Madison is a city near Sacramento that is home to 300 people and seasonal occupants of a migrant farmworker camp. It seems that all the residents are spitting mad about a proposal that would double the population with convicted felons, says the Sacramento Bee. Officials in Yolo County agreed this week that an alfalfa field near town would be the best place to build a re-entry prison in exchange for $30 million from the state. Madisonites worry about the safety of their families if the state drops 500 inmates on their doorstep.
They have been painting protest signs, firing off e-mails, calling emergency meetings and asking lawyers and neighbors for help. Created by state law in 2007, the re-entry prisons would house up to 500 inmates serving the last year of their sentences – providing counseling, job training and drug treatment. The goal is to reduce recidivism. In exchange for hosting the prisons, counties can receive millions of dollars in state grants to expand their jails.