San Quentin State Prison (SQ) is a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation state prison for men, located north of San Francisco in the unincorporated town of San Quentin in Marin County.Opened in July 1852, it is the oldest prison in California.
The prison has been featured on film, video, and television; is the subject of many books; has hosted concerts; and has housed many notorious inmates.
It is bordered by San Francisco Bay to the south and west and by Interstate 580 to the north and east, near the northern terminus of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
As of October 30, 2013 the prison had a design capacity of 3,082 but a total institution population of 4,223, for an occupancy rate of 137 percent.
It has Level I ("Open dormitories without a secure perimeter") housing; Level II ("Open dormitories with secure perimeter fences and armed coverage") housing; a Reception Center (RC) which "provides short term housing to process, classify and evaluate incoming inmates"; and a Condemned unit.
As of Fiscal Year 2006/2007, the prison had 1,718 staff and an annual budget of $210 million.
It is one of the largest prisons in the United States with a population of 4,223 inmates as of October 30, 2013.
The death row at San Quentin is divided into three sections: the quiet "North-Segregation" or "North-Seg," built in 1934, for prisoners who "don't cause trouble"; the "East Block," a "crumbling, leaky maze of a place built in 1927"; and the "Adjustment Center" for the "worst of the worst." Most of the prison's death row inmates reside in the East Block. The adjustment center received solid doors, preventing "gunning-down" or attacking persons with bodily waste.
The fourth floor of the North Block was the prison's first death row facility, but additional death row space opened after executions resumed in the U. As of 2016 A dedicated psychiatric facility serves the prisoners.
A converted shower bay in the East Block hosts religious services.