Porterville Developmental Center

The mission of Porterville Developmental Center (PDC) is to provide person-centered support and treatment programs to the individuals served, embracing change and opportunities while continuing partnerships with stakeholders. The Interdisciplinary Team, which includes the consumer, the family or legal representative, and PDC staff such as physicians, psychologists, nurses, psychiatric technicians, social workers, chaplains, rehabilitation and speech therapists, teachers, dietitians and pharmacists, all work toward this mission. The team develops an Individual Program Plan using a person-centered planning process. Services may include health care, education, work training, employment, self-help training, and preparation for independent living, as well as leisure activities, behavior management and socialization skills development.

Porterville Developmental Center (PDC), located on approximately 670 acres in Porterville California, opened in 1953 and currently serves people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in a general treatment area and separate secure treatment program.

PDC is one of four State-operated facilities within the California Department of Developmental Services serving people with developmental disabilities. PDC provides 24-hour residential services for individuals 18 years or older who have serious medical and/or behavior problems for which appropriate services are not currently available through community resources. PDC is licensed by the California Department of Public Health to provide general acute medical services, skilled nursing services, and intermediate care services.

The majority of individuals served at PDC have an intellectual disability and many have severe chronic medical or behavioral problems. Others require services within a secure treatment program. These individuals are in the mild to moderate range of intellectual disability, have come in contact with the legal system, have been determined to be a danger to themselves or others and/or incompetent to stand trial, and have been determined by the court to meet the criteria requiring treatment in a secure area.

Additional Information

Gabriela Maleszewski, Executive Director P. O. Box 2000, Porterville, CA 93258-2000 Public: 559-782-2222 TDD: 559-781-7822 Public Information and Tour Arrangements History Program Descriptions Language Assistance Services Job Opportunities Location and Directions News and Updates

Public Information & Tour Arrangements

In order to preserve the privacy and dignity of individuals living at the DC, general tours for individuals and the public are not available. Educational tours are available at the discretion of the Executive Director. For public information, or to schedule a tour, please contact the Assistant to the Executive Director at 559-782-2286. Members of the media who would like a tour should complete and submit the Media Access Request and Agreement Form. PDF

Infection Control Officer: In accordance with requirements of California Health a Safety Code (HSC) Section 1797.188(d), the Infection Control Officer for Porterville Development Center can be reached at 559-782-2085. For after hours, contact the Assistant Coordinator of Nursi Services at 559-782-2356.


Porterville Developmental Center (PDC) is located on about 670 acres in the foothills of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains in Porterville, California, an agricultural city in Tulare County. In 1945, the State purchased 1,245 acres of land for $62,850 for the future Porterville State Hospital. The site was originally planned for the care and treatment of individuals with epilepsy, but was redesigned as a treatment center for the intellectually disabled. Construction began in 1950 and on May 12, 1953, then Governor Earl Warren dedicated the Porterville State Hospital. PDC admitted its first 200 consumers on June 3, 1953. The total population reached its peak in 1957 with over 2,600 consumers.In 1985, the facility was renamed PDC by the Department of Developmental Services to better reflect the purpose of the facility to care for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Secure Treatment Program was developed in 1997, upon the closure of Camarillo State Hospital and Developmental Center. At that time, 200 consumers were transferred to PDC‘s Secure Treatment Program.

PDC‘s sprawling campus is like a city unto itself. In addition to home residences and training/work sites, the campus includes an auditorium, two gymnasiums and swimming pool complexes, athletic field, religious center, education complex, two cafes, crafts store, fashion center, police station, fire station, hospital, maintenance shops, and has its own water supply and power plant.

In November, 2006, construction began for a 96-bed residential expansion in the Secure Treatment Program. The expansion included six 16-bed living residences, a recreation complex and a new reception building. Construction was completed in October, 2009.

Program Descriptions

Program 1 serves individuals from all residential units at Porterville Developmental Center that become ill and require short‐term acute or critically ill services.

Program 7 serves individuals in a secure environment who require a highly structured treatment setting. Services are provided for both male and female individuals 18 years of age or older and whose functional level of intellectual disability ranges from moderate to borderline. These individuals have multiple maladaptive behaviors including sexual and/or other criminal offenses, assaults, self-abuse, property destruction, drug abuse and other socially undesirable and antisocial behaviors. The focus of treatment includes restoring individuals to competency based on their admittance to PDC under a Penal Code commitment of 1370.1 for competency training. Services provided include work/life skills, substance abuse training, coping skills, relaxation therapy, individual and group therapy, sex offender relapse training, court competency training, as well as specialized educational and vocational opportunities.

Program 8 provides services to individuals in a secure setting who may be dually diagnosed, requiring both behavioral and mental health services. The program focus is to alleviate challenging behaviors, increase independence in work, daily living, leisure/socialization skills, community integration, and to develop and/or improve communication skills in preparation for individuals to be successful in a less restrictive environment. The program provides services for modifying challenging behaviors by responding to the function or purpose that a particular behavior serves with positive approaches via reinforcement, replacement behavior, positive alternative behavior, functional equivalents, or other interventions as needed. Training is provided in self-care, communication, socialization, leisure, vocational and work-related skills, as well as educational services for students with special needs through compensatory education sites on campus. Individuals admitted are 18 years of age or older.

  • Central Program Services: Day Treatment Services Central Program Services provides training to meet the individual’s identified needs. Services are provided through a variety of programs designed to increase their level of independence, functioning skills, ability to control their environment, and ability to live in community settings. Services provided include Education Services, Adult Habilitation Services, Employment Services, Court Competency Training, MOVE Program, Speech-Language Pathology Services, Audiology Services, Curriculum Services, Sign Language Interpreter Services, Assistive Technology, Leisure Services, Religious Services, Volunteer Services, two Resource Centers, two snack shops and the Foster Grandparent/Senior Companion program.

Language Assistance Services

Porterville maintains language assistance policies in both English and Spanish and provides language assistance services for residents and families in accordance with Section 1259 of the California Health and Safety Code (Assembly Bill 389, Chapter 327, Statutes of 2015). To find out more about language services that are available, please click on one of the following links:

Job Opportunities

Porterville Developmental Center (PDC) is a California State civil service employer. In order to be considered for a position at PDC, you must have eligibility on a State of California hiring list or be a current or former State of California employee. To obtain eligibility on the hiring list you must apply for and successfully compete in an examination process. Applications and examination announcements can be downloaded at State Personnel Board or can be obtained by calling our Exams Department at 559-782-2322.

The objective of the Clinical Psychology Internship Program is to train generalist psychologists who can apply skills learned at PDC in a wide variety of clinical settings. This internship program is part of the California Psychology Internship Consortium (CPIC), which is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). CPIC has multiple internship sites of which PDC is one site. The internship can be individualized. Most interns select to focus on the forensic opportunities available at PDC. This includes assessment and evaluation, report preparation, interdisciplinary treatment team functions and group and individual psychotherapy.Stipend: Approximately $35,000 per year

Application Requirements:

  • Complete Standard APPIC Application for the California Psychology Internship Consortium.
  • 800 hours of practicum experience, 100 hours assessment experience and acquired practicum experience at two independent sites.

For more information, contact the Psychology Intern Training Director at: P.O. Box 2000, Porterville, California 93258-2000 Phone: 559-782-4047

See APPIC Directory for more information.

The Social Work Field Internship is committed to providing high quality training in social work. The agency provides rich clinical exposure and opportunities for students to gain experience in individual case work/counseling, group work, teaching independent living skills and case management.Through supervision and direct consumer contact, interns are offered comprehensive experience and quality social work training that instructs them in assessment, treatment, consultation, case management and consumer advocacy. The program accepts social work undergraduate and graduate interns.

Application Requirements:

  • Referral from participating University
  • Resume or curriculum vitae

Required Training:

  • 40 hour training provided on site

For more information contact the Social Work Internship Coordinator at 559-782-4046

Location & Directions

Porterville Developmental Center 26501 Avenue 140 Porterville, California 93257-2000

From Bakersfield

  • Take Highway 65 Northeast to Porterville
  • Exit Highway 190 East
  • Travel approximately four miles and take Road 265 (Blue Heron Parkway) exit into facility grounds

From Fresno

  • Travel South on Highway 99 to Tipton
  • Take Highway 190 exit East
  • Travel for approximately 18 miles and take the Road 265 (Blue Heron Parkway) exit into facility grounds

News & Updates


Last modified: May 18, 2021