Monday, February 27, 2012

Inmate Death at Folsom State Prison Under Investigation

Law enforcement officials are investigating a homicide that occurred Saturday in a medium-security Unit at Folsom State Prison. (FSP)

Inmate Richard Allen Leonard died after being assaulted with a slashing-type weapon. Responding staff began life-saving procedures before he was pronounced dead at 8:01 a.m. February 25, 2012, in Folsom State Prison.

Leonard, 44, was received from Orange County on September, 2, 1998, and was serving a 25-years-to-life term for aggravated sexual assault on a child.

His death is being investigated as a homicide by FSP Investigative Services Unit (ISU) and Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office investigators. The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified of the incident.

There is no suspect at this time. Folsom State Prison has been placed on a modified program pending further investigation.

Folsom State Prison is a medium-security facility that houses more than 3,100 inmates and employs nearly 1,000 people. FSP opened on July 26, 1880, and is the second-oldest state prison in California.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                CONTACT: Lt. Paul Baker
DATE: February 25, 2012                                                                                      (916) 351-3016 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mental Health Care Facility for Inmates Unveiled in Vacaville

Sacramento –The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Department of Mental Health (DMH) today opened the doors to a new facility on the grounds of the California Medical Facility that will provide mental health treatment to inmates.

Operated by the Department of Mental Health, this licensed Intermediate level, in-patient care facility will house up to 64 inmates. The facility is the first construction completed with bond financing authorized by AB 900, the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007 (Solorio), intended to relieve prison overcrowding and upgrade facilities to meet court-ordered improvements in medical, dental and mental health treatment for inmates.

Construction of the $33.7 million project, which broke ground in June 2010, was managed by CDCR. The 45,000 sq. ft. facility includes space for housing, treatment and administration, exercise yards, parking, new guard towers and an extension of the lethal electrified security fence that surrounds the California Medical Facility.

The building also incorporates many conservation features to improve energy efficiency, conserve water and reduce sewage flow. Skylights, for example, provide natural light, reducing electrical demand. A vacuum plumbing system is expected to reduce sewage discharges by 70 percent, compared to more traditional designs. The project was designed to achieve Silver certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

“This project is one example of our response to the courts which require us to improve mental health treatment for inmates,” noted Chris Meyer, director of Facility Planning, Construction and Management. “The building also will reduce waste sent to landfills and greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the need for grid-based electrical energy,” he added. “All in all, this project will improve the care for inmates and our stewardship of the environment.”

More information on CDCR is available at:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Riot at San Quentin State Prison Quelled; Inmates Being Assessed for Injuries

San Quentin-- Initial reports suggest anywhere from 150 to 200 inmates were involved in a large scale riot involving weapons on the Badger Section Reception Center exercise yard at about 11:30 a.m. this morning.  Staff utilized chemical agents, non-lethal and lethal force to quell the incident.

Inmates are currently being assessed for injuries and those with more severe injuries have been and are being transported to local hospitals by ambulances and state vehicles. Several inmates were slashed and/or stabbed multiple times during the incident and four are currently being treated at an outside hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  CDCR does not know the status of their condition at this time. No staff were injured.

The institution has been placed on a modified program pending further investigation into this matter.

San Quentin State Prison, California's oldest correctional institution, was opened July 1852 and includes a reception center, general population units, and a minimum security work crew unit. Male condemned inmates are also housed at San Quentin. The prison currently houses 4113 inmates and employs nearly 1700 people.


February 9, 2012
Sgt. Gabe Walters
(415) 455-5008

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CDCR Vacancies to be Posted Weekly

Offered as aid to staying with the Department

To assist employees in retaining employment with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the Department will be posting current vacancy information on a weekly basis to the CDCR Intranet and Internet sites.

The CDCR Vacancy Search Database is available on the CDCR Intranet page at and the CDCR Internet page at

Listed are vacancies as they exist today, but are subject to change due to Wave 2 reductions and may not remain available. Any employee interested in a position should submit an application to the appropriate hiring authority. Anyone applying should do so with the understanding that these vacancies are fluid and subject to change based on placements and ongoing reductions, and may not be filled.

For more information, please visit the CDCR Employee Layoff Resources Page.

New CDCR Contraband Cell Phones website live

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has created a new Contraband Cell Phones webpage. The new webpage includes a video describing the new law that criminalizes unauthorized cell phones inside state prison, information on the K-9 contraband search teams, and details regarding CDCR’s efforts to eliminate contraband cell phones. Cell phone use by inmates poses a security threat as it allows inmates to circumvent the monitoring process and potentially engage in further criminal behavior, which can endanger CDCR staff, other inmates, witnesses, and victims and their families.

Visit the new webpage:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Inmate Death at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran Being Investigated as a Homicide

CORCORAN-- Officials at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran (CSATF/SP) are investigating an inmate death as a homicide.

Michael Benjamin Burch, 67, was found unresponsive in his cell Tuesday, January 31. He was pronounced deceased by prison medical officials and transported to the King’s County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy. The Coroner’s Office ruled the death a homicide Tuesday evening.

Officials from the prison and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office have named Burch’s cellmate, inmate Robert Vargas Salas, 54, as the suspect in the case. Inmate Salas has been placed in the administrative segregation unit while the investigation continues.

Burch was received from Los Angeles County on February 3, 2011, and was serving a 675-year sentence for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, oral copulation with a child under 14, and rape with force/violence.

Salas was received on August 10, 1977, from Ventura County. He is serving a life-term for first-degree murder.

CSATF/SP is a multi-mission institution that houses 5,981 inmates and employs more than 1,800 people. Opened in 1997, the institution houses minimum-, medium-, and maximum-security male inmates and provides substance-abuse treatment programs, academic and vocational education, and re-entry and self-help programs to prepare inmates for their reintegration into society.

For more information about CSATF/SP, visit CDCR’s website at

February 1, 2012
Contact: Lupe Cartagena
(559) 992-7154