COVID-19 Response

COVID‑19 mandatory 15‑day modified program

January 6, 2022

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) priority is to protect the health and well-being of our staff and the incarcerated population, as well as providing a safe environment. The purpose of this memorandum is to announce measures intended to reduce staff and population exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by minimizing population movement throughout the State.

Effective Sunday, January 9, 2022, all institutions shall implement a mandatory 15-day modified program. Each institution shall be responsible for either creating or amending their current Program Status Report taking all of the following information into consideration:

  • The entire institution will be affected, except for Restricted Housing Units, Correctional Treatment Centers, and Psychiatric Inpatient Programs, etc.
  • Movement will be via escort – maintain increased physical distancing unless security would dictate otherwise (e.g. Administrative Segregation Unit placement). Movement will be in such a fashion as to not mix incarcerated people from one housing unit with another housing unit
  • Feeding – Cell feeding is preferred; however, if due to the operational design of your facilities, if you elect to feed in the dining halls it shall be as follows: one housing unit at a time, reduced occupancy, maintaining physical distancing, and disinfecting tables and high-touch areas between each use
  • Ducats – priority only
  • Visiting – no contact or non-contact
  • Video-Visiting – only
  • Family Visiting – none
  • Legal visits – urgent/emergency, via telephone or video conference where available. Board of Parole Hearings(BPH) will continue with attorney contacts and psychological assessments as required (UPDATED January 7, 2022: All requirements for BPH-appointed attorneys to consult with their clients in person are suspended until March 31. All attorneys and interpreters will attend hearings by videoconference, unless they choose to attend in-person (subject to applicable visitation protocols established by the prison where the person is housed). As such, the requirement that all Board-appointed attorneys attend hearings in person with their client is suspended through March 31, 2022.
  • Workers – critical and porters. All workers shall use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and wear an N-95 at all times.
    • California -Prison Industry Authority essential enterprises
    • Inmate Ward Labor or other mission critical, fire, life, safety construction projects shall continue, i.e., roofing projects, health care areas, HVAC, water, etc.
  • Showers – maintain distancing and disinfect between each use
  • Health care services – limited to essential clinical services including urgent/emergent and priority ducats.
  • Request for Health Care Services Forms, CDCR-Form 7362, will be distributed and picked up in the housing units by health care staff when access to the 7362 box is restricted by movement.
  • Medication(s) distribution – Wardens, please work with your Chief Executive Officers and Chief Nurse Executives to establish a process. When applicable, conduct podium pass within the unit. If movement to the yard, canteen, and/or feeding in the dining halls continues, medication pass shall be maintained at the medication windows, maintaining physical distancing and not mixing incarcerated people from different housing units.
  • Law Library – PLU or paging option while maintaining physical distancing in the library
  • Dayroom – maintain reduced occupancy to ensure increased physical distancing
  • Recreation – One housing unit/dorm at a time. Do not mix incarcerated people from different units.
  • Canteen is permitted –  shall be conducted in a manner to ensure physical distancing. If unable to accommodate physical distancing, facilitate delivery method
  • Packages are permitted
  • Phone calls are permitted – ensure physical distancing and disinfect between each use
  • Religious programs shall be cell-front, or deliver materials to the housing unit/dorm/cells
  • Inmate Activity Groups – No in-person groups. Community Based Organization or volunteer program materials to be provided either cell-front or to the dorm
  • Educational, Vocational and Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment ISUDT – no in-person classes. Educational materials to be provided either cell front, or to the dorm
  • Population transfer and movement
    • Only essential moves approved via the Movement Matrix and via Population Management Unit in conjunction with Health Care Population Oversight Program

During this time, Community Resources Managers, Education Department staff, and others designated by the Warden shall facilitate the delivery of increased games, program materials, reading books, or other items to the housing units. Housing unit/dorm officers and supervisors are expected to conduct additional rounds and spot checks of incarcerated people in an effort to reduce self-harm and/or suicide attempts.

All institutions will be required to provide a copy of their Program Status Report, Part-A, to their respective Associate Director each day for this 15-day period. Institutions are expected to brief staff and Inmate Advisory Councils on this directive as this modified program is currently only slated to be in effect for 15-days, through January 23, 2022, or upon further direction.

Thank you for your continued efforts in managing this COVID-19 event. If you have any additional questions, please contact your respective Associate Director or Regional Health Care Executive.