The citizens and the local government of Susanville are suing Gov. Gavin Newsom for the imminent closure of the prison, California Correctional Center, that is located in their city, according to the Sacramento Bee.
In sticking with his plan to close several prisons over the next few years, the Governor and his administration are taking a lot of heat, stated the article. The pushback from local communities has been strong, and they have concerns about how the closure would devastate their economy.
“The significant decrease in the state’s incarcerated population over the past year is allowing CDCR to move forward with these prison closures in a thoughtful manner that does not impact public safety, and that focuses on the successful reentry of people into communities once they release from custody,” said Kathleen Allison CDCR Secretary, in an April statement. “While these decisions are never easy, they are opening the door for the department to increase efficiencies as California continues to focus on reentry and rehabilitation effort.
The prison’s campsite has for many years been the main training area for prisoners to learn how to fight fires.
“Some residents fear that losing such a large employer could mean ripple effects in other local economic sectors,” the Bee reported. Once the state’s announcement became official, some residents started putting their houses on the market.
In the Susanville area, only High Desert prison will remain.
The city is asking for a study from the state, and posing a lot of questions about why this is happening to them.
Dan Newton, Susanville’s interim city administrator, thinks the study is something that should be considered, the Bee reported.
But in their statement, CDCR officials referred to the California penal code as supporting the decision to close CCC.
“The department shall prioritize closure of prisons with relatively high operational costs or costly infrastructure needs compared to inmate capacity, flexible housing assignment capacity, and long-term operational value,” the California penal code reads in part. The code also notes that operating costs, workforce impacts, long-term investment and viable solutions to overcrowding issues should be considered as well.