Who is Telling the Truth About Modular Jails?

Frank GayaldoBy Frank Gayaldo

Stockton, California has become infamous for its city bankruptcy and high crime rate. Both Sheriff candidates agree we need more jail space. The argument has come down to whether modular jail construction is a viable and affordable solution or not. Sheriff Candidate Pat Withrow believes that modular jails can help reduce site disruption time, be built to very high standards, while at the same time significantly lowering the cost to taxpayers. Pat Withrow says with funding already in the current sheriff’s budget, San Joaquin County can have new jail beds within 90 days and that there is no need for any additional state funding to get this project done. On the other hand, Sheriff Moore has made numerous strong statements in front of large groups and to newspapers against modular jails.

I personally believe Sheriff Moore’s motivation for being anti-modular is that he wants to win this political race at any cost. Endorsing his challenger’s plan would mean that taxpayer’s got hosed under his watch. I suppose Moore would like another crack at obtaining an $80 million state grant to build what I would classify as a “Taj Mahjal”, but I digress. Obviously I am biased, so let’s forget about who believes what for a moment and just look at irrefutable facts:

On March 20, 2014 in the Lodi News Sentinel
“During a phone interview with the Lodi News-Sentinel on Wednesday, Moore said his office has previously explored building modular facilities, but learned they’re “usually not viable” because they often don’t meet fire safety codes or the minimum requirements for housing inmates.”

On March 22, 2014, in this Stockton Record article
“Moore challenged the modular facilities idea, saying nowhere in the state are corrections departments using such housing units. Modulars do not last and they would have to be brought up to fire regulations and other building standards.”

Folsom State Prison’s California Prison Industry Authority has a program called the Modular Building Enterprise. They build modulars for use at correctional facilities. Been in existence since 2006. The guy who runs the program says he can build modular jail barracks for San Joaquin County that meet all fire, building and inmate housing codes.

Please watch this video:

Now please read Moore’s statements again. Hmm. Something does not jive here.

According to a 5/23/13 SJ County Grand Jury report, the Sheriff spent “approximately $9 million for architectural and engineering {jail} design work but construction plans have not been produced and construction approvals have not been received.” Keep in mind that for this $9 million dollars we did not create any new jail beds, nor did a shovel even hit the ground.

I would think every San Joaquin County voter should be asking how many modular jail beds could have been purchased with $9 million dollars. I think they should also be demanding to see a line item breakdown of where that $9 million dollars went. But again that is just me.

I have spoken to no less than three different private modular companies who say that Sheriff Moore is either “grossly misinformed” or as one gentleman put it, “full of…”. I too have my strong opinions on the integrity of many of Sheriff Moore’s statements, but again, my personal opinion is not important. Cussing about it certainly is not going to help.

Voters need to decide if Sheriff Moore’s comments are honest and credible for themselves. I humbly suggest they simply Google “modular jails” like I did or they can review this partial list of completed modular jail/prison projects, three of which are in California. Nothing personal. Just the facts ma’am.

Montgomery County Correctional Facility
Eagleville, Pennslyania-512 beds

Queen Anne County Detention Center
Queen Anne’s County, MD

Somerset County Detention Center
Somerset County, MD

Pompano Detention Facility
Broward County, Florida -296 Beds

Barrie Prison
Ontario, Canada -32 Beds

Placer County Sheriff ’s Station
Auburn, California -32 Beds

Washoe County Detention Center
Reno, Nevada -96 Beds

Peoria Jail Addition
Peoria, Illinois -40 beds

Clermont County Law Enforcement and
Correctional Center Batavia, Ohio -40 Beds

Santa Rita Rehabilitation Center
Pleasanton, California -32 Beds

Palmer Public Safety Building
City of Palmer, Alaska -12 Beds

Essex County Women ’s Detention Center
Verona, New Jersey -68 Beds

Yuma County Detention Facility
Yuma, Arizona -42 Beds

City of Philadelphia Women ’s Facility
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -50 Beds

Pompano Beach Detention Facility Addition
Broward County, Florida – 96 Beds

Wildwood Correctional Facility and
City of Sand Point Kenai and Sand Point, Alaska – 24 Beds

Mendocino County Jail Addition
Ukiah, California -80 Beds

About hunter1301

Frank Gayaldo is a passionate promoter of value-added US agricultural exports, who grew up on his family’s vineyard in Lodi, California that he still farms today. His father instilled the importance of farming, serving your country and the virtues of hard work at a very young age. Since retiring from a twenty-year career in law enforcement (city, county, state, federal and self-employed) in 2004, Frank has helped raise global awareness and profitability for several US based agricultural producers. His eclectic experiences have given Frank an extensive network of government, media and business connections that literally spans the globe. In May of 2006, he organized an international wine tasting event that resulted in Costa Rican President and former Nobel Peace Prize winner, Oscar Arias, serving three boutique wines from Lodi, California at his presidential inauguration. Frank has been an organizer of several inbound and outbound trade missions to China that have resulted in the purchase of multiple container loads of various California agricultural products, including wine and tree nuts. Over the years, Frank has personally hosted numerous high ranking foreign dignitaries from China, Costa Rica, Japan and Russia at his vineyard home in the spirit of friendship and promoting California agriculture. Frank’s international successes have received coverage in the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Central Valley Business Times, Honolulu Star Advertiser, Sacramento Bee, Stockton Record, AM Costa Rica, El Financero, Russian Observer, Jing Daily, China Wine News, China Daily and World Journal. Frank serves as a guest columnist for the Lodi News Sentinel. In 2012, Frank was awarded the “Tourism Advocate of the Year” for his work in promoting international opportunities for his hometown. Frank has served as the very first Director of International Business Development for the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce, the past Chairman of the Board of the Visit Lodi Tourism bureau, and as the Executive Director of the Galt District Chamber of Commerce.


4 thoughts on “Who is Telling the Truth About Modular Jails?

  1. Mr. Gayaldo-
    Since I personally know that I am not one of the three modular companies that you have spoken with and you have not asked to publish my photo in your article, I would appreciate you removing my picture from your article. It would certainly imply that I am someone who may have told you the Sheriff is grossly misinformed…while that may or may not be the case, you and I know we have not spoken about this or any other topic. Should you wish to speak to me please feel free…..until then I do request you remove my picture. We have manufactured thousands of prefabricated modular cells for national and international projects and I would be happy to answer any questions for you.

    Mike Smith, President and CEO
    SteelCell of North America, Inc.

    Posted by Mike Smith | June 5, 2014, 10:15 am
  2. Frank

    The answer is Withrow is telling the truth. the problem is that the Sheriff does not our product and is shooting from the hip in his comments. We have product in 26 nations around the globe. I don’t know who buildings the Sheriff is looking at.

    Here is what Withrow keeps talking about. He contacted us a year ago and we have sent him information about our modular design as we complete projects. You are getting two modular concepts confused. We provide the who modular package which is cost effective. The picture that shows just the modular cells still have to be installed in a full size facility. That is what gets expensive.

    I just put up some pictures and literature of the Cayman project job on Linkedin. If you cannot link to it let me know and I will PDF them to you.

    Tim Tobin
    Eagle Companies

    Posted by Tim Tobin | June 5, 2014, 8:13 am
    • Your comments are very well taken Mr. Smith. You are correct, we have never spoken. The photo that was randomly chosen from Google images to illustrate a modular jail (without your consent or knowledge) has been removed. I do thank you for sharing that you have manufactured thousands of prefabricated modular cells for national and international projects. I hope in the future you can offer San Joaquin County a competitive bid for your services. Unfortunately our current sheriff and a few of his key supporters still claim modular jails do not exist. Thanks again.

      Posted by Frank Gayaldo | June 5, 2014, 9:41 pm
      • I am happy to discuss current jail/prison building technologies with you any time. I appreciate your interest in options for your County. There are many ways to build a jail in 2014….many of them involve modular components.

        Posted by Mike Smith | June 6, 2014, 8:01 am

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