McCarthy says he will continue to work to keep federal prison open

Taft Correctional Institution got a new lease on life, at least temporarily.

The United States Department of Justice announced Friday that the federal prison that employs nearly 350 people will stay open through at least March 31, 2020. This follows the Bureau of Prisons decision to conduct a feasibility study to see if the facility can stay open while repairs to damaged buildings are made.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy responded to the announcement Friday evening.

"The DOJ’s announcement is welcome news at ensuring that the TCI remains operational through the new year as we await further analysis related to the prison’s facilities," he said. "I am pleased that Attorney General Barr and the Bureau of Prisons recognize the necessity of keeping TCI open, and I look forward to continue working with Administration officials, Mayor (Dave) Noerr, and local stakeholders to ensure this facility remains operational in the short and long term."

the BOP announced two months ago that it planned to close the prison by Jan. 31, 2020.

Some inmates were transferred, and layoff notices were sent to all the employees at TCI.

However, moves towards closing the prison were halted after McCarthy met with U.S. Attorney William Barr in early November.