerton, earning his bachelor's degree in 1982 and his master's degree in public administration in 1988. He completed the Command College POST Executive Leadership Program in 1994.
 
Sheriff Hoops began his career with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in 1978 and has served in numerous facets of the department. He served as a deputy sheriff, a supervisor, commander and executive staff member. He was a member of the department's Career Criminal Division, SWAT Team, Legislative Liaison in Sacramento, Chief of Police of Grand Terrace in Loma Linda. Sheriff Hoops was also the Chief of Police for the contract city of Rancho Cucamonga for five years and the commander of the Sheriff's Bureau of Administration for two years. In this capacity he managed the department's $329 million budget between 2001 and 2003.
 
As a member of the Sheriff's executive staff Sheriff Hoops oversaw all patrol and specialized operations. He was responsible for the department's budget, long-range planning and was the direct liaison with county department heads, chief administrative officer and elected official.
 
Sheriff Hoops was appointed sheriff on February the 3rd, 2009, to complete the term of Sheriff Gary Penrod. He was recently elected sheriff and will be sworn in on January the 3rd, 2011. Always an active citizen in the communities he lives and serves, Sheriff Hoops is also a member of the San Bernardino County Arrowhead United Way, California State Sheriffs Association, San Bernardino County Chiefs of Police Association, California Peace Officer Association, among others.
 
Sheriff Hoops and his wife Monica reside in Highland. Their son Andrew is currently serving as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy.
 
At this time it's my pleasure to introduce the sheriff of San Bernardino County, Rod Hoops. (Applause)
 
SHERIFF HOOPS:
 
Well, thank you, John. And I didn't realize that that bio was going to be that long but -- before I get started, I've only been the sheriff for a couple of years but the gentleman standing over here in the casual attire -- very relaxed looking, Sheriff Gary Penrod -- this was his baby, he started this in '06. So if we could have a round of applause for Gary Penrod. (Applause)
 
Well, again good morning and I'd like to welcome each of you here today as we recognize this groundbreaking event for the Adelanto Detention Center Expansion Project.
 
Before I specifically talk about the expansion project, let me first give you a very brief history of this facility. In 2005 the board of supervisors approved the purchase of this detention center. It was at one time a private correctional facility. The purchase of the 13-acre jail site also included these eight acres for suitable land expansion which we're about to use. After some considerable renovations were made at the ADC Center it was opened under then-Captain Virgil Merritt, who was the first commander of the Adelanto Correctional Facility.
 
With the opening of ADC the county gained an additional 740 beds for county inmates. Although it eased, somewhat eased the overcrowding at that time it did not solve the problem completely. In 2006 my good friend Sheriff Gary Penrod directed staff to explore the options of expanding current jail sites within the county of San Bernardino. We located this site here and decided that this is where we would like to have the expansion project begin.
 
In August of that same year the county board of supervisors approved $4.6 million to begin the design for the expansion of the ADC facility. In 2007 Assemblymember Solorio introduced Assembly Bill 900 to finance prison and jail reconstruction programs throughout the entire state of California, which meant up to $100 million in state funding would be available to the counties for each single project. This also included a re-entry facility requirement that would prepare inmates to be eased back into their community. This re-entry facility that will be attached, or that will complement this facility, will be located in the town of Apple Valley.
 
Governor Schwarzenegger was a very strong supporter of this legislation and signed it into law on May 3rd 2007. In 2008 once again the board of supervisors authorized for us to apply for the AB 900 funding. San Bernardino County was placed first in the competitive process, thereby receiving the conditional $100 million award. And again, that was because of the efforts of Sheriff Gary Penrod, who at the time was also the president of the State Sheriff's Association and I believe that helped as well.
 
On September 23rd 2010 the state of California approved the project and the funding was authorized. Construction of this project is estimated to take 30 months and is tentatively scheduled to open in July of 2013. The project will include an additional 1,368 beds for high security beds for county inmates, a new booking facility and the remodel of portions of our existing jail to support an increased number of beds. At full capacity the Adelanto Correctional Facility will house over 2,100 inmates. The expansion will allow, offer local booking, housing and transportation of inmates and will expedite officers to get back into their beat from the entire upper desert area. The financial benefits to the county and the sheriff's department will be significant.
 
And now it is with great pleasure I introduce our very, very special guest. The world knows Arnold Schwarzenegger as a famous bodybuilder and a Hollywood action hero but he is also a successful businessman and California's 38th governor. This world famous athlete and actor was born in Austria in 1947 and at 20 became the youngest person ever to win the Mr. Universe title. He came to America shortly after, winning an unprecedented 20 -- or I'm sorry, an unprecedented 12 world bodybuilding titles, challenging both his body and mind. He earned a college degree from the University of Wisconsin and became a U.S. citizen in 1983. Three years later he married broadcast journalist Maria Shriver.
 
Governor Schwarzenegger's most gratifying accomplishments are rooted in public service, committing his time, energy and personal finances to charitable organizations around the entire world. He and Maria have remained closely involved with the Special Olympics, an organization founded by Maria's mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. He was named Special Olympics International Weight Training Coach in 1979 and serves as a global ambassador.
 
Recognizing his passion for helping kids, in 1990 former President George Bush appointed Governor Schwarzenegger chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, in which capacity he traveled all 50 states and recognized the overwhelming need for more after school alternatives. He also served as chair of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under former Governor Pete Wilson.
 
Governor Schwarzenegger has committed himself to promoting physical education and after school programs. In 2002 his support for Proposition 49, the After School Education and Safety Act, led to its overwhelming victory in the state of California. As governor he has aggressively worked to increase after school funding, making California the first state in the nation to significantly invest in comprehensive after school programs for kids.
 
His many accomplishments have earned him praise from numerous organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center National Leadership Award for his support of the organization's Holocaust Studies. Schwarzenegger was the only actor to be in both categories of the American Film Institute Hundred Years of Heroes and Villains. (Laughter) In 2002 Governor Schwarzenegger was given the esteemed honor of the Mohammed Ali Humanitarian Award presented to him by Ali himself, a long time friend and sports mentor.
 
As governor he has been California's most effective marketing tool, traveling across the country and around the world promoting California-grown products, cutting edge technologies and the state's diverse travel destinations.
 
In addition, using his background as an internationally recognized athlete, Governor Schwarzenegger has made restoring health and fitness a top priority.
 
Additionally, since he took office Governor Schwarzenegger has worked to reform California's fiscal policies, create a better business environment, reduce burdens on employment, boost exports and stimulate job growth. Through the end of 2007 California's gross state product has grown 29 percent since the governor took office in 2003.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce a dedicated man whose father, I'm told, was at one time a police officer in Austria, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Applause)
 
GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER:
 
Well, thank you very much, Sheriff Hoops, for the nice introduction. Someone must be really into long bios around here. (Laughter) I don't know who it is but I've never been to an event where bios are read for that long (Laughter) and in such detail, as if they couldn’t be gotten on the internet. But I mean, anyway -- thank you. What a buildup. Wow!
 
Well, I'm happy today, I'm a happy camper because we're here today for this groundbreaking ceremony of finally expanding our prison system and building more beds. I always feel that public safety is our number one priority and I think that by building more prison beds it will improve by a lot our public safety and secure future, the future for California.
 
When I took office in 2003 I inherited a disastrous prison system. I mean, it was in a crisis for decades. Just as the state had neglected building infrastructure in all different areas -- if you talk about transportation infrastructure, building more schools, fixing our levees, building our water infrastructure, building our sewage infrastructure -- all of those things were neglected for a long time, including building more prisons.
 
Just to give you an example, in the mid-90s when they stopped building prisons we had a prison population of 130,000 statewide. When I came into office in 2003 we had already 174,000 inmates. But not one single prison cell was built in the meantime. From the time we had 130,000 to 174,000, not one single prison cell was built. So we had a 44,000 inmate increase so now, of course, there was enormous overcrowding.
 
Luckily, in the last few years while I was in office we could slowly reduce that number rather than going up. We reduced it by 11,000 through AB 900, which allowed us to send inmates outside the state; which is, of course, cheaper also, not only does it help our overcrowding.
 
With tough sentencing and a growing population the system just began to literally collapse under its own weight. Our prisons and jails became dangerously overcrowded and the result, of course, was that it took space away from areas we usually use for rehabilitation and for education. So now we cut short on those things also. The result was, of course, a vicious cycle of the recidivism rate going up and therefore the prison population going up.
 
Now, some believed that the answer to this problem is not to build more prison cells but to actually start releasing some of those, or weakening, for instance, the Three Strike Law. Well, I campaigned heavily against that idea and the Three Strike Law stayed in place.
 
I don't know why it is but some just feel like letting out inmates is the solution to that, which of course would be disastrous, because it would make our communities unsafe. Just to give you an example, what happened just literally a few weeks ago when I was in the bill signing or vetoing period, there was a bill, which was SB 525, that would have made it a crime to sneak cell phones into the prisons. Well, Senator Cedillo did a great job -- I mean, Senator Padilla did a great job.
 
But Speaker Pérez decided that we shouldn’t pass any more laws that would put people into prison and therefore he sent me a bill that would only fine someone $5,000 so, of course, I vetoed the bill. And hopefully the next administration will address this issue again, because I just don't get it, that a Charles Manson can run around with a cell phone and give people orders from the inside of the prison to the outside. I mean, this is a huge, huge violation, a huge safety concern, of course and it is, of course -- you get into prison if you sneak a beer to an inmate in prison but not a cell phone, so this is how crazy it is.
 
So now they don’t want to pass any more new laws that put people in prison. So this is the wrong solution. I think the best solution is what we are doing here today, which is to build more prison beds. That is the solution.
 
So when I took office, of course, I said we must do two things: One is we must increase the capacity, which means, of course, like I said, more beds. And two, we must reduce the number of inmates, not by early release but by reducing recidivism, because we have the highest recidivism rate in the country.
 
So finally in 2007, after fighting for years and years and years to build more infrastructure, the legislature has decided that yes, after they made a commitment to build more roads and to fix the levees and do all those things, they also made a commitment in the spring, as you have heard earlier, to go and to pass AB 900, which means that a $7 billion bond measure would authorize 53,000 new beds to be built in California, 13,000 in local areas like this one here and the 40,000 will be added to our state prison system.
 
In fact, just last month we broke ground on a prison hospital in Stockton, which was also good news, that will house 1,700 inmates. We also are in the process of approving new re-entry facilities to prepare our inmates for life after prison, which is so important. Those, along with last year's historic parole reforms, are crucial to reducing our recidivism rate.
 
Another important thing is, like I said, under AB 900 we can send inmates outside the state in order to reduce our prison population. This has freed up space desperately needed for rehabilitation programs.
 
In short, California did not get into this crisis overnight and therefore we cannot get out of this crisis overnight. It still needs a lot of work but I'm very happy that we got where we are today, that we are here at a groundbreaking ceremony.
 
I want to take this opportunity to thank the local officials. Everyone here worked together. You really can be proud of this community and of your leaders, from law enforcement all the way through to your city, that everyone has worked together with the state and this is why we have this groundbreaking ceremony today.
 
So thank you very much. I'm happy when there is a better situation inside the walls of our prisons and that will provide a much better situation for the people that are outside of the prison walls. Thank you and I'll be back. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Laughter, applause)
 
SECRETARY CATE:
 
Thank you, Governor. I'm glad you're happy. When you're happy, I'm happy. You learn that on the Governor's Cabinet.
 
And this is a great day. I really appreciate the fact that the community has come out today, especially law enforcement. As the secretary of the Department of Corrections, we hear every day that public safety is Governor Schwarzenegger's number one priority and I've learned that public safety is really about partnerships. When AB 900 passed to allow this expansion of jail and prison facilities it was in partnership with the legislature. And in order to get a jail built it has to be in partnership with a county like San Bernardino and their board of supervisors. And it also has to happen in partnership, day-to-day partnership between the state and local law enforcement like Sheriff Hoops and Sheriff Penrod and the city chiefs of police here in San Bernardino County.
 
It's really a thrilling time for public safety in several respects. Number one is this detention facility. It's hard to understand if you're not involved in this arena but the fact is that the jail system and the prison system are really connected to one another. We need a robust jail system with enough capacity to handle low-level offenders and high-level offenders awaiting trial and we also need a healthy prison system with room to handle the worst of the worst and this is a positive step forward in that direction.
 
Utilizing AB 900 we are also going to be building a re-entry facility in Apple Valley. I want to thank the officials from Apple Valley. That's very forward thinking. The way this will work is that rather than have an offender come from a Los Angeles County jail or San Quentin or Folsom back onto the streets here where they came from, in whatever area of San Bernardino, they'll first go to a locked detention facility where Sheriff Hoops and the city chiefs can get to know who they are and where they'll be and keep better tabs on them for public safety, where faith-based groups and service providers can try to make sure that we've got housing for these offenders and drug and alcohol programs if they need it. And help them find jobs, because we -- I know in this community and statewide we do want to decrease our recidivism rate, we want to decrease victimization. And that happens when people quit being criminals and start being taxpayers and so this detention facility is going to help with that as well.
 
So I'm really here to thank all of you for coming and thank all of the officials for their leadership and support. Again, thanks to Sheriff Hoops. And I want to say congratulations for a job well done and congratulations to local officials here in San Bernardino on the board and also the cities involved. I want to thank my employees at Corrections for the work they've done to help organize this. And finally, Governor, thank you very much for your leadership in California and your commitment to public safety. Thank you. (Applause)
 
SHERIFF HOOPS:
 
Taking my clue from the Governor I'll cut some of these bios down a little bit. (Laughter) Sorry, supervisors. Supervisor Gary Ovitt represents the Fourth District and is the chair of the board of supervisors. The Fourth District includes the cities of Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair and Ontario. The Fourth District encompasses 133 square miles and is home to over 34,000 -- I'm sorry, 340,000 residents. It is now my pleasure to introduce the chair of the board of supervisors, the Honorable Gary Ovitt. (Applause)
 
SUPERVISOR OVITT:
 
Well, thank you. And it truly is a pleasure to be here today and I would like to welcome you to San Bernardino County, a great place to live, work and play. It's not a good place to commit crime, hopefully.
 
The Adelanto Detention Center is a great example of how a county can keep residents safe while spending a fraction of what could have been spent. In 2005 we had enough jail space to hold only the most violent of our suspects. Our other suspects, who should have been put behind bars, were site released, unfortunately. County leaders were not happy with this situation but we had no other choice. We just didn't have enough jail cells available.
 
Rather than spend more than $100 million on a brand new jail, the board of supervisors approved the purchase of this existing facility at a cost of $64 million less than what a brand new jail would have cost -- a $64 million savings, if you will. And we had it up and running in a fraction of the time that it would have taken us to provide -- excuse me -- 740 additional jail beds and our streets were much safer as a result of buying an existing facility.
 
But the innovation has not stopped there. The 740 beds we have made available here still are not enough to meet our needs. Our county continues to grow. Fortunately it's not growing land-wise, because we have plenty of that but it's growing as far as our population is concerned and that means, unfortunately, the number of criminals are as well growing.
 
Four years ago the board of supervisors decided to move ahead with expansion and two years ago we qualified for $100 million in grant funding to pay for this project, thanks to our friends in Apple Valley who agreed to host a community re-entry facility and especially thank you to former Sheriff Gary Penrod. That grant made standing here possible today and standing here today we are on the verge of creating a jail that will hold more than 2,100 dangerous criminal suspects when the expansion is completed in 2013.
 
At this time I would like to thank everyone who made this day possible. First of all, my fellow board members on both sides of me -- and you'll get a chance to hear from the First District Supervisor in just a minute as well. I would also like to thank Sheriff Hoops, our present sheriff and, as I mentioned, Sheriff Penrod, our county staff and our friends in Sacramento. And certainly our closest friend who will be back, Governor Schwarzenegger. We appreciate his friendship as well. Together we're going to make the neighborhoods of San Bernardino County much safer and we'll have more resources available to serve the public in a positive way.
 
The high desert, of course, will be the most direct beneficiary of this great expansion that we are standing in the midst of and that is why it is my honor to introduce to you the First District Supervisor who represents this very district, Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. (Applause)
 
SUPERVISOR MITZELFELT:
 
Well, thank you, Gary. And as the elected official with the second most German sounding name I'd like to thank the Governor for joining us today and really symbolizing the importance of this occasion.
 
And I'd just like to say that this governor has been really a good partner, a strong partner with our sheriff, our district attorney and our board supervisors in protecting the citizens of San Bernardino County, particularly when it comes to gangs and when it comes to sex offenders and when it comes to ensuring that we have enough jail space and that we're not forced to release criminals onto the streets before that time is appropriate.
 
I'd like to also thank Secretary Cate for being here. And the local officials -- I think we really make the point of not only how important Apple Valley's partnership in this by providing for the re-entry facility made the grant possible but we have leaders from throughout the Victor Valley here because they understand the importance of this project not only to the safety but also to the economy of the high desert.
 
Of course the first priority of government at every level is to ensure the safety of our citizens and tripling the capacity of this facility will enable us to protect citizens and to serve justice more fairly and more thoroughly. And this doesn’t just help the high desert. It actually increases our system-wide capacity by 23 percent. We will go from an overall capacity of 5,932 beds to 7,300. That improves the situation countywide in so many ways.
 
In addition, this expanded facility also has major economic benefits. This is a $120 million dollar investment and it will create approximately 500 construction jobs and support jobs as well, at a time when the high desert has been the region hardest hit by the recession. The construction jobs are especially important because construction is the sector that has suffered the most devastating losses due to the economic downturn. Construction is typically 20 percent of our economy in this part of the county.
 
When the expansion is complete the Adelanto Detention Center will create 200 permanent high-paying local jobs and those permanent jobs will be an important component to restoring stability to our local economy; and those new employees will need housing and services and supplies, all of which is good news for the high desert merchants and professionals.
 
Another benefit is that making our communities safer also makes us more attractive for business. We have terrific assets here in the high desert including land, location and labor. Improved public safety will further enhance our ability to recruit and retain businesses here.
 
If government's first priority is public safety, then being a responsible steward of your tax dollars is not far behind. And Sheriff Hoops and Chairman Ovitt have mentioned the savings we incurred through strong creative leadership and effective partnerships. Consider the industry standard for a maximum-security jail is $125,000 per bed. Through leveraging this existing facility and partnering with the state the cost is $88,000 per bed. And the county's out of pocket costs will only be $27,500 per bed.
 
I would like to add my thanks to our talented county staff, many of whom are here, to our board offices, the County Administrative Office and the Sheriffs' Department -- Sheriff Hoops, Sheriff Penrod, who spent years to bring this project to reality. And also, again I'd like to recognize the town of Apple Valley, which helped us to qualify for the dollars.
 
Remember, thanks to all the hard work, that hard work, this project was listed number one in the state for AB 900 funding and that's quite a testament to what we can accomplish when we work together. In the Victor Valley, here in the high desert, we pull together and it helps bring assets like this, which improve the quality of life of our residents. You'll see it not only in public safety but in other areas as well.
 
We look forward very much to the ribbon cutting ceremony. And I'd like again to thank you all. Thank you all for being here on this special day. Have a great one. (Applause)
 
SHERIFF HOOPS:
 
Thank you, Supervisor. Governor, as you leave office and return to private life your friends here in San Bernardino County sincerely appreciate and thank you and Maria and your family for your many years of service and sacrifice to the people of California. We wish you and your family God's speed.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes this portion of today's ceremony. The designated dignitaries will accompany me out to the groundbreaking location. All of you are welcome to join in. and also to partake of our little lunch here.
 

We wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season. Thank you for your attendance today. (Applause)