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Gavin Newsom Proposes Plan To Accelerate Prison Closure

Steve Kocino
Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this year, the Governor made it clear he wanted to close one state prison in the next five years. Now, a revised budget plan proposes the closure of two, in three years. Either way, this would be the first California prison to be shuttered in more than two decades.

According to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office this would save more than a 100 million dollars annually. That will help narrow the state’s deficit, which is projected to be $54 billion next year.  

Currently, California has over 117,000 incarcerated individuals. But the prison population has been falling ever since a 2009 federal court order to reduce crowding. 

The governor has not indicated which prisons he is considering.

Regardless, the proposal will require the approval of California’s legislature. And any closure will face opposition from labor unions and those who fear early release will lead to a spike in crime. 


Victor Tence is a graduate of City College of San Francisco's journalism program and the 2019 Audio Academy class.