SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, August 25, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Sheriff Paul Miyamoto announced that County Jail #4, located on the seventh floor of the seismically deficient Hall of Justice building, will close for good on Friday, September 5. County Jail #4 has housed incarcerated people since 1962, making it the oldest facility in San Francisco’s county jail system. Its impending closure will make it the third San Francisco county jail closed since 2010.

In October 2019, Mayor Breed proposed a plan to move all incarcerated people out of this jail by no later than July 2021. In May 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance 80-20 written by Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer that mandated the closure of County Jail #4 by November 1, 2020. The announcement means that this jail will be shutting down earlier than expected.

In an official news release from the Mayor’s Office, Sheriff Miyamoto said, “When I became Sheriff, I committed to closing County Jail #4. It had outlived its useful life and was seismically unsafe, putting the people in custody, Sheriff’s staff, contractors and the visiting public at risk. We’re in a position to close early due to the efforts of Sheriff’s Office staff and our health care partners — even while continuing to meet the challenges of COVID-19. My staff has worked collaboratively and creatively and has remained focused on finding solutions for transitioning to a reduced living, work and visiting space while being responsive to advocates’ concerns. Sheriff’s deputies have exceeded expectations and performed their duties at an exceptional level of professionalism with attention to everyone’s health and safety.”

The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the jail and prison populations as evidenced by the San Quentin outbreak. In San Francisco, while there have been some coronavirus cases in the jails, Sheriff Miyamoto and his jail management team have worked with Jail Health Services to limit a major COVID outbreak.

While County Jail #4 has a capacity for 402 people, its current population stands at only 77 in part due to measures taken to reduce jail populations in order to limit exposure during this current health crises. The Sheriff’s Department will move those remaining there to either County Jail #5 in San Bruno or Jail #2 at 425 7th Street in San Francisco.