Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

May 13, 2009 (Santee)-– Taking a page from the Barack Obama for President Campaign playbook, the City of Santee has launched a web site, a Facebook page and a Twitter micro blog to rally support for the city’s position against an expansion of the Las Colinas Detention Facility in the heart of Santee’s town center.

“Educating the public and getting support from San Diego County taxpayers is an important element of our campaign to get the County of San Diego to realize that the Las Colinas expansion is just bad policy,” states Randy Voepel, Mayor of Santee.

Santee contends that taxpayer money will be misused, safety will be compromised, land values will tumble, traffic will increase and the quality of life that the residents have worked hard to establish will erode.

San Diego's Grand Jury has found that the Las Colinas Detention Facility, the county's only primary jail for women, is outdated, overcrowded and has infrastructure deficiencies.

The County is proposing that the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility be tripled, expanding it from 15 acres to 45 acres at its current location in the center of Santee’s business and shopping district. The City of Santee has concluded that other locations within the County of San Diego are more appropriate for the expanded jail with no negative effects on the surrounding community.

The web site – – provides extensive information about the proposed expansion and the many negative effects if the County is allowed to go through with its plans.

The Facebook page – No Jail Expansion – allows concerned individuals to become a ‘fan’ of the page, track the progress of the proposed project and comment on the expansion.

Followers of the Twitter micro blog @nojailexpansion will receive updates and have the opportunity to comment on the expansion.

Currently the County Board of Supervisors is reviewing a mandatory environmental impact report (EIR) that the County is required to complete prior to approval of the expansion.

“We would welcome an opportunity to bring the County to the negotiating table and see if we can work out a compromise,” states Voepel. “Unfortunately, our invitations have fallen on deaf ears.”

Las Colinas Detention Facility was originally built in Santee in the 1960s as a juvenile detention facility. In 1977, the facility was converted to an all-women’s jail and currently houses 675 inmates on an average daily basis. The City of Santee was incorporated in December 1980. With a population of over 55,000 and located in eastern San Diego County, Santee is the eleventh largest of San Diego County's 18 cities. For additional information and updates, please visit

Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.