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TREATMENT and TRANSFORMATION

With more than 70% of the Los Angeles County inmate population reporting serious substance-use and medical and/or mental illness, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and County Health Agency are partnering to propose a correctional treatment facility to replace the half-century old Men’s Central Jail in Downtown Los Angeles. The proposed correctional treatment facility is envisioned to become a national model in the way medical and mental health services are provided to the growing inmate-patient population in the criminal justice system. By embarking on this project, the County is invested in making significant improvements in the delivery of healthcare to its inmate-patients.

The proposed facility intends to create a paradigm shift in the way the County cares for inmate-patients, with a focus on treatment and rehabilitation, rather than just incarceration. The proposed facility will provide educational, rehabilitation, and life skills programs that would help rebuild lives, facilitate re-integration into society, and thus reduce recidivism and enhance public safety. The County is also increasingly investing in alternatives to incarceration for eligible individuals, including partnering with community-based mental health programs.

THE NEED

In the 1980s, mental health facilities were closed throughout the state, leaving a vulnerable population untreated. With reduced secure mental health facilities, there are limited treatment options for people in the criminal justice system who have a mental health diagnosis, which has led to their incarceration in facilities not equipped to meet their needs.

The Men's Central Jail, built in the 1960s and 1970s, was not designed to treat inmates with severe medical and mental health conditions. As a result, the facility does not have the capacity to meet the needs of the current inmate population, many of whom are medically fragile or suffering from serious substance-use and medical and/or mental illness.

VISION

The County of Los Angeles is dedicated to replacing the Men’s Central Jail with an innovative correctional treatment facility that will help rebuild lives, encourage rehabilitation, reduce recidivism, and enhance public safety. The County’s goal is to focus the treatment and rehabilitation of inmate-patients, rather than just incarceration, by providing improved : medical, mental and life skills programs, to ease and encourage reintegration into society.

More than 70 % of the current inmate population report a serious medical or mental illness upon initial assessment.

WHAT MAKES THE PROPOSED CORRECTIONAL TREATMENT FACILITY DIFFERENT?

  • Increased healthcare space for enhanced monitoring and treatment
  • Increased space for program and recreation to support improved healthcare for inmate-patients
  • Expanded visitation facilities to include contact visits and promote family involvement
  • Replacing general population beds with inmate-patient beds to treat different levels of acuity, addressing mental health, detoxification, and other medical needs
  • Provide integrated "wrap-around" services to better connect inmate-patients with applicable programs within both custody and community-based organizations to ease reintegration back into society

EXAMPLES OF PROPOSED PROJECT FEATURES

New Inmate Reception Center (IRC)

  • The new IRC will serve as the central hub for the processing of inmates entering and exiting the criminal justice system
  • The new IRC will be designed to improve and expedite the assessment of medical and mental health needs upon initial intake processing, through the collocation of custody, medical and mental health staff in a single location
  • The new IRC will connect inmate-patients, exiting the criminal justice system, with wrap-around services, including those provided by community-based groups, to assist them in their transition back into society, and thus prevent recidivism

Correctional Treatment Center (CTC)

  • Expand the available licensed in-patient beds and treatment space for acute-mental health treatment programs
  • Dedicated medical area to house inmate-patients who do not require general acute-care level of medical services
  • Mental health units would provide licensed in-patient care for the most acutely mentally ill inmate-patients in the jail system
  • Increased efficiency in treatment and care for inmate-patients
  • Seamless transition to housing units and programs for rehabilitation