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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.

General Population: General Population inmates are those inmates that are remanded to the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR) to serve their term of incarceration. The General Population inmates at RJDCF provide support to the institution by working maintenance, food service, janitorial, as well as other jobs that serve in supporting the operation of the prison. General Population inmates also have the opportunity to attend education programs that include Adult Basic Education, GED programs, Career Technical Education (Computer Literacy, Building Maintenance, Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning - HVAC, and Machine Shop) and a multitude of other voluntary programs that afford the inmates opportunities for self-improvement.

Bakery/Shoe Factory/Laundry – CALPIA operates a full functioning bakery which produces 9,760 loaves of wheat bread daily. The shoe factory produces 1,000 pairs of shoes daily. Laundry provides service for VA hospitals and local prisons. CALPIA also employees inmates in maintenance, warehouse, and also implemented the Health Care Facility Maintenance program. Over 200 inmates are employed and learn job skills through CALPIA Enterprises at RJDCF.

Institution Details and Programs

In August 2012, the institution changed from its previous reception center mission, and completed the conversion of three of its five facilities to SNY. RJDCF’s other missions include housing and providing treatment to inmates with severe mental illnesses, inmates which have been identified as having medium to high risk medical concerns.

The Institution Hearing Program (IHP) at R. J. Donovan is designed to prepare inmates who are illegal immigrants for release to USINS custody and the return to their native lands.
Participants in the substance abuse treatment (SAT) program are provided intensive substance abuse treatment and support during incarceration and parole.

Religious services are provided for inmates of all denominations. This includes but not limited to; Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish and Native American services. Currently, there are approximately 600 volunteers who are actively involved with rehabilitative and religious programs Kairos, Celebrate Recovery, Ramadan, Bible College, High Holy Days, Alternatives to Violence, Criminal Gangs Anonymous Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous and RAPHA.

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.