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  • mcprison mcprison Feb 7, 2001 6:40 PM Flag

    WHC seeks new site in CA,1464,

    Desert Dispatch
    Barstow, CA

    Federal prison rattles cages
    Government:Residents voice displeasure with prison location.

    RYAN DAUGHERTY/Staff Writer

    BARSTOW � The message delivered to City Council during a regular
    Monday meeting was �not in my backyard.�

    Four residents denounced a proposed 1,000 to 1,500 bed
    minimum-security federal prison for criminal aliens with a purported
    average sentence of six months during a regular council meeting held
    at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall.

    �I�m not really dead set against this prison, I�m dead set against the
    location of this prison,� said Gary Wike. He added that the house he
    built himself sets less than a mile from the proposed prison site.

    �I�m going to eat dirt and sand from the wind when they disturb the
    ground,� he said.

    Hinkley resident Mark Orr also voiced his displeasure.

    �Don�t have it right next door,� he said. �You need to put that thing
    out in the boonies.�

    Barstow resident Paul Sweeney suggested council put the prison issue
    on a referendum to get a better idea of how many people wanted it.

    �Most people don�t feel a prison would make Barstow a better place to
    live,� he said. �If we�re going to have a prison, why not have it at
    another location?�

    Barstow resident Pat Aleman concurred with Sweeney�s idea for a

    �Sometimes there comes an issue that cannot be decided by five
    people,� he told the council.

    Barstow resident Patricia Keeling said the prison would do little to
    enhance the city�s image.

    �I don�t want Barstow to become Ludlow or worse places in the
    desert,� she said.

    After hearing public comments, the City Council voted unanimously to
    pass a resolution declaring its support for the proposed prison, with
    Councilwoman Gloria Darling absent.

    Wackenhut Corrections Corp. and Cornell Corrections Inc. submitted
    proposals to operate the prison to the federal Bureau of Prisons in
    January. A contract is expected to be awarded to one of the two
    firms sometime this fall.

    Under Wackenhut�s proposal, the prison would be located on a 64-acre
    lot west of Lenwood Road between Jasper Road and Agate Road.
    Cornell�s proposal would occupy 79 acres in the same area.

    About a year ago, a proposed state prison in Lenwood that would
    have been run by a private corporation was halted after the
    Department of Corrections abruptly canceled the bid in December

22.85+0.15(+0.66%)10:36 AMEDT