State Sen. Loni Hancock

STATE SENATE | DISTRICT 9 | East Bay State Sen. Loni Hancock says a Southern California state prison housing over 2,400 inmates should be closed due to its unsafe and dirty conditions.

In a letter sent Tuesday to the secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Hancock said the prison in Norco, which was previously slated for closure in 2016, has had reported incidents of cockroaches, rodent droppings and standing water in areas of food preparation.

In addition, holes in ceilings and walls and other unhealthy living conditions have made the facility unsafe for inmates and those employed at the prison.

Hancock sent the letter as chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety. She represents Berkeley, Richmond, Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro in the State Senate.

“It is unacceptable that the State of California continues to operate this facility,” Hancock said in a statement. “It does not meet even the most minimal standards of acceptable conditions for human habitation. If our goal is to rehabilitate inmates so they are able to return to society as productive citizens, housing them at Norco is not the way to go about it.”