Is Taft Prison Closing, And What Does It Mean For You

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If you’ve heard about Taft Correctional Institution closing, and wondered if it’s just a rumor, this is for you. 

Is Taft Correctional Institution closing

Taft Correctional Institution is a private prison, owned by Management &. Training Corporation (MTC). The facility can house 2,500 inmates. We received a call from one of our clients who is currently serving federal prison time at Taft, stating that the Taft Correctional Institution will be closing its doors forever. We verified that the Bureau of Prisons recently announced intentions of premaritally deactivating Taft Correctional Institution on January 31, 2020.

Why is Taft Correctional Institution closing

The decision regarding the Taft Correctional Institution closing was handed down after 10 to 15 years of infrastructure issues at the facility, including geological and seismic concerns, according to the BoP's statement. It was estimated that repairs would cost $100 million, an amount the BoP says they do not have. At the time of the BoP’s statement, they had not yet determined what would be done with the property after the prison closes doors. 

Taft will not close without a fight

Congressman Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Prisons in an effort to prevent Taft Correctional Institution from closing. Congressman McCarthy stated,

"I am extremely concerned by the Federal Bureau of Prison’s recent announcement regarding the deactivation of the Taft Correctional Institution (TCI), as well as with the rapid schedule the Bureau has indicated it plans to remove inmates from this facility. No advance notice of the closure was provided to me, and the Bureau has so far refused to share detailed information regarding this decision and supporting materials, other than limited information included in the original deactivation notification. Given the serious impact that TCI’s closure would have on our community, until there is a better understanding of this determination, I have requested the Bureau and U.S. Department of Justice immediately suspend any activities related to removing inmates from this facility.”

Economic Impact of Taft Correctional Institution closing

Taft prison is located in the small town of Taft, California. The prison has been the major source of employment for the town. For the 342 Taft prison employees, this creates the stresses of job loss and economic challenge. The mayor of the city of Taft gave a public statement, indicating the impending Taft Prison closing took him by surprise. 

What happens if you’re in Taft Correctional Institution now, or if you’ve been designated there

First of all, tread softly. Our contacts within Taft Correctional Institution have reported staff members mentally checking out, not caring about completing paperwork, including failure to properly push paperwork through for Halfway House. It has also been reported that Taft inmates are being put into solitary confinement for minor infractions. It’s important, especially now, for all Taft inmates to be aware of their surroundings and avoid rocking the boat at a tremendously tense time at Taft Correctional Institution.

Many people currently incarcerated at Taft are worried that they might be sent to the Oklahoma Transfer Center. They’re concerned that they will be put in shackles and handcuffs to make that transition. Many inmates serving time at Taft, or any other federal prison camp, likely self-surrendered, and perhaps never wore handcuffs or shackles before. As with many things relating to the federal prison journey, the fear of the unknown is huge. 

It is certainly a possibility that Taft inmates may be moved to the Oklahoma Transfer Center, and redesigned from there. It is also a possibility that Taft inmates will begin being moved straight from the Taft prison facility, without going to the Oklahoma Transit Center at all.

Taft Correctional Institution inmates may be moved using what is called a manager variable. A manager variable is the movement of an inmate to one class higher or lower from where he or she is currently housed. Taft inmates are already at the lowest security level institution, a camp, so a manager variable could potentially move Taft inmates one security level up, placing them at a low security facility.

If you are at Taft Correctional Institution, and have less than 1 year left on your federal prison sentence, you may be sent home to do the rest of your time on home confinement. If you have more than 1 year left on your sentence, it is unlikely this would be the case for you. 

The best advise we can give you at this time is to stay calm and don’t panic. If you are transferred to a different correctional facility, the facility you’re redesigned to can pick up where you left off with paperwork and halfway house proceeders. 

If you have a loved one at Taft Correctional Facility and you need additional answers, check out our YouTube video on Taft Correctional Institution closing, or schedule a consultation to find out how we might become your Federal Prison Consultant team, and assist you further.