Central Health Services Center Project DEIR

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Purpose and Need for the Project

  1. The federal courts have determined that inmates at SQSP have inadequate access to health, mental and dental care and that an adequate modern facility is need to provide for a minimum standard of care for inmate patients.
  2. SQSP provides medical, mental health, and dental services to inmates in substandard facilities such as the Neumiller Building and in several substandard locations, all located through out the prison property resulting in ineffective operations.
  3. In 2001, a federal class action law suit was settled (Plata v. Schwarzenegger) against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that addressed the quality of medical care in the State’s 33-prison system.  The U.S. District court found that the care provided was in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which forbids cruel and unusual punishment of the incarcerated.
  4. In 2002, the State settled the suit and agreed to implement a variety of remedies that would bring prison medical care in line with constitutional standards.  However, the court found that the State failed to comply with these requirements and in June 2005 issued an order to establish a federal Receivership.
  5. The California Prison Health Care Receivership Corp., is responsible for planning the restructuring and development of a constitutionally adequate medical health care delivery system for CDCR.  The proposed CHSC is one element of the plan.
  6. The primary goal of this proposed CHSC is to create a clinical environment where health care professions can provide improved medical care to inmate patients at SQSP.

Project Description

CDCR proposes to construct a new Central Health Service Center on approximately one acre at a site currently occupied by Building 22, which is located in the eastern part of the SQSP grounds. With the exception of the dungeon component and the original facade of the 1885 hospital, the project proposes to demolish Building 22, which has been classified as a Seismic Risk Level VI, which characterizes the building as an imminent threat to occupants and/or adjacent property.  The project also proposes to construct a medical warehouse on approximately one-half acre in the central portion of the SQSP grounds.  The project would consolidate the existing health service programs and buildings and associated support services at SQSP with a modern, safer, and adequately-sized facility.  The health center and warehouse are being proposed to comply with U.S. District Court orders to upgrade and provide adequate medical facilities for CDCR inmates such that their medical care meets U.S. constitutional standards (Plata v. Schwarzenegger, 2005).

Environmental Review

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is the lead agency for the proposed new Central Health Service Center at San Quentin State Prison (SQSP) in Marin County. CDCR has directed the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

At the direction of CDCR, environmental consultant EDAW Inc., has prepared a Draft EIR (attached for your review).  Under CEQA, the purpose of an EIR is to provide decision makers, public agencies, and the general public with an objective and informative document that facilitates a basic understanding of the proposed project and fully discloses the potential environmental effects associated with the construction and operation of the proposed project, including direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects.  In addition, the EIR identifies alternatives that would reduce or eliminate the significant effects of the proposed project, feasible measures to mitigate those effects, and adverse impacts determined to be significant after mitigation.  CDCR will use the EIR to obtain any necessary permits, agreements and approvals in order to implement the project.

Public Review

The Draft EIR is available for a 45-day public review period that begins May 31, 2007 and ends July 16, 2007.  To ensure that all environmental issues are fully identified and adequately addressed, written comments are invited from all interested parties. Written comments regarding the scope and content of information in the DEIR, or any questions regarding the DEIR should be submitted no later than July 16, 2007.   Comments may be sent to:

Cher Daniels, Chief
Environmental Planning Unit
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001
Fax# (916) 322-6763

Responses to comments received during the 45-day public review period will be included in the Final EIR.

Public Hearing

Public hearing on the proposed project and DEIR will be held at the following time and location:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Starting at 4:00 pm
Larkspur City Hall
Council Chambers, 2nd floor
400 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 94939

Individuals who require special accommodations (American Sign Language Interpreter, special seating, documents in alternative formats, etc) are requested to call Cher Daniels at (916) 323-0731 at least 10 days prior to the meeting to help ensure availability.  TDD users may contact the California Relay Service at 711.

What should you do?

Please review the Draft EIR.  We welcome your comments.  If you have concerns regarding the proposed project, please attend the public hearing or send in written comments by mail or by email.  Copies of the Draft EIR and all documents referenced in the Draft EIR are available for public review during regular business hours at the office of CDCR identified above (501 J Street, Room 312).

Central Health Services CenterContact Information:

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Nancy Mackenzie
Environmental Planning
(916) 255-2159

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Public Information
Terry Thornton
Media Inquires
(916) 445-4950

Environmental Consultant
Project Director
Gary Jakobs, AICP
Project Manager
Amanda Olekszulin
(916) 414-5800

VANIR Construction Management, Inc
Project Director
Kimberly Bobic AIA, CCM,
(805) 541-1425