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San Quentin Prison in California receives advisory council report for rehabilitation transformation

06 Jan 2024, Jail News, by

The San Quentin Transformation Advisory Council’s report proposes measures to reshape San Quentin Prison into a premier rehabilitation center.

San Quentin Prison in California receives advisory council report for rehabilitation transformation - Inmate Lookup

In a significant step towards enhancing public safety in the state, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has announced that the San Quentin Transformation Advisory Council has submitted an independent report outlining measures to reshape San Quentin Prison into a premier rehabilitation center.

With 11 sections and over three dozen independent recommendations, the independent report calls for the expansion of rehabilitation and reentry plans, optimization of job training programs and education, and the transformation of correctional officer training to nurture a more rehabilitative culture.

The Advisory Council proposes various recommendations, including reducing the size of the incarcerated population to enhance programming and outcomes, investing in reentry beds, improving housing for both the population and facility staff, and cutting costs for new construction at San Quentin. The complete report, Reimagining San Quentin, is available on the CDCR website.

CDCR will carefully review the report in collaboration with the Governor’s Office, the Legislature, and other stakeholders. Feasible next steps will be identified in relation to the recommended action items from the Advisory Council.



Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, the governor’s lead advisor for this initiative, emphasized the transformative potential of the report, stating that it covers all the necessary aspects to transform San Quentin from a prison into a rehabilitation center. Additionally, it serves as a roadmap for changing the entire correctional system over time.

Meanwhile, advisory Council Co-Chair and UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations Professor of Medicine, Dr. Brie Williams, expressed that the report utilizes international best practices to present innovative, optimistic, and uniquely Californian suggestions for minimizing harm and enhancing dignity and rehabilitative outcomes for individuals living or working at San Quentin.

Advisory Council Co-Chair and CEO of Amity Foundation, Doug Bond, stated that Governor Newsom is paving the way for California to lead the nation with a recovery-centered justice system, perceiving each person in its care as an opportunity for healing.

Bond additionally stated that the report charts a clear path for California to embark on this transformation, not only in San Quentin but also in redefining the approach to justice and rehabilitation throughout the state.

Ron Broomfield, Advisory Council Co-Chair and CDCR Director of Adult Institutions, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber also expressed their positive outlook about the plans for the San Quentin prison in the report.


San Quentin prison progressive rehabilitation shift

In March 2023, Governor Newsom established the Advisory Council, a multidisciplinary group comprising experts with diverse backgrounds and disciplines. These experts bring broad knowledge and perspective to the table as they work to reimagine San Quentin.

Last spring, Governor Newsom, in collaboration with lawmakers, survivors of crime, victim advocates, and civil rights leaders, made an announcement. They declared that San Quentin State Prison, recognized as the oldest and most notorious prison in California and housing the largest “death row” in the United States, would undergo a transformation.

The objective is to convert it from a maximum-security prison into a unique facility with a focus on enhancing public safety through rehabilitation and education. An advisory committee made up of state and internationally renowned rehabilitation and public safety experts will help guide the prison’s transformation into the “San Quentin Rehabilitation Center.”

This historic initiative at San Quentin Prison, unprecedented in scale within the United States, aims to serve as a nationwide, evidence-backed model for advancing a more effective justice system that fosters safer communities.

CDCR is spearheading the once-in-a-generation transformation of California’s prison system, known as the California Model. This holistic initiative leverages international best practices to enhance the well-being of those in state prisons, aiming to make communities safer and improve life for all Californians by breaking cycles of crime and improving workplace conditions for prison staff.