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SB-385 Community Correctional Facilities: Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/10/2021 09:00 PM
SB385:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 385


Introduced by Senator Hurtado

February 10, 2021


An act to add Section 6259.1 to the Penal Code, relating to corrections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 385, as introduced, Hurtado. Community Correctional Facilities: Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility.
Existing law authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to contract for the establishment and operation of community correctional facilities. Pursuant to these provisions, and a settlement agreement executed in 1996 by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the City of Shafter, the Department contracted with the City of Shafter to operate the Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility, including 99 one-year lease options, as specified.
This bill would require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to release the one-year lease options no later than January 31, 2022.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute due to the unique circumstances involving the lease options provided to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for use of the Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The City of Shafter and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation executed a settlement agreement on December 4, 1996, to resolve certain lawsuits between the City of Shafter and the department.
(b) Under this settlement agreement, the City of Shafter would take ownership of the Shafter Return to Custody Facility, now known as the Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility. The City of Shafter currently owns the facility.
(c) Pursuant to the 1996 settlement agreement, the City of Shafter and the department entered into agreements for the operation of the Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility. These operating agreements were periodically renewed with the most recent agreement set to expire on June 30, 2023.
(d) The settlement agreement grants the department 99 one-year lease options for use of the facility subject to reimbursement of all administrative costs to the City of Shafter. If the department does not exercise an option, the City of Shafter is permitted to lease the facility to another entity for a maximum term of five years.
(e) The settlement agreement provides that the department, or any entity exercising any of the lease options, must operate the facility under the terms of an approved conditional use permit. The conditional use permit requires that the facility be used as a correctional facility and places restrictions on the housing of certain inmates.
(f) In March 2020, the department informed the City of Shafter that the department would cease operations and close the facility no later than December 31, 2020.
(g) The City of Shafter prepared a fiscal analysis of the operating costs for the facility should the department cease operations on December 31, 2020, concluding that the City of Shafter general fund would lose three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) as a result.
(h) The City of Shafter and the department engaged in discussions regarding the facility in June 2020. The City of Shafter requested that the facility close at an earlier date, or that the department pay an increased monthly payment to offset the closure costs to the City. The City of Shafter also requested that the department relinquish the lease options provided within the settlement agreement.
(i) In July 2020, the department agreed to cease operations at the facility effective October 31, 2020.
(j) In August 2020, the department informed the City of Shafter that it would not pay an increased rate during the closure period and would not relinquish the lease options within the settlement agreement.
(k) The facility closed and ceased operations as a community correctional center on October 31, 2020.
(l) The Correctional Facility is located at the geographical center of the City of Shafter and is only suitable for use as a correctional facility. The City of Shafter is not able to market the facility for a five-year lease agreement permitted under the settlement agreement because of the significant cost-prohibitive improvements necessary to secure a tenant for use of the facility for any other purpose. As a result, the property is currently vacant.
(m) To ensure that the facility does not fall into disrepair while vacant, the City of Shafter will spend approximately one hundred and twenty thousand dollars ($120,000) annually to maintain the facility.
(n) Following the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Shafter seeks to further economic development of the City and generate local employment opportunities by repurposing the facility. The City of Shafter will suffer significant economic loss if forced to maintain the vacant property for an unspecified period of time in order to permit the department to have potential future use of the lease options specified in the settlement agreement.
(o) The Legislature finds that economic development should be promoted on a local level to enable communities to generate local employment and allow local governments to use their funds in a manner that creates economic opportunity.
(p) The Legislature finds that the City of Shafter is precluded from making economic use of its property due to the department’s options under the 1996 settlement agreement. The Legislature further finds that it is necessary to require the department to relinquish the lease option interests in a facility that ceased operations, and over which the City of Shafter has ownership, in order to prevent even further economic harm to the City of Shafter and foster local economic development.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6259.1 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

6259.1.
 The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall release the department’s lease options for the Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility as specified within the Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release executed by the department on December 4, 1996, no later than January 31, 2022.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique need to address the lease options created in the settlement agreement between the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the City of Shafter regarding the Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility.