Major prison expansion for Donovan state prison

Construction of $168 million building to begin this spring

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility
  • Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility

With the state's prison system still facing overcrowding issues despite a 2011 order from the Supreme Court to address the issue, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced on January 2 that plans had been finalized to add 2376 beds. A third of those will be added to Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, located in Otay Mesa.

"These projects demonstrate the state’s commitment to comply with federal court orders to provide adequate inmate health care and reduce overcrowding," said department of corrections secretary Jeffrey Beard in an announcement regarding the site selection.

The addition of a 792-bed building on the Donovan site will expand the prison's capacity to 3000, up from the current maximum of 2208. As of December 31, the prison reported an actual inmate population of 3125, equaling 142 percent of the site's limit.

Construction is expected to begin sometime this spring, with an estimated completion date of 22 to 24 months from when ground is broken. The new building will cost taxpayers $168.7 million. When complete, the building will employ 180 people and have a total annual operating cost pegged at $5.5 million.

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