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Inventory of the Department of Corrections Records
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Department of Corrections Records
    Inventory: F3717
    Creator: Department of Corrections
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Department of Corrections Records, F3717, California State Archives.

    Agency History

    The Department of Corrections was organized in 1944 under the Prison Reorganization Act ( Stats. 1944, ch. 2, Third Ex. Sess., in effect May 1, 1944). The department succeeded to the powers of the Department of Penology, the State Board of Prison Directors, the Bureau of Paroles and the California Crime Commission. The stimulus for the reorganization stemmed from the recommendations of the Governor's Special Committee on Penal Affairs, appointed November 29, 1943, which held extensive hearings on California's correctional system. For a detailed listing of the Committee's papers see the EARL WARREN PAPERS-GOVERNOR'S COMMITTEE ON PENAL AFFAIRS, F3540:971. The department as originally constituted included the Director as chief administrative officer, the Adult Authority, the Board of Corrections, the Board of Trustees of the California Institution for Women, the Youth Authority (a separate Department of Youth Authority was created in 1953, ch. 1305), and jurisdiction over State Prisons at San Quentin and Folsom, the California Institution for Men at Chino, and the California Institution for Women, Tehachapi.
    Major changes in the organization and structure of the department included: creation of a Correctional Industries Commission ( Stats. 1947, ch. 1137) to aid in the development of work programs; creation of a Narcotic Addict Evaluation Authority ( Stats. 1963, ch. 1706); creation of the Youth and Adult Corrections Agency ( Stats. 1961, ch. 2037) and the expansion of the institutional program to include eleven major facilities as of the end of 1976.
    For additional records pertaining to correctional institutions see RECORDS OF THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, California State Archives Inventory No. 4. The Governor's Prison Papers are composed of a number of record series, several of which are duplicated by near identical series maintained by the Department of Corrections. The record series include: San Quentin and Folsom Prison Registers (1851-1943); Applications for Pardon (1872-1903); Communtation of Sentence (1876-1944); Pardons (1856-1966); Executive Pardons (1872-1903); Commutation of Sentence (1876-1907); Prison Discharges (1868-1886); Executive Orders to Release (1883-1891); Restoration to Citizenship (1887-1897); Extradition Case Files (ca. 1856-date) and Record of Requisitions, Warrant of Rendition, Extraditions (1906-1967). Some architectual drawings and blue prints of state prisons are available, see CORRECTIONS-INSTITUTIONS-(name of institution).
    The records are described in two parts: PART I - PREDECESSOR AGENCY RECORDS relating to records of agencies and state prisons created prior to the establishment of the Department of Corrections and PART II -DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS RECORDS.