LAKEVIEW, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown has decided not to shut down Warner Creek Correctional Facility in Lakeview, state Representative E. Werner Reschke said on Tuesday.
In January, Brown announced that she had directed the Oregon Department of Corrections to shut down three state prisons — Mill Creek Correctional Facility in Salem, Shutter Creek Correctional Institution in North Bend, and Warner Creek.
The plan to close Warner Creek provoked immediate outcry from the Lakeview community, which has come to rely on the prison's presence as a vital part of the local economy. Rep. Reschke called the decision to shut down the prison "a grave mistake."
According to Reschke's statement, Brown announced Tuesday to the Lake County Prison Committee that she had decided against closing Warner Creek Correctional Facility.
“I want to thank Governor Brown for making the right call by keeping the Warner Creek Correctional Facility open,” said Rep. Reschke. “This was a group effort and will be a relief for the people who rely on these family-wage jobs with good healthcare.”
Reschke said that more than 100 residents of Lake County work at the prison, and have family members that work in local schools, businesses, and government offices. Closing the prison would displace families that rely on those jobs, he said.
It was not immediately clear if the decision to spare Warner Creek will apply to either of the other prisons slated for closure.