Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD)

Main Phone: (619) 661-6500

Physical Address: 480 Alta Road, San Diego, CA 92179 (Directions)

Visiting Inmates: learn how to visit inmates in-person or by video at our institutions.

Other Resources: explore family & friends resources, including how to contact or send packages to inmates in our institutions.

  • CALPIA:  Bakery, Laundry, Casual Shoe Factory
  • Vocational:  Welding/Machine Shop/HVAC
  • Academic: Adult Basic Education, High School/GED, Pre-Release, English as a Second Language, Literacy Program, and Limited College Courses
  • Other:  Community Service Crews, Youth Diversion, Religious, Bicycle Refurbishing, Victim Awareness, and Drug Treatment/Diversion

DRP Programs
Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment (ISUDT)–Overview
On January 21, 2020, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) implemented ISUDT.  ISUDT is a comprehensive and evidence-based cross-divisional program with pathways to treatment through DRP Cognitive Behavioral Interventions (CBI) programs referred to as:

CBI-Intensive Outpatient (Medical Classification T1, SOMS assignment code ISI) 2-hours/day, 5-days/week, 52-weeks completion

CBI-Outpatient  (Medical Classification T2, SOMS assignment code ISO) 2-hours/day, 3-days/week, 14-weeks completion

CBI-Life Skills (Medical Classification T3, SOMS assignment code CB2) 2-hours/day, 3-days/week, 29-weeks completion

All participants will be assessed by medical and referred to one of the CBI classes.

Family Liaison Service Specialist
CDCR provides through a contract with a community-based organization an on-site Case Manager as a family reunification liaison for inmates and family members, to assist with an inmates pre-release preparation; and conduct Parenting and Creative Conflict Resolution classes for inmates. Please call the Institution to contact the Family Reunification Liaison.

Facility is located in San Diego. Widely known as “America’s Finest City” due in large part to its amazing weather, 26 miles of beautiful white-sand beaches, San Diego showcases many popular attractions to be enjoyed by the entire family. Those attractions include; the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Balboa Park, Lego Land, golf courses and historic museums. The city also offers an abundance of fun attractions year-round for all ages, including; arts and culture, sports activities, a multitude of parks, recreation centers, unique shops and restaurants. San Diego ideal weather and central location make it a perfect place to work, live, relax, and play year round.

Balboa Park with water fountain in the center
Picture of Windandsea Beach

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 two 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.

Non-Designated Programming Facilities: There are currently three Non-Designated Programming facilities at RJD – Facility D, Facility E and the Minimum Support Facility (MSF). Non-Designated Programming Facilities are those that house inmates together regardless of their designation (Sensitive Needs Yard (SNY) or General Population (GP) in order to provide greater access to self-help, educational, vocational and rehabilitative programs. The department is doing this as one of the efforts to focus on an inmate’s rehabilitation while safely housing them in the least restrictive facilities possible. These facilities are intended to provide an environment focused on positive rehabilitative programming for inmates who abstain from violence. No program shall segregate inmates based on prior SNY or GP housing status, and inmates are expected to participate in the recreation yard, job assignments, education/vocation assignments, inmate activity groups, religious services and other programs and activities.

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.

James Hill

James Hill has been Acting Warden of R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility since November 2022.

He began with the Arizona Department of Corrections prior to his CDCR, which began in January 2000.  He has been assigned to several institutions throughout the state. He has experience working with both male and female members of the incarcerated population.

Warden Hill has held numerous classifications, including correctional officer, sergeant, counselor I and lieutenant.  In 2014, he promoted to correctional captain at the California Institution for Women where he was assigned to both custody and facility captain, respectively.

In 2018, he promoted to associate warden at Calipatria State Prison and was responsible for housing and business services.

He transferred to Centinela State Prison in 2019 as an associate warden where he managed the central services department. On May 1, 2020, he was appointed to chief deputy warden at Centinela State Prison. He was appointed warden at California Institution for Men on March 14, 2022. He had been acting Warden since January 2021.

In addition to Warden Hill’s knowledge and experience at CDCR, he is a veteran, having served four years in the United States Navy. 

Warden Hill’s priorities are to support CDCR’s vision and mission, with emphasis on rehabilitative and restorative justice programs while exemplifying the Department’s values of service, leadership, integrity, accountability, respect, trust, and collaboration.

George Perez was appointed CEO for RJD in July 2022.

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.