Only 24 Percent of Staff Members at CDCR’s High Desert State Prison Are Fully Vaccinated


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

As of June 14, 2021, there have been 49,376 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the CDCR. Of those cases, 48,459 have been resolved while 86 cases remain active in custody. There have been 224 deaths throughout CDCR facilities.

  • Over the weekend, there have been 6 new active cases reported in custody. North Kern State Prison reported 2 new active cases in custody. CA Institution for Men, California Health Care Facility, Correctional Training Facility, and Mule Creek State Prison all reported 1 new active case. 
  • CSP Solano resolved 36 active cases. The facility still has the most active cases in custody— 38 cases. 
  • About 31 percent of the total incarcerated population has been tested in the last 14 days. CSP Solano has tested the highest portion of their population during this period— 74 percent. 
  • Out of the total incarcerated population, about 70 percent are fully vaccinated, and about 2 percent are partially vaccinated. 
  • North Kern State Prison has vaccinated the lowest portion of its incarcerated population— 47 percent. 
  • Out of the total staff population, about 50 percent are fully vaccinated, and about 3.2 percent are partially vaccinated. 
  • High Desert State Prison has vaccinated the lowest portion of its staff population— 24 percent. 
  • Since last week, the fully vaccinated incarcerated population has increased by about 0.14 percent, and the fully vaccinated staff population has increased by about 2.4 percent.

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

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

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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9 thoughts on “Only 24 Percent of Staff Members at CDCR’s High Desert State Prison Are Fully Vaccinated”

    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.

  4. heidykellison

    The low staff percentage is problematic. People serving the public should be vaccinated, especially those serving vulnerable populations. Why is the number so low?

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