KCRA 3 — A new 20-step stairwell project at Mule Creek State Prison could come with a hefty price tag.
Earlier this year, lawmakers passed the state budget with $600,000 slated to pay for the staircase.
That comes out to $30,000 a step to replace the so-called "ship's ladder."
The ladder is currently a metal set of rungs that leads up from the prison control room to the roof.
Officers climb the ladder to reach other posts and to get weapons in case of a prison riot.
Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said it is necessary to replace the ladder because of concerns about injuries and possible workers' compensation claims.
"It is an important part of the prison," said Jeffery Callison, a spokesman with the CDCR. "Officers need to go up this ladder, sometimes quickly, carrying a lot of equipment, weapons and ammunition."
Earlier this year, Mule Creek State Prison officials asked the state to replace the ladder with a 20-step stairwell that would make it easier to carry rifles and eliminate injuries.
"The line item in the budget allows for $600,000, but the hope and the expectation is that it will come in less than that," Callison said. continue reading...