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, …

Deuel Vocational Institution

Out With Mass Incarceration and in With Mass Commerce

Can California Call It Progress When Rural Prisons Are Replaced With Retail Warehouses?

As California starts closing prisons, what might open in their place?

I glimpsed one answer to that question while driving to Deuel Vocational Institution, between the San Joaquin County cities of …