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Pleasant Valley State Prison

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Pleasant Valley State Prison

Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP)
Pleasant Valley State Prison
Location Coalinga, California
Status Operational
Security class Minimum to maximum
Capacity 2,308
Population 3,644 (157.9%) (as of 31 December 2012[1])
Opened November 1994
Managed by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Warden James A. Yates

Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) is a 640-acre (260 ha) minimum-to-maximum security state prison in Coalinga, Fresno County, California. The facility has housed convicted murderers Sirhan Sirhan, Erik Menendez, X-Raided, and Hans Reiser, among others.


  • History 1
  • Programs 2
  • Notable current and former inmates 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The prison opened in November 1994. On July 17, 2000, PVSP activated two substance abuse programs involving community services for inmates who have a history of substance abuse. PVSP converted one of its general population yards into a sensitive needs yard (SNY) in November 2002, and now houses approximately 900 SNY inmates on D Facility. Then in May 2004 converted A Facility to a sensitive needs yard and houses 1000 inmates on A Facility.[2]

In 2005–2006, PVSP and Avenal State Prison (ASP) were particularly affected by Valley fever, with 150 new cases from PVSP and 30 from ASP in 2005 and 514 at PVSP and 91 at ASP in 2006.[3][4] In 2007 Valley fever had killed at least four PVSP inmates and one staff member over the previous two years.[5]


  • Prison Industry Authority (PIA): None
  • Vocational: Air conditioning and refrigeration, auto body, auto detail, auto mechanics, auto paint, building maintenance, carpentry, computer repair, consumer electronics, dry cleaning, drywall, electrical work, janitorial, landscape and gardening, machine shop, masonry, mill and cabinetry, office services, small engine repair, plumbing, welding.
  • Academic: Adult Basic Education, High School/GED, Pre-Release, English as a Second Language, Literacy Program.
  • Other: Community Service Crews, Religious, Arts-in-Corrections, Computers for Schools.

Notable current and former inmates

  • Anerae Brown aka X-Raided: Convicted for the murder of a woman during a home invasion robbery.
  • Hans Reiser, creator of ReiserFS, was charged with the 2006 murder of his estranged wife Nina Reiser. While he was initially serving his sentence in San Quentin State Prison, he was later transferred to Pleasant Valley State Prison in 2011.[6]
  • Gregory Scott Haidl, the son of former Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, was charged with the 2002 videotaped rape and molestation of an unconscious 16-year-old girl on a pool table in a Newport Beach garage. The 2005 trial resulted in the conviction of all three defendants and was one of the highest-profile trials ever in Orange County. Haidl, Keith James Spann and Kyle Joseph Nachreiner, violated her with foreign objects, and are seen laughing and joking with one another during the assault. He served part of a 6-year sentence and was released in 2008.[7]
  • Jesse Rugge: Convicted of aggravated kidnapping. Notorious for his association with Jesse James Hollywood and his involvement in the kidnapping/murder of Nick Markowitz. Released in October, 2013.
  • Joe Hunt: Leader of the Billionaire Boys Club
  • Mark Hatten, aka Mark "Hollywood", aka Mark Richmond Hatten: Convicted in 2003 of making criminal threats against model Anna Nicole Smith; assault and battery against her neighbor Rene Navarro of North Hollywood, California. The jury convicted Mark Richmond Hatten of two felony counts; assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and battery. Mark "Hollywood" Hatten spent six years in prison. Hatten also claimed he was the father of Smith's daughter Dannielynn born in 2006 while he was in Pleasant Valley State prison.[8]
  • Erik Menendez
  • Sirhan Sirhan
  • Flesh-N-Bone, (born Stanley Howse) 1/5 of the multi-platinum rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Howse was convicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and probation violation on September 22, 2000. He was released in July 2008.


  1. ^ Offender Information Services Branch (3 January 2013). "Monthly Report of Population" (PDF). California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. p. 2. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) (2009). "Mission Statement". California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  3. ^ Pappagianis, Demosthenes; Coccidioidomycosis Serology Laboratory (2007). "Coccidioidomycosis in California State Correctional Institutions". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1111: 103–111.  
  4. ^ Furillo, Andy (16 August 2007). "Prison report cites valley fever risks. Construction may release spores that cause disease, increasing inmates' cases.". The Sacramento Bee. p. A1. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  5. ^ Furillo, Andy (9 September 2007). "Disease clouds a prison's future. A deadly outbreak of valley fever is sparking doubts about expanding the Pleasant Valley lockup in Fresno County". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  6. ^ "Address Change". 
  7. ^ Welborn, Larry; Srisavasdi, Rachanee (11 March 2006). "Haidl, co-defendants get 6 years each". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  8. ^

External links

  • Pleasant Valley State Prison official webpage
  • California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Official website
  • Coleman, Donald E. (9 Feb 2004). "Conflict in Confinement: Severe overcrowding in state's prisons breeds all types of trouble". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
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