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Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD)

Contact & Visiting Information

Main Phone: (619) 661-6500

Physical Address:

  • 480 Alta Road, San Diego, CA 92179

Visiting Hours

Saturdays, Sundays and Designated Holidays* from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
* New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas

To schedule an Administrative Segregation Unit or Non-Contact Appointment, please call (619) 661-7900. Calls will be answered in the order in which they are received. (Please note that you may hear music, while you are holding for Visiting Department Staff.)

Visiting Assistance:

A CDCR funded Visitor Center is at the institution operated by a community-based organization under contract to CDCR. The Visitor Center provides visiting assistance to family members and friends including a sheltered place to wait before and after visits, transportation to and from local transit terminals, childcare, clothing appropriate for visits on loan, and information about local resources, visiting rules and regulations.

Visiting Regulations:

For specific visiting regulations, including clothing appropriate for visiting an inmate, visit this link.

For customized driving directions, visit this link.

Statewide Inmate Family Council Message:

Local Inmate Family Councils (IFC's) are a gathering of family and friends of the incarcerated who meet regularly with Wardens to support visiting since keeping strong family connections with loved ones is a powerful rehabilitative tool. These IFC's promote visiting by clarifying rules and regulations as well as discussing health, education, vocational training, packages, books, and related issues. For more information on connecting with a local IFC, please visit the Statewide IFC website.

About Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility

Aerial of Richard J. Donovan correctional facilityAerial photo. Click image for larger view.

Mission: The Mission at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF) is a multi-mission institution: RJDCF’s primary mission is to provide housing for General Population and SNY, Level I, II, III & IV inmates serving their term of incarceration at RJDCF. Additionally RJDCF provides health care services and rehabilitative programs to inmates while incarcerated at RJDCF. RJDCF is a designated institution for inmates with severe mental illness, inmates with developmental disabilities and is responsible for providing officer coverage for inmates being treated in community hospitals throughout San Diego County.

Sensitive Needs Yard (SNY): There are currently three facilities at RJDCF which are designated as SNY. SNY inmates are those inmates that are remanded to the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR) but due to safety concerns they are separated from General Population inmates to serve their term of incarceration. SNY inmates have the opportunity to work and attend education programs that include Adult Basic Education, college courses, GED programs, Career Technical Education (Carpentry, Welding, Electronics, Building Maintenance), Inmate Work Labor and a multitude of voluntary programs that afford the inmates opportunities for self-improvement.

Institution Details and Programs

The Institutional Hearing Program (IHP) at the RJDCF is designed to prepare inmates, who are illegal immigrants, for release to the United States Department of Homeland Security's custody and return to their country of origin.

Self-Help and Inmate Leisure Time Activity Groups include Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Criminal and Gang Anonymous.

Institutional Juvenile Diversion Programs include Convicts Reaching Out to People (CROP). Inmates participate in face-to-face discussions with juveniles explaining the downfalls of drug use, gang life, and criminal thinking, while advising on how to avoid life in prison.

Rehabilitative inmate leisure activities include social, educational, recreational, and mentoring groups. The RJDCF offers study in the areas of Recycling and Green Industries; Food Handling; Coastline College; Creative Writing; and the highly acclaimed Thinking for a Change. Inmates may also participate in a Veteran's Group and other volunteer-led community service activities.

Academic opportunities include Literacy and Adult Basic Education through GED. Vocational opportunities include the Machine Shop, Welding, and HVAC.

Religious services are provided for inmates of all denominations. The RJDCF employs a Catholic Priest, a Protestant Chaplain, a Muslim Imam, a Native American Spiritual Leader, and a Jewish Rabbi. Additionally, nearly (430) volunteers provide volunteer-led religious and other programs such as KAIROS, Alternatives to Violence/Hands of Peace, the Urban Ministries Institute (TUMI), and many other faith-based programs. Additionally, California Prison Industries Authority (CALPIA) employs inmates at the RJDCF in its laundry, bakery, and casual shoe factory.

Inmate Healthcare

The healthcare providers here at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility are aware that friends and family members have a special interest in the health and well-being of their loved ones. However, information can only be shared with those individuals that the patient has given authorization to receive. Please advise the patient to obtain an Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information form (CDCR-7385) from a healthcare provider. Once completed and on file, information can be shared with you. Once approved, you may call 619-661-6500, extension 7088, and a representative will return your call within five business days.

Special Notes

The R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility was named for the late Assemblyman and Judge Richard J. Donovan, who sponsored legislation to build a State Correctional Facility in the San Diego area. However, the Honorable Donovan passed away before the institution was built.

Warden  Paramo

About the Warden

Daniel Paramo has been warden or acting warden at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility since 2011. Paramo was chief deputy warden from 2008 to 2011 and associate warden from 2006 to 2008 at Centinela State Prison. He served in multiple positions at Calipatria State Prison from 1991 to 2006, including facility captain, classification and parole representative, correctional counselor and community resource manager.