California is building the nation’s largest prison medical facility in the nation, at a record clip, reports KPCC Radio. That's because the state must comply with a federal court order to improve health care for inmates. A cluster of a warehouses, bungalows, and two-story-high mounds of dirt mark the future home of the California Health Care Facility, just outside of Stockton. “Prison” isn't in its name, but the 144-acre facility fits the description.
That will be evident soon when the building contractor rings the perimeter with electrified fences and guard towers. The medical hub inside those fences is designed to provide long-term care to 1,700 inmates too sick to live in regular housing. Mike Meredith of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation manages the $900 million project. He says the scale and cost of the Stockton facility dwarfs any commercial project he's worked on. Nancy Kincaid, spokeswoman for the federal receiver in charge of prison medical care, says there’s aren’t enough ground level cells at other facilities for all the inmates who need them. “All the facilities out at the other institutions are all two levels, sometime three levels, and you don't have elevators in housing areas,” she explains. “Because this is long-term care and an aging population, everything is one floor.”