The last stop on our California prison tour was the Mira Loma Detention Center. BEAUTIFUL guard towers. Currently housing INS detainees, only the older, inactive portion is free for filming, but as the deputy assured us “filming is fine, as long as there isn’t a riot and we need these cells for emergency housing. ….But that probably won’t happen.”
Good to know.
So that’s the tour of SoCal prisons, at least as they now stand (there are rumors that Lincoln Heights might get uncondemmed – is that possible?)
While no single facility has everything we need, there are possibilities if we combine many places – Frankenstein-prisons! The Magic of Filmmaking!
But we’ll have to see what else we find out there before we decide. Many thanks to the LA Sheriff’s Department who is very film-friendly – who would you rather spend your day monitoring, prisoners or movie crews?
We are also extending our search beyond California, so stay tuned!
Back to downtown LA, this time to the 10/710 interchange and the Sybil Brand Women’s Institute.
Being the nearest closed jail to Los Angeles (now that the infamous Lincoln Heights is condemned), Sybil Brand is the go-to prison for every LA-based TV show and movie. We saw cells used by WEEDS and the “US Embassy” set from Syriana. The asbestos removal crew had a great time showing us a hallway of doors, only one of which was real (Many thanks to the final season of 24).
The best though, was the suitcase hallway. One level was being used to train drug canines, so the quarter-mile hallway had a suitcase every five feet all the way down. Surreal.
But then again, you’re already remarking at the elegance of the guard stations, so it’s just another day in LA.
As Emily and I continue to circle Southern California looking for exciting prison locations, where will we go next? NORTH!
Pitchess Detention Center is a large ranch and jail and work camp up near Castiac on the 5 Freeway. Apparently we booted the only two inmates of the “almost” empty North block out for the day so we could walk around (Check the LA TIMES Article). Many thanks, fellas!
The very cool North block Sally Port recently played a New Jersey jail (House season 7.18 “the Dig”) and the Pitchess horse ranch is Kentucky for NCIS.
Lots to see and a likely location, but a serious drive from LA!