City of Susanville files legal action over the California Correctional Center closure

The city of Susanville has filed a legal action to stop the closure of the California Correctional Center.

According to a statement from the city, the city of Susanville filed a Writ of Mandamus and an Application for a Temporary Restraining Order against (the) California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Secretary of the Department Kathleen Allison and Governor Gavin Newsom to stop the closure of the California Correctional Center in Susanville, California Wednesday, July 28.

The city contends that prior to commencing (the) closure, and contrary to legislative mandate, the state did not conduct (a) review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA,” Public Resources Code section 21000 et seq.). The state failed to conduct such review, even though there can be no reasonable dispute that the decision to close the prison was a “discretionary project” subject to CEQA. (Pub. Res. Code, § 21080(a).) Further, the state violated Penal Codes §§ 2067 and 5003.7 when it selected to close CCC without doing a formal and adequate review, and prior to ending contracts with its private facilities.

The city of Susanville remains concerned about the devastating effect the closure will have on the hard-working people in Lassen County.

According to Mayor Mendy Shuster, “Closing of the CCC would devastate the community of Susanville by putting approximately a thousand of our citizens out of work and crushing our local economy. Governor Newsom’s decision to select this prison for closure was done for purely political reasons and was done without environmental review or proper legal analysis. The city of Susanville is asking the governor’s office to come to the table to discuss alternatives to closure.”

Further, Dan Newton, Susanville’s interim city administrator, commented, “In a summer plagued by devastating wildfires, closing a fire institution that trains inmates to provide lifesaving firefighting services is unconscionable. There are other options that need to be considered, and the city of Susanville is willing to discuss these with governor Newsom.”

A spokesperson for CDCR did not immediately respond to lassennews’ request for comment for this story at deadline.