There are 115 institutions in the Federal Prison System. The newest one is here in Herlong. And it looks the part. It has the shiny look of just completed campus. In a way that's just what it is, though the razor wire quickly reminds you of its real purpose. The prison...now officially the Federal Correctional Institute at Herlong was built at a cost of $120 million dollars.
It's a big change for Warden Deboo whose last assignment was the federal women's prison in Danbury, Connecticut a prison built in the 1930's now holding twice the inmates for which it was built.
Kuma Deboo, Warden, Herlong, California, "We're starting from scratch building it from ground up with all the best practices that have been learned at other prisons." And there' still a lot to be done. For instance the prison will eventually employ three hundred.
Work on the prison itself continues much of it done by a minimum security work cadre who will be housed at a camp a half mile away. A different sort of inmate will serve time behind the wire.
Some of those inmates will put that time to use working in a a roundabout way for our military. The Sierra Army Depot next door has been tasked with rebuilding heavy duty vehicles for the Army, some of the basic work cleaning and painting will be done in this now empty building under a contract with prison industries. "We'll be restoring military vehicles working with the military."
There are other empty spaces behind these fences. There's the recreation area to be completed, and empty slots in the staff to be filled, but the buildings are finished, the dining hall ready, the yard a huge empty space and in the cell blocks.
These cells are empty, but beginning with the first of the year, they will start to fill and this prison will become home to 1500 inmates.