Mono County New Jail Update
The Mono County jail project was front and center at last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
Public Works Director Paul Roten laid out the timeline and the first, and hopefully last, issue
related to demolition of the old hospital building on Twin Lakes Road where the new jail facility
will be located.
Like most older buildings, the old hospital’s structure included hazardous materials, lead and
asbestos. Roten put removal of the materials out to bid. One company responded and the
contract will go before the Board August 15 for review and approval. Roten’s only comment on
that process: “it’s costly.” The site will be fenced and screened prior to demolition.
Once the hospital has been demolished, the next step will be rapid impact compaction (a high-
frequency controlled energy soil compaction technique used to densify surface layers of soils).
Additional steps include a ground lease agreement, then the working drawings and facility site
plan. Construction should begin spring/summer of 2024 with occupancy slated for December
The discussion did not include what happens to the old jail, located on Emigrant St. This is what turns up when that facility is googled: “Built in the 1800’s and still operating today, this
breathtaking piece of history is not to be missed. The old Bridgeport Jail can be found directly
behind the courthouse next to the current sheriff’s Dept, with plenty of history to be learned.”
While there may be debate on “breathtaking piece of history,” one story that merits
mentioning occurred in recent history: Bridgeport was the jail of choice by actor Sean Penn.
The Sheriff Department’s explanation for the move from Los Angeles’ jail facility to Bridgeport: “he came here to be out of the light because he was very famous at the time,” according to the
Departments Public Information Officer Sarah Roberts.
However, legend has it Penn requested the move because of the quality of the facility’s food
service. Roberts struck down that part of the story, noting it was “a joke.” Joke or not, Penn and
his palate preferences remain as part of the old jail’s long history.