High Desert State Prison (HDSP)

Contact & Visiting Information

Main Phone: (530) 251-5100

Physical Address:

  • 475-750 Rice Canyon Rd., Susanville, CA 96127

Mailing Addresses:

  • All Staff: P.O. Box 750, Susanville, CA 96127-0750
  • Inmate Mailing: P.O. Box 3030, Susanville, CA 96127-3030
  • Inmate Trust: P.O. Box 270-249, Susanville, CA 96127

Visiting Hours and Directions

General Population

Saturdays, Sundays, Designated Holidays* from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Processing hours from 8:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.

Administrative Segregation

(by advance appointment only)

Saturdays, Sundays, Designated Holidays* from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Processing hours from 8:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.
* New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas

For additional visiting information, please call the Visitor Processing Center at (530) 251-5100, ext. 5708.

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.

General Directions:

High Desert State Prison is located 210 miles North of Sacramento, 298 miles North East of San Francisco. It is next to California Correctional Center. For additional information, visit this link to customize your driving directions.

Statewide Inmate Family Council Message:

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. For more information on connecting with a local IFC, please visit the Statewide IFC website.

About High Desert State Prison

Aerial  of High Desert State PrisonAerial photo. Click image for larger view.

Mission Statement

High Desert State Prison protects the public by providing humane and safe supervision of offenders. We give offenders quality health care through meaningful encounters with licensed medical, dental, and mental health professionals, and aspire to improve patient satisfaction. We offer our offender’s tools to effect change of culture, and inspire them to self-rehabilitate by facilitating educational opportunities, re-entry services, recreational activities, and leisure time activity group programs to reduce recidivism.

Vision Statement

Create a smart and healthy atmosphere for employees to work in, for offenders to safely serve their sentences as they gain a skill-set to reintegrate successfully back into society, and promote positive change in behavior while incarcerated.  We commit to provide employees with proper training, tools, and equipment; develop ideas and collaboration between all High Desert State Prison departments and outside stakeholders.  Our goal is to expose our offenders to as many rehabilitative services they want to avail themselves to; as we recognize many of today’s offenders will be tomorrow’s neighbor.  Affect communities across the State of California through progressive thinking from within our secured perimeter.


Historical Notes

In early 1990, the CDC initiated discussions for a new prison in Lassen County on the grounds of the California Correctional Center (CCC). This location took advantage of existing state property and the ability to share operations with an existing prison.

Construction of the new prison began on July 14, 1993, with a budget of $240 million. In just 24 months the new prison became a dominant part of the surrounding landscape. The construction of the prison consumed 71,985 yards of concrete, 20,000 tons of steel, 364 miles of electrical wire and 7 miles of chain link fencing, combined with the multitude of other required construction materials necessary in the completion of this modern prison complex.

Named High Desert State Prison by the Lassen County Board of Supervisors, the prison is located approximately eight miles east of the town of Susanville, or about a 1 hour 30 minute drive northwest of Reno, Nevada.

Warden Spearman

About the Warden

M. Eliot Spearman, Warden at High Desert State Prison

He served as the Warden at the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) in Soledad from July 2012 to January 2016.  In January 2016 Spearman lateral transferred to High Desert State Prison as the Warden.  Spearman served as the Chief Deputy Administrator from May 2011 to July 2012 at the CTF.  Spearman served in multiple classifications at Pleasant Valley State Prison from 1994 to 2011, including Correctional Administrator, Facility Captain, CI, Correctional Lieutenant, Sergeant, and Officer.  He worked as a Correctional Officer at Mule Creek State Prison from 1987 to 1994.  Spearman enjoys the outdoor activities Lassen County has to offer.  Spearman earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Criminology from California State University – Fresno.