Home>Articles>CDCR Announces Closure of the California Correctional Center in Susanville by July 2022

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Photo: cdcr.ca.gov)

CDCR Announces Closure of the California Correctional Center in Susanville by July 2022

Closure will result in firing, relocation of over 1,000 employees, transfer of over 2,000 prisoners

By Evan Symon, April 14, 2021 2:59 pm

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced late Tuesday that the California Correctional Center in Susanville will be closing.

The Susanville Prison, which opened up in Lassen County in 1963, currently houses around 2,000 prisoners, employs more than 1,000 people, and includes a training center for inmate firefighters. Within the next 14 months, all inmates will be transferred to other prisons in the state, prison workers will either be let go or transferred to other facilities, and prisoner wildfire firefighter training will be moved to the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown outside of Stockton.

“Today, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced the upcoming deactivation of California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville by June 30, 2022,” the CDCR said in a statement. “The prison is comprised of four facilities and serves as a hub for incarcerated firefighters who are trained for placement into one of 14 Conservation Camps in Northern California. Those fire camps will now be part of the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown and will continue supporting local, state, and federal agencies responding to fires, floods and other natural or manmade disasters.”

While the state has announced previous prison closures in recent years, with the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy closing by October of this year and the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi and the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad also closing by July 2022, a rapidly decreasing prison population had spurred the CDCR to announce the Susanville closure.

Changes to California’s sentencing laws a decade ago and the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014, which made many felony level crimes into misdemeanors, are partially responsible for the prison’s closure due to drastically reducing the number of CDCR inmates. The Legislative Analyst’s Office found that between 2006 and 2018, the total number of prisoners in the state went down 26 percent from about 173,000 to 128,000 inmates, with prison incarceration rates also dropping by 32 percent from 474 to 321 inmates per 100,000 Californians during the same 13 year period.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

However, the COVID-19 pandemic is also partially to blame, as state officials have ordered the early release of tens of thousands of low-risk prisoners sine April 0f 2020, rapidly draining the inmate population in places like Susanville.

The closures, as well as the estimated $122 million in projected savings from the Susanville closure alone, have led many to applaud Governor Gavin Newsom on meeting his pledge of closing at least one prison during his term. Many lawmakers specifically noted that the closure would help bring a fairer criminal justice system to the state.

“I applaud Governor Newsom’s announcement to close a second prison, the California Correctional Center, a step in the right direction as our nation continues to come to terms with a racial reckoning in the criminal justice system,” said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) in a statement on Wednesday. “This move helps save California taxpayers millions of dollars by reducing the footprint of the state’s costly, aging prison system. Simply put, closing prisons frees up resources to reimagine our justice system and invest in changes matched with dollars for vital programs and services that our communities need to improve outcomes and reduce recidivism in the long term and further create a more just system for all, irrespective of your skin color.”

Many in Lassen County, across state outraged over Susanville prison closure

However, the announcement left others up in arms, who were not only outraged at the closure, but also because of the effect it would have on Lassen County, and how they treated employees by informing them of the closure via a press release.

Senator Brian Dahle. (Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

“As the two elected state representatives for Lassen County, we were shocked and appalled by CDCR’s announcement to close CCC,” said Assemblywoman Megan Dahle (R-Bieber) and Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) in a joint statement Tuesday.

“We received no prior notice regarding the decision by CDCR. The lack of transparency and opportunity for public input in making such a significant decision is abhorrent. This decision completely undermines the little trust our constituents had left in this administration and proves yet again that the leaders of our state agencies couldn’t care less about the livelihood of residents of the North State.”

Assemblywoman Megan Dahle (Photo: Dahleforassembly)

“The impact of this decision on our North State communities will be devastating. Our communities have already suffered a dramatic increase in unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Now, without warning or notice to the public, the state has arbitrarily dictated that it will be upending the livelihood of over 1,000 employees and their families. Constituents of the North State deserve better from their government. The fact employees were notified of the closure through a press release is unacceptable.”

“This gross misstep by a state agency is a slap in the face to hardworking employees, and correctional officers and their families, who have served on the frontlines during this pandemic and sacrificed a great deal to ensure our communities remain safe.”

Many others opposed to the closure also noted that, despite the recent drops in prisoners, COVID-19 backlogs have left over 10,000 people in California in local and county jails awaiting transfer to state prisons, bringing a strong surge at a time when prisons are undergoing consolidations. While the CDCR says that they had accounted for this, many law experts fear that the surge combined with a fewer number of prisons will bring back overcrowding to the state penal system once again.

“It’s a hell of a gamble to close several prisons, costing thousands of people their jobs in areas hard hit by the recession, while also expending a large increase of prisoners coming into the system very soon,” said criminal lawyer Stephen Reed to the Globe on Wednesday. “COVID messed a lot of things up, but we need to see how the system shifts back first before taking any drastic action. They’re doing that before the prison system goes back up to normal. That doesn’t seem well thought out.”

As of Wednesday, there is no word on what will happen to the site of the Susanville prison, once one of the state’s largest prisons, after July 2022.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Evan Symon
Spread the news:

 RELATED ARTICLES

16 thoughts on “CDCR Announces Closure of the California Correctional Center in Susanville by July 2022

  1. I reimagine a California legislature with common sense representatives that will put a stop to this madness. Closing prisons and releasing prisoners due to Covid19 coupled with the results of Prop47 only adds more crime to our streets.

    Way to Go California! 😔

    1. I love the word “reimagine” that the left wackos are using describing to reform our law enforcement! I can only “imagine” what these felons will do once released! Thanks to these congressional “terrorists” allowing our communities to be invaded by these prisoners once again breaking the law once they are released; what happens just break the law without consequences!

  2. Good. The prison should have been closed long ago. It’s way out in the boonies and the staff is unaccountable. The #1 predictor of reintegration in society is keeping up social ties in prison…. and how in the world are you supposed to do that in Susanville? I know CG is a conservative platform, but I come from the Libertarian direction where I just hate to see human beings in cages … especially for victimless drug crimes … and we can do better on prisons.

    1. Wow really you’re really happy that they’re closing a job that has kept thousands of inmates away and is now causing thousands of families to lose the jobs that they have been there for over 20 years and I know this first hand because I’m one of the families I now have to find a way to survive I can’t move down south where the rent is tripled we can’t afford it my family is screwed and you’re over here saying good you are such a low life person

    2. Yeah you’d be singing a different tune if something were to happen to one of your loved ones by one of these 2,3-5 timers.
      The staff is unaccountable ? Really want to explain that one !
      Have you worked in a prison before ? I worked at HD right next to CCC .
      A majority on inmates at least at HD all they did was whine and bitch about anything and see who they could get one over on, either other inmates and/or especially the staff.
      I had one inmate actually try to sue me because during cell feeding his cookie was broken in half !

      Sure we could do better on Prison reform.
      Go back to hard labor/chain gang !
      Lets start by dropping 30 plus channels that are piped into every cell, dayroom etc.
      No more first run movie day . Only allow G rated programs.
      No more inmates ONLY GET BRAND NAME PRESCRIPTIONS when 99% of everybody else gets generic prescriptions!
      Prisons can go back to being cold in the winter and hot in the summer , no more inside temps at all prisons being mandatory by state law to be set at 72 degrees. Yeah good ol Arnold Schwarzenegger signed that into law when he was Gov.
      Maybe that would slow down the inmates an ripping and tearing up their state issued clothes , sheets and blankets !

      Hell I could write a book on the crap inmates did and tried to do !

    3. So it’s in the boonies and doesn’t matter?! That is an asinine statement if there ever was one. And they are accountable. Very good people work there and strive to protect lives and property through fire training, education, and other rehabilitation programs. I really want to curse you out for such a horrific mindset.

  3. And no coincidence I’m sure that the area is very red. I hope this puts some union support behind recall election. On a budgetary note, has the CDCR budget ever reflected the prisoner population going down? Or is their budget still climbing upward?

  4. Comrades
    Excellent playbook. Every turn, at sports, recreation, in your home, neighborhood , at work or school…..fear…..fear….everywhere….fear…..
    Bow….to the street banners of your beloved leaders.

  5. Governor Galva new song does not have a clue what inmates could do to families. It be a different story of his aunt Nancy Pelosi and his family were affected by these inmates. Not only the mention what he is doing to the families that work for these prisoners in CDC R. California stitution for men was supposed to be slated to be closed however because of politics it was not. It has nothing to do with numbers of inmates. Galvin newsome is one released all these inmates. County gaols are overcrowded and have been since they passed a law on narcotics. This is no more than being a payback for trying to recall Gavin newsom of the people of northern California.

  6. Governor Galva newsom does not have a clue what inmates could do to families. It would be a different story if his aunt Nancy Pelosi and his family were affected by these inmates. Not only to mention what he is doing to the families that work for these prisons at CDC R. California institution for men was supposed to be slated to be closed however,because of politics it was not. It has nothing to do with numbers of inmates. Gavin newsom is one released all these inmates. And these inmates that were paroled had Covid 19. County jails are overcrowded and have been since they passed a law on narcotics. This is no more than being a payback for trying to recall Gavin Newsom of the people of northern California.

  7. Governor Galva newsom does not have a clue what inmates could do to families. It would be a different story if his aunt Nancy Pelosi and his family were affected by these inmates. Not only to mention what he is doing to the families that work for these prisons at CDC R. California institution for men was supposed to be slated to be closed however,because of politics it was not. It has nothing to do with numbers of inmates. Gavin newsom is one released all these inmates. And these inmates that were paroled had Covid 19. County jails are overcrowded and have been since they passed a law on narcotics. This is no more than being a payback for trying to recall Gavin Newsom of the people of northern California.

  8. I am in complete disbelief about this decision. CCC was nowhere near the top of the closure list yet it is has been announced. Retaliation on one of the only conservative counties in California that subsequentially spearheaded efforts to recall Gov. Newsom. Its a cheap shot from the Governor and all of this after 10 % of pay was taken and CDCR staff endured the bloated covid response. Dont forget Newsom brought Covid TO Lassen county with the transfer of infected inmates. We need a HERO.

  9. If one of you would learn to write in English, your opinions would be taken more seriously. lol

  10. This article is also misleading in that only a single yard at CCI and CTF are closing. The majority of those prisons will remain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *