Saturday, December 30, 2006

Major Prison Disturbance at the California Institution for Men in Chino

A major inmate disturbance occurred today at the California Institution for Men at Chino where about 800 inmates housed at the Reception Center West Facility began fighting in the exercise yard. Inmates began sporadic fighting about 9:30 a.m. in five of the eight dorms units.

Correctional staff pulled back to staging areas, formed into tactical units, and systematically regained control of the housing areas stopping the inmates from rioting by using batons, O.C. pepper spray, and wooden and foam projectiles. Staff secured the housing units by 1:30 p.m.

Medical staff sent twenty-seven inmates to local hospitals for an evaluation of their injuries, and Institution hospital staff treated twenty-four inmates for minor injuries. One inmate suffered a head injury and stab wounds.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary James E. Tilton praised all who assisted today. "I want to thank Warden Michael E. Poulos and the staff at CIM for their quick action and professional conduct in ending this major disturbance. Staff quickly stopped the fighting from escalating which reflects their dedication to duty." He also praised staff from nearby prison institutions along with police departments from the cities of Chino, Ontario, and Chino Hills, and the Chino Valley Fire Department for their assistance.

CIM medical staff treated one officer for heat exhaustion at the scene. There were no other staff injuries. Responding staff contained the inmate fighting to the RC-West Facility. There is extensive damage to the buildings, and an evaluation is underway.

CDCR Administration is suspending intake of new inmates to CIM until the staff complete the investigation and evaluation of the incident.

The Administration placed the institution on lock-down and staff are interviewing inmates to try to learn what caused today's fighting.

The California Institution for Men currently houses 6,396 inmates. It serves as a reception center for incoming inmates from surrounding counties and houses minimum and medium security level inmates.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

CDCR TRANSFERS SECOND GROUP OF INMATES OUT-OF-STATE

More than 500 Scheduled to Be Sent to Arizona to Ease Overcrowding in California

In another step toward reducing overcrowding in California prisons, a second group of inmates has been moved out of state to a correctional facility in Arizona.

A busload of 38 volunteer inmates from a variety of prisons left the San Joaquin Valley early this morning for the Florence Detention Center near Phoenix, Ariz. The facility is operated by the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), based in Nashville, Tenn.

The group will be followed to Florence, Ariz., by more volunteer inmates over the next six weeks, eventually resulting in approximately 560 California inmates housed there.

The inmate transfers are the result of an emergency proclamation in October by Governor Schwarzenegger to help relieve severe inmate overcrowding in 29 of the state's 33 prisons. The Governor's emergency proclamation authorized the CDCR to temporarily move inmates to privately operated correctional facilities in other states to ease the overcrowding. The moves also help CDCR avoid the crisis of running out of beds for inmates, which was estimated to occur by the summer 2007, unless inmates could be sent to other states.

California currently houses an historic high of nearly 174,000 inmates, far more than current prisons are designed to house. The severe overcrowding has forced CDCR to house more than 17,000 inmates in areas not designed for living space, including gymnasiums, dayrooms, and program rooms.

Inmates being transferred over the next six weeks join an original group of 80 California inmates that were moved on November 3 to the West Tennessee Detention Facility near Mason, Tenn. That facility is also operated by CCA.

The CCA has contracted to house up to 1,000 medium-custody level inmates in double cells at four of their facilities. The total annual cost of the CCA contract is approximately $22.9 million. Although CCA operates private institutions, they are required by contract to operate them consistent with all CDCR procedures and California law.

More information regarding prison overcrowding and inmate transfers out-of-state is available on CDCR's web site at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ventura Youth Correctional Facility Juvenile Firefighters to be Honored

Former CYA wards - Now CDF employees - To Speak to Juvenile Firefighters

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 14
Ventura Youth Correctional Facility
3100 Wright Road, Camarillo

The Sylvester Carraway Ventura Fire Camp, adjacent to the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility will be hosting their 6th Annual Firefighter Appreciation Dinner on Dec. 14. The ceremony honors the female and male juvenile firefighters for their hard work and community service for the prior calendar year while stationed at the camp.

"Positive Change Through Public Service" is the theme of this event. Richard Avina, a California Department of Forestry Firefighter, Ve Moua, a California Department of Forestry Fire Captain and Truong Nguyen, an engineer for the California Department of Forestry were all once wards at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation-Division of Juvenile Justice.

Assembly Member Audra Strickland (R-Moorpark) will serve as keynote speaker for this event. Sandra Youngen, the new Director of Facilities for the Division of Juvenile Justice, and other community dignitaries, are scheduled to attend the ceremony.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Corrections Medal of Valor, Gold Star Honorees Featured on Radio Football Broadcast Regarding Hiring Opportunities

Highlights Recruitment Efforts for Officers, Health Care, Teachers

San Francisco - On Sunday, Dec. 3, employees from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) who have received the Department's highest honors for courageous actions above and beyond the call of duty will be interviewed during the Oakland Raiders pre-game show on KSFO-AM Radio 560.

Oakland Raiders radio announcer Rich Walcoff will speak with the honorees briefly at about 11:30 a.m. about career opportunities with the Department. The employees were honored at ceremonies in May in Sacramento for their heroic deeds in responding to prison and/or community incidents.

Parole Agent I Darrell Littleton, who was awarded the Medal of Valor for "conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service," will be joined by six CDCR staff awarded the Gold Star medal during the interview. The Gold Star awardees are Correctional Sergeant Scott Richards, Correctional Officers Jesus Caropreso, Jeffrey Allen Harris, Edward Welch, Medical Technical Assistant Elvie Pulido, and Prison Industry Authority Chief Assistant General Manager Charles Pattillo.

The honorees were asked to the pre-game interview to highlight CDCR's efforts to recruit correctional officers, health care professionals, and teachers for the Department.

The CDCR has an aggressive campaign to recruit employees to fill vacant positions throughout California. During the last legislative session, the CDCR introduced legislation to build a new southern correctional officer academy in the Los Angeles area to draw a larger number of candidates for correctional officer positions from southern California. The Department is also advertising to healthcare providers and teachers.

The CDCR's campaign about the benefits of becoming an employee reaches across several marketing and outreach sectors. They include:

  • Online Advertising: The CDCR is recruiting correctional officers on more than 50 employment websites and has banner advertisements on the jobs pages of 15 newspaper websites.
  • Newspaper Advertising: More than 60 newspapers statewide have run advertisements for CDCR's employment campaign. In July 2006, CDCR began to run correctional officer ads in every major Employment Guide in California.
  • Public Service Announcements (PSA)/Radio Advertising: The CDCR released public service announcements to all media regarding the immediate need to hire correctional officers.
The CDCR encourages anyone interested in being a part of the team to apply today. Visit CDCR Career Opportunities for more information on the CDCR recruitment and employment efforts.

Background on the Medal of Valor/Gold Star awardees:

The Medal of Valor is the Department's highest award, earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.

Parole Agent I Darrell Littleton
Division of Adult Parole Operations

In late February 2005, Agent Littleton was on-duty driving in the city of Vista. He saw a pickup truck ahead lose control and slide off the road into a raging water-filled ravine. The truck was on its side and the woman driver was unable to get out. The truck was already half-filled with icy water, and she was pinned to the driver's side door. Water was quickly overtaking the cab. With little thought of his own safety, Agent Littleton waded into the water. He climbed up on the side of the truck and lifted her out through the passenger door. Another individual had also stopped and held the door open while Agent Littleton waded in to the rescue. A nearby Oceanside Police captain arrived later on the scene to find the woman safe-and Agent Littleton soaking wet and covered in mud!

The Gold Star is the Department's second-highest award, earned for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.

Correctional Officer Jeffrey Allen Harris
California State Prison, Solano

In the Prison Industry Authority laundry facility at CSP-Solano in September 2005, an inmate suddenly and without provocation began to assault the PIA laundry supervisor with an inmate-made knife. The inmate was stabbing the man in the face and tried to stab him in his abdomen. Officer Harris, who was assigned to the laundry, saw the attack and immediately responded to the supervisor's aid. Disregarding his own safety, Officer Harris disarmed and physically restrained the inmate. With the aid of additional responding staff, the inmate was placed in restraints. Correctional Officer Jeffrey Harris's actions very likely prevented the supervisor from being seriously injured or even killed.

Correctional Sergeant Scott Richards
Ironwood State Prison

While visiting a friend in July 2005, Correctional Sergeant Scott Richards saw a nearby row of townhouses on fire. He called out to his friend to call 911 and jumped over the fence. Once he got to the homes, he quickly knocked on doors to warn residents. He soon heard a woman screaming that she needed help. He raced towards her and she told him that her husband was a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down. The house was nearly engulfed in flames. Without regard for his safety, Sergeant Richards ran inside, called out and searched for the man. He soon found him in the smoke and flames. Thinking quickly, he soaked a blanket in water and covered the man with it. By this time, two neighbors arrived and helped carry the man through the flames and embers to safety. Sergeant Richards provided first aid and comfort to the man until paramedics arrived. The man made a complete recovery.

Correctional Officer Edward W. Welch, Jr.
Wasco State Prison and Reception Center

In early August 2005, Officer Welch and a correctional sergeant were participating in Governor Schwarzenegger's "Flex Your Power.at the Pump" by ridesharing to and from work. When the sergeant was driving the van to work that day, the road conditions appeared calm and normal. Unbeknownst to him, however, down the road a well pump had malfunctioned, causing severe flooding and sending a heavy current of water across the roadway. When the vanpool hit the water, there wasn't enough time to safely stop the vehicle. It went out of control, rolling over on its roof in a flooded ditch. They found themselves underwater and unable to breathe. The sergeant was unable to free himself. Officer Welch freed himself and stayed in the van to assist. Using physical strength, he freed the sergeant from the restraint system and wreckage. They swam through the passenger door and escaped a possible fatal accident. Without regard for his own safety, Officer Welch, demonstrated courage and bravery by remaining in a dangerous situation to save the life of a fellow human being.

Correctional Officer Jesus Caropreso and Medical Technical Assistant Elvie Pulido
Salinas Valley State Prison

During the morning meal in July 2005 in an Administrative Segregation Unit overflow unit at Salinas Valley State Prison, an inmate brutally attacked two correctional officers. The inmate attacked the officers as they were feeding the inmates. They were standing on either side of the inmate when he started to stab them using a homemade weapon made of pieces of steel cut from a locker or sleeping bunk. He stabbed both officers in the neck several times. The officers immediately responded and were threatened by the inmate before they subdued him. They also quickly partnered with Medical Technical Assistant Pulido to provide life-saving medical response. Their timely response and collaboration clearly saved the two officers' lives from a deadly attack by a violent felon.

Charles L. Pattillo, Chief Assistant General Manager
Prison Industry Authority

In early December 2004, Pattillo assisted someone who was bleeding from a stab wound and who had approached him for a ride. He allowed the person, who was apparently fleeing from two suspects, to get in the back of his truck. During the course of helping the person, his truck was damaged when the two suspects rammed it with their vehicle. He continued to assist the stabbing victim at the scene as well as taking the person home and calling police. His heroic actions may have prevented the stabbing victim from even more serious wounds. In a special ceremony in mid-2005, Sacramento Police Chief Albert Najera presented Pattillo with a letter of commendation for his "heroic efforts" in serving his community.

Monday, November 6, 2006

CIW Teams with Faith-Based Organization to Prepare Female Offenders for Parole

Inmates spend final year of prison time preparing for release

Chino – Today the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s California Institution for Women (CIW), and the Prison Industry Authority, in cooperation with a nationally recognized faith-based prisoner reentry program, held an open house for a pilot program designed to prepare female offenders for reentry into society, and reunification with their families and children.

This reentry curriculum is being coordinated by a national organization, Alpha USA Divisions of Prisons & Re-Entry, which has conducted similar programs in two other states. The results of similar programs in other states have been encouraging and indicate a decrease in recidivism or return-to-prison rate for inmates. More than 200 faith-based volunteers from across the United States joined in a celebration and blessing of this open house today. Nearly 130 CIW female offenders are enrolled in this program.

"This department re-organized to begin preparing inmates for their eventual release back into the community the day they arrive to serve their prison time," said CIW Warden Dawn Davison. “I believe these type of partnerships will give inmates, such as the women at CIW, the best chance at success once they leave prison and return home. This program also has improved the security and safety within the prison, allowing other programming inmates the ability to be successful.”

The pilot program allows for CIW inmates to voluntarily participate in a curriculum of study based on Biblical principles prior to release and continue to be assisted in their transition back into the community after release. The state is not reimbursing the collaborators for curriculum delivery or post-release services.

CDCR has a long history of working with organizations of all denominations who serve as volunteers. CDCR welcomes organizations of all denominations to approach the department with proposals that assists inmates and parolees on services.

The Prison Industry Authority, the state organization that operates factories in California prisons and a co-sponsor of the program, has created additional jobs in its fabric enterprise at the institution to support this pilot program.

"The Prison Industry Authority is pleased to partner with the Alpha project in developing a new rehabilitation program at the California Institution for Women," said PIA General Manager Matt Powers. "The skills that these inmates learn while working in PIA and the life skills that are taught in the Alpha Project can greatly assist inmates in successfully transitioning back into society."

Administrators at other CDCR institutions are studying the CIW pilot in an effort to determine whether this program will work in their facility. Plans are already in place to initiate a second pilot at Folsom State Prison in 2007.

In nearly every community surrounding existing adult prisons and juvenile facilities, hundreds of faith-based volunteers serve as a critical community partner with inmates – often serving as the only visitor an inmate might have during their incarceration. The Alpha program is designed to channel those resources in a coordinated effort to deliver a variety of skills to inmates so they can best succeed once they return home.

"I was a prison warden for more than 20 years in Oklahoma," said Alpha National Director Jack Cowley. "I have been witness to a failed correctional system, both in California and on a national level. I am excited about the possibilities in this state for a meaningful transition for the inmates. This follows Governor Schwarzenegger's plan for reducing recidivism. This program is a first, and I believe it will serve as a significant step toward making those reductions in recidivism occur."

Female inmates with a minimum of nine months to a year of time before their parole date can be considered. Inmates can stay as long as a year. The program encompasses a single living unit in a general population area.

Inmates are housed within the same living unit of the facility to enhance an environment within the facility, which is supportive to their life-changing experiences. The curriculum is broken up into four quarters, like an educational curriculum. Thirty to forty inmates attend each part of the curriculum as they move through the four quarters. The classes are taught in the evenings, while inmates are at jobs during the day.

News Fact Sheet: CIW Faith-Based Initiative (pdf)

CDCR Investigators Catch California Prison Escapee after 35 years

Escapee Found in Canada Returned to California Prison On Monday

(Sacramento) – A 35-year odyssey came to an end today when a man who escaped from a California corrections conservation camp in 1971 was returned to custody after a special agent with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) reopened the case earlier this year.

“This case clearly demonstrates that CDCR never stops looking for offenders who have escaped from custody or parole supervision,” said Richard Rimmer, Assistant Secretary of the CDCR Office of Correctional Safety. “Our agents and staff are very experienced, talented and relentless investigators.”

Earlier this year, a special agent with CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety-Special Service Unit reopened the case of Michael Florentino, who had escaped from a state correctional conservation camp on August 22, 1971. Within months, the agent tracked Florentino, now 60, living in Vancouver, British Columbia, under the alias Michael Capuano.

In August, the Special Service Unit contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for assistance. The RCMP confirmed Florentino’s identity and conducted surveillance to confirm his whereabouts. The Federal Bureau of Investigations submitted an Unlawful Flight to Avoid Custody warrant to authorities in Canada and Florentino was arrested on September 15, 2006 in Vancouver by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for being a U.S. citizen in Canada illegally.

Florentino, convicted in Contra Costa County in 1969, was about two-and-a-half years into his six-months to 10-year sentence for assault with a deadly weapon when he and inmate Bobby Jehu Stroup walked away from the Growlersburg Conservation Camp in El Dorado County 35 years ago. Stroup was apprehended, but Florentino, who was 25 years old at the time, eluded authorities for more than three decades.

Following his recent arrest, Florentino was given a deportation order to return to the United States from federal immigration officials. He voluntarily surrendered to CDCR Special Service Unit agents and federal immigration agents this morning. He was taken into CDCR custody and transported to San Quentin State Prison’s Reception Center.

The Board of Parole Hearings will be notified and will schedule a hearing to determine how much time Florentino needs to serve and what action to take for his 1971 escape.

The Special Service Unit was established in 1964. Originally formed to enhance liaison activities between corrections and the law enforcement community, the unit provides state level investigative services to law enforcement when inmates or parolees are suspected, provides investigative services for CDCR institutions, functions as the department’s gang intelligence operation, apprehends escapees and dangerous parolees-at-large, and coordinates the California Gang Task Force, the longest running law enforcement task force in California history. In the past three years, the Special Service Unit has apprehended 61 escapees.

Of all offenders that escaped from a state prison, conservation camp or community based program between 1975 and 2005, 99 percent have been apprehended.

Friday, October 20, 2006

CDCR Signs Contracts to House Inmates Out-of-State

Inmates to Begin Moving As Early as Next Month

In response to Governor Schwarzenegger's state of emergency proclamation to immediately ease severe overcrowding in California prisons, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced today it has signed two separate contracts to temporarily provide 2,260 beds for inmates outside of California.

"This is a major step toward reducing the historic levels of overcrowding that is causing major safety issues for prison staff, inmates and the public," said CDCR Secretary James E. Tilton. "The Governor clearly recognizes the dangers posed by this crisis and has ordered the Department to respond aggressively and appropriately. These contracts will allow California to house inmates out-of-state in a safe and cost-effective manner while creating relief inside our prisons."

The two contracts signed by CDCR late Thursday are with The GEO Group Inc. of Florida and the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Combined, the contracts will provide beds for up to 2,260 California inmates in four states.

Contracts with both companies are for three years beginning November 2006, with mutual options for two-year extensions. Each inmate transferred will be housed in a secure, private correctional facility at a cost of $63 per day (excluding transportation cost).

The GEO Group Inc. will house up to 1,260 medium-custody level inmates at the New Castle Correctional Facility in New Castle, Indiana. The total cost of The GEO Group Inc. contract is expected to be approximately $28.7 million per year.

The CCA will house up to 1,000 medium-custody level inmates in double cells at four of their facilities, including 440 inmates at Florence Detention Center near Phoenix, Arizona; 240 inmates at the North Fork Correctional Facility and 240 inmates at the Diamondback facility, both in Oklahoma; and 80 inmates at the West Tennessee Detention Facility in Mason, Tennessee. The total annual cost of the CCA contract is approximately $22.9 million.

Although both The GEO Group Inc. and CCA operate private institutions, they are required by contract to operate them consistent with all CDCR procedures and California law.

The transfer of the 2,260 inmates, all of whom are expected to volunteer for the move, is scheduled to begin in November and be completed by March 2007. CDCR will continue to seek additional contracts to house up to a total of 5,000 inmates.

CDCR officials have inspected the out-of-state facilities during the past several weeks to ensure that they are consistent with California standards for safety and security, as well as whether the proper medical care and rehabilitative programs will be provided to inmates. All facilities are accredited by the American Correctional Association. In addition, officials this week have begun finalizing agreements with inmates interested in transferring out-of-state.

With a total of more than 172,000 inmates, overcrowding in California prisons is so severe that CDCR has been forced to house more than 17,000 inmates in areas not designed for living space, including gymnasiums and dayrooms. Nearly 1,500 of those inmates are living in triple bunks. Without immediate action, CDCR inmate population projections show that all prison space will be completely exhausted by August 2007. By moving these 2,260 inmates now, that date is expected to be pushed back to June 2008.

Following numerous legislative attempts to address this issue, the Governor proclaimed a state of emergency on Oct. 4, 2006, clearing the way for CDCR to begin contracting with public and/or private correctional facilities to temporarily house California inmates.

This summer, the Governor called a special session of the Legislature to address the issue; however, a package of proposals to relieve overcrowding failed to win support. In January 2006, the Governor introduced proposals for new prison and local jail facilities as part of his Strategic Growth Plan but those were not included in the bond package passed by the Legislature. The Governor also proposed moving non-violent female inmates out of more expensive state lockups and into community correctional facilities as part of his proposed Fiscal Year 2006-07 Budget, but that proposal also failed passage.

The Governor will reintroduce plans to build new prison and jail facilities, reentry facilities, and community correctional facilities when the Legislature reconvenes in December.

Governor's State of Emergency Proclamation
GEO Contract
CCA Contract

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Governor Uses Executive Authority to Relieve Prison Overcrowding, Proclaims Emergency to Allow Inmate Transfer

Link to Governor's Press Release Governor Schwarzenegger issued an emergency proclamation for California's prison system today, citing severe overcrowding as a threat to health and safety in 29 of the State's 33 prisons. The emergency proclamation will allow Corrections officials to immediately contract with out-of-state correctional facilities to temporarily house California inmates.

"Our prisons are now beyond maximum capacity, and we must act immediately and aggressively to resolve this issue," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "I've ordered the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to begin contracting with facilities in other states to transfer inmates to available beds outside of California. These actions are necessary to protect the safety and well being of the officers, inmates and the public."

The Governor issued the emergency proclamation after his legislative package failed to win support during a Special Session of the Legislature called to address prison overcrowding. California Corrections officials estimate that CDCR will run out of bed space for inmates as early as June of 2007. Overcrowding is so critical that CDCR is forced to house more than 15,000 inmates in areas not designed for living space, including gymnasiums, dayrooms, and program rooms, as well as 1,500 inmates sleeping in triple-bunks.

The Governor introduced proposals for new prison and local jail facilities in January as part of his Strategic Growth Plan but the prison/jail proposals were not included in the bond package passed by the Legislature. The Governor also proposed moving non-violent women inmates out of the prison system and into community correctional facilities as part of his proposed Fiscal Year 2006-07 Budget, but that proposal also failed passage. The emergency declaration allows CDCR to streamline contracting to transfer inmates to out-of-state facilities for a period of 3-5 years. The Governor will re-introduce plans to build new prison and jail facilities, re-entry facilities and community correctional facilities when the Legislature reconvenes in December.

During the month of September, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation performed an informal survey of inmates and found that more than 19,000 expressed interest in transferring to a correctional facility outside of California. The number of inmates who can be transferred will depend on the type of beds available in out-of-state facilities selected through negotiations.

Once the volunteer pool of inmates is exhausted, the Governor's emergency proclamation orders CDCR to move inmates out-of-state involuntarily, if necessary, by meeting certain criteria and in compliance with all interstate agreements. The Governor ordered the CDCR to work in consultation with the court appointed Receiver in the Plata litigation and Special Master in the Coleman case before moving any inmates who require medical and mental health treatment.

CDCR officials are currently inspecting prison facilities in nine states - including Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Indiana, Michigan, Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama - to evaluate whether they meet California's security needs and other criteria. These facilities had expressed interest in housing California inmates earlier this year by responding to CDCR's Request for Information. Some of the interested facilities are government-run by county sheriff departments and others are operated by private correctional companies.

CDCR expects to enter into contracts three to five years in length that could result in housing for 2,000 to 5,000 California inmates. In addition to providing much needed relief to overcrowding, it is anticipated that the contracts could reduce the cost of housing compared to costs in California. CDCR is seeking a total of up to 5,000 available beds outside California for immediate housing of inmates.

The emergency proclamation also will allow the Department to contract for facility space, inmate transportation, inmate screenings, and the services of qualified personnel and/or for supplies, materials, equipment and other services needed to immediately mitigate severe overcrowding.

The severe overcrowding crisis not only affects state prisons, but overflows local jails beyond their capacity. According to a report by the California State Sheriff's Association, adult jails average 80,000 inmates a day while 32 of the state's 58 counties operate their jails under self-imposed or court-ordered population limits. The report concludes that 233,388 county inmates statewide avoided incarceration or were released early from jails because they were displaced by prison inmates.

For more information on prison overcrowding, click here.




Saturday, September 30, 2006

Governor Orders CDCR to Ease Media Access Regulations for Prison Visits

Inmate Interviews with Non-Violent Criminals to be Allowed if Adopted

Sacramento - Responding to Governor Schwarzenegger's call for more media access in state prisons, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will propose changes to its media access regulations to allow media increased access to certain inmates while still protecting crime victims and their families.

The move follows the Governor's veto of SB 1521, which would have cleared the way for prearranged inmate interviews with media for virtually any inmate.

The proposed changes will strengthen and update CDCR's regulations to incorporate many provisions of the SB 1521, codify existing Department practice, establish clear standards to make media access consistent statewide, and reflect technological advances in the media industry.

"Our regulations takes into consideration many of the aspects proposed in SB 1521 but stops short of allowing prearranged interviews with violent inmates," said CDCR Secretary James Tilton. "I believe such prearranged interviews will glorify notorious inmates and would be hurtful to the victim and their families."

The media access regulation would:

  • Consider media requests for interviews of non-violent felons. Inmates convicted of felony crimes considered serious or violent or convicted of crimes that requires lifetime registration as a sex offender will not be granted prearranged interviews with media;
  • CDCR must respond to written requests from the media to access a CDCR institution or facility within 48 hours;
  • Establishes standards to make media access to institution and facilities consistent statewide.
The Department will submit the proposed regulations to the Office of Administrative Law to be adopted. Click here for more information on CDCR's media regulations. The following Fact Sheets are also available:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

N.A. Chaderjian High School Graduation Sept. 29

During the ceremony 30 students will graduate with high school and GED certificates. Each graduate and certificate holder will have a number of family members present. All N.A. Chaderjian teaching staff will be present.

The keynote speaker will be Brian Hickman, doctoral candidate from Alliant International University. Valedictorian, James Seidlitz, and Salutatorians, James Forster and George Reynoza, will address the Class of 2006. Mr. Seidlitz will be presented with a scholarship to attend college classes offered at N. A. Chaderjian. Two students of N. A. Chaderjian High School, Jesse Jackson and Marcelle Wheaten will sing The National Anthem and The Star Spangled Banner. In addition, a combo composed of students will perform two songs written specially for the ceremony. A luncheon reception for the graduates and their guests will immediately follow the ceremony.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

High School at Preston Youth Correctional Facility in Ione to Hold Graduation Sept. 22

During the ceremony 17 students will graduate from high school, with 27 students receiving GED certificates. Each graduate and certificate holder will have an average of four to five family members present. All James A. Weiden teaching staff will be present.

The school has 422 students, with academic, vocational, special education and English Language Learner specialized curriculum taught. Four student speakers are scheduled to motivate and inspire attendees. A video of the school's Victims Day activities will be shown.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Norwalk Juvenile Justice Facility Holds Benefit for LAPD Officer Ripatti on Sept. 20

At noon on Sept. 20, the Tactical Team of the Southern Youth Correctional Reception Center and Clinic (SYCRCC) will host the second of two benefits for Los Angeles Police Department Officer Kristina Ripatti. Officer Ripatti was shot during a traffic stop in May of this year. She remains paralyzed from her injuries. She had only recently returned to her LAPD duties after giving birth to a child. Her husband is also an LAPD officer.

Under the direction of SYCRCC Superintendent Cassandra Stansberry, the facility staff recently raised $1,000 to assist the Ripatti family. This second benefit, a barbeque lunch, is expected to raise an additional $1,500 for the Ripatti family. Local law enforcement and community dignitaries, including several top officials of the Los Angeles Police Department, have been invited to participate in this benefit event. The lunch is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

The Southern Youth Correctional Reception Center and Clinic is one of eight institutions in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice. The facility is located at 13200 S. Bloomfield Ave Norwalk, CA 90650. For more information on the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, please visit our website at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

CORRECTIONAL CADET TO THROW OUT FIRST PITCH AT TONIGHT'S SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS GAME HIGHLIGHTING RECRUITMENT EFFORTS FOR THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION

(San Francisco) - Tonight, Correctional Cadet Marquis Bolden will throw out the first pitch for the San Francisco Giants Game at AT&T Park. Cadet Bolden was selected by his peers to represent the Basic Correctional Officer Academy team and will throw the ceremonial first pitch to highlight the efforts underway to recruit correctional officers, health care professionals and teachers for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Joining Cadet Bolden are Correctional Sergeant Kenmond Mah and Cadets Robert Johnson, Raquel Lucca and Christopher Salas from the Juvenile Justice Basic Training Academy. These cadets were selected for their outstanding leadership, academics, hard work, and dedication towards working for a safer California. The CDCR is the largest criminal justice agency in the United States, and is responsible for the custody, care, treatment, and supervision of more than 312,000 wards, inmates and parolees.

The CDCR has launched an aggressive campaign to recruit employee's to fill vacant positions throughout the state of California. During the last legislative session the CDCR introduced legislation to build a new southern academy in the Los Angeles area to draw a larger number of candidates for correctional officer positions from southern California. The Department is also advertising to healthcare providers and teachers. The CDCR's campaign about the benefits of becoming an employee reach across several marking and outreach sectors including:

  • Online AdvertisingThe CDCR is recruiting correctional officers on more than 50 employment web sites and has "Banner" advertisements on the "Jobs" pages of 15 newspaper web sites.
  • Newspaper AdvertisingMore than 60 newspapers statewide have run the CDCR's employment advertising campaign. In July 2006, the CDCR began running correctional officer ads in every major "Employment Guide" in California.
  • Public Service Announcement (PSA) / Radio AdvertisingThe CDCR released public service announcements to all media members regarding the immediate need to hire correctional officers. College, Public Safety Training Center for prospective correctional officers.
The CDCR encourages anyone interested in being a part of the team to apply today. Visit >Career Opportunities for more information on the CDCR's recruitment and employment efforts.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Prison Industry Authority Rolls Out New Modular Buildings Structures to Provide Rehabilitative Space and Opportunities to State Prison System

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary James Tilton formally announced the opening of the Prison Industry Authority's Modular Building Enterprise at a ceremony held at Folsom State Prison today. The new factory, housed in a 30,000 square foot facility, will provide rehabilitative work assignments for inmates in building modular structures that will be subsequently transported for use at various prisons and juvenile centers throughout the State.

The modular portable structures will be used by CDCR for:

  • Classrooms for Division of Juvenile Justice correctional centers and for CDCR prisons.
  • Temporary housing for incoming correctional academy cadets.
  • Offices to provide medical, dental, and psychological services.
  • Additional space for rehabilitation programs and services.
"California's correctional system is in dire need of additional space to help meet the challenge of prison overcrowding," said Secretary Tilton. "This enterprise being built by the Prison Industry Authority provides prisons with much needed structures for rehabilitative programs while giving inmates the opportunity to learn carpentry skills that can be used to obtain employment upon their release."

Inmates working in the modular enterprise will also participate in PIA's new Career Technical Education-Carpentry training, a pre-apprenticeship program where inmates gain experience in various skills sets including carpentry, welding, electrical, forklift operation, plumbing, and concrete pouring. Additionally, inmates will receive eight hours of classroom training each week as part of the curriculum. After completion of the training, the first of its type in the nation, paroling inmates will be eligible for placement in a full-scale apprenticeship program, offered through the Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California, which leads to jobs with construction companies that employ organized labor. PIA will pay the initial union dues and provide a full complement of tools to inmates who complete the program and enter Carpenters Local 46.

"The Prison Industry Authority has initiated the modular enterprise to meet the need for additional space as a result of overcrowding in our correctional system. The inmates are gaining valuable skills they can use after release. We have worked with the Northern California Carpenters Council to develop a curriculum that provides actual on-the-job training. Paroling inmates will have attained skills that can be readily used to acquire meaningful jobs upon parole," said Matt Powers, PIA's General Manager.

PIA is the State organization that provides productive job assignments for inmates in California's adult correctional institutions. PIA's products and services are available to governmental entities, including federal, state, and local agencies. PIA operates factories that produce a variety of goods and services including: modular buildings, office furniture, eye glasses, license plates, coffee, shoes, printing services, signs, binders, clothing, and much more.

PIA has established the Inmate Employability Program, which provides training, certification, and job placement assistance, to improve the employability of inmates upon parole. While PIA work assignments help train inmates to prepare for employment, the program also reduces idleness and decreases violence in the institutions. Court-ordered restitution/fines are deducted from the wages earned by PIA inmates and are transferred to the Crime Victims' Restitution Fund. In fiscal year 2004-2005, over $.5 million of inmates' PIA earnings was deposited into this fund.

Brochure/Fact Sheet on Modular Buildings

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Innovative Southern California Female Reform Programs to be Toured

11 a.m. Friday, August 25, 2006
Family Foundations Program Facility
11121 Bloomfield Avenue
Santa Fe Springs, CA

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will host tours of the Santa Fe Springs Family Foundations Program in Los Angeles County. Wendy Still, Associate Director of CDCR Female Programs, Program Director Angela Knox, and female offenders/residents and program staff will be on hand to answer questions and take reporters through the facility.

The Family Foundation Program is a community-based program for female offenders administered by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The women are non-violent, non-serious offenders who have histories of substance abuse and are either be pregnant or parenting a child under the age of six. The mother spends 12 months in the highly structured residential treatment program followed by 12 months in an aftercare/transition period designed to help her successfully reenter society.

As part of his prison reform proposals, Governor Schwarzenegger has outlined female inmate reforms that would provide as many as 4,500 beds in residential, low-security settings so that female offenders could receive more rehabilitative programming while serving their sentences closer to their families rather than in existing prisons located in more remote areas. The proposals would provide the types of rehabilitative programming that help to break the intergenerational cycle of incarceration and strengthen family ties. Such rehabilitation ultimately is beneficial to public safety.

For more on the Governor's prison reform proposals, click here.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Releases Statewide RFI to Solicit Responses in Re-Entry Facilities

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit responses from local agencies on possible locations for community-based, re-entry facilities in California. The re-entry facilities, part of Governor Schwarzenegger's prison reform proposals, will assist inmates and parolees in making a successful transition from prison to their communities.

"These re-entry facilities give inmates the tools to be better citizens when they are paroled from prison - and that makes good sense for public safety," said CDCR Secretary (A) Jim Tilton.

Representing a new rehabilitation concept for California, re-entry facilities would be built in local communities and are designed to help selected inmates make a successful transition from prison back into the community when they are paroled. While still in custody, and preparing for release from prison, inmates would have access to counseling, drug and alcohol treatment programs, victim awareness counseling, job and life skills training, education and other aids during the last months of their sentence.
There is an emerging consensus among researchers and policy makers nationwide that a focus on offender reentry is a critical component in developing safer communities and reducing the cycle of recidivism and crime committed by parolees in their communities. Research shows that re-entry facilities make inmates more likely to succeed on parole and less likely to re-offend by re-connecting with their families and other community ties during the last stages of their prison sentence while they also receive treatment and education programs that help them turn their lives around. These facilities would only be located in cities and counties who have agreed to become partners with CDCR in the effort.

The programs would be developed in collaboration with local service agencies, who can continue their relationship with inmates after they are released. The facilities would be locked, secure facilities and would be staffed with correctional officers. Also, the facilities are small, housing no more than 500 inmates each, to enhance the effectiveness of treatment programs and to blend into the communities where they are built.

In addition, the facilities would be used to house parole violators so that they could remain in their communities instead of being returned to prisons in remote locations, which would enable them to continue in local rehabilitation programs without disruption, which is critical to the ability of parolees to successfully return to a crime-free life in their communities.

In 2005, more than 120,000 inmates were released on parole from California prisons, while more than 81,000 of them were returned to prison for violating the conditions of their parole.

During the special legislative session on prison overcrowding, which was called by Governor Schwarzenegger, CDCR is requesting authorization to build re-entry facilities for up to 5,000 inmates, allocated across the state.

Responses to the RFI are due to the department by September 29, 2006. For more information on the Governor's prison reform proposals, click here.

Chief Deputy's Parole Reentry Letter
Request for Interest, Parole Reentr

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

National Study on Female Incarceration Supports Female Reentry Reform Efforts by CDCR During Special Session

The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) issued a Special Report, "Reducing the Incarceration of Women: Community-Based Alternatives," Monday that supports Governor Schwarzenegger's female offender reform proposals.

Legislative members and representatives from a number of state and national women's and children's advocacy groups joined Assembly Member Sally Lieber and CDCR Secretary (A) James Tilton today in a call for immediate and swift action by the Legislature on this issue.

According to the NCCD report, the council supports the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s recent proposed expansion of community corrections and reentry facilities for female offenders that are now being discussed by the State Legislature in the Special Session on Prison Reform.

"This report provides compelling evidence that too many female offenders in the state today have too few opportunities for rehabilitation and may not be appropriately placed when sentenced by the county courts to state prison," Tilton said. "The report makes a number of recommendations that are worthy of consideration as the Legislature debates these reforms and our initiative for female offender reentry."

Representatives and groups supporting the report recommendation, as well as the reform proposal include: Assembly Members Rudy Bermudez and Todd Spitzer; California State Commission on the Status of Women; California NOW (National Organization for Women); California State NAACP; National Center for Youth Law; National Council on Crime and Delinquency and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"There is bi-partisan support for female offender reform," said Assembly Member Rudy Bermudez. "With the Little Hoover Commission report and the ongoing support of our community partners, the clock is ticking."

"Let's pass this legislation because as a public policy issue it makes good common sense," said Assembly Member Todd Spitzer.

"This is a modest but important step in a pressing environment," said NAACP spokesperson James Sweeney.

"This is designed to have maximum impact on our female offender population, and we wholeheartedly support it," said Curt Child, representing the National Center for Youth Law."

Governor Schwarzenegger's proposal would authorize the CDCR to contract with community service organizations to provide as many as 4,500 beds in residential, low-security settings so that female inmates could receive more rehabilitative programming while serving their sentences closer to their families rather than in existing prisons which are located in remote areas.

The proposal is intended to provide the types of rehabilitation programming that reduce the occurrence of repeat crimes in a setting that strengthens family ties by making it easier for spouses and children to have regular contact with inmates. That stability is a key factor identified by criminology experts in motivating inmates and parolees to resume a constructive life.

The movement of female inmates to these facilities also could provide up to 4,500 beds that have the potential to ease over-crowding among male inmates, a primary issue to be addressed in the Legislative Special Session.
The report can be downloaded from the following website:
http://www.nccd-crc.org/

For more information on the prison reform proposals, click here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Corrections, Legislature Focus on Prison Reform; Several Bills Introduced During Special Session

Expanding reentry programs, new academy, out-of-state beds

Sacramento - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has collaborated with several members of the State Legislature during the special session this month to introduce several bills to solve the urgent issues of overcrowding and provide meaningful rehabilitation to protect public safety. The bills, introduced in both houses, focus on reentry programs for female and male offenders, construction of new facilities, and out-of-state placement for non-United States resident inmates.

"The Governor's proposals are about more than building prisons," CDCR Secretary (A) James Tilton said. "They give inmates critical tools before they are released. In the short run, we need space for beds. In the longer term, we need space for education, vocation and treatment programs that reduce the number of prison inmates who would compete for those beds."

The bills introduced include:

  • ABX 1 (Assembly Member Sally Lieber) - would authorize CDCR to contract for 4,500 female beds for treatment and housing for non-serious/non-violent female offenders;
  • ABX 2 (Assembly Member Todd Spitzer) and SBX 3 (Senator Jim Battin) - would authorize CDCR to construct additional capacity at existing prisons within California. It would also allow CDCR to house male inmates at the Northern California Women's Facility in Stockton;
  • ABX 4 (Assembly Member Nicole Parra) and SBX 1 (Senator George Runner) - would allow CDCR to construct two new prisons and allow CDCR to construct up to 5,000 reentry beds in California;
  • ABX 5 (Assembly Member Rudy Bermudez) and SBX 2 (Senator George Runner) - would allow CDCR to site and operate a training facility in southern California. Would also allow CDCR to use the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility in Whittier to either house inmates or to train staff. It would also authorize CDCR to conduct its own in-house psychological screening of peace officer candidates;
  • ABX 6 (Assembly Member John Benoit) and SBX 4 (Senator Bob Dutton) - would allow CDCR to use the design-build construction method for building existing or new prisons in California;
  • ABX 9 (Assembly Member Sally Lieber) - would authorize CDCR to contract for up to 4,000 male community correctional beds;
  • ABX 10 (Assembly Member Sally Lieber) - would authorize CDCR to contract for up to 5,000 out-of-state beds to house undocumented felons;
  • Senator Jackie Speier introduced legislation on Aug. 18, yet to be numbered, that would authorize housing undocumented felons (ICE holds) in other states, and would authorize CDCR to contract for 4,500 female beds for treatment and housing of non-serious, non-violent female offenders.
The prison reform proposals focus on moving inmates to smaller, treatment-focused secure facilities in the communities where they will be released. At these facilities they can receive mental health treatment, drug and alcohol counseling, and job training just prior to release. The facilities also provide inmate and parolees an opportunity to connect with social services and local law enforcement early-on, increasing the ability of the police, parole, and treatment providers to improve reentry success.

"California's prisons cannot offer rehabilitation programs unless CDCR has more space," Tilton added. "These reforms will provide space for 40,000 beds over the next five years."

State prison overcrowding delays the transfer of inmates from county jails, forcing the early release of county prisoners. Today, 30 California counties operate under federally-imposed caps on jail populations, while another 12 operate under self-imposed caps.

More information is available at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Communications/ssFactsNews.html

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

High Risk Sex Offender Task Force Makes Recommendations to Governor on Placing, Overseeing Sex Offenders in Communities

Legislators, law enforcement, community groups collaborate

Sacramento - Members of the California High Risk Sex Offender (HRSO) Task Force today presented Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with 10 recommendations for a statewide system to improve policies related to the placement, supervision and monitoring of high risk sex offenders in local communities to enhance public safety.

The task force was created in May 2006 by Executive Order S-08-06, and was charged with reviewing the current statutory requirements and California Department of Corrections (CDCR) policies on notifying, placing, monitoring, and enforcing parole policies with regard to high risk sex offenders. The task force, co-chaired by Assembly Members Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) and Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk) and CDCR Secretary (A) Jim Tilton, is composed of state and local law enforcement officials, parole representatives, victims and community groups. The task force held public hearings last week in Sacramento, Fresno and Orange County to solicit input on the issues.

"I applaud Governor Schwarzenegger for calling for the creation of this Task Force," said Secretary Tilton. "If we can adopt policies to make the management of this dangerous population better for public safety, then we must work together to do so. This department is committed to working with local law enforcement, community leaders and victims' advocacy groups to improve the policies and practices related to the placement and monitoring of sex offenders in the community."

The Task Force's recommendations include:

  • The application of a risk assessment tool to determine if an inmate is a high risk offender no later than 120 days prior to being released on parole;
  • All California inmates required to register as sex offenders and those designated as high risk must receive appropriate, specialized treatment while incarcerated;
  • Adopt improved procedures for notifying local law enforcement and victims prior to the release of a sex offender from prison;
  • Monitoring all HRSOs on parole with Global Positioning Units (GPS) units;
  • Adopt Legislative changes to the Megan’s law website to specifically identify HRSOs who are on parole and those that are being monitored by GPS;
  • The establishment of a permanent Sex Offender Management Board.
  • Directing parole oversight of HRSOs to include a four part program including, treatment, parole supervision, the use of polygraphs and victims advocacy to both monitor and modify the behavior of offenders.
Once a sex offender has served his prison term, CDCR is mandated to release him back to the community. CDCR currently oversees about 10,000 sex offenders, of which about 3,200 have been designated high risk.

"Almost all convicted sex offenders will eventually return to our communities, with a short period of time under direct supervision, either on parole, probation or conditional release," said Task Force Co-Chair Assembly Member Todd Spitzer. "It is imperative that during this period of time when sex offenders are under direct supervision, there is a comprehensive and cohesive network of interventions available to control the behavior of sex offenders and prevent recidivism and future victimization."

In June 2006, one recommendation made by the Task Force was deemed critical to public safety and, at the request of the Task Force members, was sent to the Governor immediately. The Governor subsequently issued Executive Order S-09-06 which directs the CDCR to develop a pre-release program that thoroughly evaluates all sex offenders and identifies appropriate housing prior to their release from prison. This pre-release screening should ensure compliance with state residency laws and thereby eliminate the need for "temporary housing" such as in motels or too close to a school. This recommendation is already being implemented by the CDCR's parole division.

"The placement of convicted sex offenders in our community will always be a concern for all Californians," said Task Force Co-Chair Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez. "We must be diligent in our obligation to protect communities and our children."

Click here to see the complete list of recommendations and the task force's report

California High Risk Sex Offender Task Force

  • Assembly Member Rudy Bermúdez (D-Norwalk), Co-chair
  • Assembly Member Todd Spitzer (R-Orange), Co-chair
  • James Tilton, Secretary California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitati
  • Jan Scully, District Attorney Sacramento County California District Attorneys Association
  • Ed Bonner, Sheriff Placer County California State Sheriffs Association
  • Steve Krull, Chief Livermore Police Department California Police Chiefs Association
  • Jerry Powers, President Chief Probation Officers of California
  • David Runnels Chief Deputy Secretary, Adult Operations California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Jeff Fagot, Director (A) Division of Adult Parole Operations California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Suzanne Brown-McBride Executive Director California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • Brenda Crowding-Johnson Parole Agent I Parole Agents Association of California Alex Padilla, President League of California Cities
  • Don Horsley, Sheriff San Mateo County California State Association of Counties

Monday, August 14, 2006

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to Host Media Briefing on Special Session Bills with Authors

11 a.m. Room 1190
State Capitol

CDCR Secretary (A) James Tilton to conduct a media briefing on the Legislative Package on Prison Reform for the Special Session. Authors of those bills will join Mr. Tilton to discuss the proposals and answer questions.

High Risk Sex Offender Task Force Presents Recommendations to Governor on August 15

The High Risk Sex Offender Task Force, established by Gov. Schwarzenegger earlier this year, will give its recommendations on the placement and supervision of High Risk Sex Offenders (HRSO) in California. The recommendations come after three months of discussions, studies, and public hearings.

The task force members will present their recommendations and answer questions at:

9 a.m. Tuesday, August 15
Room 1190, State Capitol

Task force members included task force co-chairs Assembly Member Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk), Assembly Member Todd Spitzer (R-Orange), and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary (A) James E. Tilton as well as other members of the task force.

The task force recommendations focus on issues of supervising and placing High Risk Sex Offenders in communities in California. Gov. Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-08-06 on May 15, 2006, establishing the task force. It was charged with reviewing the current statutory requirements and departmental policies on notification, placement, monitoring, and enforcement of parole policies with regard to high risk sex offenders and to provide recommendations to improve them by Aug. 15, 2006

Friday, July 28, 2006

Notice of Public Hearings Placement and Supervision of High Risk Sex Offenders

The High Risk Sex Offender Task Force, established by Gov. Schwarzenegger earlier this year, will host three public hearings to discuss placement and supervision of High Risk Sex Offenders (HRSO) in California.

The public hearing schedule is as follows:

10 a.m.-1 p.m.          Sacramento
                                 Monday, Aug. 7
                                 Room 437, State Capitol

1:30-4 p.m.               Fresno
                                 Tuesday, Aug. 8
                                 Board of Supervisors, Hall of Records
                                 2281 Tulare Street, Room 301

1:30-4 p.m.               Santa Ana
                                 Wednesday, Aug. 9
                                 Rancho Santiago Community College District Board
                                 2323 N. Broadway

Participants include task force co-chairs Assemblymember Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk), Assemblymember Todd Spitzer (R-Orange), and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary (A) James E. Tilton as well as other members of the task force.

These public hearings are an opportunity for the public to provide input on issues of supervising and placing High Risk Sex Offenders in communities in California. Gov. Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-08-06 on May 15, 2006, establishing the task force. It is charged with reviewing the current statutory requirements and departmental policies on notification, placement, monitoring, and enforcement of parole policies with regard to high risk sex offenders and to provide recommendations to improve them by Aug. 15, 2006.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

After 15 Years, California Prisoner Who Escaped is Apprehended

Sacramento - Arlene Barrera Barragan, who escaped from a reentry facility on July 22, 1991, was arrested in Avenal on July 17, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced today.

Barragan, convicted in Kings County, was in her second year of a four-year sentence for selling controlled substances when she escaped 15 years ago. A Fugitive Apprehension Team agent with the CDCR's Office of Correctional Safety developed leads that linked Barragan to the city of Avenal and developed a possible address where Barragan may have lived as late as 2004.

The agent contacted the Kings County Sheriff's Department, Avenal Substation, about Barragan, supplied all known facts, and requested assistance in the case. A few hours after the contact, a Kings County Sheriff's Department commander, after making a few inquiries, located and arrested Barragan. She was booked in the Kings County Jail.

"As part of our commitment to public safety we never stop looking for offenders who escape our custody or supervision," said Rick Rimmer, Assistant Secretary of the CDCR Office of Correctional Safety.

Of all inmates who escaped from a state prison, conservation camp or community-based program between 1975 and 2005, 99 percent have been apprehended.

Click here for historical information on escapes.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Corrections to Release Requests for Proposals for Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Centers

Focus on reducing recidivism, supporting prison reform

Sacramento -The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will issue a request for proposal (RFP) for nearly 4,500 community-based beds in Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Centers (FCCRC).

"The RFP is part of our strategic plan to reduce recidivism and provide rehabilitation for female offenders, and it supports Governor Schwarzenegger's prison reform efforts, including the special legislative session he called last month," said Acting CDCR Secretary James Tilton.

"There are 11,600 female state prison inmates," Tilton said, "but only 867 of them are housed in community-based beds, such as the Leo Chesney Community Correctional Facility, though nearly 6,000 of them are eligible for community based placement."

As part of the female offender reform efforts, more than 4,300 minimum-security inmates serving time for non-serious, non-violent offenses would be moved from more expensive lock-ups into a Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Center. The centers, designed for 75, 100, and 200 inmates, would provide inmates with educational and vocational programs, substance abuse treatment and education, group and individual counseling, family counseling and reunification programs, sober living skills, wellness, recreational and religious programs, and links for community services.

"Women offenders would be placed in a center near her county of commitment," said Wendy Still, Associate Director for Female Offender Programs and Services. "Not only would she have access to structured rehabilitative programs, she would be living near her family and children. This should or will strengthen her ties with her children, enhance family reunification, and help break the intergenerational cycle of crime," she added.

CDCR has focused on female offender reform and strategic plans for improving outcomes for female offenders since a task force was created in January 2005. It established a Gender Responsive Strategies Commission to address the significant growth of the female inmate population, lower recidivism, and to address the differences in male and female incarceration, management and rehabilitation.

"Treatment and rehabilitative programs would be tailored for each woman from the time she arrives at the rehabilitative center to the time she completes her parole," Still said.

The Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Centers, secure facilities staffed by CDCR custody staff around the clock, would also be staffed by state and contract employees to provide rehabilitative programs, oversee operations, and provide medical, mental health and dental care. Dr. Barbara Bloom, a nationally recognized female offender expert, assisted CDCR with the program design. A contracted architectural firm has developed facility guidelines for the design of the centers.

The Request for Proposals for the Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Centers is a major step forward in undertaking female offender reform and addressing the historic levels of overcrowding in all state prisons.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Nation's First Prison Pre-Apprenticeship Program For Construction Jobs Debuts at Folsom State Prison

Training Links Paroling Inmates to Union Jobs

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary James Tilton, the Prison Industry Authority, and the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council today announced the graduation of 16 inmates, incarcerated at California State Prison, Sacramento, from the newly established pre-apprenticeship program that teaches inmates construction skills they can use to successfully obtain employment upon parole.

After completion of the training, the first of its type in the nation, paroling inmates will be eligible for placement in a full-scale apprenticeship program, offered through the Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California, which leads to jobs with construction companies that employ organized labor.

As part of the new training program, called Career Technical Education-Carpentry, inmates are refurbishing and converting the previously vacant Green Valley Fire Camp 12, at Folsom State Prison, into a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations/PIA Training and Engineering Center. There, inmates gain proficiencies in various skill sets including concrete pouring, framing, drywall, taping and texturing, painting, roofing, and finished carpentry skills. Some of the graduating inmates will be transferred to PIA's modular building enterprise, located at Folsom State Prison, where portable structures will be manufactured and sold to State agencies. PIA will pay the initial union dues and provide a full complement of tools to inmates who complete the program and enter Carpenters Local 46.

"This innovative training program is part of Governor Schwarzenegger's efforts to rehabilitate inmates in California's adult correctional institutions and is an important component in our renewed focus to assist inmates with the re-entry process. This is truly an investment in public safety, because employed parolees mean safer communities," said Secretary Tilton.

"The Prison Industry Authority and the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council have developed this partnership to provide a new type of job training. Inmates can learn various carpentry skill sets that are easily transferable to jobs on the outside. I am enthused about this program because by preparing inmates prior to their release, we can address the issues of unemployment among parolees," said Charles Pattillo, PIA's acting General Manager.

PIA is the State organization that provides productive job assignments for inmates in California's adult correctional institutions. PIA's products and services are available to governmental entities, including federal, state, and local agencies. PIA operates factories that produce a variety of goods and services including: modular buildings, office furniture, eye glasses, license plates, coffee, shoes, printing services, signs, binders, clothing, and much more.

PIA has established the Inmate Employability Program, which provides training, certification, and job placement assistance, to improve the employability of inmates upon parole. While PIA work assignments help train inmates to prepare for employment, the program also reduces idleness and decreases violence in the institutions. Court-ordered restitution/fines are deducted from the wages earned by PIA inmates and are transferred to the Crime Victims' Restitution Fund. In fiscal year 2004-2005 over $.5 million of inmates' PIA earnings was deposited into this fund

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Honors Employees for Heroism, Outstanding Service at Annual Medal of Valor Ceremony

Who:                 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation


What:                CDCR employees who have gone above and beyond the normal demand of correctional service are being honored with medals at the first combined adult and juvenile divisions ceremony.

When:               Friday, May 19, 2006
                          10:00 a.m.

Where:              West Steps of the State Capitol

Speakers:          James E. Tilton, Secretary (A)
                           Jeanne S. Woodford, Undersecretary

Narrator:           Kitty O’Neal
                           Afternoon Anchor, KFBK Radio

Background:

CDCR will honor employees with Medals of Valor, Distinguished Service and other awards at the first combined adult and juvenile ceremony. A moment of silence and “Amazing Grace” will be played in honor and memory of CDCR employees who have died in 2006.

Attn Regional Media:

The Public Information Officers at the various CDCR facilities have lists of local recipients who will be honored in this ceremony. Please contact them at 11 a.m. on Friday morning for this information.

For More Information: contact Margot Bach at (916) 445-4950

Monday, May 15, 2006

CDCR Secretary Calls for Statewide Audit of Sex Offender Placement Using GPS Technology

Sacramento - The Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has called for a statewide audit using Global Positioning Satellite Technology to ensure all High Risk Sex Offender parolees are appropriately and safely placed throughout the state of California and in full compliance with AB 113.

"When it comes to the placement of high risk sex offenders we cannot and will not compromise," said James E. Tilton, Secretary (A) for the CDCR. "Public safety is our single most important duty and concern and for that reason I have directed the staff of the Division of Adult Parole Operations to use Global Positioning Satellite technology to measure the distance of High Risk Sex Offender placement to ensure the placement complies with state law."

Reiterating the Governor's commitment to public safety and his zero tolerance for anything that unnecessarily endangers public safety, Tilton said he has already directed the Department to purchase the latest technology to accurately measure where High Risk Sex Offenders are placed in state communities.

"I want to make sure that there are no paroled sex offenders living in places where they should not be living," said Tilton. "In the past we used the old way of verifying placement, driving the streets and measuring the distance from a parolee's home to a schools or park, today that isn't good enough. We will use whatever technology we can to make sure we are in compliance with all state laws and guidelines."

The Department has begun purchasing 100 new GPS hand held units and will begin training staff immediately to ensure proper placement for sex offenders. "We must begin this audit immediately to reassure our communities that sex offenders are being placed and supervised according to law," Tilton said.

This week Secretary Tilton also began reaching out to local law enforcement and local elected officials. Building on existing relationships and ensuring good communications while establishing positive working relationships with local law enforcement and community leaders is the only way we can guarantee public safety remains our top priority, he said.

To ensure better communication and coordination, Tilton has established a Departmental liaison with local officials to develop a comprehensive plan to increase communication with local law enforcement, district attorneys and local elected officials.

"We need to establish the critical relationships necessary to embark on a collaborative reentry process for all parolees, including those convicted of sexual offenses," said Tilton. "This liaison office will make sure a critical line of communication is working properly and effectively."

"My expectation is that each and every current and future parolee placement is in total compliance with the law," Tilton said. "Anything less will not be tolerated."

The Department of Corrections is required under state law to return parolees to their county of last legal residence. The Department must also ensure that any high risk sex offender who has been convicted of certain child molesting charges under sections 228 and 228.5 of the penal code do not live within a half mile of any K-12 school.

Friday, May 12, 2006

High Risk Sex Offender Tracking Updates

At present, 417 High Risk Sex Offenders (HRSO) are being tracked statewide.

Since June 2005, approximately 95 HRSO GPS parolees have been taken into custody for parole violation charges. Of these, approximately 45 were charged with parole violations specifically having to do witha special condition of parole related to their sexual offense.

The following are examples of some of the charges: being present in a location where children congregate, indecent exposure, violation of a home curfew, possession of children toys, contact with a minor, association with a sex offender, developing a relationship with an adult female who had children, sexual assault of a child, possession of pornographic material, and stalking.

In some of the cases involving parole violation charges pertaining to curfew violations or being present in unauthorized areas (amusement park, locations where children congregate), GPS technology assisted parole agents in detecting the parole violation

Background

In June 2005, the new California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO), implemented a statewide 500 unit Global Positioning System (GPS) Pilot Program to monitor and track the movement of High Risk Sex Offender (HRSO) parolees as a public safety parole supervision tool.

Since the inception of the GPS Pilot Program, GPS technology has assisted parole agents and local law enforcement in the detection, investigation, and apprehension of several offenders involved in committing crimes involving stalking and crimes against children. This program has prevented additional crime and prevented new victims.

Program Information

  • The current vendor in the Satellite Tracking of People
  • The cost is $8.75 per active unit per day
Enabling Legislation and Budget Language

Penal Code section 3004

Currently, there are 417 High Risk Sex Offender (HRSO) parolees on GPS, and 17 identified gang member parolees.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Announces State-of-the Art Partnership with the Antelope Valley Community to Monitor High-Risk Sex Offender Parolees

(Palmdale) - Today the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced a groundbreaking partnership with the community of Antelope Valley and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to implement a statewide Global Positioning System program to track the movements of high-risk sex offenders.

Antelope Valley is the first region in Los Angeles County to receive this innovative technology.

"The most important mission of CDCR is to promote and enhance public safety. We are proud that by means of this GPS program, our Adult Parole Division is in the forefront of public safety enhancement," said Jim Tilton, acting secretary of CDCR.

"Using GPS on high-risk sex offenders is a critical part of the agreement we made with CDCR to make our community safer. This innovative technology will assist our local law enforcement agencies in making the Antelope Valley safer from predators," said Assemblywoman Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley).

As of today, multiple law enforcement agencies serving the Antelope Valley region will be able to access CDCR data and also share its data with CDCR parole agents.

"By the end of this month, more than 40 high-risk sex offenders in the Antelope Valley region will be issued the GPS electronic bracelets that will make it easier for law enforcement officers and parole agents to track their whereabouts and determine their location at the time of a crime," Tilton said.

"With the GPS program, our Adult Parole Division is in the forefront of public safety and can provide the assistance so necessary to local law enforcement," Tilton added.

"As more and more GPS partnerships roll out throughout California, it means that it will be that much harder for criminals to prey on the innocent," said Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley).

"GPS technology is proving to be an effective evidence-based law enforcement tool in assisting parole agents and law enforcement officers in their mission to increase public safety, and monitor the movement of sex offenders, said Marty O'Neal, Regional Parole Administrator.

GPS uses satellite technology to track each parolee's position and movement around the clock and every day of his parole term. In this application, it is coupled with an automated link from local law enforcement agencies that will either place a monitored offender at the scene of the crime or eliminate that offender from the scene of the crime.

To date more than 417 GPS monitors statewide have been outfitted on sex offenders, and 17 GPS devices on known gang members. Of that number some 45 monitored sex offenders and 9 gang members have been arrested for violating the terms of their parole - through evidence gathered via the GPS tracking.

A total of 95 sex offenders statewide have been taken into custody for parole violation charges. Of that number, specifically 45 parolees were charged with parole violations specifically having to do with a special condition of parole related to their sexual offense.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Statement from Jeanne Woodford Regarding Her Resignation as Acting Secretary to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Jeanne Woodford released the following statement regarding her resignation as Acting Secretary at CDCR.

"Today I am stepping down as acting Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

I will continue to serve in my appointed position as the Undersecretary of the Department pending my July 6, 2006 retirement.

My decision to leave the department after 28 years has been a very personal one. This choice is based on my commitment to my family and in no way reflects any change in my belief that this department is headed in a positive direction. We have made great progress toward reforming the largest correctional organization in the country and I know that those who will remain after me will continue to advocate the changes that must be made.

It has been an honor to serve the Schwarzenegger Administration. I am proud that Governor Schwarzenegger chose me to lead this organization at such a critical time in its history."

Friday, April 14, 2006

CDCR Inmates, Juvenile Wards, Respond To Flood Threats

Sacramento - As California residents along the coasts and Central Valley brace for the threat of flood and other damage brought by the record amount of rain this season, they can count on hundreds of inmate and juvenile ward volunteers to be there -- filling sandbags, fixing eroding levees and providing public service.

Dressed in bright orange vests and jackets with words such as "Prisoner," "CDC Inmate" and "CDCR Inmate" stenciled on them, the inmates and juveniles work under the direction of CDCR staff and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection staff reinforcing levees, watching for levee breaches, helping evacuate, and clearing debris from streams.

Since December 2005, both adult inmate and juvenile ward crews have worked more than 30,000 hours throughout state after being called by first-responders to emergency situations.

"These inmates and juvenile wards continue to stand at the ready, to respond at the direction of local and state emergency operations so that lives can be saved - and property protected in the event of a flood stage emergency or catastrophic levee or stream bed overflow or break," said CDCR Secretary (A) Jeanne S. Woodford.

"The commitment and willingness of the incarcerated to do the right thing - is very much part of their rehabilitative path," Woodford said. "When they return home to their communities after serving their sentences, they do so with the knowledge that they made a difference in a time when society needed them most."

During the recent rain storms, more than 168 adult inmates from three camps throughout the state, and 30 juvenile wards from Pine Grove Conservation Camp have been staged at Stockton Fairgrounds so they can be quickly dispatched to trouble spots along Central California waterways and creeks where homes, property, and residents are at risk of flooding with each passing rain.

The CDCR crews will remain there, until further notice, to assist local and state emergency crews in providing critical first-response assistance.

Since 1946 inmates and juveniles on public service crews and from nearly 40 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Conservation Camps have contributed hundreds of millions of public service hours - resulting in both the savings of lives and property. In an average year, Conservation Camps Program inmates provide eight million hours in project work and two million hours in firefighting and other emergency services, saving California taxpayers more than $80 million annually.

CDCR's Conservation Camps Program provides the State of California's cooperative agencies with an able-bodied, trained workforce for fire suppression and other emergencies such as floods and earthquakes. Fire and public service crews also work on conservation projects on public lands and provide labor on local community service projects.

Monday, April 10, 2006

CALIFORNIA'S ONE-YEAR RECIDIVISM RATE THE LOWEST SINCE 1979

The past four years show a five percent drop in the two-year recidivism rate

Sacramento
- The recidivism rate for offenders who were released to parole in 2003 was 38.15 percent, the lowest since 1979 when the rate was 33.2 percent, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials announced today.

CDCR research also shows that the one-year recidivism rate has been declining since 1997 when it was 44.9 percent. The highest one-year recidivism rate was in 1988 at 53.8 percent.

"While it is still early, this kind of information shows we are heading in the right direction, and the thing to remember is every drop in the recidivism rate means fewer victims in our neighborhoods," said Acting CDCR Secretary Jeanne Woodford.

"The data are promising and underscore the need to continue providing meaningful, effective and evidence-based programs to offenders in order to help them become productive citizens when they return to our communities," she said.

In addition to the one-year trend, for the past four years, there has been a decline in the two-year recidivism rate. Of the inmates who paroled in 2003, only 51.09 percent were back in custody after two years on parole. The last time the two-year recidivism rate was that low was in 1991 at 49.9 percent. Over the last four years, the rate has dropped approximately one percentage point each year from 56.1 percent in 1999 to 51.08 percent in 2003.

Although it is too early to say exactly why the recidivism rates are declining, Woodford said that true public safety includes both the principles of strong policing coupled with evidence-based programs designed to improve parolee outcomes.

"Maintaining and strengthening our relationships with our law enforcement partners as well as providing evidence-based education and rehabilitation programs to offenders to keep them from victimizing others is good public safety," Woodford said.

CDCR researchers calculate recidivism rates by tracking inmates paroled in a calendar year and calculating the ratio of those who have been returned to custody, including felons returned to a substance abuse control unit in a correctional facility, returned on a parole revocation hearing, returned to custody for a parole violation, and returned to prison by a court on a new felony conviction.

To see the just released recidivism rates from 2003, visit http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Reports_Research/Offender_Information_Services_Branch/Annual/RECID2/RECID2d2003.pdf

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Announces GPS Partnership with the City of San Bernardino to Monitor High-Risk Gang Activity

San Bernardino - Today, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced an innovative partnership with the City of San Bernardino to use a statewide Global Positioning System (GPS) pilot program to track the movements of known gang members in the community.

San Bernardino will be the first local law enforcement agency in the state to use this innovative program to track gang members under parole supervision while accessing CDCR data and working with parole agents.

"The most important mission of CDCR is to promote and enhance public safety. We are proud that by means of this GPS program, we can assist jurisdictions like San Bernardino in their efforts to protect their communities from violence," said CDCR Acting Secretary Jeanne S. Woodford.

The CDCR has developed a specialized gang parole caseload that is using GPS technology to supervise up to twenty gang member parolees who are deemed as a public safety risk to the community of San Bernardino. This will be the first local law enforcement agency in the state to use this technology and to work directly with parole agents to track gang members.

Since January 1, 2005, the City of San Bernardino has experienced 55 homicides. Almost half of those homicides were directly related to gang activity. "We are putting gangs on notice. San Bernardino and the state of California are joining forces to leverage new technologies to prevent gang crimes and protect our city's neighborhoods," stated San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris. "Reducing gang activities will come from partnering with others in law enforcement, using the latest technology, and addressing the root causes of crime and violence."

GPS uses satellite technology to track each parolee's location and movement in real time 24 hours a day. In July 2005, CDCR began its test pilot program to use GPS technology to monitor sex offenders on parole. So far, 262 units have been deployed with promising results. The use of GPS units on gang member parolees is a new application of the technology.

"This is an exciting new application of GPS technology," said Jim L'Etoile, CDCR Director of Adult Parole Operations, "We believe this will be a highly cost effective tool to ensure better community safety by enhancing our supervision of offenders on parole."

CDCR will partner with local law enforcement agencies to assist in reducing the recent violent crime attributed to gang activity by establishing a specialized parole supervision caseload in the City of San Bernardino. The CDCR parole agent assigned to the GPS caseload will work closely with the San Bernardino County Joint Law Enforcement Gang Impact Team to identify parole violations and criminal activity.

On March 8, CDCR began placing those parolee gang members in San Bernardino deemed as a public safety risk to the community on GPS supervision. As more are identified, a total of 20 offenders will be monitored under this partnership. The pilot program with will be last for one year and the results monitored by the University of Irvine who we have been contracted to do an independent evaluation of the GPS pilot programs.

In addition to utilizing GPS as a supervision tool on identified gang members, the CDCR also is using GPS technology to supervise 20 High-Risk Sex Offenders (HRSO) who live in and near the City of San Bernardino.