California Men’s Colony (CMC)
Highway 1, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, (805) 547-7900
This is a male-only minimum and medium level security prison located about half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is a large prison, with a design capacity of 3,828 inmates. In March of 2012, there were over 5,500 inmates there. This prison has been satirized as a country club because of its wide variety of vocational and educational programs. The prison has two halves, one which opened in 1954 and the other in 1961.
Suge Knight started his prison sentence at CMC, but was later transferred to Mule Creek State Prison. Charles Keating, Jr., served time at CMC, as did Christian Brando, from 1996 to 2001. Timothy Leary famously escaped from CMC in 1970 with the help of the Weathermen. He then went overseas to Switzerland and Algeria before being arrested in Afghanistan and brought back to California, but not to CMC! He instead was sent to CMF in Vacaville. Bruce McGregor Davis, who was sentenced to two life terms in connection with the Manson Family murders, served time at CMC.