Ella Baker Center Celebrates Prison Closures, Urges State Leaders to Continue Efforts to Reduce Prison Populations

Special to the Vanguard

Sacramento, CA – This week, CDCR announced it was moving forward to close one prison, ceasing operation of another leased facility as a state prison, and will deactivate some facilities within six prisons.

The announcement was greeted with celebration for those seeking to reduce the footprint of the carceral system.

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, along with families and advocates across California, applaud the announcement made by the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation (CDCr) to close Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) in March 2025 and deactivate yards on several other state-owned facilities in 2023.

The state also said it will end its lease with California City Correctional Facility (CAC) in 2024 – which currently costs California $32 million.

“We applaud the administration’s decision to close Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, California City Correctional Facility, and various prison yards throughout the state,” said Ella Baker Center Policy Director Emily Harris.

Harris added, “Communities have been fighting to bring people home and close prisons in California for decades. This victory affirms what we have known for the last fifty years since the costly prison building boom began — that California must end our reliance on the dangerous and punitive prison system. We at the Ella Baker Center are committed to continuing to reduce the number of people incarcerated in California and secure even more prison closures.”

The CDCr announcement follows the closure of Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) in 2021 and the mandated closure of California Correctional Center (CCC) to come in 2023. Since incarcerated people and advocates have demanded prison releases, the California prison population has been reduced by more than 20% since 2019, from about 120,000 to a population of 94,000 today.

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