U-T San Diego — A new prison for nonviolent offenders proposed for Otay Mesa would have 792 beds and may be built near the state’s R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, officials said at a briefing Monday.
The new prison is the result of a state law approved in 2011 that requires the state to reduce the state prison population by putting those who have committed less serious and nonviolent offenses in local facilities.
In June 2012, Senate Bill 1022 authorized the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to design and construct three dormitory facilities adjacent to specified institutions. They would house what are known as level II prisoners.
The changes are expected to result in more than 7,000 prisoner classifications from level III to level II by 2015. There are four levels for prisoners, with I being the lowest and IV designating for those who have committed serious offenses that result in sentences of 25 years to life.
The bill also authorized the deactivation and closure of the California Rehabilitation Center in Riverside County by Dec. 31, 2016 or six months after construction of the facilities — a total of 2,376 beds at existing prison sites.
The State Public Works Board will issue about $810 million in revenue bonds, notes or bond anticipation notes to finance the design, construction and construction-related costs.
One preferred location is at the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility. It houses low- to high-level offenders, with the majority in medium-security buildings. continue reading...