Nevada to Establish Mental Health Unit in Carson City

The Nevada Department of Corrections is working to ensure that prison inmates living with mental illness receive the treatment they require. On Nov. 15, department director James Dzurenda stressed to members of the Nevada Board of State Prison Commissioners that several changes would soon take place in the management of mentally ill inmates. These changes are intended to improve and tailor the treatment of Nevada’s mentally ill inmate population, reduce violence in the state’s prisons and increase safety for all prison staff and inmates.

Kings County Jail Embarks on Latest Expansion Phase

By Lindsey Coulter
Kings County Jail in Hanford, no stranger to construction projects, is expanding yet again. Although the jail added 252 beds in spring 2016, officials broke ground again Nov. 14 on a 33,000-square-foot addition that will increase the jail’s housing capacity and ability to deliver much-needed substance abuse and mental health programs.

Land for New Prison Complex in Utah Purchased for $12.4 Million

The Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) announced on Nov. 4 the purchase of a 323-acre site to house the state’s new correctional facility in Salt Lake City.

Santa Barbara County Breaks Ground on Northern Branch Jail

Despite skepticism, construction officially broke ground on Oct. 11 on the much-anticipated Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail in Santa Maria.

New School to Serve Youthful Offenders in Oregon Community

Construction began in late September on a new school located on the site of the existing Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility (RVYCF) in Grants Pass, which currently serves 80 youthful offenders. Work on the project is expected to last between 12 and 14 months, resulting New Bridge High School, which will emphasize education and rehabilitation.

California County Returns $20 Million Jail Expansion Grant

In lieu of expanding the Hill Road Correctional Facility in Lakeport, the Lake County Board of Supervisors voted on Sept. 13 to return a $20 million jail improvement grant received in January 2014.

CDCR Report Shows Continued Drop in California Recidivism Rate

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released a report on Aug. 25 showing the rate at which offenders return to state prisons is continuing to fall. The department’s annual recidivism report, The Outcome Evaluation Report, shows the total three-year return-to-prison rate for all offenders released during fiscal year 2010-2011 is 44.6 percent. This marks a nearly 10 percent decrease from the 54.3 percent recorded last year, according to a department statement.

United States Courthouse Debuts in Los Angeles

By Jessie Fetterling
After three years of construction, the General Service Administration’s (GSA) new United States Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles is finally complete. Substantial completion was reached in late August, with an official opening on Sept. 12, according to a statement. While dozens of federal judges and their about 100 staff members have begun moving into what several refer to as “The Cube,” the transition will take a couple months to complete, according to Los Angeles Business Journal.

Santa Cruz County Breaks Ground on Rehabilitation Facility

Construction broke ground earlier this month in Watsonville on the Rountree Rehabilitation and Re-Entry Facility, which will bring education, vocational training and rehabilitation services for Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office all under one roof.

Project to Watch: East County Detention Center

By Jessie Fetterling
Construction is fully underway on the East County Detention Center in Indio after breaking ground in May 2015. The 1,626-bed facility will include 1,273 new beds as well as 353 replacement beds when it is completed in 2018.