BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Taft Correctional Institution is laying off a majority of its staff, according to a WARN letter sent to the Kern County Board of Supervisors.
The WARN letter stated that a majority of the staff was laid off effective Thursday, while some staff has been retained due to the extension of the closure.
"The Federal Bureau of Prisons previously gave Management & Training Corporation notice of its intention to permanently close the Taft Correctional Institution," the WARN letter stated. "After that notice, a temporary extent ion was issued to keep the facility open."
According to the WARN letter, 29 employees have been kept on at this time.
Earlier Friday, the Bureau of Prisons announced it is conducting a systematic and safe ramp down of operations at Taft Prison for necessary and critical facility repairs. The intent of these repairs is is to return the facility to full operation as soon as possible.
23ABC has reached out to the the prison for comment but has not heard back yet.
Local Congressman and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has remained an advocate for keeping Taft prison open since the initial announcement of the closure last year. In a statement the local congressman said:
I continue to adamantly oppose the Bureau of Prisons’ decision to remove inmates during the highly infectious COVID-19 pandemic. This unacceptable action runs counter to a recent congressional directive as well as national, state, and county efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus.
This is a developing story.