West County Detention Center

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Front sign of the West County Detention Center in Richmond, California

West County Detention Center is a large coeducational adult medium security Contra Costa County prison in Richmond, California opened in 1991.[1]


It is located in the Point Pinole area of the city between Parchester Village to the south, Point Pinole Regional Shoreline to the west and the Hilltop area to the east. The prison can house up to 1,104 inmates.[1] There are five different housing areas, four for males and one for females.[1] The prison is served by route 71 AC Transit bus service 7 days a week and route 376 late night.[2] The jail also houses the county's "special needs" inmates.[1]

"The West County Detention Facility opened in 1991 and is one of nine facilities in California contracted by ICE to hold detainees. It holds about 1,000 inmates. Of that number, an average of 120 to 150 individuals are there under ICE custody and are being processed for removal from the United States based on violations of immigration laws, said Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for ICE and the Department of Homeland Security." [2]

New Jail Project[edit]

West County Detention Facility is proceeding with the project to expand jail services. The project will cost $25 million in construction and $5 million a year after the construction. The money is going towards the construction of a high-security wing that can jail 400 extra inmates who are currently housed at the Martinez Detention Facility. The supporters of this project state that the project will allow improved mental health treatment and other services to inmates at the Martinez jail by transporting inmates to the newly constructed wing at West County Detention Facility. The opponents, however, state that the project is wrongly focusing on people already detained and not on prevention.[3]

Programs and Services[edit]

The West County Detention Center main building

The West County Detention Center offers a lot of programs and spaces for inmates to utilize. The spaces provided for them include the following: courtyards, educational classrooms and library facilities. They also offer programs that the inmates could take advantage of, such as, DEUCE (substance abuse, anger and stress management, job development), Computer Applications including Web Design, Adult Basic Education, Independent Study, Transitional Services, English as a Second Language (ESL), GED / High School Diploma preparation and testing and Chaplain Program.[4]

Detainee conditions[edit]

in December 2017, senator Diane Feinstein formally asked ICE to investigate the detention center, where multiple federal detainees have stated that they were not allowed to use restrooms. Feinstein wrote, "It has been reported that the conditions are so deplorable that detainees are requesting deportation over pursuing claims in immigration court"[5]


  1. ^ a b c d West County Detention Facility, Contra Costa County website, access date 29-01-2009
  2. ^ Route 71 schedule and map, AC Transit website, access date 24-07-2010
  3. ^ IOFFEE, KARINA (February 7, 2017). "Richmond: Contra Costa supes move forward with jail project". East Bay Times. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  4. ^ "West County Detention Facility | Contra Costa County, CA Official Website". www.co.contra-costa.ca.us. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  5. ^ [1]

Coordinates: 37°59′42″N 122°21′05″W / 37.994878°N 122.351367°W / 37.994878; -122.351367