SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California could be seeing a reduction in its number of prisons over the next three years as Governor Newsom’s May Revision outlined plans to close three California state prisons by 2025.
Currently, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) oversees 34 adult prisons.
According to the governor, the reason for the continued closure of state-operated prisons is the steady decline of the adult prison populations over the last several years.
Although the CDCR is projecting an increase of 3,342 inmates between 2021-22 and 2022-23, due to the CDCR restarting the intake of inmates following the pandemic, they still plan to see a downward trend in inmates starting in 2024.
In December 2021 the adult incarcerated population was 99,699 and that number saw a three percent decrease in April 2022 as the population dropped to 96,581, according to the May revision.
This is not the first time the governor has proposed closing prisons.
In Newsom’s 2021 budget he moved for the closing of the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy and the California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville, as well as minimum security portions of the California Correctional Institution (CCI) and California Training Facility (CTF).
The Deuel Vocational Institution was closed in September of 2021 which resulted in a projected annual General Fund savings of $150.3 million starting in the fiscal year 2022-2023, according to the May revision.
However the closure of the CCC and the CTF are facing litigation as the city of Susanville filed against the closure of the CCC with the Lassen County Superior Court in July 2021, according to the May revision.
Even with planned closures the governor still plans to allocate $13.9 billion towards the CDCR in 2022-23.
The state is also still in the process of paying $243.9 million back to counties that held state prisoners, between March 2020 and August 2021, in county jails during the CDCR’s hold on intaking inmates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An approximate $44.9 million may additionally be paid to counties as the backlog of state prisoners is reduced and eventually eliminated.