Inmate Housing Facilities Planned for California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) received authorization from 2012 Senate Bill 1022 to begin the process of designing and constructing three new dorm buildings at any of four existing correctional center locations, including California Institute for Men in Chino, California State Prison and Sacramento/Folsom State Prison in Represa, California State Prison and Solano/California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) in Ione or Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. Although planning has started, construction isn’t scheduled to begin until early 2014.

This project is a result of the 2011 state law requiring inmates who are non-violent and who have committed less serious offenses to be housed in local facilities. A restructuring of the classification system for inmates is resulting in a shift in the number of Level II and III inmates as well. “We’re expecting to have 7,000 inmates move from Level III to Level II. We need more beds,” said Dana Simas, information officer at CDCR.

The pending closure of the dilapidated California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) is another factor contributing to the growing need for more Level II inmate beds as those prisoners are transferred to other facilities.

The project is still in the early stages of development, and has several more rounds of planning to go through before any final decisions are made about the location of the new beds, according to Simas. Officials are considering several options for the placement of the facilities, including spreading the three dorm buildings across only two prisons.

Although discussions are still in progress about location and who the general contractor and architect will be, some things are certain. This project will increase the total number of Level II inmate beds in California by 2,376. The cost of building a double housing facility will be $533,792, while a single facility will cost $276,208.

Another perk to the project will be the addition of hundreds of new jobs. A double facility is expected to add 375 additional staff members, and a single facility will add 190. Simas said that the CDCR doesn’t anticipate facing any challenges with the future construction work yet, but did cite factors such as traffic, sewage and environmental elements as potential conflicts in the construction process.