News Releases

New Inmate Mental Health Facility Unveiled In San Luis Obispo

$38.6 million facility will provide 50 beds for crisis treatment 
Sacramento –The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today opened the doors to a new facility on the grounds of the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo that will provide in-patient care to inmates in crisis situations who require 24 hour a day treatment.

The Intermediate level, in-patient care facility will house up to 50 inmates at a time and complement other mental health treatment facilities that provide out-patient treatment at the prison. The 45,700 sq. ft. facility is funded by bond financing authorized by AB 900, the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, to relieve prison overcrowding and upgrade facilities to meet court-ordered improvements in medical, dental and mental health treatment for inmates.

The new facility is one of 15 mental health treatment projects recently completed or under construction by CDCR, at a cost of $1.3 billion, to provide constitutionally required levels of care and to comply with litigation (Coleman) requiring improved mental health treatment for inmates.

“This facility and more than a dozen others we have constructed or are building are proof of CDCR’s commitment to providing the level of mental health treatment that the courts and the law require and that about one-third of our inmates need,” said Deborah Hysen, Deputy Director of Facility Planning, Construction and Management.   Approximately 32,400 male inmates (25 percent) and 2,256 female inmates (37.9 percent) require mental health treatment.  

“CDCR also is contributing to California’s environmental goals by using construction methods and materials that benefit the environment and reduce emissions that contribute to global climate change,” Hysen noted.    

The facility includes hospital style treatment rooms, nursing stations to monitor in-mate patients, space for individual and group counseling sessions, and administrative offices, behind an extension of the lethal electrified security fence that surrounds the California Men’s Colony.

The building also incorporates many conservation features to improve energy efficiency, conserve water and reduce sewage flow. They include high efficiency heating and air conditioning units that will significantly reduce electrical demand and greenhouse gas emissions.  A vacuum plumbing system will reduce sewage discharges by 70 percent and low flow fixtures and facets will reduce drinkable water use by 30 percent.   The project is a candidate for Gold certification, the highest level in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

More information on CDCR is available at:

For Immediate Release
August 28, 2013
Contact Bill Sessa (916) 445-4950 or
Monica Ayon (805) 547-7948