Rose Braz (letter, Oct. 19) is wrong when she asserts that California does not need the new state prison to be built at Delano. Most California prisons are operating at 180% to 195% capacity. That means thousands of inmates are doubled up in cells built for one person. It also means that gymnasiums and classrooms have been filled with bunk beds for inmates. Such overcrowding is not good for inmates or the employees who supervise them.
Our prisons have a critical shortage of maximum-security cells. Dangerous inmates who should be housed in maximum-security cells are in medium-security cells. Delano will be a maximum-security prison. California also has old prison facilities that should be closed and replaced. San Quentin State Prison, built in 1852, is a crumbling relic. It has the highest operating costs of any prison in California. Inmates at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco live in Navy barracks built during World War II. The barracks should be replaced with modern housing.