By selecting CRC for closure instead of Chuckawalla, the State could not only better ensure fiscal responsibility, but also better satisfy the criteria for choosing a prison to close that they selected: specifically the effects on the local workforce, long-term investments in state-owned and operated correctional facilities, and public safety and rehabilitation.
Chuckawalla is a self-sustaining facility. It contains state-of-the-art energy efficient equipment such as solar panels, a water treatment plant, and a new energy-efficient air conditioning unit. As recently as 3 years ago, CDCR invested in a zero net energy (ZNE) healthcare facility at Chuckawalla. These modifications result in lower operational costs and allow for the allocation of funds to other areas by the CDCR.
Further, investments in Chuckawalla have proven successful. Funding of healthcare facilities and programs have led to improved health services for Chuckawalla’s inmates, as well as Blythe community members who benefit from Chuckawalla’s support for the Palo Verde Hospital. Investment in the rehabilitation of inmates has also been high. One such rehabilitative program is Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment (ISUDT), which significantly reduces mortality, morbidity, and recidivism rates.