Capitol Alert

Former California prisons director Cal Terhune dies

Cal Terhune, who spent 35 years in the California Youth Authority, served as director of the agency until his retirement in 1991. He returned to state service in 1997 at the behest of then-Gov. Pete Wilson to head the state prison system, which was plagued by overcrowding and allegations of correctional officer brutality.
Cal Terhune, who spent 35 years in the California Youth Authority, served as director of the agency until his retirement in 1991. He returned to state service in 1997 at the behest of then-Gov. Pete Wilson to head the state prison system, which was plagued by overcrowding and allegations of correctional officer brutality. Contributed photo

Editor’s note: This post has been changed to reflect the address of the memorial gathering.

A memorial gathering will be held Aug. 14 for Cal Terhune, a veteran state corrections official who died Friday. He was 86.

Terhune, who spent 35 years in the California Department of the Youth Authority, serving as director of the agency until his retirement in 1991, returned to state service in 1997 at the behest of then-Gov. Pete Wilson to head the state prison system, which was plagued by overcrowding and allegations of correctional officer brutality.

Terhune served for three years as director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and retired again in 2000, citing a serious heart condition.

“The doctors say I need to work 40 hours a week,” Terhune said in an interview at the time. “Well, this isn’t a 40-hour-a-week job and I’m not a 40-hour-a-week person. So it was a collision course and my wife said, ‘Act like a 71-year-old and do what you’re supposed to do.’ ”

After retirement, Terhune was active in civic affairs in Amador County.

The gathering of Terhune’s friends and former colleagues will be held at 1 p.m. Aug. 14 at the California Correctional Peace Officers Foundation at 1346 North Market Blvd. in Sacramento.

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