YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Letters : Prison Proposal for Santa Clarita Valley

December 28, 1985

The residents of the Santa Clarita Valley are well aware that Mayor Tom Bradley is an "itinerant mayor" these days. Apparently, Saugus rates right up there with Chile, Japan, Brazil, Denmark, Germany and the Far East as a nice place to visit.

Unfortunately, Mayor Bradley chose to spend less time in Saugus than the other more exotic locales. He did, however, choose to travel here via a city-owned helicopter. Does the mayor plan on using city helicopters as well to convey prisoners to Saugus, since we don't have the rapid transit system nor the road infrastructure to accommodate them?

The California Senate voted unanimously in September to appropriate funds for the Los Angeles Crown Coach prison site (SB 904). This bill has bipartisan support; it was authored by Sen. Robert B. Presley (D-Riverside) and received the support of Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles), who represents the Crown Coach district.

After a three-year intensive study of potential prison sites, the state Board of Corrections concluded that the Crown Coach site was the best location for the new prison. (The Saugus site has been rejected by the Corrections Department on several occasions.) The Crown Coach site is easily accessible to the courts, jail ward hospitals, rapid transit and to potential industrial work rehabilitation sites. Saugus has no Superior Court, no jail ward hospital and no rapid transit system. The closest industrial workplace to the Saugus site is Bermite Corp., a dynamite-manufacturing company. Is Mayor Bradley's logic in choosing the Saugus prison site beginning to sound absurd?

The Saugus site is virtually surrounded by 6,000 homes, 11 schools and several religious institutions. The proposed site is also directly on an earthquake fault. Our small, suburban community currently houses over 5,000 of Los Angeles' criminals. I find it hard to believe that Mayor Bradley could really expect us to house more prisoners here than in any other average neighborhood community in California.

Perhaps if Mayor Bradley spent less time gallivanting around the world promoting his political agenda, he would have had sufficient time to study the facts surrounding this local prison issue. Apparently, the mayor has jumped the gun in gearing up for November's gubernatorial race, or perhaps he's merely suffering from a bad case of jet lag.



Los Angeles Times Articles