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CDCR announces state prison closure

Deuel Vocational Institution aerial view.
Deuel Vocational Institution.

Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy will be deactivated Sept. 30, 2021

Today, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced the closure of Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) in Tracy. The closure of a state prison was included in the 2020 multi-year state budget plan.

“Given the need to achieve savings and the decline in the prison population since 2007 the state budget called for the closure of a prison.  DVI was chosen for closure based on cost to operate, impact of closure on the workforce, and population housing needs, and prioritization of public safety and rehabilitation,” said CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz. “The reasons this institution was selected for closure are not a reflection of its quality of work and care, and we could not be prouder of the commitment of our dedicated staff, as well as the accomplishments DVI has amassed over its 67 year history.”

Deactivation of the prison is expected to be final on September 30, 2021. Approximately 1,500 inmates are housed at DVI. There are currently 1,080 staff at the institution. The cost to operate DVI annually is about $182 million.

CDCR will work with staff on this transition, including possible relocation to other institutions. Additionally, inmates will be transferred to other facilities based on their housing, custody and rehabilitative needs. All of their rehabilitative, educational and self-help program credits will transfer with them.

The last time California closed a state prison was the Northern California Women’s Facility in Stockton in 2003.  CDCR has taken additional steps to reduce its reliance on out-of-state and contract facilities. In 2019, CDCR exited the last out-of-state facility, La Palma Correctional Center, in Eloy, Arizona. In 2020, CDCR ended its contracts with private, for-profit prisons Desert View, Central Valley, and Golden State Modified Community Correctional Facilities (MCCF), as well as the McFarland Female Community Reentry Facility, and the public-private contract Delano MCCF. Shafter MCCF will close by October 31, and Taft MCCF should be closed no later than May 31, 2021.

DVI opened in 1953 in the city of Tracy in San Joaquin County. It is the sixth oldest prison in California and until recently, served as a reception center for evaluating and processing people from Northern California admitted to state prison.