The first of at least 32 inmate rehabilitation centers planned for California will open in San Joaquin County under a law Governor Schwarzenegger signed today.
The state plans to build enough of the small prisons to eventually house 16,000 inmates who are within 12 months of completing their sentences.
The state will convert a former women's prison in Stockton into a re-entry center next year.
Up to 500 inmates from San Joaquin, Calaveras and Amador counties will receive drug abuse treatment, training, education, and help getting jobs and housing as they are released back into their communities.
Thirteen counties have signed cooperation agreements and more than 20 are expressing interest in having similar facilities in their communities.