Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar
Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar (NAVCONBRIG) is a military prison operated by the U.S. Navy at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Miramar, San Diego, California, just under 10 miles (16 km) north of downtown San Diego. It is one of three Navy consolidated brigs and is the Pacific area regional confinement facility for the United States Department of Defense. It is also known as the Joint Regional Correctional Facility Southwest. The 208,000-square-foot (19,300 m2) facility has a capacity of up to 400 male and/or female prisoners and is staffed with 31 civilian and 173 military personnel.
It houses some Tier II male prisoners of the United States Navy (who serve sentences of up to 10 years) and female prisoners from all areas of the United States Department of Defense. NAVCONBRIG Miramar Executive Officer Commander Kris Winter said that before NAVCONBRIG Miramar was designed as the place for all female prisoners, it was difficult for the U.S. military to have "successful female-specific rehabilitation programs" since there were not enough women in any one location. The consolidation of all women in Miramar was intended to provide a female-oriented corrections program.
It was built in 1989 at a cost of nearly $17 million, was commissioned on July 19, 1989 and accepted its first prisoners on October 31, 1989.
In March 1996, the United States Department of Justice entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy and a private jail firm and began to use a section of the brig for illegal immigrants who had been deported for criminal convictions, mostly drug crimes, and had been re-arrested for re-entering the United States. The U.S. military allocated cell space to the U.S. Marshals Service so that agency could operate a civilian facility, the Miramar Federal Detention Facility, within the brig. The U.S. Department of Justice had begun to target illegal immigrants who had criminal records. As a result, jails in the San Diego area became overcrowded. Metropolitan Correctional Center, San Diego had been overcrowded for a long period of time leading up to 1996.
Within two weeks of the move, on March 29 of that year, prisoners rioted, setting fires inside their housing units. The prisoners were upset over a lack of commissary privileges, and a perceived low quality of television service, so they obscured a surveillance camera with a blanket and set fire to mattresses. The fire inflicted $500,000 worth of property damage. Of 174 prisoners involved, 12 were hospitalized. $1.5 million was spent to care for the injured prisoners. 10 Mexican citizens and one Costa Rican citizen received charges of damaging federal government property and conspiracy. The civilian prisoners were transferred to civilian facilities. During that year the Secretary of the United States Navy said that Miramar will never again be used to house illegal immigrants, the civilian population sent to Miramar. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a member of the United States House of Representatives who had opposed the housing of illegal immigrants in the facility, said that the move was a "victory for San Diegans" because putting illegal immigrants in the brig placed national security in danger. Illegal immigrants who would have been sent to Miramar instead were sent to jails in Imperial County, California, Kern County, California, and Arizona. As a result, the parties that handled the transportation received millions of dollars in transportation costs.
In 2003, it became the only American military prison to accept women.
In 2010, the facility was expanded 98,000 square feet (9,100 m2) to accommodate an additional 200 prisoners before February 2011. The expansion, designed by Clark Construction and KMD Architects, included 120 cells for men and 80 cells for women. The women's housing unit was designed differently from the men's unit. The expansion also included a prisoner processing center, a kitchen, a mess mall and multipurpose room, a visitor center, an entrance lobby, classrooms, and conference rooms. A separate vocational building was established. The total expansion had a cost of $28 million. On February 4, 2011, a celebration for the expansion was held with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
- Lynndie England, a perpetrator of the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
- Sabrina Harman, a perpetrator of the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
- Robin Long, the first member of the U.S. military to be deported from Canada (since the Vietnam war era) after having sought refuge there.
- "A Model for Female Correctional Design."
- "Miramar Brig Directions." Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar. Retrieved on May 25, 2010.
- "Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar." Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar. Retrieved on May 25, 2010.
- Powers, Rod. "Inside a Military Prison." About.com. 1. Retrieved on May 30, 2010.
- Perry, Tony. "Navy Bans Use of Miramar Brig for Illegal Immigrants." Los Angeles Times. September 27, 1996. Retrieved on October 31, 2010. "Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-San Diego), who had led the opposition, called the announcement "a victory for San Diegans" over the Department of Justice. Putting illegal immigrants in the brig endangered national security, Cunningham said."
- "After Guantánamo." Miami Herald. Retrieved on August 23, 2010.
- Fuentes, Gidget. "More beds are part of Miramar brig expansion." Navy Times. Monday March 22, 2010. Retrieved on July 19, 2010.
- Thomson, Elizabeth (MC1). "Navy Consolidated Brig Miramar Expands to Accept more Prisoners." Navy Compass. February 26, 2010. Retrieved on May 25, 2010.
- "A Model for Female Correctional Design" (Archive). Correctional News. December 14, 2011. Retrieved on January 27, 2014.
- Icari, Mario T. (Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs) "Correctional Facility Expansion Complete at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar" (Archive). United States Navy. February 15, 2011. Story Number: NNS110215-10. Retrieved on January 27, 2014.
- Beavers, Liz. "England back in Mineral County: Army reservist, notorious face of Abu Ghraib scandal, out of prison." Cumberland Times-News. "Friday, England family attorney Roy T. Hardy of Keyser confirmed England had been paroled March 1 after serving approximately half of her sentence at a military prison located near San Diego."
- Siegel, Andrea F. "Convicted reservist testifies." The Baltimore Sun. July 17, 2005. Retrieved on July 18, 2010.
- Perry, Tony. "Held at Miramar, deserter's cause taken up by activists." Los Angeles Times. January 14, 2009. Retrieved on August 23, 2010.
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- Official Website for Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar (Archive)