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The Ironwood State Prison is one of a number of state prisons that can be found around California. In fact, it is one of two state prisons in the Chuckawalla Valley (the other is the Chuckawalla Valley State Prison). The Ironwood State Prison is a large complex, occupying 350 acres and sitting on 640 acres with the unused acres going to erosion control, drainage ditches, and catch basins. The Ironwood State Prison was named after the area’s native Ironwood Trees.
The Ironwood State Prison became activated on February 1, 1994. Its design capacity was 2,200 inmates. Like most California state prisons, the Ironwood State Prison faces significant overcrowding. It currently has 3,280 inmates.
The Ironwood State Prison has several different housing facilities. It has four Level III housing facilities and an outside Level I facility. Each housing facility has 5 housing units. Each housing unit was designed with a 100 bed capacity. Two of the housing facilities were converted to house inmates who have sensitive needs. Another of the units was converted for Administrative Segregation Unit Inmates. The Level I facility has two housing units with 100 beds. The Ironwood State Prison does not have its own firehouse; it shared fire protection with the Chuckawalla Valley State Prison.
Neil McDowell is the warden of the Ironwood State Prison. He has been the warden or the acting warden since 2014. He began his career as a correctional officer, then became an associate warden. His history includes being a chief deputy warden, a captain, a correctional counselor, and a correctional officer.
The Ironwood State Prison offers a variety of programming for prisoners. Academic courses offered at the prison include: GED, ABE I, ABE II, and Independent Study. Vocational courses offered at the prison include: carpentry, masonry, welding, electronics, plumbing, auto body, auto mechanics, building maintenance, and office services related tech. There are also a number of rehabilitative programs offered at the prison, including: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, the Life’s Too Short Youth Diversion Program, Veterans Group Ironwood, Criminals and Gangs Anonymous, a Community Based Art Program, Actor’s Gang, 1-4 Sight, Inside Out Writers, Alternatives to Violence, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, the Inmate Peer Education Group, Healing Dialogue and Action, Victim Offender Education Group, Inmate Peer Education Program, The Urban Ministries Institute, Prison of Peace, Siddha Yoga Meditation, Kairos, Father2Child Literacy Program, Seven Areas of Life Training, Great Dads, and the Partnership for Re-Entry Program. Other programs available at the prison include Anger Management, Art-in-Corrections, CAL-ID, Auto Body, Auto Mechanics, Computer Coding, Computer Literacy, Family Relationships, Library Services, Criminal Thinking, Physical Education, Substance Use Disorder, Plumbing, LTOP, Transitions, Electronics, and Welding.
Ironwood State Prison is located at:
19005 Wiley’s Well Road
Blythe, CA 92225
The mailing address for non-inmate mail is:
Ironwood State Prison
P.O. Box 2229
Blythe, CA 92226
The mailing address inmate mail is:
Inmate’s Full Name, CDC#
Ironwood State Prison
P.O. Box 2199
Blythe, CA 92226
You can find out an inmate’s CDC or housing assignment by calling the Public Information Officer (PIO) at the institution. You can also find it by looking at the inmate locator. If you do not know where an inmate is housed, you can call the Department’s ID Unit. The number for that unit is 916-445-6713.
Regulations regarding inmate mail are consistent in all of the California State Prison facilities. You can find them in detail, along with other rules and regulations for prisons, in Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations. All mail must be addressed to the inmate with their full name and identification number. All outgoing mail must be properly addressed and must be marked to indicate it comes from a California State Correctional Facility. All incoming mail for an inmate is opened and inspected prior to delivery, except for confidential mail. Inmates can receive books, magazines, and newspapers, but they must be sent by a departmentally approved vendor. Any contraband found in the correspondence will be confiscated, and can lead to disciplinary action and even criminal charges. Mail for an inmate that has been transferred out of a facility to another CSCF will be forwarded to the new facility. Inmates who have been paroled will have their mail returned to sender and the sender will be given the parole regions’ address.
There are rules governing the type of content for inmate mail. Inmates can receive non-Polaroid type photographs. They cannot receive negatives or slides. Inmates can receive calendars, blank greeting cards, postage embossed envelopes, stamps (up to 40), blank envelopes, white or yellow writing paper or tablets, typing paper, legal paper, children’s drawings, newspaper and similar clippings.
Inmates can also ship and receive packages using parcel delivery services in addition to the USPS, but must use services that are approved by Ironwood.
There is no limit on the number of correspondents an inmate may have.
Inmates cannot send or receive mail with disturbing or offensive correspondence, so long as that correspondence presents a danger or threat of danger to any person. However, inmates can receive mail that offends the morals, values, or beliefs of the correctional staff unless that mail: would incite violence, including murder, arson, riot, or violence towards a person; threatens blackmail or extortion; contains contraband; contains escape plans; contains plans for a riot or similar disruption; contains codes, has information on how to make a weapon; contains maps of the surrounding area; contains lottery or gambling information or paraphernalia; contains obscene materials; contains gang materials; or contains human or animal hair or bodily fluids.
The Ironwood State Prison’s main phone number is 760-921-3000.
The Ironwood State Prison does not maintain its own inmate roster. Instead, all adult inmates in the state prison system can be found in the inmate roster maintained by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. This makes it easier to locate an inmate since inmates in the state prison system are frequently transferred between facilities. However, it also makes it more difficult to locate an inmate, since you have to look at more results per search, especially if you are searching for an inmate with a common last name. You have the option of searching for an inmate by last name or by inmate number. You can add in first and middle names to help narrow your search if you are conducting a last name search. If you run a last name search, you get a list of inmates in alphabetical order by first name for that last name. You get an overview glance at each inmate on the list, including full name, CDCR number, age, admission date, and current location. If you click on the inmate’s name, you get more information including a parole eligible date and information on how to sign up on VINE to be notified if the inmate is released. The information does not contain more specific crime information, nor does it contain a mugshot or booking photo.
Because the Ironwood State Prison is a prison facility, not a jail, it does not have recent arrests or bookings. Instead, inmates are sent there after a conviction. The prisons do not maintain a separate list of inmates recently admitted to their facilities. However, you can search for inmates on the CDCR’s inmate roster to determine where an inmate has been placed in the state prison system.
The Ironwood State Prison does not maintain an online mugshot/ booking photo database. In addition, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation does not maintain a booking photo database.
Inmates at Ironwood State Prison are allowed to have contact visits with their visitors. To schedule these visits, visitors need to use the Visitor Processing Appointment Scheduling System (VPASS). This system is available online at the Visitor Reservations site. There are a number of rules associated with visiting an inmate in the California state prison system. We are providing an overview, but for more in-depth questions you should look at the visitation guidelines.
It is important to realize that the VPASS system is not connected to the Strategic Offender Management System, which is where one finds visitor approvals. You will be allowed to make reservations in the VPASS system, even if you are not actually an approved visitor. Therefore, you need to check on your approved visitor status before coming to visitation, even if you make an appointment through VPASS. Visitation times for the week open at Sunday at 9:00pm for Ironwood State Prison.
Any adult wishing to visit a prisoner has to apply for approval from the CDCR, a process that involves a background check. You fill out CDCR Form 106, which is the Visitor Questionnaire. You get this form from the inmate you wish to visit. The inmate must sign it, and that signature confirms that they want to add you to their visitor list. On the questionnaire, you must you’re your entire criminal background, including any arrests that did not lead to convictions. If you are approved, the prisoner is notified and it is the prisoner’s responsibility to let you know that you have been approved. If you are not approved, you and the prisoner will get notice, but you’re your notice will state the reasons you were not approved.
All inmates can receive visits. While the default is contact visits, there are different types of visits. Contact visits occur with the inmate and his or her visitors in the same room and they are allowed limited physical contact during the visit. Only five visitors at a time can come to contact visits. They are not limited in duration unless the time is needed for other inmates to get visitors. Some prisoners may be restricted to non-contact visits, which occur with a glass partition between the visitor and inmates. Prisoners are escorted into that visitation in handcuffs. This is usually the result of an inmate being placed in a certain type of housing because of being high risk or breaking jail rules, but can also be during an evaluation period. Non-contact visits are limited to three visitors and are usually time limited. Prisoners on death row may be eligible for contact or non-contact visits, depending on their grade, but all are time limited. Some prisoners are eligible for “family visits,” which last approximately the length of a weekend and allow the prisoner to spend time with their family, spouse, or domestic partner.
As with most correctional facilities, the inmates at the Ironwood State Prison cannot receive incoming phone calls. In addition, because of the size of the facility, it is unlikely that you will be able to call the prison and have a prisoner call you back in the event of an emergency, though you can always try contacting the prison and asking them to do so if you have a verifiable emergency that you can prove to the prison.
Most inmates at Ironwood State Prison have access to phones to make outgoing phone calls. These phone calls can be collect calls or they can be charged to an inmate’s phone account. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation uses the Department of General Services Inmate/Ward Telephone System to provide calls to the inmates and wards at CDCR facilities. This is managed by GTL. You can reach GTL customer service at 888-415-0377 or visit them online at http://www.gtl.net/cdcr-inmate-telephone-information/. You can also make deposits at https://web.connectnetwork.com/.
You can set up prepaid collect calls that charge calls to an inmate’s account or arrange for collect calls. The problem with purely collect calls is that collect calls frequently cannot be made to cell phones, VOIP phones, and office phones. In addition, your phone provider may block some collect calls. You can contact GTL to set up an account or block prison calls.
All connected calls made from the Ironwood State Prison to friends or family are monitored and recorded.
Inmate trust accounts are a way for inmates to have access to funds while they are in prison. They are important because inmates are not permitted to have actual currency in prison and cannot make purchases from commissary or canteen unless they have money in their inmate trust accounts.
There are three ways to deposit money into an inmate’s trust account: lock box, EFT, or mailing funds to the institution.
Lock Box is a mail service that lets you deposit money via cashier’s check, personal check, or money order, but with a shorter waiting time than if you mailed the money directly to the institution. Fill out the Money Order Deposit Form with your name and address and make the check or money order payable to JPay. Mail it to 2202 South Figueroa St., Box #3001, Los Angeles, CA 90007.
EFT is an electronic funds transfer. There is a fee for this service, but it is the fastest way to get funds into an inmate’s account, usually taking 1 to 3 days. The prison has three EFT vendors: GTL/Connect Network, JPay, and Keefe. You can visit them at the following websites: GTL/ConnectNetwork https://web.connectnetwork.com/trust-cdcr; JPay http://www.jpay.com/california; and Keefe http://www.inmatedeposits.com.
You can also mail funds directly to Ironwood State Prison, but those funds will be held for 30 days before being made available to an inmate. The instruments must be made payable to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, with the sender’s name and address and the inmate’s name and CDCR on the face of the check or money order.
Money sent to an inmate can be used for the inmate’s discretionary spending, but also to pay restitution or administrative charges. If you are sending money for restitution, please be sure to indicate that it is being sent for restitution and what the institution should do with any amount over what the inmate owes for restitution.
Money sent for an inmate’s discretionary use can be spent on commissary/ canteen purchases. Commissary is a way for inmates to buy items that are not provided by the jail. These items vary, but can include: beverages, food, hygiene products, health and beauty products, writing supplies, recreational/ entertainment items, stamps, clothing, underwear, and shoes.
Because Ironwood State Prison is a post-conviction prison facility, inmates there are not eligible for bail.
Ironwood State Prison is a state level prison in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation System. It is located in Blythe, California. The prison’s phone number is 760-921-3000.
Year Built or Opened: 1994 Warden or Supervisor: Warden Neil McDowell Daily Inmate Count: 2650 Total Capacity: 2200 Security Level(s): minimum - maximum
Inmate’s Full Name, CDC#
Ironwood State Prison
P.O. Box 2199
Blythe, CA 92226
19005 Wiley's Well Road
Blythe, CA 92225