SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced today it has contracted for nearly 2,600 additional beds in out-of-state prison facilities in an effort to reduce inmate overcrowding and increase access to rehabilitation programs.
“Reducing overcrowding in our prisons is a priority,” said Scott Kernan, CDCR Undersecretary for Operations. “Our ability to place offenders out of state offers us much needed flexibility, which ultimately creates a safer environment for inmates, our staff and the public.”
CDCR entered into a new contract with the GEO Group Inc., and plans to extend an agreement with the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) to house additional inmates out of state. CDCR also has notified CCA of its intent to award additional contracts for beds not currently under contract.
CDCR currently has 9,941 inmates housed in contracted out-of-state facilities that have a capacity to house 10,468 inmates. As part of its overcrowding reduction strategies, CDCR has used privately run prison facilities in other states since 2006 when a 2006 emergency proclamation and the subsequent passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 900, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007 provided authority for CDCR to transfer inmates to private facilities in other states.
CDCR prisons are still overcrowded with higher-custody inmates who require housing in a celled environment and are not eligible for low-security housing. The out-of-state prisons provide CDCR the additional necessary celled housing.
As planned, the revision of an existing contract and the signing of a contract with a new private prison operator will eventually provide 5,836 new out-of-state beds to house California offenders for a total of approximately 15,424 beds. In November 2009, CDCR announced the start of the process to add the additional out-of-state beds.
Since the department began the out-of-state transfers, it has reduced the number of inmates in non-traditional housing – gymnasiums, dorms, dayrooms and other areas of prisons not intended for housing – from a high of 19,618 in August 2007 to 8,276 currently.
CDCR began regular movements of inmates to these facilities in October 2006. Inmates transferred to out-of-state facilities undergo a comprehensive medical, dental and mental health screening.
The new contract allows for approximately 2,580 California inmates to be housed in a GEO Group facility in Michigan.
In October 2006, CDCR entered into a contractual relationship with CCA. The Nashville-based Corporation currently houses a total of 9,941 California inmates in the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility (Mississippi); North Fork Correctional Facility (Oklahoma); Florence Correctional Center (Arizona); Red Rock Correctional Center (Arizona); and the La Palma Correctional Center (Arizona). With the contract renewal, CDCR will no longer house inmates in the Florence Correctional Facility which would pose a reduction of 880 beds at that facility. CDCR, however, has notified CCA of its intent to contract for approximately 3,256 beds in Colorado and Minnesota facilities, contingent on finalizing negotiations.
This contract revision with CCA will temporarily reduce the existing contracted capacity with CCA from 10,468 to 9,588 beds. In time the additional 3,256 beds that CCA is expected to provide, following contract negotiations, will bring the total number of beds to 15,424 – a net increase of available out-of-state beds for California inmates.
On October 20, 2010, the California inmate population was 165,008 statewide. The current population is 8,471 less than the all-time high of 173,479 reached in October 2006.
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Contact: George Kostyrko (916) 445-4950