The very first San Quentin belt buckle was approved for optional wear with the C/O uniform in 1978. An article was written about it in the San Quentin "Staff Line" paper. You can read it by clicking the image to the right.
David "D.I." Roberts
September 12, 1945 - February 27, 1998
CDC Employee - 1974 - 1989
Institutions where DI worked: San Quentin, CTF-Soledad, CMC-San Luis Obispo, CCI-Tehachapi, CRC-Patton State Hospital and Norco. He medically retired from CDC in December 1989. In 1997 Dave was hired as the Friends Outside Coordinator for CSATF-Corcoran, where he worked until his death on February 27, 1998.
The Prison Buckle Co. evolved from the designs and efforts put forth by the late David I. Roberts. I have worked at San Quentin for several years. I remember when I bought my first San Quentin buckle. A few years later I decided I was going to buy the CDC buckle and start a collection. It was then I learned that the buckles were no longer available. After further research I found that Mr. Roberts had passed away and that the buckles were no longer being produced. I felt the buckles were too nice to not produce them anymore. I contacted Mrs. Roberts and reached an agreement to produce and sell the buckles. Our goal is to continue with the mission of producing a buckle for each institution. It has become a passion for me. We at The Prison Buckle Co. have worked with Mr. Roberts' wife and family to maintain the integrity and quality of the buckles produced. Our hope is that Mr. Roberts would be proud of the efforts put forth by The Prison Buckle Co.
Bronze Belt Buckles
Gold and Silver Belt Buckles
David "D.I." Roberts, the founder of Pigville Artworks began this venture while working as a Correctional Officer at San Quentin State Prison (1974-1978). He and his brother, William "Bill" Roberts designed the original San Quentin belt buckle. This buckle design was abandoned when Dave decided a more detailed buckle was needed to reflect the professionalism of the officers. He worked with his step-brother, Bill Jarnagin, to design the new buckle. His step-brother also assisted him with the artwork and designs of both Folsom and Deuel Vocational Institute buckles. After that, Dave went out on his own to design buckles for almost all of the other institutions throughout the State. He submitted over 15 different designs to the Department for consideration as the official CDC buckle. The current design was approved by the Department and included in the revised Departmental Operations Manual (DOM) as optional official uniform wear. Both the CDC buckle and those approved by each facility's administration are the only optional buckles authorized for officers as part of their uniform. Dave met with each institution's warden to obtain their input and approval of their facility's buckle design.
The name "Pigville Artworks" came about due to Dave's artistic ability in drawing humanistic styled pigs. The money from the sale of buckles was originally intended to go toward development of his Pigville characters, however, this never materialized, and any money earned went into the design and production of additional buckles and matching lapel pins. One of his buckles made it's way to Georgia, where a new Nuclear Power plant was opening. The management saw the buckle and immediately contacted Dave to produce two buckles for them, one using a winning employee design to be worn by their staff, and the other a design which would be used on buckles distributed to the community as a good will gesture. He won the bid for these buckles and it was his largest single order. His wife still has a display case holding one of each of the two buckles and a bronzed copy of the check he received for these buckles. Dave will always be remembered as "The Buckle Man". He took pride in his work, and greatly enjoyed the camaraderie he enjoyed when he went to the various institutions selling the buckles and personalizing them with on-site engraving. Dave passed away early in the morning of February 27, 1998 when he suffered from cardiac arrest while driving himself and his wife, Alice, to work. His memory lives on in his legacy of CDC belt buckles.
ThePrison Buckle Co
The Official Uniform Buckle for the California Department of Corrections
Custom Fabricated Uniform Accessories Since 1978