Petition Closed

Preston, California’s oldest youth prison, is closing!  Prison officials announced that it just can’t afford to keep the ancient dungeon open. And they admitted what we’ve been saying for years -- Preston is just too far away from youths’ families to be effective.

But this long-overdue decision is now at risk. Some people think that prison jobs are more important than what's best for youth. Even if it means wasting $80 million of the state's money. 

Join us in urging Matthew Cate, head of California’s prisons, to stick with plans to close Preston.

Letter to
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Matthew Cate
I am writing in strong support for the closure of Preston youth prison. By closing this ineffective and expensive prison, our State has an opportunity to invest in programs that are proven to help youth turn their lives around. Preston, more than any other youth prison, should be closed because:

(1) it is the most remote youth prison making family contact difficult,

(2) its ancient design thwarts rehabilitation, and

(3) the State can not afford the $40 million in renovations required for Preston.

Youth and staff still report that Preston is an unsafe environment for youth. With a shrinking youth prison population and an expensive system that fails to deliver positive youth outcomes, the decision to close Preston is a sound one.

The California Legislative Analyst's Office recently reported a $25 billion budget deficit. The State must move away from failed policies that waste money. We cannot afford to keep Preston open. The lives of our youth are worth far too much.

I stand with the Books Not Bars Campaign and a growing number of Californians who strongly support the closure of Preston and urge you to remain steadfast in your decision.

Thank you!