The District of Columbia's New Detention Center:

Careful Planning Essential for Adequate Addition

PSAD-77-86: Published: Jun 13, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 1977.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The District of Columbia has constructed a new detention center to replace an older jail and the women's detention center. The new center lacks enough cells to accommodate the detention population and thereby precludes the closing of the District jail and the women's detention center. Also, the new center does not include the planned diagnostic and classification services due to a shortage of space. The District is planning to add 480 cells to the center at an estimated cost of $12 to $13 million.

The 480-cell addition will be inadequate to accommodate peak detention population projections and will not provide space for the diagnostic and classification services. The detention population may reach a peak of 1,581 by 1980 according to a 1971 consultant's study.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The District of Columbia should use all pertinent factors to determine space requirements in planning for the addition to the detention center, including projections of peak daily detention populations and provision of space for diagnostic and classification services.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Oct 12, 2017

Sep 26, 2017

Sep 7, 2017

Jul 31, 2017

Jul 26, 2017

Jul 24, 2017

Jun 28, 2017

Apr 26, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here