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Calipatria State Prison

Calipatria State Prison

7018 Blair Rd, Calipatria (CA), 92233, United States

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(760) 348-7000

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Description Calipatria State Prison is a male-only state prison located in the city of Calipatria, in Imperial County, California.FacilitiesAlthough located about from the center of Calipatria, the prison is within the city limits. Called the lowest prison in the Western Hemisphere, it lies 184ft below sea level. As of Fiscal Year 2005/2006, CAL had a total of 1,143 staff and an annual operating budget of $123 million.The facility covers a total of (with the prison on ). As of September 2007, it had a design capacity of 2,308 but a total institution population of 4,180, for an occupancy rate of 181.1 percent. Over 2,000 of its housing units are maximum-security Level IV ("Cells, fenced or walled perimeters, electronic security, more staff and unarmed officers both inside and outside the installation"); the remainder are minimum-security Level I ("Open dormitories without a secure perimeter").HistoryCAL opened in January 1992. A $1.5 million electrified fence, which could cause instantaneous death for escaping inmates and which was the first of its kind among California state prisons, was installed in November 1993. After a number of birds had died by electrocution, an ornithologist was hired to help redesign the fence and eliminate the problem.As of 1995, CAL's problems included "double-celling" (placing two inmates in bunk beds in a cell designed for one), psychological stress, a drastic shortage of work for prisoners, chronic understaffing among prison employees, and gang violence. A May 1995 incident in which five inmates stabbed and assaulted eight officers was described in 1997 as the worst inmate attack on staff in California state prisons in recent years.

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