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California Institution for Women: A Closer Look at the Female Correctional Facility

In California, the California Institution for Women (CIW) is one of the few correctional facilities solely dedicated to female inmates. Since its establishment in 1952, CIW has become an integral part of California’s prison system, with a mission to provide a safe and secure environment for incarcerated women while also offering rehabilitation and reentry programs to help them transition back into society. In this article, we will take a closer look at CIW, its history, operations, and impact on the community.

Visiting Hours and Guidelines

For families and loved ones of inmates, visiting hours are an important way to stay connected. Here are the visiting guidelines for the California Institution for Women:

  • Visiting Days: Saturdays and Sundays
  • Visiting Hours: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Last Entry: Visitors must arrive before 2:00 pm
  • Special Holidays: Visitors are also permitted on New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
  • Online Appointments: You can conveniently schedule a visiting appointment online.

Contact Information

Should you need to get in touch with the California Institution for Women, here is the contact information you may require:

  • Physical Address: California Institution for Women 16756 Chino-Corona Road Corona, CA 92878
  • Telephone: (909) 597-1771
  • Inmate Mailing Address: Inmate General Mail: Inmate Name, ID Number California Institution for Women PO Box 8100 Corona, CA 92878-8100
  • Inmate Money Orders: PO Box 8102 Corona, CA 92878-8100
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History of CIW

CIW was established in 1952, originally as a reception center for female inmates. It became an independent institution in 1962 and was later expanded in 1971 to accommodate more inmates. Throughout the years, CIW has undergone numerous changes and improvements, including the addition of a healthcare center, education programs, and vocational training opportunities.

CIW Operations

Currently, CIW has a capacity of around 1,400 inmates and offers a range of services and programs to help inmates prepare for reentry into society. These programs include academic education, vocational training, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and parenting classes. Additionally, CIW has a variety of work programs available to inmates, such as garment manufacturing, clerical services, and recycling services.

Impact on the Community

CIW’s impact on the community goes beyond just housing and providing services to inmates. The institution also provides job opportunities for people in the surrounding area and contributes to the local economy. Moreover, CIW’s rehabilitation and reentry programs have helped reduce recidivism rates among female inmates, ultimately resulting in fewer people returning to prison and saving the state money in the long run.

Challenges and Controversies

Despite its positive impact, CIW has faced various challenges and controversies over the years. In 2013, a federal court ordered the state to reduce the population of CIW due to inhumane conditions, such as overcrowding and inadequate medical care. Additionally, allegations of sexual abuse and mistreatment of inmates have been reported at CIW, leading to investigations and calls for reform.

Future of CIW

Despite the challenges and controversies, CIW remains a vital part of California’s prison system, providing much-needed services and programs to incarcerated women. However, there is still much room for improvement, and ongoing efforts to reform and improve CIW are necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of inmates, staff, and the community.

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In conclusion, CIW plays a crucial role in California’s prison system, offering rehabilitation and reentry programs to help female inmates transition back into society. While it has faced various challenges and controversies, CIW’s positive impact on the community cannot be ignored. As efforts continue to improve and reform CIW, it remains a beacon of hope for incarcerated women in California.


  1. How many inmates are currently housed at CIW?
  • CIW has a capacity of around 1,400 inmates.
  1. What types of programs are available to inmates at CIW?
  • CIW offers a range of programs, including academic education, vocational training, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and parenting classes.
  1. Has CIW faced any controversies in the past?
  • Yes, CIW has faced various challenges and controversies, including overcrowding, inadequate medical care, and allegations of mistreatment of inmates.
  1. What is the ultimate goal of CIW’s rehabilitation and reentry programs?
  • The goal of these programs is to prepare inmates for successful reentry into society and reduce recidivism rates.
  1. How does CIW impact the community?
  • CIW provides job opportunities for people in the surrounding area and contributes to the local economy. Moreover, the institution’s rehabilitation and reentry programs have helped reduce the number of people returning to prison, resulting in long-term cost savings for the state.
  1. What improvements are needed at CIW?
  • CIW needs ongoing reforms and improvements to ensure the safety and well-being of inmates, staff, and the community. This includes addressing overcrowding, improving medical care, and addressing allegations of mistreatment of inmates.
  1. How does CIW differ from other correctional facilities in California?
  • CIW is one of the few facilities in California dedicated solely to female inmates. It offers specialized services and programs to address the unique needs of women in the criminal justice system.
  1. What is the role of CIW in reducing recidivism rates?
  • CIW’s rehabilitation and reentry programs are designed to help inmates develop the skills and support they need to successfully reintegrate into society. By reducing recidivism rates, CIW helps break the cycle of incarceration and saves the state money in the long run.
  1. Are there any success stories from CIW’s rehabilitation programs?
  • Yes, there are many success stories of women who have successfully completed CIW’s rehabilitation and reentry programs and gone on to lead successful, productive lives outside of prison.
  1. How can the community support CIW and its inmates?
  • The community can support CIW and its inmates by volunteering with rehabilitation and reentry programs, advocating for reforms and improvements, and supporting organizations that work with formerly incarcerated women.
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