See gallery of photos of marine diving program at CIM

The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) operates the Marine Technology Training Center (MTTC), an 11-month training program, providing training in diverse curriculum including diving physics, navigation, report writing, air systems, welding, seamanship, blueprint reading, diesel engines, and marine construction.

See below for a gallery by CDCR photographer Eric Owens of the marine diving program at CIM.

The training not only focuses on technical skills, but also instills a professional attitude of determination, perseverance, and courage. Together, these skills provide graduates with employment opportunities in commercial diving in areas such as underwater construction, dam repair and maintenance, welding, harbor diving, and offshore oil drilling.

The commercial diving program was initially established in 1970 at the California Institute for Men (CIM) in Chino, under the vision and guidance of the late Leonard Greenstone, former Vice Chair and Prison Industry Board Member, U.S. Navy salvage diver and successful commercial diving contractor.

Although the graduates of this program consistently maintained a recidivism rate of less than 7 percent, the program was closed in 2003 due to budget constraints. However, on December 1, 2006, CALPIA re-established the commercial diving center at CIM as part of the renewed rehabilitation efforts of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The technical skills learned at the MTTC are designed to ensure that nearly 100 percent of the program’s graduates secure jobs after release. The training modules also focus on helping the graduates in adjusting and developing proper attitude, initiative, and industrial skills.

The MTTC has a renowned history of not only educating and training offenders as commercial divers, but also providing the confidence needed to successfully transition into meaningful employment and avoid re-incarceration.

The MTTC has expanded from producing commercial divers to training offenders in other occupations in the marine industry, as well as preparing offenders to become productive members of society.

Photos by CDCR photographer Eric Owens

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4 Responses

  1. Susan Bruno Tuesday, January 22, 2013 / 10:08 pm

    Vocational instruction works to rehabilitate inmates! This looks like a wonderful example! Keep up the great work for continued success.

  2. Chuck (Doc) Weaver Saturday, January 19, 2013 / 1:24 am

    Diving School Instructor 76/82.. Glad to see the school is in such good shape, and that is doing so well. It is without a doubt the best program in the country. I think of the school often and am happy to have been part of the positive results that did & still exist ….KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK ….

  3. Debbie Hicks Thursday, January 17, 2013 / 8:34 pm

    What an awesome program! Keep up the good work!

  4. Sue Wilkinson Thursday, January 17, 2013 / 8:25 pm


    I want to say that I am glad they are learning a trade so when they go out in the world they can earn some decent money. My son went to a Commercial Dive Academy right out of high school. He graduated last February and is currently working for one of the largest companies in the world. He gets paid good money, gets retirement, medical, dental, and vision. I hope your students are very grateful for this opportunity and take this opportunity to succeed in life. I want to wish your students the best and to keep in mind hard work does get rewarded. May they someday be able to pay it forward for the opportunities they have been given.

    Best wishes

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