NewsCovering Kern County


Taft prison to close January 31

Posted at 12:59 PM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 13:07:57-04

TAFT, Calif. — The Taft prison, which can hold 2,500 inmates, is scheduled to close at the end of January, according to a news release from the Taft Correctional Institution.

Officials said they were notified on Tuesday that the Bureau of Prisons has made plans to close the minimum-security Satellite Camp on January 31.

The release also stated that Management & Training Corporation"was shocked to receive the news as this decision will have a devastating impact on hundreds of families, the local economy and the community."

Officials said, last year one building used for classrooms at the prison needed repairs but was closed. The prison reportedly moved the classrooms to another location and operations continued as normal.

In a statement, Taft Correctional Institution said:

The BOP then commissioned a comprehensive evaluation of the facility and determined it would need $100 million to make the repairs which the BOP says it does not have—forcing the closure of the prison. We believe the BOP should reverse this decision and allow time to discuss alternatives to closing the facility including developing a plan to address needed repairs while keeping the prison open.

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) released the following statement:

“Taft Correctional Institution is an economic driver for our region that creates more than 340 jobs for those who call California’s 16th Senate District home. As more information is released on this situation, our region will need to come together to offer solutions that will minimize the impact of the facility’s closure on the community,” said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield).

According to officials, there are currently 342 staff employed at the jail.