Otay Mesa detention center is a privately-contracted detention facility run by CoreCivic.  Located only 15 miles southeast of central San Diego, it houses about 1000 inmates and may be the largest refugee detention facility near a major American city.  Plans to expand the facility are underway. Reuters profiled Otay Mesa in this 2018 photo essay.

Otay Mesa Detention Center offers stakeholder tours each Wednesday at 10 a.m and 1 p.m. to groups of up to 12 affiliated with an established organization (church, synagogue, community group, etc.). We believe that the Detention Center, as a publicly-funded entity, should welcome the San Diego community to see how it works and who is inside. To get more information, please click here.

Step 1

Complete the sign-up form. We will send the name (redacted for security) of an Otay Mesa detainee.

Step 2

Complete our brief training.

Step 3

Access our letter writing guidelines and use the PayPal button below to make a monthly contribution.  (To learn why we use centralized PayPal, click here.)