Staffing shortage forces deactivation of High Desert State Prison’s B Yard

Dana Simas, Press Secretary for the California Department of Corrections responded to an inquiry from Lassen News regarding the status of the Facility B Yard at High Desert State Prison. Lassen News had received several emails alleging the closure of the facility.

One of the issues CDCR reportedly faces at both HDSP and the California Correctional Center is the department’s ability to recruit and retain staff at Susanville’s remote location in Northeastern California. The closure of the B Yard also apparently has nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Here’s  Simas official statement.

“CDCR has historically experienced a high number of vacancies at High Desert State Prison. Currently, the operational vacancy rate at the prison is at 19 percent, and in order to ensure daily operations, public safety and the incarcerated population’s access to programming opportunities, the department is temporarily deactivating Facility B. “All staff on Facility B will be temporarily reassigned to other facilities at HDSP as incarcerated people are moved from Facility B.

“The 809 incarcerated people currently housed on Facility B will be reviewed by a Classification Committee for reassignment to other facilities at HDSP or other institutions based on their individual case factors. All movement will be done in accordance with COVID-19 safety precautions, and we anticipate will be completed in the next two months.

“Facility B will reactivate once it is determined staffing is adequate. This is a temporary solution while we continue to aggressively work on recruitment efforts to fill current vacancies.”

Will the deactivation of Facility B become permanent? That apparently depends upon CDCR’s ability to recruit and retain staff at the facility.