July 13, 2024
Are more state prisons on the chopping block?
Gov. Gavin Newsom went far beyond the promise he made in his first year in office to close at least one California state prison. But now, the Los Angeles Times reports he is resisting calls from criminal justice advocates and liberal state lawmakers to shutter five more penitentiaries.

Shortly after taking office, Newsom placed a moratorium on the death penalty and has approved the closure of three prisons since 2019, but his administration appears to be pulling back from a 2022 budget proposal that considered “right-sizing California’s prison system” by possibly closing even more facilities. The administration fears that operating the state’s existing 31 prisons remains necessary to accommodate California’s fluctuating inmate population.

The Department of Corrections estimates that it will save the state $778 million starting next year, after the closure of three state prisons. One is in the Inland Empire, Chuckawalla State Prison in Blythe.

Sen. Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta) expressed concerns about the upcoming closure of Chuckawalla.

“I understand we have a lot of cuts still on the horizon. I’m a little distressed about Chuckawalla,” he said during the February budget hearing. “In the meanwhile, we’re leaving facilities open that are almost in dire need of being torn down.”

Story Date: May 11, 2024
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