Prison bait and switch

The city of Chowchilla is suing to stop the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from converting a women’s prison to a men’s prison.

That’s what the state prison system does: it promises low-security facilities but, some years down the line, when it needs more beds, it converts prisons to higher-security facilites. City’s wishes be damned.

Or they increase the prison population. If memory serves, the CDCR promised Stockton its Northern California Womens Facility would always be for 400 women. First, they doubled the population. Now there are plans to open it as a re-entry facility for men. They might also one day decide to convert it to a maximum security prison like Pelican Bay.

To be fair to the CDCR, the public wants hang-em-high laws that overflow the prisons, requiring construction of new ones, but they don’t want prisons in their area. But the CDCR does not have to cope with this challenge by running roughshod over communities.

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