Skip to Content

Closure of Chuckawalla Valley State Prison raises concerns about job loss and community impact

Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe is set to close exactly two years from now, in March 2025, as part of Governor Newsom's plan to reduce incarceration costs across the state.

Johnny Rodriguez, Vice Mayor of the City of Blythe, said the prison's 800 workers would be affected most immediately by the closure with many facing job loss, including some who commute from the Coachella Valley.

"These people would have to uproot their families, would have to take their kids out of school from here," Rodriguez said. "Doctors, nurses, secretaries, warehouse managers, plumbers, electricians, a whole host of professions that people rely on."

Chuckawalla is the third California prison to be shut by Newsom's administration as prison populations decline, in an effort to cut the state's $14.2 billion corrections budget.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said inmates will be relocated starting in 2024 to facilities across the state.

The agency is also working to transfer staffers into positions at other institutions.

However, Rodriguez argues that the California Rehabilitation Center, a state prison in Norco west of the Coachella Valley, should be shuttered instead of Chuckawalla.

"We'd basically just close an obsolete state entity in their area," he said. "While ours, we figured it's viable, it helps the community stay viable."

Despite discussions with the state, Rodriguez says anxiety continues to grow about the community collapse after the closure of a key fixture in eastern Riverside County.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


News Channel 3 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content