The Folsom Women's Facility, located near Folsom State Prison and California State Prison-Sacramento, is expected to receive its first inmates next week. The prison, which will house low-risk inmates, is not expected to be full until spring.
Since October, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been moving women out of the 1,980-bed Valley State Prison in Chowchilla. Male inmates will now occupy that prison.
The Valley State Prison conversion from a female to a male institution began after the number of female inmates was reduced statewide by 36 percent when low-level offenders began serving sentences in county jails instead of state prison.
The new Folsom women's prison will offer rehabilitation and education. Programs include adult education, anger management, family reunification, substance abuse and computer literacy.
"The Folsom Women's Facility represents modern thinking about how to help female inmates turn their lives around," said corrections undersecretary Terri McDonald.
PHOTO CAPTION: An inmate mows the lawn inside the prison boundry at the Leo Chesney Community Correctional Facility for Women. A new state prison for women in Folsom will eventually hold 403 inmates. RANDY PENCH/Sacramento Bee