IONE, Calif. — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) recently dedicated two new housing facilities at Mule Creek State Prison, located in Ione in Amador County. In addition to increased bed space, the facilities also feature expanded areas for rehabilitative programming as well as medical and mental health care.
“The activation of these beds is key to remaining below the federal population cap, and avoiding a court-ordered early release of inmates,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan in a statement. “The medical, mental and rehabilitative space in the new facilities helps give our inmates a constitutional level of care. I’m also encouraged by the growth in our long-standing partnership with Amador County.”
The 60-acre, self-contained facilities were built next to the original prison, which first opened in June 1987. The new medium-security structures, Facility D and Facility E, can together house a total of 1,584 inmates. The inmates become eligible for lower-custody housing based on their in-prison behavior and participation in rehabilitation programming, according to a statement by the CDCR. The new facilities also include 94,000 square feet of space for rehabilitation classes, family visits, and offices for teachers, counselors and other support staff, as well as support for medical and mental health needs. Some renovations were also made to existing facilities such as the central kitchen, warehouse and radio tower, as well as to parking areas, to accommodate a larger population and staff.
In addition, the facilities are designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. Various environmentally friendly features of the new facilities include low-flow water fixtures, highly efficient lighting and low-emission construction materials.
The two new housing structures were built while the facility remained in operation thanks to the 2012 passage of Senate Bill 1022. Construction was supported by a bond issuance. The estimated construction cost for the Mule Creek project was originally $344.5 million, with a total cost of nearly $488 million, according to a statement by the California State Public Works Board.
The facility will employ approximately 375 staff members and have an annual operational budget of $11 million. Work on the two facilities kicked off in early 2014 and was completed in a design-build approach by Hensel Phelps, with a local office in San Jose, Calif.