NORCO — The California Rehabilitation Center, already almost 50% over capacity, could face a population increase of more than 900 inmates next year, prison officials said Thursday.
To prepare for the projected influx, officials at the medium-security state prison have begun plans to convert classrooms to dormitories, said acting Supt. Leonard Chastain.
"By squeezing in and modifying existing buildings, we can accommodate them," Chastain said.
Classes will double up in remaining classrooms until new prefabricated buildings are placed on the prison grounds, said Lt. George Morgan, public information officer for the prison.
If overcrowding is severe, Morgan said, some classes may be suspended temporarily.
The prison's population Thursday was 3,060 men and 697 women, Morgan said.
Still, it is one of the state's least-crowded prisons, said Jack Corrie, information officer for the Corrections Department in Sacramento. The Norco prison's male population is 149% of capacity and its female population 137% of capacity, he said.