Seven locations for a new city-run prison have been suggested in a minority draft report from a commission studying the District's needs for a new facility. The report mentions as possible sites the old D.C. Jail site, St. Elizabeths Hospital, Lorton Reformatory and four military bases, three of which are in Southeast Washington.
The preferred sites are the old D.C. Jail, adjacent to D.C. General Hospital in Southeast, and Lorton, the city's existing prison complex in southern Fairfax County, according to a draft of a minority report by the Correctional Facility Study Commission.
The majority of the 15-member prison commission, appointed in July to study whether the District needs a new prison -- and if so what kind and where to build it -- has indicated that it favors alternatives to incarceration over a new facility.
A minority of the members favors building a new prison. A draft of their final recommendation, which is subject to revision, has been obtained by The Washington Post.
The commission is debating whether to issue a final report that incorporates the minority views or whether to submit separate majority and minority reports.
The four military bases mentioned as possible prison sites in the draft of the minority report are Camp Simms, the U.S. Naval Station and the Washington Navy Yard, all in Southeast, and Bolling Air Force Base in Southwest.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for D.C. Mayor Marion Barry said yesterday that Deputy Attorney General D. Lowell Jensen has agreed to meet with the mayor to discuss the District's prison crisis and the Justice Department's decision to cancel a 4 1/2-month-old agreement allowing city prisoners to be sentenced to federal institutions. A time for the meeting has not been set, the spokeswoman said.
In a letter to the District, the Justice Department noted that planning and preparation for the construction of a new city prison -- advocated by Barry, with $30 million approved by Congress -- have yet to begin. Federal sources have said the inmate transfer cutoff was aimed at forcing the city to move on the issue, which has generated some controversy over possible sites.
City government sources have said the District will soon face a new overcrowding crisis at the jail and Lorton, where three of eight facilities have population caps, if the government ends the agreement. Under the agreement, about 1,600 inmates have been sent to federal institutions since Aug. 22.