Built on what was once Tulare Lake, home to the Yokut Native American people, the facility opened in 1988.[8][9] The prison hospital was dedicated in October 1993.[10]

A front-page article by Mark Arax in the August 1996 Los Angeles Times claimed that COR was "the most troubled of the 32 state prisons."[11] At the time, COR officers had shot and killed more inmates "than any prison in the country" in COR's eight years of existence; based on interviews and documents, Arax concluded that many shootings of prisoners were "not justified" and that in some cases "the wrong inmate was killed by mistake."[11] Furthermore, the article alleged that "officers... and their supervisors staged fights between inmates" during "gladiator days."[11] In November 1996, CBS Evening News broadcast "video footage of an inmate fatally shot by guards" at COR in 1994; this death "spawned a probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of alleged inmate abuses by guards."[12]

A March 1997 episode of the CBS News 60 Minutes discussed the 1994 death, "the alleged cover-up and the alarming number of shootings at the prison."[13] The California Department of Corrections issued the results of its own investigation in November 1997, which found "isolated incidents of staff misconduct" but no "'widespread staff conspiracy' to abuse prisoners."[14]

A film entitled "Maximum Security University," which used prison surveillance tapes showing four 1989-1993 fights "end[ing] when a guard fatally shoots a combatant," was released in February 1998.[15] That month, eight California correctional officers and supervisors were indicted "on federal criminal civil rights charges in connection with inmate fights that occurred at Corcoran State Prison in 1994."[16] After a trial, the eight men were "acquitted of all charges" in June 2000.[17]

Subsequently, COR has been featured in at least two episodes of MSNBC's Lockup series: "Inside Corcoran" (which first aired as early as 2003)[18] and "Return to Corcoran" (which first aired in 2005).[19]

[edit] Notable inmates

The prison's most prominent inmates include:

[edit] Current

  • Juan Corona, who murdered 25 people in 1971. He was transferred to COR from the Correctional Training Facility in 1992 and now lives in COR's Protective Housing Unit.[20][21][7]
  • Dana Ewell, convicted triple murderer, who ordered the murders of his family in 1992. Currently he is serving three life sentences and is appealing his sentences.[22]
  • Hugo David Gomez,[23] perpetrator of the Murder of Stephanie Kuhen[24]
  • Cameron Hooker, convicted for the sexual assault and kidnapping of Colleen Stan (also known as "the girl in the box"). Hooker was sentenced to 104 years' imprisonment for holding Stan as his "sex slave" and will not be eligible for parole until 2022.[25]
  • Charles Manson, who was transferred from San Quentin State Prison to COR in March 1989.[26] In May 2007 he was denied parole and will not be eligible for release again until 2012.[27] He lives in COR's Protective Housing Unit.[7]
  • Mikhail Markhasev, convicted murderer of Ennis Cosby, son of entertainer Bill Cosby.[28] In 1998, he received a sentence of life without parole, plus 10 years.[29]
  • Phil Spector, convicted of murder in 2009 and serving 19 years to life; transferred to Corcoran in mid-2009.[30][31] Spector is not housed at old Corcoran, but at SATF (Corcoran 2).
  • John Albert Gardner III, convicted of the murders of Chelsea King (2010) and Amber Dubois (2009).

[edit] Former

 
 
Copyright © 2006-17 Claud "Sonny" Rouch, all rights reserved. Website by OACYS Technology. Cover photo by Roberts Engineering.