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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Proposed prison bill could reopen Taft's CCF

  • Gov. Brown announces plan for $315 million measure to prevent release of 10,000 inmates to comply with court order
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  • Taft could come out a big winner in a proposed $315 million bill to prevent the release of 10,000 state prison inmates.
    Some of those inmates could come to Taft, allowing the city to reopen the Community Correctional Facility.
    At a press conference in the Sacramento Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown, with bipartisan support, announced the proposal that would send inmates to CCFs, a privately operated prison in California City and out-of-state to comply with a court order to reduce the population of the state's prisons.
    Taft Chief of Police Ed Whiting said his understanding is that about 2,000 inmates would be sent to CCFs, 5,000 would go out of state facilities and about 2,400 to California City.
    "They're focussing on increasing capacity rather than releasing inmates," Whiting said.
    He's been told that Taft will be getting inmates if the bill passes.
    It apparently has support from both parties.
    The Sacramento Bee reported that Brown was joined at the press conference by the Democratic leader of the California Assembly and the Republican leaders of of both the Assembly and State Senate, but Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat and president pro tem of the State Senate, stayed away.
    State senator Jean fuller praised the proposed agreement.
    "For years, Republicans have called upon the Governor and Democrats to increase capacity for violent offenders in order to prevent the court ordered release of criminals," fuller said in a written statement. "I'm pleased that the Governor is finally taking us up on these pleas, before the state releases even more dangerous felons."
    She is also happy that her district will see some of the benefits of the proposal."
    "It is also my understanding that this agreement could include a lease of the prison facilities in California City, and possibly the Community Correctional Facility in Taft," she said.
    Taft's CCF brought the city about $700,000 in general fund revenue annually and provided jobs for about 50 people until it was closed in November 2011 when AB109 was implemented.
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