DC touts improved jail facility in mayor’s proposed budget

During a visit to the District’s Hill East neighborhood Monday morning, Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke about the biggest investment in her proposed budget — revamping the D.C. Jail.

Standing in a dirt lot that will eventually be new housing, Bowser spoke with a dilapidated RFK Stadium in the backdrop about how the money in the budget proposal would “transform the DC Jail complex as we know it.”

“That $251 million will allow us to build a new treatment and rehabilitation annex to the current DC Jail, and it will eventually allow us to tear down the oldest portion of the jail,” she said.

In simple terms, there are two components of what’s commonly called the DC Jail: the Central Detention Facility, which only houses men, and connected to that is the Correctional Treatment Facility, which is where the new annex would be added.

“A solid baseline already exists in the current CTF, which we’ll be essentially adding on to and which upon a rehabilitation and treatment oriented care and custody regimen can be initiated,” said Tom Faust, the director of the DC Department of Corrections.

He went on: “This new facility will represent our focused commitment to the rehabilitation of our residents by increasing physical space, for educational and vocational opportunities, and programming and rehabilitative services and will continue providing substance abuse, behavioral and mental health treatment programs, and re-entry supportive services.”

Faust said about 1,000 inmates could be housed in the facility.

“We need a new complex,” said Bowser. “We have landed in a very good place that’s going to allow us to build the annex and then start moving into that annex and then eventually the older part of the jail.”

While the funding is proposed in this current budget, the city is still likely three to four years away from constructing and opening the new facility.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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