Today, Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) spoke before a community meeting in Madera to express his concern regarding the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) plan to convert the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla into a male correctional facility. Following the meeting, Senator Cannella issued the following statement:
“To solve its own fiscal problems, the state continues to place greater burden on our local communities who cannot afford to be negatively impacted without being justly compensated. The mandates of the federal three-judge panel and the state’s prison realignment plan have forced CDCR to make tough choices. This means that they will need to rely on local governments and law enforcement and include them in the decision making process for the conversion plan to succeed. It is imperative those cities, counties and agencies understand what the conversion will mean for them and are provided with the resources necessary in order to keep our communities safe.”
Prior to the passage of the prison realignment bill ABx 17 in 2011, Legislative approval of such a conversion would have been necessary under section 2 of Chapter 706 of Penal Code 3430. Under the Governor’s Realignment Plan, CDCR is pursuing the conversion without such approval. When the plan was initially announced, Senator Cannella expressed his concern to Governor Jerry Brown in a joint letter with Assemblymember Kristin Olsen and Senator Tom Berryhill. Senator Cannella remains committed to ensuring the concerns of the citizens of the 12th District are heard throughout the process.