Prison Closures – Frequently Asked Questions

On December 6, 2022, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced the closure of Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) and exiting of California City Correctional Facility (Cal City). CVSP will close by March 2025. CDCR will terminate the Cal City contract in March 2024 and end the use of that facility as a state prison

The potential closure of several additional prisons was included in Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2022-23 budget with an eye toward fiscal responsibility.

The potential closure of several additional prisons was included in Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2022-23 budget with an eye toward fiscal responsibility. CDCR will close CVSP by March 2025, and will be exiting Cal City. For the latter, CDCR will be terminating the $32 million lease contract with CoreCivic in March 2024. CDCR’s lease with CoreCivic expires on November 2024.

CDCR’s prison population has declined by more than 78,000 since 2010 due to a range of measures, including state legislation, voter initiatives, federal court orders, and administrative actions by the department.

These prisons were selected for a variety of factors including those outlined in CA Penal Code Section 2067 including: cost to operate at the new reduced capacity; impact of closure on the workforce; housing needs for all populations; long-term investments in state-owned and operated correctional facilities; public safety and rehabilitation; and durability of the state’s solution to prison overcrowding as well as ensuring the housing and treatment needs of the incarcerated population are achieved including housing for ADA, intermediate medical care, and mental health treatment.

CDCR will work to limit the impact to employees affected by these closures and deactivations, similar to efforts that have been utilized for prior closures and deactivations. This will include options to transfer both within and outside of impacted counties, and identification of employees for redirection to neighboring prisons where there are existing identified vacancies.

CDCR will also engage with impacted employees who do not utilize these options in the coming months and years, providing employees with State Restrictions of Appointment (SROA)/Surplus status, which affords them hiring preference for their impacted classifications as well as all other classifications for which they may have lateral transfer options throughout the state as well as for all state agencies. These efforts have been successful in prior closures and are subject to labor negotiation.

Importantly, the Newsom Administration, through the Labor & Workforce Development Agency, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), expects to work directly with community stakeholders in Riverside County to help support workers and foster a bottom-up economic resilience plan for the community impacted by the closure of CVSP. This is similar to the announcement made on Dec. 1 on support services for the Susanville area—including a $1 million Rapid Response grant and other things—as a result of the upcoming closure of CCC.

Transfers will be made to other institutions that meet the housing needs of the population. CDCR will work on a case-by-case basis to place each person in an appropriate prison to meet their rehabilitative and custody needs. All credits earned for self-help, educational, and vocational programs will transfer with the individual. Individuals will have the opportunity to finish courses in progress.

No additional prison closures are currently planned. In addition to the closure of CVSP and the exiting of CAC, however, additional facilities within other state prisons will be deactivated. They are:

  • Folsom Women’s Facility (deactivated January 2023)
  • West Facility in California Men’s Colony
  • Facility C in Pelican Bay State Prison
  • Facility A in California Rehabilitation Center
  • Facility D in California Institution for Men
  • Facility D in California Correctional Institution

Yes. CDCR closed Deuel Vocational Institution in September 2021, and is in the process of closing California Correctional Center in Susanville by June 30, 2023. Since 2019, the department has exited all for-profit contract prisons, which is in line with the Governor’s commitment to phase out the use of private prisons in our state. These included the Central Valley Modified Community Correctional Facility in September 2019; Desert View Modified Community Correctional Facility in February 2020; Golden State Modified Community Correctional Facility in March 2020; and Delano Modified Community Correctional Facility in August 2020; and McFarland Female Community Reentry Facility in September 2020. CDCR also exited its remaining out-of-state facility in Arizona in June 2019. Additionally, the department exited the public-private contract facilities of Taft Modified Community Correctional Facility, on May 31, 2021, and Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility in October 2020.

CDCR also closed the Northern California Women’s Facility in Stockton in 2003, and is expected to close all Division of Juvenile Justice facilities by June 30, 2023.

Cal City is owned by CoreCivic, which will determine the locations’ next use. For Chuckawalla Valley State Prison once all incarcerated people have transferred out, CVSP will enter a “warm shutdown” phase, meaning minimal staff will remain on-site to maintain basic facility operations so they do not deteriorate while the building is unused, such as electrical systems, heating/ventilation equipment, and the exterior grounds. Generally a warm shutdown lasts for a couple of years, at which time the property is transferred to the Department of General Services as surplus property and evaluated for other potential state uses.

Deactivated yards will be maintained in a warm shut down mode where essential maintenance functions will still be conducted to allow a quick re-activation in the event the facilities are needed in the future.