Compton officials are battling state legislation that could bring a prisoner detention center to the city.
The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Willard H. Murray Jr. (D-Paramount), has cleared the Assembly but has stalled in a Senate committee.
The City Council recently approved a resolution opposing the holding facility, maintaining that the city has no room and that building such a structure would affect Compton negatively.
Murray’s bill only mentions construction of a prison in Southern California, but he favors a 2,000-bed multistory holding center in Compton to house inmates 45 to 90 days before they are moved to state prisons, according to spokeswoman Kris Bailey.
Prisons and similar facilities typically cost $200 million to $400 million to build. The holding facility would employ hundreds of people in construction jobs and create 1,000 new jobs after completion, Bailey said. The center would be part of an ongoing expansion in state prison facilities and would help handle a projected increase in state inmate population from the current 110,000 to 171,000 by 1998.
The Assembly passed Murray’s bill in January. The Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked 4 to 4 on the bill, but is scheduled to reconsider the measure.
“I think (the committee deadlock) is a good sign that our voice is being heard,” said City Councilman Ronald Green. “A prison or temporary holding facility is not in the best interests of Compton. I think we can go in a more positive direction for new jobs.”
Murray plans to form an advisory committee of Compton officials and residents to study the issue further, Bailey said.