Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Oct 5, 2006
State reaches agreement to house California inmates

INDIANAPOLIS (October 5, 2006) - Governor Mitch Daniels announced today he has authorized the Department of Correction to house up to 1,200 offenders from California in the underused New Castle Correctional Facility.

"We saw an opportunity and contacted California officials several months ago," said Daniels. "We look at every way we can to be creative and businesslike, and this is a win for everyone. We'll hire 200 people and make $6 million."

Indiana will receive $6.2 million per year to house the inmates and up to 200 new jobs will be created at the facility. Much of the space at New Castle has been empty since the facility opened in 2002. There are currently 1,046 offenders housed in the 2,416-person capacity facility.

The state has authorized New Castle to be utilized to house California inmates. The contract, which will be between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the GEO Group, will support housing of up to 1,200 offenders. Among terms, the contract can be terminated if Indiana needs space at the facility for Indiana prisoners.

The GEO Group, which provides management and supervisory services for the Department of Correction at New Castle, will supervise the California inmates and provide them with food, medical care, clothing and required programming at no additional cost to the state. The Indiana Department of Correction will receive $15 per day or about $6.2 million each year with the additional offender occupancy.

Each offender sent by California will be required to meet the same medium-security classification as those sent to New Castle by Indiana. That means no seriously violent or predatory offenders, sex offenders or seriously mentally ill offenders will be held at New Castle, and all California offenders will be separated from the Indiana population by a fence or other barrier. The two populations will not be permitted to co-mingle.

The GEO Group will hire additional staff for a variety of positions, including correctional officers, counselors, and support staff. All staff will be trained by the Indiana Department of Correction to meet the standards of professionalism required of all Indiana state correctional employees. GEO will pay for training of new staff.

Department of Correction Commissioner J. David Donahue said he expects the 1,200 beds that will house California offenders will be needed by Indiana by the end of 2008. The Department has the option of resuming use of New Castle one 210-bed housing unit at a time with 30-days notice.

"We'll have a fully operational facility with a well-trained work force when we start to use New Castle to house our own offenders," said Donahue.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced the state is pursuing agreements with several states to house California offenders. The state is experiencing unprecedented prison overcrowding and has looked for safe and secure environments to hold offenders. Representatives from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have visited the New Castle facility several times.


Additional media contact: Java Ahmed, Department of Correction, 317/232-5780,