Chowchilla fights conversion of women's prison 

California corrections officials are temporarily halting a conversion of Chowchilla's Valley State Prison for Women into a men's facility.

It's welcome news in the city, which is waging a legal battle over the project in Madera County Superior Court.

The Merced Sun-Star reported Thursday ( ) that tension concerning the planned conversion heightened after prison officials filed an exemption to an environmental impact study that the city had requested. The city responded in court by challenging the exemption.

City officials have voiced concern that bringing male prisoners to the area also would bring an influx of families and put significant stress on local resources.

Prison officials have denied this claim and presented a limited analysis to support their position. But an official impact study hasn't been conducted.


Information from: Merced Sun-Star,

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