CMC begins issuing layoff notices
October 22, 2011
State officials sent 117 employees of the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo County layoff notices on Friday as part of a plan to reduce prison overcrowding by transferring inmates to county jails.
As part of the plan, 26,000 California prison employees could lose their jobs.
On Friday, notices were sent to guards and employees who have less than 10 years on the job, said Paul Verke, a spokesman for the Corrections and Rehabilitation Department. However, it is unlikely all 26,000 employees will be fired.
“The 26,000 figure is casting a wide net,” Verke said. “They are the people who could be affected by this. People may have to transfer or go to a lower-paying classification or eventually leave.”
In May, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling that the state’s prisons are unconstitutionally overcrowded, compromising inmate health care. The federal court gave the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation until roughly June 2013 to shed 34,000 inmates.
On Oct. 1, the state began to shift incarceration responsibility for non-violent and non-sexual offenders to their local county jails instead of state prisons.
Drug dealers, burglars and other felons sentenced in San Luis Obispo Superior Court are now wards of the county, under the realignment plan slated to reduce the number of inmates entering the overcrowded state prison system.