Ian Parkinson

Greta Mart/KCBX News

One-third of San Luis Obispo County jail inmates have mental illness, and half the jail population is either homeless or doesn’t have stable housing on the outside. That's according to county health experts, who said the numbers have held steady even as they work to improve jail healthcare. The county board of supervisors got an update on jail health care this week and discussed ways to keep some of the area’s most vulnerable from ending up behind bars. But not all county jurisdictions are embracing preventative methods.

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson asked county officials this summer for an additional $3.55 million dollars in general fund money to cover unbudgeted overtime pay. Last year, several sheriff's department employees nearly doubled their salaries through working overtime hours. This month, Parkinson announced a plan to hire more deputies in an effort to rein in those overtime costs

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office

Law enforcement officials say they have solved a pair of 41-year-old San Luis Obispo County cold cases by identifying a suspect in two Atascadero murders with the assistance of DNA evidence. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday they consider the now-deceased Arthur Rudy Martinez as the killer of 30-year-old Jane Morton Antunez and 28-year-old Patricia Dwyer in the late 1970s.

Courtesy of the Latino Outreach Council

As part of our coverage of the June 5 primary election, KCBX News invited some local candidates to the studio to learn more about their visions, experience and concerns. In this segment, we separately interviewed San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and his challenger Greg Clayton.

Greta Mart/KCBX

It was standing room only at Wednesday night’s candidate forum for the public office of San Luis Obispo County Sheriff. 

Bree Zender

San Luis Obispo County announced this week it will pay $5 million dollars to the parents of a 36-year-old man who died while in the custody at the county jail.

Courtesy of Denise Smart

Thursday marked the twenty-first anniversary of the disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart. Smart, who was a freshman at the time, went missing after walking home from an off-campus party in 1996. She was legally declared dead in 2002. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A 60-year-old inmate at the San Luis Obispo County Jail died in the early morning hours Thursday. It’s the second irregular inmate death since the start of the year and it prompted San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson to call a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce he has initiated an outside investigation into the in-custody death. 

Courtesy of Denise Smart

UPDATE: September 9, 2016 at 3:53 p.m.

Items of interest found at multiple Cal Poly dig sites were being studied by investigators looking into the disappearance of missing college student Kristin Smart.