KBAK — More than 2,000 state inmates will head to a privately operated prison in California City under a lease agreement signed Tuesday.
Corrections Corporation of America will provide a big part of the space needed by the state to meet federal orders to reduce prison overcrowding.
Meanwhile, Shafter officials also hope to get a similar deal by the end of the week.
In California City, CCA will house 2,304 inmates. The three-year lease calls for annual rent of $28.5 million.
"We appreciate the opportunity to expand upon our longstanding relationship with the CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) and the state of California, and we're especially pleased to have reached this agreement, which provides an immediate solution to help reach its population goals," says a statement from CCA President and CEO Damon Hininger.
In Shafter, city manager John Guinn said he hopes to put state inmates in the 640 beds of their now-empty Community Correctional Facility.
"I have what we think is a final draft of a contract on my desk," Guinn told Eyewitness News on Tuesday afternoon. "We're looking at it right now."
Guinn said if Shafter gets the deal, that would be about $14 million a year, and the contract would have positive local benefits.
"We're buying food, we're buying clothing, we're buying energy, all sorts of things besides just paying for correctional officers," he said. continue reading...