Institutional Roadmap to Reopening – February 16, 2022


This document provides a revision to the Roadmap to Reopening institutional programs, services, and activities within the California Department of Corrections Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) after a COVID-related modified program.

The Roadmap provides a general guideline, allowing hiring authorities and their teams to determine specifics that meet the operational and safety needs, within the phased guidelines, of their institution’s unique circumstances and how best to apply those specifics.

The CDCR-CCHCS Roadmap to Reopening takes into consideration the recommended guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, and other stakeholders.

Movement between the phases will be determined jointly by the Warden and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will be reflected on the Roadmap SharePoint. Movement between phases may apply to individual facilities or, based on design, an entire institution.

In each phase, staff shall ensure COVID-19 precautionary and infection control measures are adhered to. These measures include complying with physical distancing, enforcing facial coverings, handwashing, encouraging vaccination, testing compliance, and frequent disinfecting of spaces and activity items between uses.

Outbreak Phase


  • An outbreak is defined as three or more related cases of COVID-19 among incarcerated persons (IP) within the past 14 days.[1]
  • During the Outbreak Phase, operations, programs, and services will be restricted to minimize the risk for ongoing COVID transmission.
  • Each facility within an institution can be considered separately, or an institution can be considered a single facility if the geographic layout does not allow for feasible separation of IP and/or staff.
  • Outbreak response testing must continue throughout the Outbreak Phase. If not all IP consent to testing, the Warden and CEO shall consult with the Regional Health Care Executive (RHCE), Associate Director (AD), and CCHCS Public Health to determine if response testing has been adequate to transition from Outbreak Phase to Open Phase.
  • Any quarantine that extends past 21 days shall require consultation with the RHCE, AD, and CCHCS Public Health to determine why programming has not resumed.
  • To move from Outbreak Phase to Open Phase, the facility must have had no IP outbreak cases for at least 14 days.

General Provisions for Institutional Operations, Programs, and Health Care Services during Outbreak Phase:

  • Closed to in-person and family visiting, volunteers, and activities involving outside groups.
  • Video visiting is not allowed for isolation and quarantine housing units.
  • Closed to media access, film requests, and stakeholder tours.
  • Outside vendors, non-essential contractors, or non-employees are not permitted, other than those who are essential for supplying needed goods. Essential vendors, contractors, and non-employees include:
  • Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment program providers, including Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors, are essential contractors.
  • California Department of Veterans Affairs representatives are essential.
  • Design and construction activities performed by consultants, general contractors, and the Inmate/Ward Labor (IWL) program are considered essential and will continue during this phase.
  • IP workforce limited to essential functions.
  • Yard/provision of meals is one housing unit at a time.
  • Showers and phone calls are allowed with cleaning in between uses.
  • Dayroom access within the same living quarters.
  • Sports equipment may be issued if used only by IP who live within the same unit; equipment is to be cleaned after use.
  • Recreational activities (card games, board games, etc.) may be issued to IP who live within the same unit, with disinfection of the items between uses.
  • Students are eligible to receive independent study packets.
  • Students shall be administered educational assessments, with social distancing.
  • Allow Mental Health referrals and routine appointments, which may be done cell front.
  • Mental Health and Nursing may provide in-cell activities and packet programming.
  • Law library: Paging only. Recreational reading books made available to IP in housing units; access to assistive devices provided in libraries or housing units, as resources are available.
  • The following programs are closed: Offender Mentor Certification Program, in-person college, and Innovative Grants Program/Arts in Corrections/Volunteer programs.
  • Congregate/Group religious activities are not permitted.
  • Medication distribution shall be determined jointly by the CEO and Warden.
  • Health Care may be limited to emergent and urgent/high priority care.

Open Phase


  • To move to Open Phase, the facility must have no new IP outbreak cases for 14 days, as noted above.
  • To the extent that facilities are in different phases, IP from different facilities should not be permitted to program together unless jointly approved by Warden and CEO. 
  • If the facility experiences a COVID outbreak among IP, the facility shall revert to Outbreak Phase restrictions.

General Provisions for Institutional Operations, Programs, and Health Care Services: