TAFT, Calif. (KGET) — The Taft Correctional Institution will remain operational through at least March 31, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today. 

The news comes as the institution had been set to be in operation through the end of the year for the Bureau of Prisons to conduct a feasibility study evaluating whether repair work can be completed while the prison remains operational.  

The prison had been scheduled to be closed in January, with layoffs of more than 300 employees set to begin earlier this month before they were recently halted. 

“The DOJ’s announcement is welcome news at ensuring that the TCI remains operational through the new year as we await further analysis related to the prison’s facilities,” Congressman Kevin McCarthy said. “I am pleased that Attorney General Barr and the Bureau of Prisons recognize the necessity of keeping TCI open, and I look forward to continue working with Administration officials, Mayor Noerr, and local stakeholders to ensure this facility remains operational in the short and long term.”