CDCR Time Capsule

Photo Timeline: CSP‑Corcoran

A sign for Corcoran Prison features drawings of a prison tower and buildings.
California State Prison, Corcoran, was activated in 1988.

Over 3 decades of public safety

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR
Office of Public and Employee Communications

During the 1980s and ’90s, California expanded the prison system. The original 12 prisons were supplemented with new facilities ranging from Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City to R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. Today, CDCR operates 35 adult institutions. One of those newer facilities is California State Prison, Corcoran. The men’s facility was activated in 1988 after two years of planning and another two years of construction.

1980s: From drawing board to activation

“Thirty-six minimum-security men inmates were bused to the new Corcoran State Prison which will have 2,900 inmates ranging from minimum to maximum security when it reaches capacity,” reported the Associated Press, Feb. 23, 1988.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Superintendent Bernie Aispuro said at the time, regarding the arrival of the first inmates.

Men line up with shovels.
The department’s official newsletter, Correctionews, published a photo of the Sept. 16, 1986, groundbreaking ceremony. From left are Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary N.A. Chaderjian, Undersecretary Rod Blonien, Director Daniel J. McCarthy, Project Manager Bernie Aispuro, Assemblyman Jim Costa and local officials. More than 200 people turned out to show their support.


Learn more about CSP-Corcoran