SACRAMENTO — Officials from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Prison Health Care Services signed documents on December 29 that will speed the conversion of shuttered correctional facilities in San Joaquin and San Luis Obispo counties to reduce prison overcrowding and improve medical and mental health services.
“California is taking another step toward offering community-based reentry services while reusing existing facilities to offer mental health treatment services needed right now,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate.
Yesterday’s signing marked formal approval for each of the three proposed correctional projects and completion of the respective Environment Impact Report (EIR) process. The three projects are:
Renovation and reuse of the former Northern California Women’s Facility in San Joaquin County as a 500-bed adult male secure community reentry facility pursuant to the mandates of AB 900, which envisioned this new type of correctional facility for inmates within 6-12 months of parole;
Renovation and reuse of the former El Paso De Robles Youth Correctional Facility in San Luis Obispo County (closed in 2008) as a 1,000-bed Level II adult correctional facility to be named the Estrella Correctional Facility, and
Renovation and reuse of the former Dewitt-Nelson Youth Correctional Facility in San Joaquin County (closed in 2008) as a 1,133-bed adult correctional facility with a mental health treatment mission.
All three projects are expected to be converted by 2013-14:
AB 900, also known as the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, was designed to help reform California’s overburdened correctional system and address severe overcrowding in state prisons and local jails by funding new beds tied to rehabilitation and to create secure reentry facilities. AB 900, signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in May 2007, provides $7.7 billion to add up to 53,000 prison and jail beds.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 30, 2010