Prison slated to close on March 31, but status is still uncertain

Once again, Management Training Corporation has told Kern County that it is planning to lay off more than 300 employees at the Taft Federal Prison.

The notice was triggered by a March 31 deadline set by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to close TCI, which includes a large low-security main facility and smaller minimum security satellite camp.

There are approximately 330 employees at TCI and about one-third of them live in Taft.

The BOP announced last year that the prison was going to close at the end of January because of structural problems at the nearly 30-year-old facility on Cadet Road.
However, Congressman Kevin McCarthy was able to convince the BOP to delay the closing date and get funding for a feasibility study to fund the necessary repair and keep the prison open.

The closing date was pushed back two months.

It is unclear if the studies have been completed.
There has been no announcement from the BOP on whether the prison will stay open or close.

McCarthy's office released a statement on Wednesday.

"Congressman McCarthy remains strongly committed to doing everything possible to ensure the TCI remains open for the long-term. We have maintained constant communication with the DOJ and BOP throughout the past several months, and especially after Congress passed, and the President signed, the government funding bill that includes directives disapproving TCI's closure. We understand that the DOJ and BOP are set to make decisions soon - which are independent of the WARN layoff notices necessitated by California state law."