Chuckawalla is just one of many prisons in California that could be closed. For many reasons, the City of Norco’s California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) in particular is a more fitting candidate for closure. 

As calculated by the Legislative Analyst’s Office in its State Prison Infrastructure Report, CRC requires $670 million more than Chuckawalla in infrastructure maintenance costs. Additionally, The Californians United for a Responsible Budget’s (CURB) report on  People’s Plan for Prison Closure proposes a list of prisons that are top contenders for closure on the basis of the following criteria: Unsafe health conditions (i.e. water contamination, poison, asbestos, mold, etc.), overcrowding, cost of incarceration, location of the prison and distance from loved ones (including inaccessible travel), homicide/suicide rates. CRC is the #1 prison on this list while Chuckawalla is not included on the list at all.

CRC has been slated for closure multiple times in the past decade, and Norco residents have also advocated for this closure for years. Not to mention, this alternative solution would have a relatively small effect on Norco’s community and economy as compared to the effect that Chuckawalla’s closure would have on Blythe.