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County : Funds Sought to Clear Smoke From Court Pen

Smoking may be hazardous to your health, and to the county budget as well.

The Board of Supervisors has been asked to approve spending $16,000 for an electronic system to remove cigarette smoke from the pen where prisoners are held in the central courthouse in Santa Ana while waiting to go to or return from court.

A report to the supervisors said up to 102 inmates and as many as 15 guards may be in the 2,500-square-foot holding area in the courthouse basement on any given day.

Inadequate ventilation and an exemption of the holding area from laws barring smoking in county buildings means “a serious health risk to both county employees and inmates due to exposure to high levels of ‘secondary’ cigarette smoke for up to 10 hours a day,” the report said.

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