Gov. Jerry Brown moves ahead with second private-prison deal
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed another private prison deal to take inmates out of California’s crowded prisons.
The arrangement, announced Tuesday morning by Corrections Corp. of America, requires the state to pay $28.5 million a year for what is now a federal detention facility in California City. That prison can hold 2,304 inmates.
CCA in a statement to stockholders said the three-year contract requires the Tennessee-based prison operator to pay the first $10 million in needed upgrades to accommodate California’s higher-security inmates. After that, the statement said, California taxpayers will foot the bill.
The deal will cause CCA to incur operating losses at first as it moves out federal immigration detainees and prisoners held for the U.S. Marshals Service to make room for the California prisoners who will arrive in December.
In September, California signed a $30-million, three-year contract with Geo Group for 1,400 prison beds at two facilities within the state.
California is under a federal court order to reduce its prison crowding by late January, and judges have threatened to order the mass release of thousands of inmates if the state does not comply. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday morning announced it would not hear Brown’s appeal of that order.
At the same time, the federal judges who imposed the population cap have temporarily blocked Brown from signing deals to send those inmates to private prisons outside of the state, and ordered the state to negotiate with prisoners’ lawyers over other possible remedies.
California has almost 9,000 prisoners in lockups owned by CCA in three other states.
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