Monday, September 29, 2008

Out-of-State Transfers of Inmates Surpass 5,000; Allow CDCR to Reduce "Bad Beds" by 27%

Moves Clear Beds in Gymnasiums, Dayrooms and Make Room for Rehabilitation

SACRAMENTO - In response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Emergency Order on Prison Overcrowding, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has reduced "bad beds" by approximately 27 percent over the last year. This month, the number of California inmates transferred to out of state facilities has surpassed the 5,000 inmate mark which, combined with other elements of the comprehensive prison reform movement, has allowed CDCR to take down 5,386 non-traditional beds.

"The transfers have alleviated overcrowding and helped enhance safety and security for staff and inmates, while increasing space for rehabilitation programs," said Acting Undersecretary of Operations Scott Kernan. "We've been able to reduce the number of ‘bad beds' in gymnasiums, dayrooms and places not intended for housing."

CDCR is on schedule to reach its goal of housing 8,000 inmates in out-of-state correctional facilities by next summer as authorized by Assembly Bill 900, prison reform legislation signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in May 2007.

"Overcrowding affects all aspects of the state prison system and has a ripple effect on our communities and other components of the criminal justice system," Kernan added. "The transfers are enabling the Department to implement permanent reforms and beef up rehabilitation programs while creating a safer environment."

As of September 25, 2008, the out-of-state transfers reached 5,101 and coupled with other reform efforts have allowed CDCR to deactivate 5,386 non-traditional beds. CDCR anticipates the reduction of approximately 5,000 more non-traditional beds in the next calendar year if inmate population projections remain consistent.

CDCR has cleared inmate beds from 17 gymnasiums and six dayrooms since August 2007. Specifically, CDCR has deactivated:

  • four gyms at Salinas Valley State Prison;
  • three gyms at Correctional Training Facility;
  • one gym at California Correctional Center;
  • one gym at High Desert State Prison;
  • one gym at California State Prison-Solano;
  • one gym at Corcoran State Prison;
  • one gym at California Rehabilitation Center;
  • one gym at Kern Valley State Prison;
  • one gym at Ironwood State Prison;
  • one gym at California State Prison-Sacramento;
  • one gym at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison-Corcoran;
The out-of-state transfers have also allowed CDCR to deactivate dayrooms at:
  • California Correctional Institution;
  • California Men's Colony;
  • Ironwood State Prison;
  • Pleasant Valley State Prison;
  • Sierra Conservation Center;
  • Wasco State Prison.
The transfer of California inmates to facilities in other states began after Governor Schwarzenegger issued an Emergency Order in October 2006. At the time, California's state inmate population was at historic levels and had swelled to 173,479 inmates - an all time high - with 19,618 inmates in non-traditional beds in August 2007. CDCR was close to running out of space for inmates. Today the total non-traditional bed count stands at 14,232, which is 5,386 beds below the peak - a reduction of 27 percent.

California's 5,101 out of state inmates are housed in Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee in facilities operated by Correctional Corporation of America, based in Nashville, Tennessee.

The facilities are the West Tennessee Detention Facility in Tennessee, the Florence, Red Rock and La Palma Correctional Centers in Arizona; the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Mississippi and the North Fork Correctional Facility in Oklahoma.

For more information on the transfer program, visit "Out of State Transfers."

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