CDCR-Centinela State Prison (CEN)

State Prison

Last Updated: February 27, 2024
2302 Brown Rd, Imperial, CA 92251-0731
Mailing Address
PO Box 731, Imperial, CA 92251-0731

CEN is for State Prison offenders sentenced anywhere from one year to life by the State Court in the county where the charges were filed

All prisons and jails have Security or Custody levels depending on the inmate’s classification, sentence, and criminal history. Please review the rules and regulations for State - maximum facility.

The phone carrier is Global Tel Link (GTL) - ConnectNetwork, to see their rates and best-calling plans for your inmate to call you.

If you are unsure of your inmate's location, you can search and locate your inmate by typing in their last name, first name or first initial, and/or the offender ID number to get their accurate information immediately Registered Offenders

Satellite View of CDCR-Centinela State Prison (CEN)

You can support your loved ones at CEN on InmateAid, if you have any immediate questions contact the facility directly at 760-337-7900.

Located at 2302 Brown Rd in Imperial, CA, CEN carefully assigns inmates based on their custody level, considering factors like criminal history. CEN offers diverse educational and vocational programs aimed at equipping offenders for successful reintegration into society and reducing recidivism. Through these initiatives, inmates gain skills and confidence, fostering personal growth and resilience.

When someone you care about ends up in a state prison, it can be tough to navigate the ins and outs of the system. From figuring out how to stay in touch to understanding what you can do to make their time easier, it can feel overwhelming. That's where this webpage comes in handy. It's here to help you get the lowdown on CDCR-Centinela State Prison (CEN) so you can stay connected and support your loved one during their time inside.

While incarcerated, reading is often the best use of time. Please note that books and magazines, puzzles, and word searches ordered for inmates must come directly from the publisher. This policy ensures that the items are new, untampered, and comply with the facility's regulations. Prisons and jails enforce this rule to prevent the introduction of contraband or prohibited materials. By restricting orders to publishers, the facility can better maintain security and control over the content entering the institution. Any books or magazines not received directly from the publisher will be rejected and not delivered to the inmate.

Centinela State Prison (CEN), administered by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), stands as a key correctional institution in Imperial County, serving as a pivotal facility for adult male inmates. Nestled on a sprawling 2,000-acre expanse, CEN, often colloquially referred to as Centinela State Prison, houses inmates across various custody levels, ranging from General Population to Level I, Level III, Level III sensitive needs, and maximum security (Level IV) detainees.

The prison's infrastructure comprises diverse housing units tailored to accommodate different security classifications. Among these units are two Level IV facilities, one Level III unit, and a Level III sensitive needs yard, featuring "5 two-tier buildings on each yard, 100 Double occupancy cells per building, razor wire cinder block/chain-link fenced perimeters and armed coverage." Additionally, a Level I yard with two open dormitory buildings, each capable of housing up to 200 inmates, is enclosed by secure chain-link fence perimeters. The facility also houses essential support structures, including a Correctional Treatment Center (CTC), equipped to address medical, dental, and mental health needs within an integrated hospital-like setting.

Further enhancing the prison's operational capacity are facilities such as the Administrative Segregation Unit (ADSEG), designed for a maximum occupancy of 175 individuals, and the Centinela Fire Department, which serves as a rehabilitation initiative. The firehouse, identified by the three-letter identifier CEP, provides comprehensive training to eight Level I inmates, preparing them as structural and wildland firefighters. This program offers rigorous and accelerated training compliant with state fire certification standards, akin to that of volunteer firefighters.

In alignment with its commitment to inmate rehabilitation, Centinela endeavors to provide opportunities for personal growth and productivity mandated by legislative statutes such as AB 1403 – Chapter One Statutes of 1982. These initiatives encompass an array of services and programs, including academic education, vocational training, spiritual counseling, substance abuse treatment, and self-help programming. By offering a holistic approach to inmate development, the institution aims to foster positive behavioral changes and facilitate successful reintegration into society upon release.

Embedded within the institution's rich history is its namesake, Mount Signal, a significant geographical landmark along the US-Mexico international border. Historically utilized as a vantage point for monitoring border crossings, Mount Signal's Spanish translation, "Centinela," underscores its role as a sentinel or signal. Reflecting this historical significance, Centinela State Prison remains dedicated to its mission of upholding security while promoting rehabilitation and reformation among its incarcerated population.

Among the notable individuals who have passed through the confines of Centinela State Prison are former Glendale Fire Chief and Arson Investigator John Leonard Orr, sentenced to life imprisonment for serial arson and murder convictions, and Sanyika Shakur, known for his writings under the pseudonym "Monster Kody" and whose parole and reincarceration have made headlines. These individuals, among others, represent a diverse spectrum of the inmate population whose paths intersect within the confines of Centinela State Prison, shaping its legacy within the broader context of California's correctional landscape.

Inmate Locator

CEN maintains a database of current inmates and their locations within the system. To locate an inmate, begin by using the DOC locator tool, which requires entering the first three letters of the inmate's first and last name, allowing for variations in spelling.

If unable to locate the desired information through free resources, users may opt to use the Arrest Record Search, which requires payment. While this option incurs a small fee, it provides access to the most up-to-date data available.

Get an Arrest Record immediately.

Visitation Information

Visiting an incarcerated person: learn how to visit an incarcerated person at our institutions.

Other Resources: explore family & friends resources, including how to contact or send packages to those incarcerated in our institutions.

Ask The Inmate

Ask a former inmate questions at no charge. The inmate answering has spent considerable time in the federal prison system, state and county jails, and in a prison that was run by the private prison entity CCA. Ask your question or browse previous questions in response to comments or further questions of members of the InmateAid community.