Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Pelican Bay State Prison
Pelican Bay State Prison, located outside Crescent City, California, is the state's most secure facility available, housing the area's most serious male criminal offenders. Since opening in 1989, it has held some of the nation's most famous criminals, such as “Monster” Cody and Charles Manson. Pelican Bay is a Level 4 maximum-security institution, which is California's highest security classification. It is surrounded by an electric fence, which has a current strong enough to kill anyone who tries to escape over it. The facility is separated into several maximum-security units, a mental health ward, administrative segregation, and the special housing unit (SHU). Originally built to house 2,280 inmates total, with 1,056 in the SHU, by 2001 Pelican Bay was operating with more than 3,300 inmates. Pelican Bay was built, in part, in response to a perceived rise in violent crimes across the California prison system. From the early 1960s, inmate fights ...