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The State

They left the L out of California on a sign, but otherwise, a ground-breaking for what officials say will become the largest women’s prison in the world went smoothly in a field near Chowchilla. A printed sign put up to tell people what is being built at the rural San Joaquin Valley site 150 miles southeast of San Francisco proclaimed in large letters: “Future Home of Caifornia State Prison for Women, Madera County.” When completed in 1990, the facility will cost $140 million, will house 2,000 women inmates initially and will provide 650 jobs with a payroll of $25 million a year, officials said. State Department of Corrections officials have trumpeted the prison as the largest ever built strictly for women.


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