Only 39 Percent of CDCR Staff Have Been Vaccinated – Breaking Down COVID-19 in CDCR


Davis Vanguard’s daily update from CDCR’s COVID-19 crisis

As of Apr. 16, 2021, there have been 49,223 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the CDCR. Of those cases, 48,372 have been resolved while 19 cases remain active in custody. There have been 221 deaths throughout CDCR facilities.

  • There are 5 new active cases in custody today. Out of the 35 CDCR facilities, 14 currently have at least one active case in custody. 
  • Wasco State Prison has the most active cases in custody— 4. The facility has a population of 3096 people, of which 33 percent was tested in the last 14 days. 
  • Avenal State Prison, R.J. Donovan Corr. Fac. Rock Mtn. and High Desert State Prison have populations nearing 3500 people each, of which only 17 percent have been tested in the last 14 days— the lowest testing rate across CDCR. 
  • CA Institution for Women has tested the highest portion of its population in the last 14 days— 93 percent. 
  • Of the total incarcerated population, about 49.7 percent are fully vaccinated, and about 19.6 percent are partially vaccinated. 
  • Of the total staff population, about 39.3 percent are fully vaccinated, and about 3.3 percent are partially vaccinated.

Note: The definition of tested aligns with that prescribed by Johns Hopkins University. The tested count reported by a facility includes the total number of tests for which results have returned and not the total number of tests administered.

Source: The California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) reports COVID-19 information through a daily dashboard that is accessible here –

By Julietta Bisharyan, Nick Gardner, Alexis Hogan, Mengyu Yang & Aparna Komarla

Contact: Aparna Komarla (


About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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8 thoughts on “Only 39 Percent of CDCR Staff Have Been Vaccinated – Breaking Down COVID-19 in CDCR”

    1. Bill Marshall

      Yes… and nursing homes and convelescent places are doing great in culling the herd… and as long as they are cremated quickly, makes it safer for all of the rest of us!

      Very Republican, ‘conservative’ of you… to recommend ‘herd immunity’…

      Now if we just stopped staffing those facilities, to prevent community spread, “we’d get ‘er done!”

      Same for Correctional facilities… pull staff out, let nature take its course…


  1. Robert Canning

    This is a misleading headline. Here is the definition of design capacity:

    Design capacity is the number of inmates a prison can house based on one inmate per cell, single-level bunks in dormitories, and no beds in places not designed for housing.

    This was the definition the Supreme Court used in its 2011 order reducing the system’s population. It is based on one inmate per cell. The courts and most experts recognize that this is not how prisons are run – double-celling is the rule rather than the exception. The court ordered that the department reduce its population to 137.5% of capacity, which it did in 2017 or so. In January 2020 the system was at 134% of capacity (see and would have stayed about that level but for COVID-19.

    As far as I know, “design capacity” is not a big issue. What’s more important is the disease. Getting the population down to a level where the disease can be safely managed and the inmates protected is the top priority. The population of the 35 prisons has been below 100,000 for over a month.

    Using the term “design capacity” to somehow criticize CDCR is misleading and does not really address the issue – COVID. The actual number of inmates housed is the real issue, not design capacity.

    1. Aparna Komarla

      Hi Robert,

      Thank you for the feedback.

      I understand that despite the population being over capacity, it is significantly lesser than its previous size. However, I do not think that design capacity and acceptable population sizes during COVID-19 are mutually exclusive measurements. The definition you provided on design capacity is close to an ideal environment in prisons and jails to handle COVID-19, which would resemble the result of population growth control.

      If I understand your comment correctly, you are suggesting that aiming to bring populations below design capacity and reducing populations regardless of capacity are somehow different. Can you clarify where the distinction lies?

      From the Habeas case against San Quentin (

      “We therefore recommend that the prison population at San Quentin be reduced to 50% of current capacity (even further reduction would be more beneficial) via decarceration; this will allow every cell in North and West Blocks to be single-room occupancy.”

      They reference design capacity and not population size initially, but later use the terms interchangeably. It possibly implies that the outcomes are close enough and do not need to be distinguished.

      I’d appreciate your thoughts and thank you once again for sharing feedback.


  2. Bill Marshall

    It just might be useful, as this thread continues, that the comments might be purged after say 2-4 months… there were only 5 since it originally was posted… just a thought…

  3. Ron Glick

    I was sad to hear that Phil Spector died of Covid-19 while serving his time for murder. Despite the seriousness of his crime he produced of the  some great records of my youth.

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