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How a partial CMC closure could impact local economy and community organizations

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Posted at 9:30 PM, Dec 06, 2022

We are learning more about how the partial closure of the California Men’s Colony will impact the local economy and community organizations.

What’s known as the west end of the CMC is set to close at some point in the near future, although no exact date has been announced just yet.

The shake-up is set to impact one of the largest employers in San Luis Obispo County.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced on Tuesday that the west facility of the California Men’s Colony is slated for closure.

“California Men’s Colony is the fifth-largest employer in San Luis Obispo County, supporting 1,500 good-paying jobs. The loss of even some of these jobs will have a big impact and will be felt widely across our community,” said the Regional Economic Action Coalition (REACH) in a statement to KSBY. “We are eager to learn more details about the state’s plan and how our community can engage in decisions being made.”

The west end of the prison houses low-level security inmates and offers therapy programs like anger management and substance abuse education as well as career and technical training.

The east-end facility that houses medium-security inmates will remain open. The upcoming closure will impact New Life K9s which operates on the west end of the CMC. The organization allows inmates to train service dogs for veterans and first responders with PTSD.

“There is going to be an impact because our training happens on the west side of the facility,” said program manager Jennifer Tate, who hopes that the closure will not be the end of a years-long partnership with the CMC.

“We’ve always been supported by the administration at CMC very strongly, we have a really good working relationship with them.”

The cutbacks are part of next year’s state budget, and the CMC is one of multiple facilities facing partial or even full closures.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation also announced on Tuesday that the California City Correctional Facility and Chuckwalla Valley State Prison will be closed completely.