Monday, February 13, 2012

Mental Health Care Facility for Inmates Unveiled in Vacaville

Sacramento –The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Department of Mental Health (DMH) today opened the doors to a new facility on the grounds of the California Medical Facility that will provide mental health treatment to inmates.


Operated by the Department of Mental Health, this licensed Intermediate level, in-patient care facility will house up to 64 inmates. The facility is the first construction completed with bond financing authorized by AB 900, the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007 (Solorio), intended to relieve prison overcrowding and upgrade facilities to meet court-ordered improvements in medical, dental and mental health treatment for inmates.

Construction of the $33.7 million project, which broke ground in June 2010, was managed by CDCR. The 45,000 sq. ft. facility includes space for housing, treatment and administration, exercise yards, parking, new guard towers and an extension of the lethal electrified security fence that surrounds the California Medical Facility.

The building also incorporates many conservation features to improve energy efficiency, conserve water and reduce sewage flow. Skylights, for example, provide natural light, reducing electrical demand. A vacuum plumbing system is expected to reduce sewage discharges by 70 percent, compared to more traditional designs. The project was designed to achieve Silver certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

“This project is one example of our response to the courts which require us to improve mental health treatment for inmates,” noted Chris Meyer, director of Facility Planning, Construction and Management. “The building also will reduce waste sent to landfills and greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the need for grid-based electrical energy,” he added. “All in all, this project will improve the care for inmates and our stewardship of the environment.”

 
More information on CDCR is available at: www.cdcr.ca.gov.