City Council Puts Hacienda on Hold

February 27, 2008 1:12:17 PM PST
A plan to help women who are getting out of prison is on hold while the Fresno City Council makes a decision on it.The Department Of Corrections wants to turn the old Hacienda Motel into a prison halfway house and drug treatment center. The plans calls for housing women sentenced to short prison terms, those who've served time for drug offenses and women who would undergo drug treatment and their children.

One opponent is Fresno community activist Carissa Phelps who's own story of life on the streets and her recovery made national news. "It just doesn't seem healthy for the community to have more people in need, who are in need come into the community."

Motel Drive is known for prostitution, drugs and violent crime. The planning commission already approved the halfway house project. Fresno Mayor Alan Autry asked the City Council to consider it as well. But the council wanted more input, and voted for a delay.

The council will accept community input for the next month, then vote on March 25th.