California City Correctional Facility (CAC)
This correctional facility was a privately operated federal prison until 2013. In October of that year, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) signed an agreement to lease the facility for three years.
The facility, at least until 2016, houses more than 2,000 state inmates in the desert near Edwards Air Force Base, near Lancaster. The average daily temperature in July and August is 97 degrees.
This unique lease seems to be signed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling that ordered California reduce prison overcrowding because such overcrowding constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
CAC is currently a Level II, general population, facility consisting of (3) facilities, incorporated within one air conditioned structure and includes one Administrative Segregation housing unit.
CAC originally opened in in 2000 as a medium security desert prison. It was one of the first private federal prisons built in California by the Corrections Corporation of America. Its unique architecture stands out like ancient Egyptian buildings by day and the orange floodlights can be seen glowing 30 miles away by night. It is not an old prison with electrical wires hanging dangerously and broken plumbing. The air conditioning generally works well.