Code Section Group

Penal Code - PEN


  ( Part 3 repealed and added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106. )


  ( Title 1 repealed and added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106. )

CHAPTER 4. Treatment of Prisoners [2650 - 2695.5]

  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106. )

ARTICLE 1. Mistreatment of Prisoners [2650 - 2657]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106. )


The person of a prisoner sentenced to imprisonment in the state prison or to imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 is under the protection of the law, and any injury to his person, not authorized by law, is punishable in the same manner as if he were not convicted or sentenced.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 463. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)


No punishment, except as may be authorized by the Director of Corrections, shall be inflicted and then only by the order and under the direction of the wardens. Nothing in this section shall be construed as a limitation or impairment of the authority of the Board of Prison Terms in exercising its functions.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 255.)


It shall be unlawful to use in the prisons, any cruel, corporal or unusual punishment or to inflict any treatment or allow any lack of care whatever which would injure or impair the health of the prisoner, inmate or person confined; and punishment by the use of the strait-jacket, gag, thumb-screw, shower-bath or the tricing up of prisoners, inmates or persons confined is hereby prohibited. Any person who violates the provisions of this section or who aids, abets, or attempts in any way to contribute to the violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106.)


No person employed by the Department of Corrections, the Department of the Youth Authority, or any city or county jail facility shall place any chain or other mechanical restraint around the neck of any prisoner for any purpose. Any violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1047.)


(a) If a physician employed by the Department of Corrections or the Department of the Youth Authority certifies in writing that a particular medical treatment is required to prevent a violation of Section 147, 673, 2650, or 2652, or is required to prevent serious and imminent harm to the health of a prisoner, the order for that particular medical treatment may not be modified or canceled by any employee of the department without the approval of the chief medical officer of the institution or the physician in attendance unless an inmate or ward has a known history of violent or otherwise disruptive behavior that requires additional measures to protect the safety and security of the institution specified in writing by the warden or superintendent, or unless immediate security needs require alternate or modified procedures. Following any necessary modified or alternate security procedures, treatment of the inmate or ward shall be effected as expeditiously as possible.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a registered nurse from questioning, or seeking clarification of, an order from a physician that in the professional judgment of that nurse endangers patient health or safety, or otherwise is contrary to the professional ethics of the registered nurse.

(b) Any person who violates this section shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the department.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 602, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1993.)


(a) A person sentenced to incarceration or who is being held pursuant to a pending criminal matter in a county or city jail, or other county or city custodial correctional facility shall not be deprived of the possession or use of any orthopedic or prosthetic appliance, if such appliance has been prescribed or recommended and fitted by a physician.

(b) If, however, the person in charge of the county or city custodial or correctional facility has probable cause to believe possession of such orthopedic or prosthetic appliance constitutes an immediate risk of bodily harm to any person in the facility or threatens the security of the facility, such appliance may be removed.

If such appliance is removed, the prisoner shall be deprived of such appliance only during such time as the facts which constitute probable cause for its removal continue to exist; if such facts cease to exist, then the person in charge of the facility shall return such appliance to the prisoner.

When such appliance is removed, the prisoner shall be examined by a physician within 24 hours after such removal.

If the examining physician determines that removal is or will be injurious to the health or safety of the prisoner, he shall so inform the prisoner and the person in charge of the facility. Upon receipt of the physician’s opinion, the person in charge of the facility shall either return the appliance to the prisoner or refuse to return such appliance to the prisoner, informing the physician and the prisoner of the reasons for such refusal and promptly providing the prisoner with a form, as specified in subdivision (c) of this section, by which the prisoner may petition the superior court of the county in which the facility is located for return of the appliance.

Upon petition by the prisoner, the court shall either order the appliance returned to the petitioner or within two judicial days after the petition is filed receive evidence relevant to the granting or denial of the petition. When evidence is received, the court shall consider the opinion of the physician who examined the prisoner and the opinion of the person in charge of the facility and all other evidence it deems relevant. A decision shall be promptly made and shall be based upon a weighing of the risk of immediate harm to persons within the facility and the threat to the security of the facility created by the appliance’s presence in the facility as against the risk to the health and safety of the petitioner by its removal.

(c) The form for a request for return of an orthopedic or prosthetic appliance as required in subdivision (b) of this section shall be substantially as follows:

(Name of the facility) ____ day of ____ 19__

I, ____ (person in charge of the facility), have today received a request for the return of an orthopedic or prosthetic appliance, namely, ____ (description of appliance or device) from the undersigned prisoner.


Signature or mark of prisoner
making request for return of
appliance or device

When the prisoner has signed or made his mark upon such form, the person in charge of the facility shall promptly file the completed form with the superior court.

(d) No person incarcerated in any facility of the Department of Corrections shall be deprived of the use or possession of any orthopedic or prosthetic appliance unless both the inmate’s personal physician and a department physician concur in the professional opinion that such appliance is no longer needed.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1352.)


(a) No person confined in a state prison, as defined in Section 4504, shall be subject to any institutional disciplinary action subsequent to an acquittal in a court of law upon criminal charges brought and tried for the act or omission which is the sole basis of the institutional disciplinary action.

(b) Where the act or omission resulting in acquittal is in any way referred to in any Department of Corrections file pertaining to the prisoner, the fact of acquittal by a court of law shall be clearly inscribed near each such reference.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 726.)

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