Puerta La Cruz Conservation Camp #14
32363 Highway 79, Warner Springs, California 92086
PH: (760) 782-3547
- Lieutenant Keith Radey, Camp Commander
- Sergeant Scott Cole, Assistant Camp Commander
- Joe Ranalli, Cal Fire Division Chief
Facts and figures
Total Staff (CDCR) 2014: 10
Total Staffing (CAL-FIRE/LAC) 2014: 13
Total # Inmates (2014): 120
The PLC Conservation Camp inmates make rain sticks and design plaques, clocks and wooden signs in hobby craft.
Community service projects
PLC Conservation Camp crews supervised by CAL Fire staff provide extensive conservation and project work in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Palomar County Park, Cal Trans, City of San Diego, City of Poway, La Jolla Indian Reservation, Naval Training base SERE, San Diego University, United States Forest Service, Warner Springs School District, and San Diego Wild Animal Park. These are just a few of the on-going projects that PLC is involved with as well as fire defense year around and sand bagging at local fire stations in the San Diego County during the wet season to help prevent flood damage.
The Puerta La Cruz (PLC) Conservation Camp CC #14 began operations in 1957 with male inmates, CDCR staff, and CAL Fire employees. The camp was converted in May of 1986 to an all-female inmate camp. The camp remained under administrative supervision of the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) until October 2005, when the California Institution for Women (CIW) took over the operation of Puerta La Cruz, Rainbow, and the Malibu Conservation Camps.
The primary mission of the camp is to provide inmate fire crews for fire suppression principally in San Diego, Imperial and Riverside Counties, but has been assigned to numerous off-reservation assignments throughout the state. In addition to fire suppression, inmate hand crews provide a work force for conservation projects and community service.
A Mobile Kitchen Unit (MKU) with inmate cooks and support workers is supervised by both CDCR and CAL Fire staff is also a part of PLC Camp. The MKU provides meals to the fire fighters at an incident base camp in remote locations. CIW inmates also assist by providing workers under the supervision of CDCR Fire Captains.
During their leisure time, inmates may participate in hobby craft, softball, basketball, horseshoes, reading or other activities. Spiritual and self-help services such as Catholic Services, Calvary Chapel, Jewish Services, West Angeles Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are provided by community volunteers. Puerta La Cruz also facilitates GED preparation, college courses facilitated by Palo Verde College and pre-release classes. Inmates quickly learn that life at a conservation camp is more desirable than serving time behind the walls of a prison. Their work activities and efforts during emergencies build a strong work ethic, and a feeling of self-worth. These activities prepare the inmates for a successful integration back into their communities upon release.