CDCR Announces Fiscally Driven Facility Moves

By CN Staff

SACRAMENTO—As outlined in the 2022-23 budget with an eye toward fiscal responsibility, CDCR is moving forward with closing one prison and ceasing operation of another leased facility as a state prison—and will deactivate some facilities within six prisons.

CDCR and the Administration are working to minimize impact to staff and the communities. CDCR will work to limit the impact to employees affected by these closures and deactivations. This will include options to transfer both within and outside of impacted counties, and identification of employees for redirection to neighboring prisons where there are existing identified vacancies.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will begin the process to close Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) in Blythe, with an anticipated closure in March 2025. Similar to the recent announcement by the Administration for workers impacted by the pending closure of the California Correctional Center in Lassen County, the Administration plans to work directly with community stakeholders in Riverside County to help support workers and foster a bottom-up economic resilience plan for the community impacted by the closure of CVSP.

Additionally, the department will exit the $32 million, annual lease with CoreCivic for California City Correctional Facility, terminating the contract in March 2024, effectively ending the use of that facility as a state prison.

The department is also planning the deactivation of certain facilities in six prisons, including: Folsom Women’s Facility; Facility C in Pelican Bay State Prison; West Facility in California Men’s Colony; Facility A in California Rehabilitation Center; Facility D in California Institution for Men; and Facility D in California Correctional Institution. Should a significant need for capacity arise in the future due to a natural disaster or other serious need, this option gives the State the possibility to re-activate these facilities at a later date.

Incarcerated people at these locations will be rehoused into appropriate level prisons.

The two prisons were chosen pursuant to criteria set forth by the Legislature in Penal Code Section 2067. CDCR’s leadership carefully evaluated the options for prison closures, pursuant to the 2022-23 budget and Penal Code requirements, and took into account several factors including cost to operate, impact of closure on the surrounding communities and the workforce; housing needs for all populations; long-term investments in state-owned and operated correctional facilities; public safety and rehabilitation; and durability of the state’s solution to prison overcrowding.

California City Correctional Facility is the last contract facility in CDCR. It is a leased facility with their CoreCivic partners since 2013, and was necessary to help address overcrowding in state prisons. Now that the term of the lease is expiring and there is additional space at nearby facilities, CDCR decided to transition staff and population into its state-owned facilities.

The Department will also engage with impacted employees in the coming months and years, providing employees with State Restrictions of Appointment (SROA)/Surplus status, which affords them hiring preference for their impacted classifications as well as all other classifications for which they may have lateral transfer options throughout the state as well as for all state agencies. These efforts have been successful in prior closures and are subject to labor negotiation. Incarcerated people in the impacted prisons and facilities will be transferred to other institutions or yards based on their housing, custody and rehabilitative needs. All of their rehabilitative, educational and self-help program credits will transfer with them.