Division of Rehabilitative Programs

Step Down Program (SDP)

The SDP is an incentive-based, multi-step process that affords offenders placed in a Security Housing Unit (SHU) due to validations and/or documented Security Threat Group (STG) behaviors, the opportunity to earn enhanced privileges and to demonstrate the ability to refrain from STG behavior, with the ultimate goal of release from the SHU.

Those who participate in the Step Down Program may be eligible for the following programming:

  • Interactive journaling
  • Group facilitation
  • Voluntary Education Program (VEP)
  • Elective programming
  • Pro-social videos

This prison-based program is part of the Office of Offender Services – In-Prison Programs.

Locations Available:

California Correctional Institution (CCI), California Institution for Women (CIW), California State Prison, Corcoran (COR), Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP), and California State Prison, Sacramento (SAC).


Inmates currently serving a SHU term due to their STG affiliation shall be afforded a Departmental Review Board (DRB) hearing to determine the need for continued retention in SHU and placement in the SDP. Newly validated STG affiliates will be placed into the SDP based upon level of affiliation and demonstrated involvement in STG activities.

Download fact sheet about program