San Quentin State Prison (SQ)

Main Phone:(415) 454-1460

Physical Address: Main Street, San Quentin, CA 94964 (Directions)

  • Inmate Mail: San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin, CA 94974
    (make sure to include Inmate's Name and CDCR number as well as last known housing)
  • PIA: Furniture manufacturing, mattress manufacturing, Code 7370, CTE Construction Labor, Health Facility Maintenance
  • Vocational: Machine Shop, Plumbing, Computer Literacy, Electronics, Building Maintenance
  • Academic: Adult Basic Education, High School/GED, Transitions Pre-Release, Literacy Program, Distance Education for Associate and Bachelor Degree Programs
  • Other: Youth Diversion, Religious, Arts in Corrections, Victim Awareness, Drug & Alcohol Treatment/Diversion, Bicycle repair, Marin Shakespeare, Prison University Project, Youth Offender Program, Anger Management, Pen Pals, Yoga, Gardening, Environmental Conscientiousness; SQ News; SQ Radio and TV; Cultural Awareness, Veteran’s Programs, Reentry, Health Awareness

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 inmates pre-release preparation; and conduct Parenting and Creative Conflict Resolution classes for inmates. Please call the Institution to contact the Family Reunification Liaison.

Details

San Quentin State Prison is California’s oldest and best known correctional institution, which was established on the site currently known as Point San Quentin, in July of 1852, as an answer to the rampant lawlessness in California at the time. During its construction, inmates slept on the prison ship, the Waban, at night and labored to build the new prison during the day. San Quentin housed both male and female inmates until 1933 when the women’s prison at Tehachapi was built. The prison rests overlooking the bay on 432 acres, and is located just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the county of Marin. The walled prison is made up of four (4) large cell blocks (West, South, North, and East Block), one (1) maximum security cell block (the Adjustment Center), Central Health Care Service Building, a medium security dorm setting and a minimum security firehouse. The state's only gas chamber and death row for all male condemned inmates are located at San Quentin.

This facility provides both outpatient and inpatient mental health services for patients with a serious mental disorder. The licensed Psychiatric Inpatient Program at this facility is designed to provide more intensive treatment for patients who cannot function adequately or stabilize in an outpatient program.

History

The area that San Quentin State Prison sits on was originally named, “Puenta de Quentin” after the Native American Chief Quentin (“Kaynteen”). The actual spelling and pronunciation has been obscured in history. However, a 1834 Spanish land grant clearly establishes the name “Puenta de Quentin”. The U.S. Coast Survey Team of 1850 named the site, Point San Quentin.

San Quentin State Prison is California’s oldest correctional institution. It was built in July 1852 on the site known as Point San Quentin, Marin County. The 20 acres of land was purchased for $10.000.

San Quentin was initially established to replace a prison ship known as the Waban. There are no historical proof of facts, but folklore has it that on July 14, 1852, (Bastille Day {French Revolution}) the Waban arrived off shore with 40 to 50 convicts. San Quentin State Prison has been known as the “Bastille by the Bay”.

By October 12, 1852, a contract to build the first cell block had been negotiated.

Warden Davis

Ronald Davis has been warden or acting warden at San Quentin State Prison since 2014.

Davis served as warden at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla from 2012 to 2014 and was chief deputy warden at Avenal State Prison from 2010 to 2012.

He served in several positions at California State Prison, Corcoran, from 2006 to 2010, including correctional administrator, facility captain and correctional captain. Davis was a business manager and correctional lieutenant at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran, from 2002 to 2006. He served in several positions at Salinas Valley State Prison from 1996 to 2002, including lieutenant, sergeant and correctional officer and was a correctional officer at the California Correctional Training Facility, Soledad from 1994 to 1996.

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.