State empties out Kern County prison

This was the last contract facility California has used.

The state of California has removed all inmates from the leased California City Correctional Facility and the remaining staff are working to close the facility.

Driving the news: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) confirmed that all incarcerated individuals from the facility, owned by CoreCivic, have been transferred to other institutions or placed on parole if eligible, according to a report by the Bakersfield Californian. 


  • The decision to close the facility was announced by the CDCR in December 2022, with plans to exit the facility’s lease by the end of its contract in March 2024.
  • Two associate wardens and nine other custody staff members, including lieutenants, sergeants, and officers, are assigned to the prison to handle final closure processes.
  • Approximately 25 other staff members, including those involved in managing state property, were either assigned to the facility or borrowed from other prisons to assist with closing activities.

The big picture: The California City Correctional Facility, with a capacity of 2,560 beds, was the last contract facility used by the CDCR.

  • CoreCivic, a publicly traded company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, which previously housed federal prisoners under a government contract, has not yet announced the facility’s future use.
  • Over the past decade, court decisions and changes in law have led to a reduction in the state prison population, resulting in the closure of several prisons, including parts of the California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi. 
  • The closure of the leased facility in California City signifies the completion of the CDCR’s plan to exit contract facilities and consolidate operations in state-owned institutions.
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