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New correctional facility to open at JBLM

Features state-of-the-art technology

The new Northwestern Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is set to open in early 2023. Photo credit: Courtesy image

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In early 2023, the new Northwestern Joint Regional Correctional Facility (NWJRCF) will become operational at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 

"Our primary mission is to provide for the care, custody and safeguard of U.S. military prisoners," explained Captain Brett Beavon, commander, United States Army Correctional Activity, 42nd Military Police Brigade.

The groundbreaking for the new correctional facility began in March 2020 with the demolition, excavation and commencement of construction for the new structure.

During the construction of the $87.7 million facility, the 508th continued to perform detention cell operations by receiving and transporting prisoners who are confined in a pre-trial status, awaiting court-martial, or in post-trail status.

The old NWFRCF was constructed and activated as an Installation Detention Facility (IDF) in March, 1957, and its mission was to provide for then Fort Lewis' short-term confinements.

In the intervening years, the IDF was reorganized in 1991 as a Regional Corrections Facility (RCF) to support Army commands and activities in the Western United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Korea.

Seventeen years later in 2008, the RCF was realigned under Army Corrections Command, and in April of 2009 the facility was designated as the NWJRCF.

Since then, the NWJRCF served the Department of Defense as a Level 2 correctional facility which housed prisoners from all branches of the military for sentences of up to 10 years, and pretrial inmates.

But along with the decades of service, the old structure began to experience infrastructure failures characterized by significant power outages and plumbing failures.

But not anymore. The new NWJRCF features a modern dormitory, vocational shops, numerous storage areas, a laundry facility, indoor gymnasium, a new power plant, and an integrated perimeter security fence. 

"The new facility offers state-of-the-art technology and a new design which is more conducive to modern correctional practices and an aesthetically pleasing and therapeutically comforting environment to the prison population," explained Beavon.

"As a correctional facility it will continue to offer vocational and treatment programs designed to assist the prisoners with returning to their units or to the community as more productive citizens."

He also explained that the NWJRCF's mission will not change except for the better.

"The NWJRCF is a community-oriented organization that is committed to excellence," concluded Beavon, "and we strive to improve all facets of Army corrections and professionalism, always."

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