Potential Prison Could Boost Revenue for Adelanto

ADELANTO, Calif. — Building a new prison is on the 2012 to-do list for Adelanto, Calif. The city is working on the drawings for a new prison that would be operated by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

If the city succeeds in its plan to build the prison near the current San Bernardino County Adelanto Detention Center it could generate $5 million annually, a needed revenue for the city.

The proposal is for the city to use bond or private funding to build two side-by-side facilities on a 226-acre site. The prison would house more than 6,100 inmates and provide jobs for 2,000 future staff employees.

If the new prison were built, it would follow the 2010 closure of a city-owned prison that housed low-level inmates as well as the November closure of another prison that housed medium-risk inmates operated by a private company, The Geo Group.

City Manager Jim Hart explained the previous facilities were not equipped to house high-security inmates that are now the state’s primary concern. With the recent shift of low-level offenders into county facilities under Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison realignment, the city opted to sell the former state prison to The Geo Group for $28 million.

“What we decided was we saw what was coming — there wasn’t going to be any market for it,” said Hart. “The reason the state’s even talking to us now is because we did such a good job of operating the previous facility.”

The $28 million deal was supposed to sustain the city’s budget for five years. Currently, the money will last another three years but according Finance Director George Harris the city must focus on permanent revenue solutions to stay afloat in the long term.

The city is also focusing on other projects in 2012 including industrial development and promoting recreation options at the city’s first high school.