California Is Closing the Wrong Prison

Politics Dominated the State’s Move Toward Mass Incarceration. In Towns Like Susanville, It’s Dominating the State’s Move Away From It, Too

hen your town’s biggest business is punishment, how do you fight back when you’re being punished unfairly?

That’s the predicament facing Susanville, a small town that is the seat of Lassen County in northeast California.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration is righteously trying to close prisons, a historical reversal and acknowledgment that the state has incarcerated too many people for too long. But it is wrongfully targeting one of Susanville’s two state prisons, the California Correctional Center (CCC), for closure later this year. Shutting down CCC would reduce the town’s population, cost jobs, …