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CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP)

State Prison

Last Updated: April 05, 2020
Address
5950 Lake Earl Dr, Crescent City, CA 95531
County
Del Norte
Security Level
State - maximum
Phone
707-465-1000
Mailing Address
PO Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
Facility Type
Adult
Satellite View of CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP)

COVID-19: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Pelican Bay State Prison is facing VISITATION SUSPENSION for the next 15-30 days. Please call 707-465-1000 for the most current visiting room updates and when visits will resume.

CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) basic information to help guide you through what you can do for your inmate while they are incarcerated. The facility's direct contact number: 707-465-1000

This facility is for adult inmates.

The inmates housed at Pelican Bay State Prison located at 5950 Lake Earl Dr in Crescent City, CA are placed according to their custody level (determined by a number of factors including the past criminal history and the length of their sentence). There are ample educational and vocational training programs for all inmates, especially ones that show a willingness to learn new things that will prepare them for a better life when they are released. The mission is to promote and prepare the offender to leave in better shape than when they arrived, giving them the best chance to never come back and thus lower the state's recidivism rate.

Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) is the only supermax state prison in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The 275-acre prison takes its name from a shallow bay on the Pacific coast, about 2 miles to the west located in Del Norte County, CA.

Pelican Bay is designed to house the state's most serious criminal offenders in a secure, safe, and disciplined institutional setting. One-half of the prison houses maximum-security inmates in a general population setting. The other half houses inmates in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) designed for inmates presenting serious management concerns. The SHU is a modern design for inmates who are difficult management cases, prison gang members, and violent maximum-security inmates.

PBSP's primary purpose is to confine the "worst of the worst" violent male inmates from the CDCR system; 40% are serving life sentences and nearly all have histories of violence at other California prisons which resulted in their transfer to Pelican Bay. The sole exception is the institution's minimum security inmates, who work as part of the prison's outside maintenance and firefighter programs.

Some notable inmates who have served time at Pelican Bay were Hugo Pinell was one of six inmates infamous for their 1971 escape attempt from San Quentin State Prison that left six people dead. He spent 43 years but 23 yrs spent in the SHU - longer than any other inmate in California. He was stabbed to death during a riot at CSP, Sacramento, just two weeks after being released into the general population; Joe "Pegleg" Morgan was the first non-Hispanic Mexican Mafia member, sentenced to life in prison for murder in 1956 and was housed in the SHU until his transfer to the hospital ward where he died in November 1993; Sanyika Shakur a former Crips member and author of Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member, sentenced to five years in the SHU for assault and grand theft auto in January 1991; Rene Enriquez the former member of the Mexican Mafia, sentenced to life imprisonment in 1991 for two separate murders; Damian Williams gained notoriety for attacking Reginald Denny and others during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Sentenced to 10 years for assault, but released early for good behavior. Williams was sentenced to 46-years-to-life for killing a drug dealer in 2003; David "DC" Cervantes as the highest-ranking member of the Nuestra Familia gang in CA whose rise marked the first time in decades that the Norteños had a single leader at the helm of their criminal organization; Arturo Castellanos was the leader of a Florencia 13 street gang, and high-ranking member of the Mexican Mafia, sentenced to 26-years-to-life for a 1979 LA County murder and isolated in Pelican Bay's SHU for continuing to run gang activities from his cell. He helped organize hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013 in protest of conditions within California SHUs in which over 30,000 inmates statewide participated. Robert Walter Scully is an Aryan Brotherhood member who murdered a deputy during a traffic stop and took a family hostage in March 1995 only five days after being paroled from Pelican Bay was sentenced to death at San Quentin in 1997; Lloyd Avery II who was an actor famous for his role in "Boyz n the Hood", sentenced in 2005 to life imprisonment for double homicide. In September 2005, he was beaten and strangled to death by his Satan-worshiping cellmate; his body wasn't discovered for another two days. Charles Manson the infamous cult leader, sentenced to life imprisonment on seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. In March 1997, he was charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and transferred to the SHU for 14 months; died in 2017; Ricardo Medina Jr. is an actor famous for starring in Power Rangers Wild Force, sentenced to six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter for stabbing his roommate with a sword.

Cellblocks C and D at Pelican Bay are the dedicated long-term Security Housing Units (SHU), designed to control the most intractably violent prisoners by keeping them in rigorously-monitored solitary confinement 22.5 hours a day, 7 days a week (often for years or decades at a time).

Pelican Bay also houses two maximum security units: Block A is a traditional semi-open general population (GP) unit with 2-man cells while Block B a is smaller, closed/single cell block that serves as a transitional unit for inmates transferring out of the SHU blocks due to good behavior. There is also a collocated 400-bed minimum security unit (outside of the secure perimeter) which provides inmate orderlies for general service tasks at and around the main prison.

PBSP operates two unique programs: The Psychiatric Services Unit (PSU) which is a 127-bed unit designed and staffed to treat mentally disordered offenders who are serving SHU terms and a 400-bed, Level I Minimum Support Facility which houses non-violent offenders outside of the secure perimeter of the main institution, and a Fire House with 8 full-time inmate firefighters.

Inmate Programs

  • California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA): CALPIA operates one Industry at PBSP, Laundry. This industry employs approximately 18 inmates. The Laundry has contracts with Pelican Bay State Prison and Del Norte School District.
  • Career Technical Education (CTE) formerly Vocational Education Program: PBSP offers Career Technical Education Computer Literacy program and Tsunami Adult School. Additionally, inmates have work assignments throughout the institution on various work crews which include yard crews, kitchen workers, porters, clerks, grounds keeping, maintenance, and other duties which assist in the daily operation of the prison.
  • Academic: PBSP offers a Literacy Program, Adult Basic Education, General Education Diploma (GED) and High School Diploma, as well as College Courses, which are available through distance learning. There are 2 academic delivery models: Alternative Education and a Voluntary education program. Both offer literacy, adult basic education, HSD and GED. The voluntary program allows participants to be involved in college and correspondence courses.
  • Inmate Support Groups at PBSP include: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotic Anonymous, Choices for Common Ground, Prisoners Embracing Anti-hostility Cultural Evolution (PEACE), Reaching Out Convicts to Kids (ROCK), Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG), New Beginnings, Jesuit Restorative Justice Program, AI-ANON, Getting Out by Going In (GOGI), Veterans Group, and Breaking Barriers.

DRP Programs

CDCR's Division of Rehabilitative Programs offers a wide range of programs for inmates. Check to see which programs are offered at this institution.

Family Liaison Service Specialist

CDCR provides through a contract with a community-based organization an on-site Case Manager as a family reunification liaison for inmates and family members, to assist with an inmate's pre-release preparation; and conduct Parenting and Creative Conflict Resolution classes for inmates. Please call the Institution to contact the Family Reunification Liaison.

Institution Details

PBSP is located on 275 acres on the North Coast of California, 13 miles from the Oregon/California Border. The institution opened in 1989 to accommodate a need for a growing population of maximum security inmates. Currently, in its 24th year of operation, PBSP operates with a budget in excess of $190 million.

CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) - Visitation Guide
CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) - Inmate Packages
CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) - Parole Information

Inmate Locator

CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) is a facility in the California Department of Corrections. The DOC publishes the names of their current inmates and identifies which of their locations the inmate is being held. Your search should start with the first DOC locator to see if your loved one is there. Begin with the first three letters of the offender's first and last name, it does not have to be spelled exactly.

The second box is the InmateAid Inmate Search. This database of inmates is user-generated content for the purpose of accessing and utilizing any or all of the InmateAid services. If you need our assistance creating your own inmate profile to keep in touch, email us at aid@inmateaid.com and we will assist you in locating your inmate.

As a last resort, you might have to pay for that information if we do not have it. The Arrest Record Search will cost you a small amount, but their data is the freshest available and for that reason, they charge to access it.

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Visitation Information

Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) - Visiting Hours

Saturdays, Sundays, and Designated Holidays* from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
* New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
NOTE: These holidays are visiting days, regardless of the day of the week

For information relative to PBSP visiting, or to make an appointment to visit an inmate in the SHU, contact our Institutional Visiting Staff at (707) 465-1000 Extension 5425.

Visiting Assistance:

A CDCR funded Visitor Center is at the institution operated by a community-based organization under contract to CDCR. The Visitor Center provides visiting assistance to family members and friends including a sheltered place to wait before and after visits, transportation to and from local transit terminals, childcare, clothing appropriate for visits on loan, and information about local resources, visiting rules and regulations.

Local Inmate Family Councils (IFC's) are a gathering of family and friends of the incarcerated who meet regularly with Wardens to support visiting since keeping strong family connections with loved ones is a powerful rehabilitative tool. These IFC's promote visiting by clarifying rules and regulations as well as discussing health, education, vocational training, packages, books, and related issues.

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Facility Type

The California Department of Corrections is responsible for the operation of CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) where they supervise adults convicted of a state crime and then sentenced to a commitment period by the County or Circuit Judge. The penalty phase of the commitment is the length of the sentence imposed and what type of facility they will spend their time in. Once the inmate is taken into custody there is an orientation period where the offender is evaluated medically and psychologically. The results of their findings will have everything to do with the level of custody the prisoner will be incarcerated.

State prison is also referred to as a correctional facility, penitentiary or detention center and is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Convicted criminals are sent to prison as punishment and must follow very strict rules of conduct and order or they are held to additional punishment like loss of privileges or isolation. The address is 5950 Lake Earl Dr, Crescent City, CA located in Del Norte County.

There is a fundamental difference between jail and prison. It has everything to do with the length of stay for inmates; jail is short-term and prison is long-term. Jail is most commonly used within a criminal justice system for people charged with crimes who must be imprisoned until their trial, or those pleading or being found guilty of crimes at trial may be sentenced to a specified short period of imprisonment. Jails are usually run by local law enforcement county sheriff and/or local government police agencies.

Because prisons are designed for long-term incarceration, they are better developed for the living needs of their populations. State prison offers the inmate a more regular, routine life, the wider range of programs, better facilities and generally better food. The DOC has a bevy of disciplines for which an offender may be classified, they are Reception Centers, High Security (Males), General Population (Males), and Female Offenders.

State prison is very much like a town inside a town. There is a mayor (the warden - call 707-465-1000 for information), a store (the commissary), housing (cells), medical care (infirmary), library (law, education and lending), civic organizations (clubs), worship (chapel), a park (the recreation yard), a cafeteria (chow hall), police (correctional staff), a jail (disciplinary segregation unit, the SHU, the hole), laws (administrative rules), judges (hearings officers), and the inmates all have a job that keeps the institution operational.

There is no privacy in prison - inmates dress, shower, and use the bathroom in the company of other inmates.  Inmates are required to make their bunks and keep their personal possessions neat; All inmates wear identical clothing and must carry their identification card with them at all times.; Most possessions allowed must be purchased from the canteen; Meal times are assigned and inmates have a short time to eat and depart the chow hall, there are no seconds; Inmates are subject to searches of their person and/or cell at any time; All movements of inmates from one area to another are tightly choreographed, monitored and supervised to avaid any incidents between location changes.

Custody/Security Level

State maximum facilities are high-security institutions designed primarily to house violent offenders with longer sentences, and a history of violence and creating problems for the staff. High-security facilities are also referred to as penitentiaries. These prisons are usually behind heavy-duty perimeters, including high, thick walls and reinforced fences. There are cameras situated throughout the buildings for close monitoring of inmate actions. Inmates secured in high-security facilities are not allowed to work out in the field in any community programs.

Housing consists of single and double cells with very limited movement. The cells are self-contained built for 23 hours per day detainment, one-hour for recreation and fresh air. All perimeters are triple-fenced with extensive electronic surveillance. They have no opportunity to socialize with other inmates. They are considered to be the most dangerous of all the incarcerated population.

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How To Send Things

There are strict procedures for everything related to "sending things to an inmate" in a State - maximum facility. This includes sending money for commissary packages, sending mail like letters with photos, magazine subscriptions, buying phone time, postcards and greeting cards, and even distance learning courses (get your degree, you've got a lot of extra time). You also need to know about visitation, what are the hours and rules.

All of the information you could ever need to know is below, patiently scroll the page and get as much information about CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) that you'd ever want to know. If there is anything that you were looking for, but don't see, please email us at aid@inmateaid.com.

How To Send Money:

How to Send an Inmate Money in California

These are general guidelines for sending money to an inmate's commissary account. Inmates need money to access several privileges like weekly shopping at the commissary, making phone calls, using the email service where offered, using the electronic tablets where offered and paying their co-pay when needing the medical or dental services.

What is a Commissary?

A commissary is a store within the correctional institution. Commissary day is usually held once a week and can only be enjoyed if the inmate has funds in their commissary account. An inmate's commissary account is like a bank account within the prison. If the inmate has a job, their paycheck is deposited into this account, too.

The Commissary sells various products that the inmates may purchase if they have money on their books. The commissary sells clothing, shoes, snacks and food, as well as hygienic products like soap, shampoo, and shavers. The commissary might also sell entertainment-related products like books, magazines, televisions, radios, playing cards, headphones, MP3 players, electronic tablets like an iPad (no internet access), songs and educational programming.

How you send money to an inmate?

Sending money to an inmate varies from state to state, depending if it is county, state or federal, their ways of accepting money for inmates’ changes by the money transfer company they’ve contracted with.

Federal Prisons and some state-level prisons have centralized banking systems which means that you do not need to know where they are specifically, just that they are in the state systems of for instance the California, Texas, Florida DOC or the FBOP to name a few.

Some facilities will allow you to deposit cash through the lobby window stand-alone kiosk in the lobby or visitation room. Most facilities will also accept a postal money order mailed to the institution’s inmate mailing address made payable to the full inmate’s name.

Electronic banking allows friends and family members to send the funds online, and correctional departments are starting to favor this method because it is less work for staff and more accurate/easier to keep track of, as well as being more convenient.

Regardless of the method of sending funds, there are several key things you will need to know:
• Inmate’s full committed name
• Inmate’s ID number
• Inmate’s location – or a system like the federal BOP

Before sending any funds you should find out what online transfer companies the institution your inmate is incarcerated in uses. You can find this information on our site by navigating to the facilities page click on the Money Transfer button under the address and phone number. Pay close attention to the rules of the facility. Sometimes they will require money senders are on the inmate's visitation list. Some correctional facilities have a deposit limit, like $200-300 at a time, but in federal, there is no limit.

Some of the money transfer firms are MoneyGram, JPay, OffenderConnect, Access Corrections, JailATM, CommissaryDeposit

Who else can access the money you send?

An inmate with fines or restitution will be subject to commissary/trust account garnishment. If the inmate has these financial obligations, they will be extracted from the inmate’s bank account. It may be a percentage or the entire amount depending on the situation. We recommend inmates who are going into their bid contact the counselor and make an arrangement beforehand. If you go in knowing they are taking 20-25% of all deposits is better than have them take it all and you find out in the commissary line when the account is zero.

Why is my inmate asking for more than I normally send?

This is generally a signal that the inmate is doing something they shouldn’t and need money to get them out of or through a situation. It could be gambling, it could be extortion it could be other things you don’t need to know on this forum (for now). Set boundaries with your inmate. Tell them that “this is the amount I can send each month” and that is it. There are no extras beyond the boundary. Also, NEVER send money to the account of another inmate on your inmate’s instruction. This is a sign that something is not right. If the corrections people discover this, and they do more times than not, it will result in some severe disciplinary action to the inmate, and certainly the loss of all privileges.

Who can I call if I suspect something?

We recommend speaking with the counselor or case manager of the facility and use a generic reference in the event that your suspicions are wrong. You needn’t put them in a more difficult position if they are.

How do I send money using MoneyGram?

Inmate Care Packages:

How to Buy Inmate Commissary Care Packages Online

Show your loved one how much you care – order a package today! The facilities usually have a weekly limit of about $100 per inmate, plus processing and tax. The orders do NOT count towards the inmates weekly commissary allowances Deposits can be made online for inmates 24/7 using a credit/debit card

There are also a few services that allow you how to order inmate commissary online. These trusted providers are approved and share revenue with the prisons from the sales to the inmates.

Here is a list of other similar programs prison commissary: Keefe Group, Access Securpak, iCareGifts, Union Supply Direct, Walkenhorst's, CareACell

Inmate Commissary:

What is Inmate Commissary?

Prison commissary (also sometimes referred to as inmate canteen) is a store for inmates housed within a correctional facility. While the very most basics may be provided for by a given correctional department, there are also other important goods/services that Florida prisoners and inmates must buy. For instance, supplies such as supplementary food, female hygiene products, books, writing utensils and a plethora of other things are examples of things that can be purchased as part of an inmate commissary packages for goods.

What is an Inmate trust account?

When you add money to an inmate account, the prison funds are stored on an inmate trust fund. This prison account basically acts as a personal bank account of an inmate. They will use this account to make Inmate Calls, pay for postage to Send Photos from Inmates, send emails from inmates, purchase Items from Commissary, receive wages from jobs, and more.

How To Send Mail:

This is how to send your inmate at CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) letters, photos, postcards, greeting cards and magazines

Incoming and outgoing inmate mail is subject to inspection for the presence of contraband that might threaten the safety, security or well-being of the jail/facility, its staff, and residents. Inmates may receive only metered, unstamped, plain white postcards no larger than 4" x 6" as mail. Writing must be in pencil or blue or black ink. Any other mail will be returned to the sender. If no return address is available, unauthorized mail will be stored in the inmate's locker until the inmate's release.

Inmate mail cannot contain any of the following: Create an immediate threat to jail order by describing the manufacture of weapons, bombs, incendiary devices, or tools for escape that realistically are a danger to jail security; Advocate violence, racial supremacy or ethnic purity; No current inmate-to-inmate mail will be allowed and will be destroyed.

The easiest workaround is to look over the mailing services of InmateAid. We have an automated system for sending your loved one that special message or picture. We send thousands of pieces of mail per month with NO issues with the prisons or jails. The envelopes display the InmateAid logo, the mail room knows for certain that the contents will not be compromising. This trust was established in 2012.

How To Send Greeting Cards and Postcards:

Greeting cards are great for the holidays and birthdays. The ones from the store often have more than just the message because the policies surrounding appropriate content (no nudity or sexually suggestive material no matter how funny), and they cannot have glitter, stickers or anything else that makes the card different from a normal plain old card. Instead of going to the Hallmark store in the mall and looking around for hours - go to our easy to search Greeting Cards service.

It takes literally 45 seconds and it's very affordable for what you're getting (and what they are getting, too!). Select from 100s of birthday, anniversary and every holiday you can think of, and VERY easy to send from your phone on InmateAid:

Don't forget Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Father's Day, New Year's, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Passover, Easter, Kwanzaa or Valentine's Day!

In less than a minute and only $0.99, this act of kindness will be worth a million to your inmate. If you have a picture or two and don't want to write a long letter. Type out a little love in the message box and send your latest selfie... only 99 cents!

Don't wait until the moment has passed, it's easy and convenient to let them know you're thinking of them at every moment.

How To Send magazines and Books:

Send magazines to CDCR - Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) at 5950 Lake Earl Dr, Crescent City, CA

Send the best magazines and books to your Inmate in jail or prison, it's the gift that keeps on giving all year round, There is nothing more exciting to an inmate (besides their release date) than getting their favorite magazine every month at mail call.

Magazines and books must come directly from the publisher. You are not allowed to send single magazines in an envelope. They need to come directly from the publisher with your inmate's name affixed to the address label. Magazine subscriptions are easy to set up, it takes literally 2 minutes.

You know when you go into the grocery and browse the new magazines on display? You see hundreds. Inside they place a little card that if you fill it out and send it in with your inmate's name, ID number and facility address - you drop it in the mail and in 8-12 weeks your inmate gets an issue every month for a whole year. Thankfully, there is an easier way, just CLICK here and browse yourself. Select a title or two and add your inmate's name to the order. It's fast, it's reliable and it's at a discounted rate for your convenience.

How To Save Money on Inmate Calls

The prison phone companies have a monopoly at the facility they have a contract with. Profits are shared so there is no incentive for their representatives to show you how to save money. They post their rates and in almost every case, there are at least two pricing tiers. Depending on where you are and where your inmate is, the type of phone number you use will make all the difference.

In federal prison, the answer is simply that a new local number will change your inmate's call rate from $.21 per minute to only $.06 per minute. Fed gives you only 300 minutes per month, the local line service is only $8.95, no hidden fees or bundling of other unwanted service charges

For the other facilities that are not federal, it used to be that a local number was the answer. Now, its market intelligence and InmateAid has made it their business to know what the best deal is in every scenario. And we can tell you that in 30% of the cases, we cannot save you a penny - and neither can anyone else. But we will give you a refund if we can't save you money.

For more specific information on inmate calls, you will want to navigate to the facility your inmate is incarcerated in through our site by going to Prison Directory and following the links to the Discount Telephone Service - get an honest estimate before you buy.

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.

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