Men’s Central Jail (MCJ) is located near downtown Los Angeles, about one mile from the Hall of Justice, just North/East of Union station. Its primary purpose is to provide security for sentenced and high security, pre-trial inmates. Together with the Transportation Bureau (TST), the Inmate Reception Center (IRC), the Twin Towers Correctional Facility (TTCF), and the Central Jail Arraignment Courts (CJAC), all located on Bauchet Street, it makes up the Central Regional Justice Center.
Originally constructed in 1963 at a cost of $16.3 million, MCJ was designed to house 3,323 inmates and contain 585,150 square feet of floor space. In 1976, an addition was completed at a cost of $35 million, adding 350,000 square feet of floor space and raising the inmate rated capacity to 5,276. Currently, the inmate capacity of MCJ is approximately 4,600.
MCJ has a specialized medical housing unit capable of handling 781 inmates and is staffed by Sheriff’s Department Medical Personnel. They provide services for inmates with communicable diseases, long term medical conditions, and/or who are recovering from wounds or surgery. Inmates who are mentally ill are not currently housed at MCJ.
Originally referred to as the “Central Jail Expansion,” Twin Towers Correctional Facility opened in 1997. It occupies a 10 acre site to the east of MCJ and is connected to MCJ by a transfer bridge. TTCF consists of two high rise inmate housing towers, an Inmate Reception Center and a five story Medical Services Building. It also includes a Central Energy Plant and Custody Division Administration offices. The facility provides housing for over 2000 inmates, of which 200 are of medical and mental health care classification, and totals just under 1.5 million square feet.
Assigned by IRC Classification, as many as 800 inmate workers are housed at MCJ. These inmate workers are assigned to one of many jobs, and may accrue “Work Time” or credit towards their sentences.
While the jail is operated by the Sheriff’s Department, there are many civilians who work in the facility in a support capacity. Among them are: food services personnel, clerical, medical services personnel, and chaplains. In addition, Los Angeles County Facilities Services Bureau (FSB) personnel are stationed at the jail to maintain and repair the facility.
Although the facility strains under the demands of a changing society, it continues to function with safety and security thanks to the professionalism and efficiency of personnel assigned to MCJ.