The small, prefabricated building is positioned at the side of the entrance road to the prison.
It’s only temporary, until a permanent building is constructed in the middle of the roadway with security crossing arms to stop vehicles going in and out, according to DVI spokesman Lt. Arnel Bona.
He said he was unsure how much the permanent structure would cost, but he said a funding request is expected to be submitted soon to officials at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation headquarters in Sacramento.
Although the building is fabricated, three DVI inmates spent Tuesday morning painting the building and applying drywall to the interior walls.
About a year ago, the CDCR — which operates DVI — authorized the prison to station correctional officers at its entrance.
“We had the position and funding, and the new fiscal year allowed us to erect this shack,” said Bona, who spoke near the prison entrance on Tuesday, July 9.
The new post at the Kasson Road prison brings DVI up to date with CDCR policies and procedures, Bona said. The department runs 34 state prisons.
DVI has been without an entrance guard since its construction 60 years ago, according to Bona.
“It’s a layer of protection,” he said. “They are the first ones to observe everything that comes in and out of the prison.”
Correctional officers will man the guard shack every day, around the clock. Arriving vehicles could be searched, and officers will check the identification of each vehicle’s occupants.
The trunks of all exiting vehicles will be checked, Bona said.