The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has entered into an agreement with the County of San Diego to divert up to 100 inmates into the Department’s Conservation Camp program, which already houses 4000 inmates statewide.
“This agreement with San Diego County is a win for everyone,” said Department of Corrections Secretary Jeff Beard in an October 25 release. "Housing county offenders in conservation camps will provide additional space to the county, contribute to the state’s trained firefighting workforce, protect public safety and provide rehabilitation."
The announcement of the addition to participants in the inmate fire camps coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Cedar Fire's ignition, which burned thousands of acres and devastated East County communities, destroying over 2000 homes.
Under the agreement, the county will pay the state $46.19 per inmate daily for housing, supervision, and training administered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention.
According to the Department of Corrections, 44 camps statewide provide more than 2.5 million hours of round-the-clock emergency response services per year, which save taxpayers over $100 million annually. In addition to wildfire response, crews are available for response to flooding, snowstorms, earthquakes, and search and rescue needs.