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Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center

    On October 26, 1998, the 1998-1999 Sacramento County Grand Jury toured the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC), located at 12500 Bruceville Road, Elk Grove.

    Background

    Situated on 140 acres 27 miles south of Sacramento, the RCCC houses medium- and maximum-security prisoners. There are five sections to the facility: the Women's Detention Facility (WDF), the Roger Bauman Facility, the Honor Barracks, the Christopher Boone Facility, and the Stuart Baird Facility. On the day the Grand Jury visited the facility, there were approximately 1,500 inmates, both men and women. The maximum stay is one year. According to officials at the facility, RCCC has a staff of 203 which includes deputies, records officers, social workers and educational staff from the Elk Grove Unified School District.

    Grand jurors were informed that female inmates may take General Education Development (GED) certificate, business, and culinary arts courses. In addition, they may work in the engraving shop. Male inmates can also earn their GEDs, as well as take courses in janitorial services, landscaping and irrigation technology. Male inmates also work in a metal shop, where they convert vans and buses for inmate transportation.

    Officials at RCCC informed the Grand Jury that a new 448-bed facility for male inmates was scheduled to be completed in January 1999 to replace the antiquated Roger Bauman Facility. Beds in this facility will be in a dormitory setting to allow correctional officers an unobstructed view, which is less labor intensive. A $1.5 million perimeter fence is scheduled to be completed by spring 2000.

    Observations

    The WDF appeared overcrowded, even though the number of female inmates present on the day the Grand Jury visited was less than the maximum capacity of 272. The Grand Jury observed that the WDF's Kinya Dorm, which houses up to 100 women, was monitored by speakers only; there is no direct visual observation by officers. The Grand Jury learned that in recent months 50 women were released from WDF to participate in the Home Detention Program; ultimately, 100 women will participate. The Grand Jury was informed that several of the initial 50 women, however, had already returned to the WDF, because they failed to fulfill release program requirements.

    Findings and Recommendations

    Finding #1: The Grand Jury was informed that the WDF control room panel was installed when the facility was built in 1973. Although it has undergone some modifications, it remains outdated and inadequate.

    Recommendation #1: The Grand Jury recommends that the WDF control room panel equipment be evaluated and, if necessary, replaced.

    Finding #2: The cameras and monitors in all RCCC control rooms are black and white. The Grand Jury believes this situation is inadequate to properly monitor inmates because of the color-coded clothing that inmates wear. Colors are used to designate to which facility inmates are assigned; the black and white equipment cannot distinguish these colors.

    Recommendation #2: The Grand Jury recommends that all RCCC cameras and control room TV monitors be replaced with color equipment. Another alternative would be to consider using other methods to identify inmate facility assignment.

    A Response is Required

    The California Penal Code requires the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department to respond in writing to the Grand Jury's recommendations contained in this report, and to submit its responses to the presiding judge of the Sacramento Superior Court by September 30, 1999.

    Did You Know . . .

    The RCCC engraving shop makes brass plaques, brass or plastic name plates, banners and signs. If your nonprofit organization needs these types of items, please call (916) 874-1804 for further information.

1998/99 Sacramento County Grand Jury - Final Report (Internet Version) June 30, 1999

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