The first inmate arrives at Calipatria State Prison on Jan. 2, 1992. Photo courtesy Imperial Valley Press.

The first inmate arrives at Calipatria State Prison on Jan. 2, 1992. Photo courtesy Imperial Valley Press.

By Lt. Armando Favila, AA/Public Information Officer
Calipatria State Prison, January 1992

(Editor’s note: In January 1992, what was then known as the California Department of Corrections published a story on the opening of Calipatria State Prison in “Correction News,” a department-produced newsletter and predecessor to Inside CDCR.)

Calipatria State Prison, the state’s newest Level IV institution, received its first busload of inmates Jan. 2.

The 30 Level IV and four Level I inmates arrived at the Imperial Valley facility, located four miles northeast of the city of Calipatria, where they were processed and transported into prison.

“It’s been a long wait,” said Calipatria Warden Bryan Gunn. “A lot of hard work and dedication over the last 18 months from staff at all levels has made the activation of Calipatria State Prison a smooth process.”

Calipatria is the first of two prisons scheduled to open in Imperial County. A level III facility, located near El Centro in the southern part of the county, is slated for activation in late 1993.

On hand to observe the official activation were Craig Brown, YACA Undersecretary; Kevin Carruth, Assistant Deputy Director, Planning and Construction; and Conrad Holmes, acting Warden, Design and Activation Branch.

Calipatria eventually will house 2,000 Level IV inmates in five 100-bed housing units at design capacity, and 208 Level I inmates at its minimum support facility. One housing unit is designed and staffed as an administrative segregation unit. There is no security housing unit within the prison. The new Level IV prison’s mission is to be fully programmable, with inmates enrolled in either a vocational/educational or work incentive program.