Mental Health Program (MHP)

The primary function of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR’s) Statewide Mental Health Program (SMHP) is to ensure patients have ready access to mental health services based on their need. Additionally, the SMHP works to ensure that the individual level of functioning of seriously mentally disordered inmates is optimized so their care may be maintained in the least restrictive environment.

As of July 1, 2017, CDCR operates licensed Psychiatric Inpatient Programs (PIP) previously operated by the Department of State Hospitals at Salinas Valley State Prison, California Health Care Facility, and California Medical Facility. These programs are designed to provide more intensive treatment for patients who cannot function adequately or stabilize in an outpatient program or shorter term inpatient program. CDCR continues to operate the PIP programs at California Institution for Women and San Quentin State Prison.

The SMHP operates under a Court Order reached in the Coleman v. Newsom lawsuit filed originally in 1990 as Coleman v. Wilson. In 1997, the parties reached agreement on a plan to address constitutional inadequacies by establishing mental health services, including programs and staffing, at multiple levels of care. The Mental Health Services Delivery System Program Guide provides the policies and procedures that govern delivery of these mental health services.

Our Mission

To provide ethical, professional, and effective mental health care services for individuals remanded to the CDCR.

Our Vision

  • Our services meet or exceed national mental health care standards. We ensure optimal functioning of individuals in our care and promote their successful reintegration into society by using research, evaluation, and assessment to develop and enhance evidence-based treatment strategies. We foster safe and secure environments within the institution and are committed to public safety.
  • We are a competent, well-trained staff, who uphold and live our organizational values to promote interdisciplinary cooperation, employee wellness, effective leadership, humane treatment, and a highly productive workforce.
  • Self-governance, program and service evaluation, assessments, and continuous self-monitoring are used to ensure quality improvement and system-wide, multilevel information sharing and decision making. Our information technology system is state-of- the-art and staffing and space meet evolving operational requirements..
  • We are accredited as an autonomously operating division, cooperating and partnering with external stakeholders to sustain sufficient funding to fulfill our mission and to minimize recidivism by providing continuity of care.