CDCR phases out segregated death row units

In compliance with voter-approved Proposition 66, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced it is phasing out its segregated death row units at San Quentin Rehabilitation Center and the Central California Women’s Facility.

Proposition 66 requires death-sentenced individuals to work to pay restitution to their victims as they serve their sentences in designated prisons that provide the necessary level of security.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Jeffrey Macomber.

“This transfer enables death-sentenced people to pay court-ordered restitution through work programs. Participants are placed in institutions with an electrified secured perimeter while still integrating with the general population,” said Secretary Jeffrey Macomber.

Starting Feb. 26, 2024, CDCR began transferring incarcerated individuals with condemned sentences to appropriate housing based on individual case factors. The Condemned Inmate Transfer Program permanent regulations were approved on Jan. 31, 2024, by the California Office of Administrative Law.

SQRC transfers are being conducted in phases to 24 institutions within CDCR’s larger system. There have been 70 CITP participants transferred from SQRC since February. In addition, the 20 condemned individuals at CCWF have been relocated to the general population.

There are 644 people with condemned sentences within CDCR
(Condemned Inmate List – Capital Punishment)

The regulations expand the previous Condemned Inmate Transfer Pilot Program. As part of the pilot, 104 death-sentenced people from SQRC were transferred to eight other institutions between Jan. 2020 and Jan. 2022.

CDCR filed its proposed regulations for the CITP through a Rulemaking Process that meets the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. The process included public comment. The Department’s summary responses to all public comments are included in the Final Statement of Reasons that was submitted to OAL.

CITP follows the national trend of assigning incarcerated individuals to different security levels based on their behavior and the risk they pose to others. It is consistent with CDCR’s move toward a behavior-based system where incarcerated people are housed according to their individual case factors. Each CITP case is thoroughly reviewed by the Institution Classification Committee before a transfer location is recommended.

As per regulations, CITP participants will be transferred to an institution with at least a Level II security level and a lethal electrified fence. CITP participants will be designated as “Close Custody” for a minimum of five years. Close Custody provides the highest security level for condemned population while still allowing them to be integrated into the general population.

Mainstreaming death-sentenced individuals is not resentencing. CDCR does not have the authority to resentence incarcerated people.

The CDCR Office of Victim and Survivor Rights Services, in collaboration with SQRC and CCWF, is initiating a comprehensive outreach effort to registered victims. This communication ensures that registered victims are informed about the initial movements of death-sentenced individuals, fostering transparency and awareness.

See CDCR’s website for more information. Condemned Inmate Transfer Program (CITP) – Capital Punishment.