State to house special inmates in Lancaster, despite opposition

State prison officials today said they’ll proceed with plans to house special needs inmates at the lock-up in Lancaster, despite opposition from the city’s mayor. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze reports.

State prison officials today said they’ll proceed with plans to house special needs inmates at the lock-up in Lancaster, despite opposition from the city’s mayor. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze reports.

Frank Stoltze: “Special needs” can include child molesters, inmates who’ve renounced their gang membership, former police officers, or anyone else in protective custody.

Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris claims they are the “worst of the worst” who would draw their families and friends to northern Los Angeles County to visit or even to live. In describing those families and friends, the Lancaster mayor says often they too are criminals who “inordinately use public services.” Groups that represent the families of the incarcerated reject that characterization, but it’s still politically popular.

State prison officials say they considered the mayor’s concerns, but they also need to find space for 1,500 special needs prisoners – and they say Lancaster is the best place in the overcrowded prison system. Most of the facility will remain a reception center where inmates are processed on their way to other prisons.

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