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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Taft still seeking inmates for CCF

  • Police chief travels to Sacramento exploring another possibility to reopen facility
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  • Its been more than a year since Taft's CCF closed, costing four dozen people their jobs and taking hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the city's general fund.
    The city is still looking for inmates to fill the more than 500 beds at the jail.
    This week, the search for inmates led Chief of Police Ed Whiting back to Sacramento.
    City Manager Craig Jones said Whiting was there to talk with state officials about the possibility that the city might once again get inmates and income from the state.
    It was the state that started the CCF program more than two decades ago and for more than 20 years housed many lower security inmates in Taft, Shafter, Coalinga and Delano.
    That ended in 2011 with the passage of AB109, the prison realignment bill resulted in many lower security inmates being sentenced to serve their time in the county where they were convicted instead of in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prison system.
    There's also another factor.
    The state is under a court order to reduce prison population to ease overcrowded prison conditions and that resulted in lower prison populations.
    That verdict is under appeal, Jones said, and if it is overturned, Taft's CCF might get more inmates.
    That's what the city is hoping.
    In the meantime, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a contract on Jan. 29 that would send inmates from L.A. to the CCF under a $75 million, 5-year agreement.
    But that contract has been tabled four times already by L.A. County after the Taft City Council ratified it.

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