Choosing the Right Prison

Forget what you've seen in the movies. 

High school seniors, it's time to start planning for your future. June will be here before you know it. So what's it going to be? College, trade school, the military? All fine choices...

If you're a punk. 

You're big-time, baby. You're going to set the world on fire. Or a car. Or a rival meth lab. 

But before you get out the kerosene, Sparky, you need to think ahead. Where are you going after things cool down? There's only one choice.

Pelican Bay. Never settle for less than the best.  

Check out this brochure, or have someone read to you: 

Pelican Bay State Prison

-est. 1989-

prison-barsjpg-d16eb8eb7a5550ce large

No, you weren't just mindin' your own business.

About us

Pelican Bay State Prison is single-sex correctional and rehabilitation institution located on the beautiful northern California coast. We are committed to maximizing the incarceration experience for all men, regardless of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. 

Focus on Academics

cbe9caa5 980ec655 d752 487f a70a 6d11223ed6e9

Education is Pelican Bay's top priority. Whether you are new to the system or just new to us, we give you the tools you need to succeed as an incarcerated American. Uncomfortable with conventional standards of morality? Difficulty interacting with others in an appropriate manner? Problems with impulse control? Not for long. Our student-centered curriculum will get your mind right. Random shakedowns, fire hoses and "learning sticks" are just some of the tools we use to facilitate social and emotional growth in every man who walks through the pat-down room.  

Learn at Your Own Pace


With a recent grant from the federal No Prisoner Left Behind Act, we have constructed a state of the art "quiet floor" with individual study rooms. These isolated, zen-like spaces give slow learners extended opportunity to reflect on their priorities. Spend some time in here and we guarantee you'll see the light…eventually.

Time to Play at Pelican Bay! 


Who says you can't party behind bars? Join one of the many local chapters of nationwide social clubs, including the Crips, Nortenos and Nazi Low Riders (which was founded at Pelican Bay, by the way). There's a place for everybody. You'll never want for inclusion and affection. 


And what's life without a little friendly competition? You won't believe the pranks (or is that shanks? haha!) these guys pull on each other. Yes indeed, boys will be boys. 

No One Turned Away


We have a 100% need-blind admission policy. If you're good enough for Pelican Bay, you don't pay! Room and board, clothing, furniture--it's all included. Keep your cash for smokes, candy bars and better protection. 

Welcoming Campus

prison-guard-tower-and-fence-22-sept-2011-cropped-proto-custom 28

Generous lighting, 4 miles of razor-sharp inclusion wire, and 6 new gun towers, each with a 360 degree field of fire, are just a few of things that make Pelican Bay's campus a place you won't want to leave.   

Engaged Staff


A prison without an attentive staff is like a box without a lid. We pride ourselves in hiring only the best— real hotshots, if you will. You are never just a number to our disciplinary tutors. They know your face and silhouette, day or night, running or walking. Rest assured, somebody's always looking out for you.

Visit Us Today!


We invite you to take a tour and see all that Pelican Bay has to offer. Ask questions, sample the chipped beef, observe the morning headcount. The door's always open, in a manner of speaking. 

Copyright 2013 Paul J. Rasmussen