California: Governor Newsom Announces Historic Transformation of San Quentin State Prison
The Californer/10233988

~ Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a historic effort to transform San Quentin State Prison, the oldest and most notorious prison in California, into a one-of-a-kind facility focused on improving public safety through rehabilitation and education. The prison will be renamed "San Quentin Rehabilitation Center" and will prioritize rehabilitation and education programs to strengthen public safety.

The transformation of San Quentin will be led in part by an advisory group composed of criminal justice, rehabilitation, and public safety experts from around the state, nation, and world, as well as representatives of crime victims and survivors, formerly incarcerated individuals, staff, key state-level stakeholders, advocates, and volunteers. The Governor's 2023-24 budget proposal allocates $20 million to begin the reimagining and repurposing of the facility.

The existing condemned row housing unit is being shut down — with those housed there safely moved to other prisons to serve their sentences — while a Prison Industry Authority warehouse will be transformed into a center for innovation focused on education, rehabilitation, and breaking cycles of crime.

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"California is transforming San Quentin – the state's most notorious prison with a dark past – into the nation's most innovative rehabilitation facility focused on building a brighter and safer future," said Governor Newsom. "Today we take the next step in our pursuit of true rehabilitation, justice, and safer communities through this evidenced-backed investment."

San Quentin Warden Ron Broomfield added: "In the 1940s, the warden closed the dungeons once ubiquitous to incarceration, and launched educational and vocational programs in their place. Today we again challenge the status quo as we reimagine San Quentin and create an environment where people are empowered to discover their full potential while pursuing educational and vocational opportunities that will prepare them for a successful future —and make our communities safer."

Dr. Brie Williams from UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations said: "By transforming San Quentin into a place that promotes health and positive change California is making a historic commitment to redefining the institution's purpose in our society."

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Governor Newsom has taken several steps since taking office to strengthen public safety through justice reforms including placing a moratorium on death penalty; bolstering support for victims; ending use of private for-profit prisons; taking action to disrupt school-to-prison pipeline; announcing sweeping reforms to end juvenile imprisonment; advancing jury representation; expanding number of Board of Parole commissioners; signing legislation to build trust between communities & law enforcement; announcing record level funding for public safety & more.

This transformation at San Quentin is unprecedented in scale in United States history & serves as an evidence backed model nationwide for advancing an effective justice system that builds safer communities.

Filed Under: Government, State

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