News Releases

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility Investigating Riot

SAN DIEGO – On Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at 9:06 a.m., nearly 50 inmates were involved in a riot at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) on the Facility A yard, a medium-custody yard.

The riot occurred when multiple fights and attacks broke out in several areas simultaneously. Correctional officers immediately responded to the various areas, and gave multiple orders to stop fighting. When inmates did not comply, officers used pepper spray to quell the incidents. Only non-lethal force was used. Multiple inmate-manufactured weapons were recovered at the scene.

Ten inmates were injured and transferred to area hospitals. One of the injured inmates suffered serious head injuries and was transported to an area hospital by emergency life flight.

No officers were seriously injured. Some correctional staff members were exposed to pepper spray. They were treated at the prison.

The incident is being investigated by the Investigative Services Unit at the prison. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

Inmate movement on Facility A has been limited to facilitate the investigation into the cause of the riot.

RJD opened in 1987 and houses approximately 3,800 minimum-, medium-, and maximum-security inmates. There are currently 1,850 people working at the institution. RJD’s primary mission is to provide long-term housing and professional rehabilitative services for inmates of all custody levels.


February 15, 2019

CONTACT: Terri Hardy (916) 445-4950