Jobs, Training and Facilities, Unlocking History

Deuel Vocational Institution deactivation in photos

Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) officially deactivated September 30, 2021, bringing an end to nearly 70 years of public service in Tracy.

The last incarcerated people left DVI at the end of July 2021. Since July, staff have prepared the institution for a “warm-shutdown” status.

CDCR retains responsibility to administer and perform the minimal maintenance/upkeep at DVI while under warm shutdown. The closure of a state prison was included in the 2020 multi-year state budget plan.

Through various mitigation measures, the closure resulted in no layoffs and two staff opting for retirement. DVI had an annual budget of $182 million.

CDCR and CCHCS leadership thanked staff for their years of dedication and hard work.

DVI began as California Vocational Institution, temporarily housed in a defunct Lancaster World War II air field. Using available resources, the institution focused rehabilitative efforts on aircraft engine repair and maintenance.

Thanks to legislation authored by state Senator Charles Deuel, the state began using the field, placing an emphasis on vocational training.

“The statutes providing for this facility authorized the Department of Corrections to establish the institution on a temporary basis until buildings and facilities for a permanent physical plant are constructed and ready for occupancy,” according to a report addressed to Governor Warren. “A temporary site was located at the former War Eagle Field six miles west of Lancaster, and construction and renovation work necessary to equip the area for the arrival of inmates began Nov. 1, 1945. The first inmates arrived on March 18, 1946.”

CDCR’s Office of Public and Employee Communications visited DVI in early September.

Photos of Deuel Vocational Institution

Photos by Clarissa Resultan, OPEC TV Specialist, and Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor:

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