May 29, 2023
Final Reports
San Mateo Courts - Civil Grand Jury

2001 Final Report:

San Mateo County Jail Facilities

Summary | Background | Findings | Conclusions | Responses


The 2001-2002 Grand Jury made announced and unannounced visits to the jail facilities of San Mateo County to determine whether these facilities are properly maintained and whether the prisoners are properly treated.

Issue: Are the jail facilities in San Mateo County properly maintained and are prisoners properly treated?


Penal Code §919 (b) states that "[t]he grand jury shall inquire into the condition and management of the public prisons within the county." Members of the Grand Jury met with the supervising officers of the Maguire Men's Facility, the Women's Correctional Facility, the Sheriff's Honor Camp, and the Hillcrest Juvenile Facility. In each facility, the Grand Jury members were given an instructive briefing and then received an extensive and informative tour. Grand Jurors also made a second unannounced visit to the Maguire Men's Facility.


The Grand Jury found:

  • The environment is clean and well lighted at each facility.
  • Attention is paid to reducing the risk of harm to staff and inmates in each facility's design and operating procedures.
  • There is careful classification of inmates and they are separated into different living areas corresponding to their needs and other considerations.
  • Attention is paid to preserving individual rights and the dignity of inmates as they pass the input processing and detention stages.
  • The commissary facilities support a range of needs and special interests of the inmates.
  • Health care services are readily available.
  • There are efforts to help the inmates present an alert and well kempt appearance at trial, by means of the early breakfast routine and clothing services.
  • There are staffing shortages as evidenced by the large number of employees working overtime and comments by the staff about overtime.
  • Due to the age of the facilities, the working conditions are difficult at the Women's Correctional Facility and the Hillcrest Juvenile Facility.


The jail facilities in San Mateo County are properly maintained and prisoners are properly treated.


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