CDCR Announces Third Prison Closure

The state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) names the next prison to close as outlined in the depts budget, along with several yards at six prisons across the state and terminating a lease with another facility.

The latest named prison on the chopping block with a closure date in May 2025 is Chuckawalla Valley State Prison. A facility that houses around 2100 level 2 inmates in Blythe near the Arizona border in Riverside county and staffs hundreds of employees.

The additional deactivations of 6 level 2 yards, also included in the announcement, include Folsom Women’s Facility; in Pelican Bay State Prison; California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo; California Rehabilitation Center in Riverside County; at California Institution for Men in San Bernardino County; and at California Correctional Institution in Kern County. The department says should a need arise, these yards could be re-activated for use. The leased facility the department will cut ties with is California City Correctional Facility in Kern County. The exit will cease a $32 million annual lease with CoreCivic, a facility management partner, and according to CDCR, as inmate overcrowding is no longer impacting prisons and populations decrease, and nearby facilities have the additional space, it is the logical move to transition staff and population into state-owned facilities.

According to CDCR, the announced closures, including DVI and CCC, have been made due to the high costs of running the prisons and the housing needs for prisoners, among other factors. There has been no announced state-wide hiring freeze within the dept following the new closure to afford security in transitioning staff, as was done at the closure of DVI. The department has done the opposite, even recently announcing intentions to hire an additional 2000 officers in its latest hiring campaign.