High Desert State Prison

High Desert State Prison is a high-security prison for male inmates located in Susanville, California. The facility provides vocational programs, educational programs, and work assignments for those inmates who are willing to participate.

HDSP has a 35-bed Correctional Treatment Center (CTC) to provide for the health care needs of the inmates. Additionally, HDSP is designed to house inmates with disabilities who require specialized placement to accommodate accessibility issues under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

High Desert State Prison received its first inmates in September 1995. In the spring of 1996, a 200-bed reception center was established, which was converted to Level III General Population in October 2012.

In May 1997, one of the Level III facilities was converted to a Level IV general population facility to accommodate departmental needs. In October 2007, they converted a Level IV general population facility to a Level IV sensitive needs yard based on departmental needs.

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at High Desert State Prison are on Saturdays, Sundays, and four holidays: New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. The visiting hours are generally between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

There is an 800 Visitors’ Information number (800-374-8474) that you can call for up-to-date information on lockdowns, medical quarantines, or other circumstances affecting visiting at HDSP.

We recommend that you read the CDCR’s detailed 28-page Visitation Guidebook because it gives you information on everything from visit preparation to the games you can play during a visit.

You can also schedule a visit at High Desert State Prison in advance by using the VPASS system. We highly recommend that you take advantage of this because not only will it guarantee you a spot in the visiting room, but it will also reduce your wait time.

Getting Approved for a Visit

Before visiting an inmate at HDSP, the first thing you need to do is get on the approved visiting list. To do that you must ask the prisoner you wish to visit to mail you a signed visitor questionnaire.

Be sure to fill out the questionnaire completely and accurately. The CDCR will conduct a background check for arrests and convictions when processing the application, and if you are not truthful on your questionnaire, you will be denied.

  • Mail the completed questionnaire to:

High Desert State Prison
Visiting Sergeant
PO Box 750
Susanville, CA 96127-0750

The prison will notify the inmate when you are approved, and it is their job to notify you. When you are approved, you will be listed in the CDCR computer as being an approved visitor for that specific prisoner.

If you are denied, the prison will send you a letter explaining the reason for disapproval.

General Visiting Rules

Most inmates at HDSP are in general population, and that means that they are allowed contact visits in a large visiting room where you can buy food and drinks from the vending machines, play games, and share photographs and letters. Contact visits are restricted to five visitors at a time.

Inmates in ADSEG (Administrative Segregation) or reception are only allowed non-contact visits, which take place in a separate visiting room, and the inmates and visitors are separated by a glass partition.

You must have an appointment for a non-contact visit.

When you arrive at HDSP for a visit, be sure to bring a current photo ID. Be prepared to be searched and to go through a metal detector. The items you bring will go through an X-ray machine.

You must fill out a pass each time you visit an inmate, and you must include the following information:

  • the prisoner’s name and CDCR number
  • your relationship to the prisoner (spouse, mother, friend, etc.)
  • your name and address
  • your signature
  • If you are bringing in minor children, you must list the names of the children on the pass

Once you fill out the pass you must give it to staff and they will check the prisoner’s file to make sure you are on their approved list and that the prisoner is eligible to visit on that day.

The pass, along with your identification, is your “key” to get into and out of the prison.

When you arrive for a contact visit, you are allowed to bring in the following items:

  • Up to $50 per adult (only as dollar bills, dollar coins, and quarters) for the vending machines
  • A small, clear, plastic purse or bag
  • Two keys on a ring with no other attachments
  • Identification
  • A comb or brush; non-metallic, no pointed end or detachable parts
  • A small unopened pack of tissues or a handkerchief; no bandannas
  • A pair of prescription glasses
  • Ten Photographs, no larger than 8” by 10”; photos may be shown to the prisoner, but must be taken out by the visitor at the end of the visit. No Polaroids. No sexual or gang images
  • Ten pages of documents

Visiting rooms for contact visits have vending machines stocked with food and beverages that you can purchase for yourself and the inmate. You may not bring any food or beverage from the outside into the prison.

Physical Address

High Desert State Prison
475-750 Rice Canyon Rd.
Susanville, CA 96127

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/d6ZfDFMvuXS1i2rJ7

General Phone Number

​(530) 251-5100

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
High Desert State Prison, California
P.O. Box 3030
Susanville, CA 96127-3030

Inmate Trust Funds should be mailed to:
Inmate Name, CDCR Number
Inmate Trust Fund
P.O. Box 270-249
Susanville, CA 96127

There is no limit on the number of people who may correspond with a prisoner or the number of mail items a prisoner may receive. All mail is inspected by prison staff.

You are allowed to send:

  • Letters (not more than 10 pages in one envelope)
  • Cards (without embellishments such as stickers or glitter)
  • Photographs (limited to 10 per envelope and not larger than 8” x 10”)
  • Drawings
  • Children’s schoolwork
  • Articles from the internet, newspapers, or magazines

You can’t send books, magazines, newspapers, or packages directly to an inmate. Instead, they must be sent through approved vendors.

You may send a money order or check to a prisoner using the Inmate Trust Fund address.

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at High Desert State Prison, but they do have access to phones and can call you collect. For complete details on how to call an inmate in California, please click here.

How to Send Money

There are three ways to send money to an inmate at HDSP: using the lockbox, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) online, or mailing a check or money order to the Inmate Trust Fund. To get complete details about sending money to an inmate at High Desert State Prison, click here.

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • Vocational, now referred to as Career Technical Education (CTE):

All Four Yards, CTE Computer Literacy

B Yard, CTE Building Maintenance, Auto Body/Paint, Electronics

C yard, CTE Building Maintenance

  • Academics:

Adult Basic Education (ABE)1, ABE2, ABE3/GED. ABE2/3/GED, VEP High School, Face to Face College (A yard only), VEP college all yards, Transitions (Financial Literacy, Life and workplace behavior skills, community resources)

  • Other Education Programs:

Law and reading Libraries, Recreation activities, Media Center, Developmental Placement Program (DPP)

  • General Programs:

Faith Based Programs, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Criminals and Gangs Anonymous, Getting Out By Going In, Juvenile Diversion Program, Veterans Group, House of Healing, Positive Parenting, Victims Impact, Actors Gangs, Arts in Corrections, Lifers Group, Alternatives to Violence, Cage your Rage, and Fatherless Fathers.

  • Reentry Hub:

HDSP is involved with the Department’s new Reentry Hub program. Reentry Hub programming is geared to ensure that, upon release, offenders are ready for the transition back into society.

The core of Reentry Hub programming is Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) programming, This program addresses the following major areas: Substance Abuse, Criminal Thinking, Anger Management, California ID Program

  • Family Liaison Service Specialist

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.

Pictures of High Desert State Prison

Careers at High Desert State Prison

If you are interested in getting a job at High Desert State Prison, please visit the CalCareers website to view available positions.