A fledgling program at the new state prison in Lancaster to have minimum-security inmates perform community service work around the Antelope Valley is being hobbled by an unlikely problem--a shortage of inmates.
Since its Feb. 1 opening, the prison’s population has grown to more than 3,700. About 200 are supposed to be minimum-security inmates eligible for such work, but the actual number was cut from about 150 to 90 recently when many were ousted as punishment for staging a protest, prison officials said.
Because there are other chores for the remaining minimum-security inmates, officials have fielded only one of four planned work crews.
The Lancaster City Council recently approved an agreement with prison officials to use an inmate crew to maintain parks.