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Closure of Taft Modified Community Correctional Facility imminent, as state ends contract with city

The Taft Modified Community Correctional Facility is scheduled for closure, as the state has ended its contract with the city effective May 31.

In the wake of the announcement, on Tuesday night the Taft City Council voted unanimously to unfund and delete more than 80 positions created by the facility’s closure — 75 coming from the facility and nine from the city.

Tuesday's vote came with some pointed remarks directed at Gov. Gavin Newsom. According to Taft Mayor Dave Noerr, the state intends to eliminate the existence of private prisons for profit. Noerr, however, said Taft’s facility does not belong in that category.

“This is one of the many misconceptions, just out-and-out lies being peddled in Sacramento,” Noerr said.

“This facility was run by professionals. A professional team, dedicated team that took what they did very seriously. Any profit or administration fees that came out of that facility went directly into the general fund and funded programs and services for the people through municipal government. This is not a private prison for profit.”

Noerr added that the prisoners in the facility will now be transferred to a state facility, which will ultimately be costly to taxpayers.

“Just a big sarcastic thank you to our governor up in Sacramento for being clueless and not understanding value when it comes to what we can provide to the taxpayer of the state of California,” said Taft City Councilman Josh Bryant. “And a big thank you from the heart to all of our employees who have and will hopefully in the future be with us again.”