Centinela State Prison (CEN) - California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (2024)

Main Phone: (760) 337-7900

Physical Address: 2302 Brown Road, Imperial, CA 92251 (Directions)

  • Institution: P.O. Box 731, Imperial, CA 92251-0731
  • Inmates (make sure to include Inmate’s Name and CDCR number):
    • Facility A, P.O. Box 901, Imperial, CA 92251-0901
    • Facility B, P.O. Box 911, Imperial, CA 92251-0911
    • Facility C, P.O. Box 921, Imperial, CA 92251-0921
    • Facility D & E, P.O. Box 931, Imperial, CA 92251-0931

Visiting an incarcerated person:learnhow to visit an incarcerated personat our institutions.

Other Resources:explore, including how to contact or send packages to those incarcerated in our institutions.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT)
  • Long-Term Offender Program (LTOP)
  • Vocational: Electrical, Office Services/Related Technologies (OSRT), Building Maintenance, Small Engine Repair, Auto Body, Auto Mechanics, Electronics, Roofing and Welding.
  • Academic: Adult Basic Education (ABE I, ABE II, ABE III), GED, Voluntary Education Program (VEP), Independent Study and Literacy Lab.
  • Other: Service Crews, Religious programs for all Faiths, Alternatives to Violence Programs, Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous, Creative Conflict Resolution Workshops, Life Without a Crutch Workshops, Cage Your Rage Workshops, Kairos Christian Fellowship, Choice Theory/Internal Empowerment Coaching and TUMI Discipleship Program

DRP Programs
Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment (ISUDT)–Overview
On January 21, 2020, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) implemented ISUDT. ISUDT is a comprehensive and evidence-based cross-divisional program with pathways to treatment through DRP Cognitive Behavioral Interventions (CBI) programs referred to as:

CBI-Intensive Outpatient (Medical Classification T1, SOMS assignment code ISI) 2-hours/day, 5-days/week, 52-weeks completion

CBI-Outpatient (Medical Classification T2, SOMS assignment code ISO) 2-hours/day, 3-days/week, 14-weeks completion

CBI-Life Skills (Medical Classification T3, SOMS assignment code CB2) 2-hours/day, 3-days/week, 29-weeks completion

All participants will be assessed by medical and referred to one of the CBI classes.

Family Liaison Service Specialist
CDCR provides through a contract with a community-based organization an on-site Case Manager as a family reunification liaison for inmates and family members, to assist with an inmates pre-release preparation; and conduct Parenting and Creative Conflict Resolution classes for inmates. Please call the Institution to contact the Family Reunification Liaison.

El Centro is the nearest city to Centinela State Prison, has a desert climate, and is the southernmost desert city below sea level in the continental United States. There are two international border crossings for commercial and noncommercial vehicles. El Centro is just 15 miles from the international industrial complexes in Mexicali, Baja California. The nearby Algodones Dunes, the largest dune field in the U.S. drawing thousands of visitors each year, mainly for off-road driving. The Salton Sea is 30 miles north of El Centro, and for water sport enthusiasts, there the Colorado River an hour to the east. Mexico (the border city of Mexicali, Baja California) is ten miles away and offers big city amenities like museums, a zoo and a sports/convention center.

Centinela State Prison (CEN) - California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (1)
Centinela State Prison (CEN) - California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (2)

Centinela State Prison attempts to achieve inmate productivity and self-improvement by providing legally mandated work and study opportunities for all inmates (AB 1403 – Chapter One Statues of 1982). This goal is accomplished through the development of support services, academic education, vocation instruction, spiritual programs, work assignments, substance abuse programs and the availability of self-help programming.

Centinela State Prison provides for the confinement of General Population, Level I, Level III inmates, Level III sensitive needs and maximum security (Level IV) inmates.

Centinela State Prison was named for Mount Signal, the mountain located on the US Mexico international line once used to watch over the state’s borders to prevent unauthorized passage into the US.Centinela is the Spanish word for “Sentinel” or signal.

  • Institution Statistics (SB601),Operational Performance Measures (COMPSTAT) andInmate Population Reports
Centinela State Prison (CEN) - California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (3)

Fidencio N. Guzman has been the acting Warden at Centinela State Prison since February 2023. He began his CDCR career in July of 1999. He has been assigned to several institutions throughout the state. He has experience working with the incarcerated population at every security level.

Mr. Guzmán reported to Calipatria State Prison in August 1999 where he was assigned to numerous classifications, including Correctional Officer and Correctional Counselor I. In 2006, he promoted to Correctional Sergeant at Centinela State Prison. In 2009, he promoted to Correctional Lieutenant at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, where he held numerous classifications, including Correctional Counselor II, Captain and Associate Warden, where he was responsible for Housing, Central Services and Business Services.

He transferred to CEN 2018 as an Associate Warden, where he managed the Business Services department. In December 2020 he was assigned as acting Chief Deputy Warden and was appointed on November 2, 2021.

In addition to Mr. Guzmán’s knowledge and experience at CDCR, he is a veteran of the United States Army (National Guard) from September 2001 through August 2011, and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In 2004, Mr. Guzmán earn a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Diego State University and an Associate of Arts in Psychology and General Studies from San Diego Mesa Community College.

Mr. Guzmán’s priorities are to support CDCR’s vision and mission, while exemplifying the core values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

John Munger has been the acting Chief Executive Officer at Centinela State Prison since February 2023.

Centinela State Prison (CEN) - California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (4)

He began his career with CDCR in July 2006, when he attended the Basic Correctional Officer Academy.He then reported to Calipatria State Prison (CAL) in November 2006.Mr. Munger served in several capacities while at CAL including Correctional Officer, Correctional Sergeant, Procurements and Services Officer II, Correctional Health Services Administrator I, and Chief Support Executive.He reported to CEN in February 2023, where he is the Chief Executive Officer (A).

Prior to his service in CDCR, Mr. Munger served in the United States Navy and was selected to the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Support Team.Mr. Munger also served in the United States Army where he attended Officer Candidate School, became an Army Officer, and served both stateside and overseas. He separated from military service in 2006.

Local Inmate Family Councils (IFC’s) are a gathering of family and friends of the incarcerated who meet regularly with Wardens to support visiting since keeping strong family connections with loved ones is a powerful rehabilitative tool. These IFC’s promote visiting by clarifying rules and regulations as well as discussing health, education, vocational training, packages, books, and related issues. For more information on connecting with a local IFC, please visit the Statewide IFC website.

Centinela State Prison (CEN) - California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (2024)


What level of prison is Centinela? ›

Centinela State Prison, CA is a maximum -security level state prison in Imperial, Imperial County County, California. With a capacity of 5097 inmates, Centinela State Prison houses low medium custody detainees—those convicted of California State crimes such as robbery, homicide, arson, and assault.

How much does it cost to keep a prisoner in prison in California? ›

In summary

The cost of imprisoning one person in California has increased by more than 90% in the past decade, reaching a record-breaking $132,860 annually, according to state finance documents.

What does 602 mean in prison? ›

The 602 appeals process was enacted as part of California state law for the purpose of giving prisoners a chance to have their grievances resolved by the prison directly.

What does Level 4 mean in prison? ›

Level III – Facilities primarily have a secure perimeter with armed coverage and housing units with cells adjacent to exterior walls. Level IV – Facilities have a secure perimeter with internal and external armed coverage and housing units or cell block housing with cells non-adjacent to exterior walls.

What is a 26 in prison? ›

The gangs themselves are distinguished according to their aims and activities: the 28s are regarded as the senior gang, and are distinguished primarily by their organized system of "wyfies" or coerced hom*osexual partners; the 26s are associated with cunning, obtaining money and other goods by means of fraud and theft; ...

What does C mean in prison? ›

Category C – Category C prisoners cannot be trusted in open conditions but are considered to be prisoners who are unlikely to make a determined escape attempt. Category D – Category D prisoners can be trusted in open conditions.

What does B mean in prison? ›

An A at the end of a man's number indicated second-termer and a B denoted third-termer and so on. An X at the end of a number indicated an out-of-state commitment, serving time in California via the interstate compact agreement. These alpha suffixes were abandoned in the mid-1970s.

What cities are close to Centinela State Prison? ›

El Centro is the nearest city to Centinela State Prison, has a desert climate, and is the southernmost desert city below sea level in the continental United States. There are two international border crossings for commercial and noncommercial vehicles.

When was Centinela State Prison built? ›

CEN opened in 1993 and houses approximately 3,000 incarcerated people. It is located near the town of Imperial in Southern California.

What is the abandoned prison in California? ›

Alcatraz Island is the site of the abandoned federal prison, the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony (mostly western gulls, cormorants, and egrets).

What is level 5 in the prison system? ›

Level Five: High Maximum Security, two-person cell block housing. Controlled movement. High security risk and death row prisoners are housed here. Level 5 is typically reserved for high-risk violent offenders and those that pose a flight risk.

What is the lowest level prison? ›

Minimum-security prisons are the lowest security level within the Federal Bureau of Prisons. They are also called Federal Prison Camps, where many white-collar prisoners are incarcerated.

How many level 4 prisons are in Ohio? ›

ODRC currently maintains three institutions dedicated to Level 4 or greater inmates: SOCF, Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) and Toledo Correctional Institution (TOCI). Although the three institutions house the most troublesome of Ohio's inmates, statistical data indicates that SOCF is inherently more violent than OSP.

What type of prison is Lovelock? ›

Lovelock houses medium-custody general population inmates and close-custody protective segregation inmates, along with a separate unit housing a small number of minimum-custody inmates.

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