The State Worker

PG&E cut power to a California prison 2 days ago. The lights are on, but no one can visit

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Salinas Valley State Prison lost power late Saturday night and has not regained it, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Emergency generators are supplying power until PG&E turns the electricity back on, said Dana Simas, a CDCR spokeswoman.

All critical functions will remain in place with the generators for as long as they have fuel, Simas said. She said the prison expects to remain fully operational until the power is turned back on, but the agency hasn’t received any estimates of when that will be.

Visiting has been canceled at the prison, along with other non-critical functions, she said.

The Monterey County facility houses a mix of about 3,200 inmates minimum- and maximum-security male inmates and employs about 1,600 people.

San Quentin Prison also lost power Saturday night but regained it by Sunday morning without any incidents, Simas said.

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Wes Venteicher anchors The Bee’s popular State Worker coverage in the newspaper’s Capitol Bureau. He covers taxes, pensions, unions, state spending and California government. A Montana native, he reported on health care and politics in Chicago and Pittsburgh before joining The Bee in 2018.