Juan “John” F. Salazar, retired Chuckawalla Valley State Prison warden, passed away August 30, 2021. Throughout his decades of service, he worked in a half-dozen institutions.
He began his career as a correctional officer in February 1983 at California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville. In August 1987, he transferred to Mule Creek State Prison as part of the activation team. There, he was instrumental in creating the institution’s Security Squad.
In November 1987, he promoted to correctional sergeant at Sierra Conservation Center. Two years later, he accepted a position as a Correctional Counselor.
He returned to CCC in 1991 as a sergeant, assigned as the Institutional Gang Investigator. Three years later, he promoted to Correctional Counselor II Specialist at Calipatria State Prison. There he served as Litigation Coordinator as well as Assistant Classification and Parole Representative.
In 2001, he promoted to Associate Warden at Centinela and in 2005, he promoted to Chief Deputy Warden.
He was assigned as acting Warden at Chuckawalla in January 2006. In December of that year, he was temporarily assigned as acting Warden at Ironwood State Prison. Three months later, he was back at Chuckwalla. He was appointed Warden in August 2007.
Warden Salazar retired in March 2010. After retirement, he became a real estate agent and broker, started a real estate business and continued being involved in community events.