Construction Begins on HOK-Designed East County Detention Center

LOS ANGELES — Construction has begun on the new 516,000-sq.-ft. East County Detention Center in Indio, Calif. HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm, collaborated with Riverside County to design the modern detention center to replace an overpopulated, 353-bed jail facility built in the 1950s.

The four-story structure will increase detention center capacity while providing effective healthcare and support programs for inmates. Upon completion in December 2017, the 1,626-bed detention center facility will represent a net addition of 1,273 beds to the county’s overall detention center bed capacity while offering crucial medical care and recidivism reduction programs.

The high-profile site is within Indio’s civic core, between the Larson Justice Center and the Riverside County Fairgrounds. Because of the visibility and importance of this site, HOK’s team focused on designing a detention facility that looks at home in downtown Indio.

“Our design creates a highly efficient and extremely secure building,” said Ernest Cirangle, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, design principal in HOK’s Los Angeles office. “It also conveys a dignified presence and a welcoming face that connects with the local community.”

HOK designed the East County Detention Center to support Riverside County’s mission to reduce recidivism and to create a rehabilitative, secure environment in which inmates, staff and volunteers can interact with limited stress, and where there is easy access to programs and education. Plans for the comprehensive programs include residential substance abuse treatment services, group counseling, case planning management, anger and violence management, general and vocational education, workforce re-entry readiness, and technical education in computer information systems and culinary arts.

The new detention center features a medical/mental health unit, dental treatment and exam rooms, a clinic and sheltered care housing. Providing quality healthcare services and inmate programs inside the facility reduces safety risks to the public, staff and inmates. An underground passageway connects the detention center to the courthouse across the civic plaza, decreasing risks associated with inmate transport.

HOK’s sustainable, energy-saving design strategies for the facility are targeting Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. To provide non-institutional, humane environments, the design maximizes access to natural light, fresh air and shared spaces.

The new facility will ultimately generate 450 permanent staff positions.

About HOK 
HOK’s Justice practice programs, plans and designs courthouses, detention and correctional centers, police facilities, crime labs and emergency operations centers, and reintegration facilities. Its design strategies improve the operations, aesthetics, sustainability and social purpose of justice facilities. Recent projects include the Indianapolis Consolidated Justice Facility in Indianapolis; Will County Consolidated Justice Facility in Joliet, Ill.; King County Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle; Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort. Madison, Iowa; and the Douglas County Adult Detention and Law Enforcement Center, Douglasville, Ga.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Through a network of 25 offices worldwide, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people’s lives and help clients succeed. DesignIntelligence has ranked HOK as a leader in sustainable and high-performance design for six consecutive years and recently named HOK the #1 most-admired firm for leadership in technology innovation.

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