California Medical Facility (CMF)
This prison, specially designed for the medical and psychiatric needs of male felons in prison, has been around since 1955. It has a hospice unit for the terminally ill, as well as other acute care capacities. Vacaville is about half way between San Francisco and Sacramento.
CMF has the largest hospital among California prisons. The prison has a design capacity of just under 2,200 inmates, but houses close to 3,000. The prison is well-known for its “Blind Project,” wherein inmates read audio books for the blind community outside the prison. It also is well-known for transcribing books into braille for the blind.
Timothy Leary spent time at CMF in the early 1970 for possession of marijuana and after he escaped from the California Men’s Colony, a minimum security prison in San Luis Obispo. Charles Manson spent nine years at Vacaville from 1976 to 1985, after being transferred there from Folsom. He left Vacaville and was then transferred to San Quentin