City is being cautious though, and is waiting for a signed copy before it starts hiring

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has approved the contract the Taft City Council ratified and signed last week, putting the city very close to point where it will start hiring guards and staff for the Taft Community Correction Facility.

Mayor Paul Linder confirmed late this morning that the CDCR has responded already.

“I have have been informed that the CDCR has received the contract and approved it,” Linder told the Taft Midway Driller. “It still has to go through channels up there (in Sacramento).”

The state is under a series of deadlines to lower the inmates population of the state prison system, and that has prompted the state to move fast to contract with CCFs in taft and Shafter.

After being rejected twice at the last minute by Los Angeles County when it thought it had a deal to reopen the CCF, the city is still not going to start hiring, but it is going to start work on the security improvements to the facility that are included in the contract.

“This gives us a little more hope, so we are going to work,” Linder said.
The council approved an emergency contract with Black/Hall Construction for the security upgrades, which include an additional perimeter fence, access road around the exterior of the facility and a new sally port.

Linder said the city is already in contact with the firm about starting to work.

Opening the facility is apparently going to involve the West Side Health Care District as well.

Despite the OK from the CDCR, the city won't start hiring staff and guards for the CCF until it is sure.

“I still think we are going to wait for a signed contract,” Linder said.

If all goes well, the CCF could be open by mid February, Linder said.