The prison in California City.
Photo courtesy the Tehachapi News.

Your $315 million, gentle readers, are hard at work. The Tehachapi News reports:

Plans to ameliorate the state’s prison overcrowding moved forward Oct. 15 when Corrections Corporation of America announced it struck a deal with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to lease out its correctional center in California City to house state inmates.

The state will lease CCCC for a three-year term, with unlimited two-year renewal options, at a rate of $28.5 million annually, according to CCA’s press release.

The alliance was originally outlined in Senate Bill 105, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Sept. 12, and which allocates $315 million for the “prison fix” through June 30, 2014.

Of the allocation, CDCR will spend $28.5 million per year on leasing the facility and another $93.5 million on operating costs, said CDCR spokeswoman Dana Simas. The sum amounts to nearly 40 percent of the $315 million budget.

“It is a good chunk,” Simas said of the spending.

She contrasted the operating cost with that of a similar state-run facility, which would be $108 million per year.

As an interesting twist, CCA employees who want to be guards are now testing to be peace officers (and, obviously, join the CCPOA.)

But wait! There’s more!

With the Jan. 27, 2014, deadline looming for reducing state-wide inmate populations to 137.5 percent of capacity, CDCR is in a crunch to relocate about 9,600 inmates. Simas said once the inmates are moved to CCCC, the state will still need to transfer about 4,000 more to meet the court-ordered capacity cap.

The state expects to transfer 2,381 low to medium Level 2 adult male inmates who are currently in California state prisons to CCCC. Per the prison’s website, the facility is of medium/maximum security caliber and has 2,304 beds. Simas said the state plans to double-cell the inmates, which CCA was not previously doing with its federal inmates.

As an aside: I don’t usually read the Tehachapi News, but maybe I should. Great piece of reporting by Emily Brunett. All the information you need, none of the information you don’t need, all the numbers check out, and all angles objectively covered.

Props to Josh Page for the link.

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