The Women's Prison in Tehachapi - 1932

The Women's Prison in Tehachapi - 1932 (HM2HA2)

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N 35° 7.883', W 118° 26.853'

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Became California Correction Institution for Men in 1954

In 1933 California's first women's prison was established in Tehachapi to provide an environment more conductive to rehabilitation than San Quentin State Prison. Two-story buildings were constructed of reinforced concrete in the French Normandy style, with three residential "cottages" for inmates. Two of the cottages were complete living units, each with its own kitchen, dining room, living room, bathrooms and supervisor's quarters. A larger cottage had one complete segregated living unit on its lower floor for black women. The upper floor became a housing unit for older women.

Fireplaces and comfortable chairs were available in each cottage and an activity building was used for movies, parties, dancing, sports and exercises. There was also a library, tennis courts, softball diamond and volleyball court. Unless physically unable, all inmates were required to work at regular jobs, including the laundry, grounds crew, farm crew, clothing factory, administration, food services and other duties. School attendance was mandatory with classes held in the evenings. Vocational classes were also available.

During the 1952 earthquake, many chimneys and roof tiles fell to the ground. The main support walls stood firm without collapsing but most of the rooms suffered damage, as did the gas, water and electrical systems. There

were no deaths or serious injuries. The buildings were declared uninhabitable and a tent camp provided basic needs for close to a month. A new women's prison at Frontera was completed in August 1952 and the remaining 382 female inmates left Tehachapi for the new prison.

In 1954 the state legislature approved the reopening of the facility as the Tehachapi branch of C.I.M., a minimum security prison, with the first 19 male inmates arriving a year later.
HM NumberHM2HA2
Placed ByMain Street Tehachapi, Tehachapi Heritage League and The City of Tehachapi
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 at 11:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 368115 N 3888571
Decimal Degrees35.13138333, -118.44755000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 7.883', W 118° 26.853'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 7' 52.98" N, 118° 26' 51.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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