Public can weigh in on environmental study for re-entry prison in Paso Robles

The public can weigh in today on what environmental impacts they want studied for a project that would bring a 500-inmate re-entry prison to vacant land near the Paso Robles Municipal Airport.

The re-entry prison — a relatively new concept for California that’s designed to train prisoners with job and life skills during their last year of incarceration — would be on state-owned land behind the former El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility.

The Paso Robles City Council voiced its support for the re-entry prison in November 2008 after state and sheriff's officials agreed to take released inmates back to their home communities.

The former youth facility once housed young adult offenders on Airport Road. Much of the community knew it as a boys school. It closed in June 2008 because of budget shortfalls and changes in how prisoners younger than 18 are handled.

Hosted by the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, the meetings are planned for 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Paso Robles City Hall/Library Conference Center, 1000 Spring St. Those with questions can call the corrections department at 916-255-2236.