DSH - Coalinga: Security

Department of State Hospitals - Coalinga is a 1,500-bed psychiatric hospital for repeat sexual offenders who have completed their prison sentence and have been committed for extended treatment. The maximum-security facility combines internal and external security with community oversight to meet the community's needs.

  • A state-of-the-art security system, run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, surrounds the hospital.

Security Measures

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is responsible for external security. Working in close cooperation with the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) staff, Correctional Officers operate sallyports to control entry and exit from the facility, observation towers, and perimeter patrols.

Internal security is the responsibility of DSH. DSH-Coaling's Department of Police Services (DPS) has over 225 sworn officers, consisting of 3 trained K-9 units, an Emergency Response Team, Hallway Patrols, Unit Officers, Visitation Supervision, Property Control, Outside and Inside Ground Patrol as well as a Detective Unit and Special Investigators. Within the DPS building is also the Communications Center with Dispatch Operators and a state of the art system that allows quick response in emergency situations.

All employees are provided extensive training and supervision to ensure compliance with essential security policies and procedures. In addition, numerous internal security measures exist in a maximum-security setting:

  • Census count - Maintenance of a patient count system is an essential part of the hospital. A physical count by unit employees of all patients at specified and unspecified times is required.
  • Lockable units - Enable internal lockdown in emergency situations.
  • Uniforms and photo identification of all patients.
  • All employees have photo identification.
  • On-going escape risk assessments.
  • Hospital Police Patrol and Supervision.
  • Random Searches of Dorms and Common areas to assist in the control of contraband.
  • Metal detectors.
  • Personal Duress Alarm System.

Community Safety Assured

Consistent with policy and procedures, all patients at the facilities are constantly and directly supervised. Peace officers will always accompany staff and supervise patients when escorting them off-grounds.

Patients will not be involved in off-grounds work activities.

The treatment facility will have a Citizens Advisory Board, whose members will be appointed by the Governor and whose role is to ensure community involvement.