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Corrections official today joined with state and local elected officials to dedicate a second prison in Susanville: the High Desert State Prison.

“The citizens of Susanville are like other California communities who welcome a second prison as neighbors,” said Director of Corrections James Gomez. “The people of this city will share in increased economic prosperity and, at the same time, help us improve public protection.”

At the ceremony, Director Gomez was joined by Youth and Adult Correctional Agency (YACA) Secretary Joe Sandoval, and Warden Bill Merkle of the High Desert State Prison. Representatives from the offices of state Senator Tim Leslie and Assemblyman Bernie Richter attended as well as Susanville Mayor Doug Sayers, and Lassen County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Jean P. Loubet.

Located next to California Correctional Center, Susanville, the new prison is designed to house 2,425 inmates.

“We are committed to continuing our strong partnership with the people of Susanville and Lassen County,” said Director Gomez. The prison opened September 1995, and cost $272 million to build. The maximum security facility currently employs about 1000 staff, with an annual operating budget of $65 million for fiscal year 1995-96.