Home » Martinez Detention Facility Opens New Module For Inmates With Mental Illness

Martinez Detention Facility Opens New Module For Inmates With Mental Illness


Contra Costa County has opened a new module at the Martinez Detention Facility for inmates with mental illness.

The county spent 18 months remodeling a jail module that formerly held 52 inmates into a specialized area for 24 inmates with mental health issues. The cells are all single-occupancy and five are designed for inmates with acute cases. There’s also two private medical evaluation suites in the module.


“I am proud of this new module which is part of the jail modernization we planned many years ago,” said Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston, in a statement. “Now, inmates who have mental illnesses will have a dedicated housing unit where they will receive mental health treatment, programming, and services, in addition to healthcare.”

The county says the new module incorporates the latest technology and best practices for detention facilities, including state of the art software for managing the module, furnishings that will help prevent suicides, and a design that allows for greater observation of the inmates.

The new module also uses a biophilic design to create a calm environment, reduce stress, and is more conducive to therapy.


T-rex April 7, 2022 - 4:24 PM

This is nicer than some people’s homes who actually contribute to society. Shame on you.

Realist April 7, 2022 - 7:15 PM

Really? Really? Your argument is stupid. Mental health patients are regularly put into regular jail and strain the system. A jail cell that has brand new couches is nicer than some peoples homes? Wow… dense

Pam Roper April 7, 2022 - 4:28 PM

To bad they didn’t have that when my son was going through turmoil and they just gave him all kinds of meds. Took him to other modules to get the crap beat out of him. Then take him back to M module where he should of never left

Ripley April 9, 2022 - 3:28 PM

The county mental health staff that work the jail determine who stays on “M”, not the deputies. Initially those with mental health issues are screened in intake and placed on “M” by the county mental health staff . Once on “M” they are screened again by different mental health staff persons to determine if they stay there during their time at MDF. The deputies don’t move individuals off “M” without clearance from county mental health staff.

Tsa April 7, 2022 - 5:22 PM

The other 38 prisoners will be released because of overcrowding…

Tsa April 8, 2022 - 10:16 AM


Dorothy April 7, 2022 - 6:51 PM

Better than the hospital room were there were so many on beds on the floor with straight jackets on each person. My son was there because he was thinking about suicide.

ConcordMike April 7, 2022 - 7:29 PM

Aren’t all criminals suffering from some sort of mental illness?

hanne jeppesen April 7, 2022 - 10:50 PM

No I don’t think so, not if you are talking about a clinical diagnose. I don’t think Scott Petersen was/is mentally ill, he is a murderer that wanted to get rid of his wife and unborn child. Don’t know how many of you know who Cary Stayner is? He killed 3 woman just outside of Yosemite, and then later a Yosemite employee, he killed her in the park, he was the brother of Steven Stayner who was abducted at age 7 escaped about 14 years later. However, if you have watched any of the true crime story about Cary Stayner, or read about it, appears he had violent images and thoughts of killing woman from an early age, so I would say he was mentally ill.

Janus April 8, 2022 - 12:46 PM

So you think what Petersen did was the sign of a mentally sound individual? God help us if that behavior is consider “normal”.

Of course Petersen has some mental illness. People do not kill other people and then dispose of their bodies in a premeditated manner unless they have mental problems.

Being mentally ill does not get you off the hook for the crimes you committed. So long as you knew right from wrong while committing your crime(s) you are criminally culpable.

Cautiously Informed April 7, 2022 - 7:43 PM

Another example of how the California state government cares more about criminals(and welfare deadbeats, and illegal aliens).
What have they done to serve honest, law abiding, taxpaying responsible citizens who pay all the bills?

hanne jeppesen April 8, 2022 - 1:11 AM

Just what would you like to see done? They have committed a crime, they cannot, and should not be out in public. If they are truly mentally ill, isn’t it better to treat them? No one is suggesting they should be released. However, if they are truly mentally ill, the probably should not be with the regular prison population. If their illness is treated and they get better put them back with the regular prison population.

Concerned Citizen April 8, 2022 - 1:38 AM

Raise and enforce taxes with threat of extortion. Then use those tax dollars to fund reparations and drug paraphernalia.

Welcome to American Socialism.

Cautiously Informed April 8, 2022 - 8:58 AM

Check out my response to Joe, listed below.

Hanne Jeppesen April 8, 2022 - 3:44 PM

No l don’t think Petersen was or has been diagnosed with a mental illness. Of course it was not normal, how about just call him evil?
I certainly don’t think he should be in a mental facility, he should be where he is in San Quentin, which l think is a lot harsher than a mental institution.

weppin April 7, 2022 - 7:57 PM

Our tax dollars at work. We want these inmates to feel at home. Does this facility have big screen tv’s? A rec room with a pool table and ping pong? Perhaps a jacuzzi? Sheesh…

Concerned Citizen April 8, 2022 - 1:35 AM

I’m sure Sheriff Livingston was coerced into making the statement in the article to appease the liberals running the government and court system.

Joe April 7, 2022 - 10:41 PM

The ignorance of these comments is simply disgusting. I doubt any of you are speaking with any experience of working with people who have mental illness. Your selfishness and ignorance is showing. 🤢

Paul Barnes April 8, 2022 - 12:01 AM

I do, every single day. They do not require or need such coddling as seen in this new facility.

Cautiously Informed April 8, 2022 - 7:22 AM

I’m all for helping those in need.
However, the California government has and is completely ignoring the needs of regular citizens. That’s what’s simply disgusting.

T-Rex April 8, 2022 - 7:49 AM

Same here. Lots of experience. No one doubts people need help sometimes, but handing them everything for free and coddling them 24/7 on other peoples dime usually doesn’t work either long term. Especially once they are released and have to now do it all themselves. We want it to work, but it just doesn’t for the majority.

Eva April 8, 2022 - 10:37 AM

I thought Henne’s comment was right on. I have a family member who is Unipolar ( manic only). The full blown manic highs are caused by the brain’s chemical imbalance. When properly medicated, he is highly functional. After 34 years, I truly believe that some brains become so damaged that A person who is born with the gene which is triggered by environment suffer from these horrific breakdowns and commit unspeakable crimes. There is an excellent book: “Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer” about Peterson. The State of California and society needs to protect these dangerously ill souls and society by fixing the system. Which broke in the 1960’s. JFK tried to after his sister’s lobotomy by giving States’ jurisdiction…but, this became political and tragically failed. Newsome has actually proposed a Care Court which every Californian should research and support. And support our local NAMI.

Concerned Citizen April 8, 2022 - 1:29 AM

Well, now, I don’t think committing crime and going to jail is that bad of a punishment after all.

Ripley April 9, 2022 - 3:35 PM

FYI- while it looks nice that is the common area and is only used when inmates are out on free time. Inmates are given a sev. hours a day free time for showers, phone use etc. Inmates are only let out with others they get along with, otherwise they are in their rooms.

Jojo The Circus Clown April 8, 2022 - 3:07 AM

Gavin’s future digs …???

Kauai Mike April 8, 2022 - 5:01 AM

This seems compassionate and helpful. Mental illness should be addressed differently than criminality. I’m for it.

Snakekeeper April 8, 2022 - 6:57 AM

Joe I agree.

Randy April 8, 2022 - 6:58 AM

…. will Newsom get his own room or will he have a roomy? 🙂

The Wizard April 8, 2022 - 8:45 AM

I hope his roomy will be Big Willie.

FPN April 8, 2022 - 10:39 AM

@hanne, Your thinking has me concerned. Scott Peterson is mentally ill. A healthy person would just divorce his spouse not chop the spouse up.

Aunt Barbara April 8, 2022 - 11:22 AM

If you lkisten to Scott speak, It’s obvious he has some form of mental illness and is also a pathological liar. Just because he was sort of good looking and white, does not mean he is all there inthe head
Then there are all the mentally deranged women who wrote him in prison 🙁

Hanne Jeppesen April 8, 2022 - 3:58 PM

Just because someone acts abnormal does not mean that clinically they are mental ill. Read my other comments l’m not making excuses for him quite the contrary.

Dr. Jellyfinger April 8, 2022 - 6:10 PM

Anyone who claims he was fishing for sturgeon with “lures” is effing nuts!

Hanne Jeppesen April 8, 2022 - 3:54 PM

Some here seem to think that by my stating that Scott Petersen is not mental I I’m giving him a pass, it is just the opposite. Of course it is not normal behavior, but a lot of people that murder, steal etc. Are not mentally ill. I believe the legal definition would he did he undstand right from wrong at the time of the crime. His lawyer, l believe never tried to claim he was not competent to stand trial. He saw his wife and unborn son as a hindrance to him, and coldly disposed of them.

Dawg April 8, 2022 - 4:08 PM

Some people are mentally ill, and in need of treatment. There are others that are insane, they cannot function in society, and there is no help for them. Then there are those who are just plain evil, and should never be allowed to see the light of day.

Hanne Jeppesen April 8, 2022 - 6:48 PM

Thank you Dawg my point exactly, you just said it more succinctly.

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