Whole Lotta Prisons Goin’ On
Freshman GOP Assemblyman Danny Gilmore knows prisons. The retired California Highway Patrol assistant chief should. Seven of the state’s 33 prisons are located in the 30th District. That’s 21 percent of California’s prisons, for those keeping score at home.
The district – 6.3 percent of southern Fresno, all of Kings, 11 percent of western Tulare and 31 percent of northern Kern counties – is home to Avenal State Prison, Wasco State Prison, Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California State Prison and California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility/State Prison in Corcoran and the Kern Valley State Prison and North Kern State Prison, both in Delano.
That doesn’t even count the three private prisons – two near McFarland and one near Shafter – says Valory Mitchell, Gilmore’s chief of staff.
The U.S. Naval Air Station in Lemoore, Kings County, employs 8,300. The seven prisons, three of which are in Kings County, employ 11,068 guards, support staff and medical professionals. Operating budgets for the seven total $1.4 billion, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
And, unlike other sectors of the state’s economy, business remains brisk: There are 40,598 inmates shoehorned into space designed for 19,806.
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