Sybil Brand Women's Prison

The Sybil Brand Institute, at the County Sheriff's complex in City Terrace, east of downtown, was the primary Los Angeles County correctional facility for women before it closed in 1997. Though still managed by the sheriff's department, it is now used exclusively for filming. Built in 1963, Sybil Brand was a minimum to maximum security facility, with a design capacity of 900, and a peak occupancy of 2,800. It once housed Susan Atkins (whose confessions to a cellmate at the prison led to the arrest of Charles Manson and family), and Susan McDougall of Whitewater scandal fame. When Sybil Brand closed, inmates were transferred to the new Twin Towers complex. The County may renovate the building and open it again as a prison, but in the mean time it offers modern looking prison rooms including cafeterias, hallways, recreation areas, visiting areas, infirmaries, and cells from solitary confinement to dormitories. As it was a women's prison, the interior walls have a pink color, which is usually painted over for filming. Productions film here at a rate of two or three per month. The film Blow, A Johnny Depp picture about cocaine dealers, spent five weeks shooting all over the prison. Other productions include Arrest and Trial, Gangland, X-Files, and America's Most Wanted.