Main Phone: (760) 337-7900
Physical Address: 2302 Brown Road, Imperial, CA 92251 (Directions)
Learn about contacting, visiting, and corresponding with inmates and juveniles who are in our institutions.
CDCR's Division of Rehabilitative Programs offers a wide range of programs for inmates. Check to see which programs are offered at this institution.
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 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 also has an Institutional Hearing Program (IHP) which prepares inmates who are illegal immigrants for release back to their native lands through the US Immigration and Naturalization Services.
The institution, originally referred to as California State Prison-Imperial South, was renamed Centinela State Prison by the Imperial County Board of Supervisors.
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.
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.
Kevin Reilly has been CEO at CEN since 2017. He was CEO of both CEN and Calipatria State Prison from 2012 through 2017. He has a doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine and a master’s degree in Preventive Medicine. He has more than 25 years of diversified experience, including clinical practice and subsequent leadership roles at the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Health Care Services, as well as CCHCS Telemedicine Services and CCHCS Laboratory Services.
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.