State Plans New Prison Facilities To Help Ease Inmate Overcrowding
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has announced that it will construct three new prison additions in an attempt to ease inmate overcrowding in the state, U-T San Diego reports (U-T San Diego, 1/8).
In 2006, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled that federal oversight of the state prison system was needed after determining that an average of one inmate per week died as a result of medical malpractice or neglect.
In June 2013, three federal judges ordered Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to release about 9,600 inmates -- or 8% of the inmate population -- by 2014.
In December 2013, the judges extended to mid-January negotiations about prison overcrowding between the Brown administration and prisoner advocates to reach a compromise on a long-term plan to reduce overcrowding (California Healthline, 12/12/13).
Details of Prison Additions
In a statement, CDCR said it plans to construct three Level II housing facilities at two existing prison systems for a total of 2,376 new beds.
CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard said that the facilities will include "flexible housing for inmates with disabilities, as well as intermediate medical or mental health treatment needs."
One 792-bed facility will be constructed at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. The facility will cost an estimated $168.7 million and will employ 180 individuals.
Two 792-bed facilities will be built at the Mule Creek State Prison in Ione. They will cost a total of $344.5 million to construct and will employ 375 individuals.
Construction on the facilities is expected to begin this spring and last 24 to 26 months (CDCR release, 1/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.