The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) yesterday dedicated a 22,158-square-foot facility that will provide mental health treatment at California State Prison-Sacramento.

It is the most recent of 15 facilities constructed by CDCR since 2008, at a cost of $1.3 billion, to provide constitutionally required levels of mental health treatment for inmates and to comply with the Coleman litigation.

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Deborah Hysen, Deputy Director of Facility Planning, Construction and Management, noted that approximately 32,400 male inmates (25 percent) and 2,256 female inmates (37.9 percent) require various levels of mental health treatment, from out-patient counseling to in-patient crisis care.

The CSP-Sac facility includes rooms for private and group counseling sessions, a holding and charting area and a custody officer station, in addition to offices for administrative and professional staff.

The building also incorporates many conservation features to improve energy efficiency, conserve water and reduce sewage flow. It features high efficiency heating and air conditioning units and roof-mounted photovoltaic panels that significantly reduce electrical demand and greenhouse gas emissions and energy-conserving exterior insulation and finish.

The project is a candidate for Gold certification, the highest level in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

Approximately 60 inmates assisted in the construction of the new facility as part of a vocational training program, including 12 who completed a pre-apprenticeship certification program in various construction skills that makes them eligible to compete in the construction trade job market when they return to their communities.

CMC mental health facility wins Green Award

In addition, a $38.6 million, 45,000-square-foot facility designed to provide mental health treatment to inmates in crisis who require around the clock care at the California Men’s Colony (CMC) in San Luis Obispo has been awarded the 2013 Green Award for New Construction for its energy-saving and environmental features.

The award was presented recently by the U.S. Green Building Council, California Central Coast Chapter and was accepted by CMC Warden Elvin Valenzuela.

The Green Building Council judges said they were impressed with how the San Luis Obispo project, which recently received a Gold LEED certification, reduced its impact on the natural environment and maximized its energy efficiency.

In addition to many of the features also incorporated into the Sacramento facility, other notable features of the San Luis Obispo facility include a vacuum assisted plumbing system and low flow fixtures and faucets that reduce water use by 30 percent and low emitting adhesives, sealants paints and coatings to improve indoor air quality.

Also, 75 percent of construction waste was recycled and local materials were used as much as possible to reduce the impact on scarce, natural resources.

More info on CDCR’s “Green Building” program is at:

csp-sac dedication

Dr. Diana Toche, CDCR Undersecretary for Administration and Offender Services (A) prepares to cut the ribbon to dedicate the mental health treatment facility at California State Prison-Sacramento. Joining Undersecretary Toche are, from left, CEO Eureka Daye, Warden Tim Virga, Chief Psychologist Dr. David Wheeler and Dr. Parker Houston, Senior Psychologist and supervisor of the new facility’s activation. (Photo by CDCR staff photographer Eric Owens.)