Department of State Hospitals (DSH) - Vacaville: Home

Vacaville Psychiatric Program


The Department of State Hospitals-Vacaville, opened in 1988 within the secure boundaries of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) California Medical Facility located in Solano County.
DSH-Vacaville is one of three forensic inpatient psychiatric programs located on state prison campuses. The programs each provide around-the-clock mental health services to adult correctional inmates.


The hospital currently operates about 386 beds for one commitment category of patient are described below:

Mentally Ill Prisoners transferred from CDCR (PC 2684)

These inmate-patients suffer from a major mental illness that has diminished their ability to function within a prison environment.  The goal of treatment is to restore the patient to such a level as to allow the patient to function within the correctional setting again.


Approximately 517 employees work at DSH-Vacaville providing around-the-clock care, including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, psychiatric technicians, registered nurses, and other clinical and administrative staff.


The hospital provides mental health services to inmates from California prisons under provisions of PC 2684. Criteria for admission to DSH-Vacaville under this program includes an active Axis I major mental disorder. The focus of treatment is to stabilize symptoms so that the inmate/patient can function successfully in prison.


About 220 of the staff at DSH-Vacaville live in Vacaville.

DSH -Vacaville currently serves as a clinical rotation site for the following Nursing and Psychiatric Technician programs.

  1. Napa Valley College (Napa) - Psychiatric Technician
  2. Unitek Career College (Sacramento) - Vocational Nurse
  3. Gurnick Academy (Concord) - Vocational Nurse
  4. Gurnick Academy (Concord) - Psychiatric Technicians
  5. American College of Nursing (Concord)  -  Vocational Nurse
  6. American College of Nursing Concord) - Psychiatric Technician
  7. Solano Community College (Fairfield) - Registered Nurse
  8. Oikos University (Oakland) - Vocational Nursing

The facility also has internship partnerships for social workers through programs at both California State University, Sacramento and University of California, Berkeley.

Finally, DSH-Vacaville has a pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship program. Our pre-doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and accepts three interns each year. Our post-doctoral fellowship program part of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and accepts three doctoral fellows each year.