District of Columbia Department of Corrections

The District of Columbia Department of Corrections (DCDC) is a correctional agency responsible for the adult jails and other adult correctional institutions in the District of Columbia.[1] DCDC runs the D.C. Jail.


The DOC was first established as an agency in 1946, when the District Jail (built 1872) was combined with the Lorton Correctional Complex.[1] The latter began as a workhouse for male prisoners in 1910, but later expanded to include eight prisons on 3,000 acres (12 km2) of land in Lorton, Fairfax County, Virginia.[1]

In 1999 the DCDC was paying the Virginia Department of Corrections to house 69 prisoners at the Red Onion State Prison.[2]


For about ninety years, the Lorton Correctional Complex in rural Fairfax County, Virginia, about 20 miles south of Washington, served as the District of Columbia's prison. The National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997 required the DC Department of Corrections transferred the sentenced felon population formerly housed at Lorton to the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and the Lorton facility shut down in 2001.[3] The Lorton complex was handed over to the General Services Administration (GSA), which manages property for the federal government, which in turn gave the property to Fairfax County.[3]

The DOC operates the Central Detention Facility (D.C. Jail), at 1901 D Street Southeast. The jail opened in 1976.[4]

In 1985, a federal judge in the case of Campbell v. McGruder, a lawsuit filed against the District of Columbia for unconditional jail conditions, set a population cap of 1,674 inmates for the D.C. Jail.[5] This judicially imposed cap was lifted in 2002, after seventeen years.[5][6] In 2007, DOC administrators set the jail's population capacity at 2,164.[4]

The D.C. Jail houses only adult males.[7] It holds inmates detained while awaiting trial; inmates convicted of misdemeanors; and convicted felons awaiting transfer to the BOP.[8]

The Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF) at 1901 E Street SE, which the district opened in 1992, is an eight-story, medium-security facility located on 10.2 acres (4.1 ha) of land adjacent to the D.C. Jail. It consists of five separate buildings that appear like one large building.[4] It is located adjacent to the D.C. Jail.[4] It houses male prisoners, female prisoners, and juveniles charged as adults.[7] (Juveniles males charged as adults formerly were housed at the D.C. Jail, but this practice was discontinued.[9]) The CTF is operated by a private contractor, the Corrections Corporation of America, under a twenty-year contract with the District, entered into in March 1997.[4]

The DOC contracts with three privately owned and operated halfway houses: Extended House, Inc., Fairview and Hope Village. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia sometimes use the halfway houses as an alternative to incarceration.[4]

Juveniles who are not charged as adults are not in DOC custody. Boys and girls charged as juveniles are detained at the D.C. Youth Services Center (a youth detention center run by the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services) on Mount Olives Road in Northeast Washington).[10]

For fiscal year 2015, DOC reported having 939 full-time employees.[11]

Notable inmates

Central Detention Facility

See also


  1. 1 2 3 http://doc.dc.gov/doc/cwp/view,a,3,q,491557,docNav_GID,1448,docNav,|30838|,.asp
  2. Timberg, Craig. "At Va.'s Toughest Prison, Tight Controls." Washington Post. Sunday April 18, 1999. C1. Retrieved on January 16, 2010.
  3. 1 2 Annys Shin, Ten Things to Do Before Closing a Prison, Washington City Paper (March 9, 2001).
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Correctional Facilities: Central Detention Facility, District of Columbia Department of Corrections (accessed August 5, 2016).
  5. 1 2 Deborah M. Golden, "District of Columbia Corrections System" in Encyclopedia of Prisons and Correctional Facilities (Vol. 1: ed. Mary Bosworth; SAGE, 2005), pp. 248-50.
  6. Federal Court Terminates 17-Year Population Cap at DC Jail, District of Columbia Department of Corrections (July 10, 2002).
  7. 1 2 Alex Zielinski, Correction Required: The D.C. Jail is Falling Apart. What Should Replace It?, Washington City Paper (July 2, 2015).
  8. Frequently Asked Questions, District of Columbia Department of Corrections (retrieved August 5, 2016).
  9. Abby Taskier, DC's Youth Face Solitary Confinement in District Jails and Federal Prisons, Solitary Watch (December 19, 2013).
  10. Henri E. Cauvin, Overcrowding at D.C. youth detention center draws criticism, Washington Post (January 21, 2010).
  11. DC Department of Corrections Facts and Figures June 2016, District of Columbia Department of Corrections.
  12. "Rayful Edmond"
  13. http://www.biography.com/people/rayful-edmond-iii-547286 "
  14. Alexander, Keith L. (July 9, 2015). "New hearing scheduled for D.C. rabbi sentenced to prison for voyeurism". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  15. "Levy slaying suspect arrives in DC for court date." Associated Press at The Guardian. April 22, 2009. Retrieved on February 21, 2011. "The inmate has been kept in a D.C. jail since his arrival Monday from a Federal Bureau of Prisons transfer center in Oklahoma City."
  16. "http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/news/2011/oct/11-450.html "
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