By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
A new module for inmates who have mental illnesses has opened at the Martinez Detention Facility. This follows an 18-month remodel of a module which previously held 52 inmates. Now, it will house only 24 inmates who have mental illnesses. They will be supervised 24/7 by county health staff in addition to deputy sheriffs. The cells are all single-occupancy and include 5 cells for acute cases. There are also two private medical evaluation suites in the module.
“I am proud of this new module which is part of the jail modernization we planned many years ago,” said Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston. “Now, inmates who have mental illnesses will have a dedicated housing unit where they will receive mental health treatment, programming, and services, in addition to healthcare.
The new module has incorporated the latest technology and best practices for detention facilities. This includes state of the art software for managing the module, furnishings that will help prevent suicides and a design that allows for greater observation of the inmates. The new module also uses a biophilic design to create a calm environment, reduce stress, and is more conducive to therapy.
“This new module sets the standard for these types of detention facilities,” said Livingston. “This reflects the commitment of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and Contra Costa County in serving the needs of inmates who are living with mental health issues.”