California State Prison, Centinela (CEN)

Contact & Visiting Information

Main Phone: (760) 337-7900

Physical Address:

  • 2302 Brown Road, Imperial, CA 92251

Mailing Addresses:

  • 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 92251-921
    • Facility D, P.O. Box 931, Imperial, CA 92251-0931

Visiting Hours:

Saturdays, Sundays and Designated Holidays* from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
* New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas

Centinela is participating in the VPASS visiting appointment scheduling program. VPASS is an on-line program used to schedule appointments for visitor processing (contact visits only). New appointment times for CEN become available each Monday and you may schedule a visit two weeks in advance. For additional information about the VPASS program go to CDCR Visitation. In the event the VPASS appointments are full CEN does accommodate non-appointments with priority visitor processing to individuals with VPASS appointments.

Visitors who are unable to schedule an appointment will be processed as a walk-up visitor beginning at 8:15 a.m. based on space availability in the Processing Center.

ASU and non-contact visiting appointments may be scheduled Monday through Friday during normal business hours.

Visiting Assistance:

A CDCR funded Visitor Center is at the institution operated by a community-based organization under contract to CDCR. The Visitor Center provides visiting assistance to family members and friends including a sheltered place to wait before and after visits, transportation to and from local transit terminals, childcare, clothing appropriate for visits on loan, and information about local resources, visiting rules and regulations.

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About California State Prison, Centinela

Aerial of Centinela State PrisonAerial photo. Click image for larger view.

The mission of Centinela State Prison is to provide long term confinement to men who have been convicted of felonious crimes and remanded to the State of California for incarceration   Inmate productivity and self-improvement are considered integral components to Centinela's overall objective to reduce recidivism among those inmates incarcerated at our institution.

Historical Notes

The institution, originally referred to as California State Prison-Imperial South, was renamed Centinela State Prison by the Imperial County Board of Supervisors.

photograph of Mount Signal / El Centinela
Mount Signal / El Centinela (c) Photograph by Anastasia Vellas

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.

Warden (A) Madden

About the Warden

Raymond Madden was appointed warden at Centinela State Prison in February 2016, where he has been acting warden since 2014 and has served in several positions since 2010, including chief deputy warden and associate warden.

Madden served in several positions at Calipatria State Prison from 1991 to 2010, including captain, lieutenant, sergeant and correctional officer. He was a correctional officer at Pelican Bay State Prison from 1990 to 1991 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1983 to 1987. This position does not require Senate confirmation.