As many as 1700 hundred California prisoners who get seriously sick or injured will soon have a new treatment facility.
The 900 million dollar inmate medical facility is being built on an old youth correctional camp. The ground breaking took place on Thursday, with a heavy duty backhoe tearing down a wall near the old basketball courts.
"The wall was part of our existing complex built decades ago, that has been out of use for over ten years," says Matt Kate. He's the secretary of the department of corrections and rehabilitation. "It's a chance to use existing state land to build something we really need, which are clinical beds for our most medically ill inmates. "
The 1.2 million square foot facility will have a diagnostic care and treatment center, and will care for inmates needing physical or mental health care. The medical center was approved by lawmakers in 2007, after a federal court order required the state to improve health treatments and overcrowding in prisons.