Shafter CCF reopens

SHAFTER, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Hundreds of state prisoners are now headed to Kern County.

The Shafter Community Correctional Facility reopens this week. In early January, a CCF will open in Delano.

On Tuesday, local officials praised the impact both places will have.

The Shafter CCF had been shut down in 2011.

The facility will house 640 inmates, and opens up more than 80 jobs - jobs for correction's officers, such as P. Rogan. He worked there two years ago, now he's back.

He said he can now relax, knowing he'll have a paycheck coming in.

"I can get out and buy dinner and lunch now," said Rogan. "Before, it was Top Ramen almost every day."

Shafter Mayor Jon Johnston said he's happy to see jobs returning to the community. He called it a win-win effort.

Assembly member Rudy Salas agreed. Salas said this was a collaborative effort between cities and the state to fight prison overcrowding.

He said the job opportunities will help the local economy.

"It's also going to keep our streets safe," said Salas, "keep prisoners behind bars and keep our community that much better."

Paul Lozano is the chief of corrections at Shafter CCF. He said the facility received $1.8 million from the state for security improvements, such as a new 12-foot perimeter fence and extra cameras.

He also said there are about 25 correction officer jobs still available.

The Delano CCF will start housing inmates in early January. Officials said that will house about 580 inmates, and bring about 80 jobs.