Thursday, May 25, 2017

CDCR Inmate Firefighter Dies of Injuries

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced that an inmate firefighter has died as the result of injuries sustained while working on a fire line in Humboldt County.

The firefighter, Matthew Beck, 26, was leading a crew that was clearing brush to contain a fire in the Hoopa area. He suffered major head, neck and back injuries yesterday when a large, 120-foot tall tree nearby uprooted and fell on him. He died before life-flight crews were able to reach him due to the remoteness of the accident scene.

“We are saddened by the death of Matthew Beck, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan. “The inmates who year after year help protect our communities from the devastation of fires perform a valuable public service, and it is a tragic event when we lose one of them.”

Beck, who was assigned to the Alder Conservation Camp in Del Norte County, was received from Los Angeles County in May 2014 and was serving a six-year sentence for burglary. He is the fourth inmate firefighter to die on the fire line since the conservation program was created in the 1940s.
 

Approximately 3,900 inmates, all volunteers, are housed in 43 conservation camps operated by CDCR, in conjunction with CALFIRE, the state of California’s wild land firefighting agency, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.  Working in crews of 12 or 14, CDCR firefighters often work in rugged back country using hand tools to cut containment lines to stop the spread of wildland fires. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pelican Bay State Prison investigating attack on officers

CRESCENT CITY ― Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) officials are investigating an incident that sent eight officers to the hospital with injuries.

At 10:25 a.m. today, custody staff responded to a fistfight between two inmates on the B Facility maximum-security general population yard. Responding staff used chemical agents and batons to subdue the inmates; however, they refused to stop fighting.

As staff continued to try to subdue the two inmates, large groups of inmates from various areas of the yard ran toward the incident. The officers were overwhelmed as the inmates started attacking them. Officers from three armed posts used lethal force to stop the attacks firing a total of 19 .223 rounds from the mini-14 rifle and three 40-millimeter direct impact rounds.

Two inmate-made weapons were recovered; however, it does not appear at this time they were used in the attack.

Eight staff members were taken to an outside hospital with injuries. Six were treated and released and two are still hospitalized. Their injuries are significant but not life-threatening and they are expected to be released soon.

Seven inmates were also taken to outside hospitals, five of them for treatment of gunshot wounds.

PBSP officials have limited inmate movement throughout the entire institution to facilitate their investigation and they rehoused 97 inmates in the Administrative Segregation Unit.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sent a Deadly Force Investigations Team to the prison to conduct the criminal and administrative investigation into the use of deadly force. CDCR is also sending investigators from its Office of Correctional Safety. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

The Peer Support Program was activated. The program ensures CDCR employees involved in work-related critical incidents are provided with intervention and resources to cope with the traumatic effects.

PBSP, located in Del Norte County, is comprised of two maximum-security facilities, two security housing unit facilities, a minimum-support facility and a short-term restricted housing unit. The prison provides treatment for mentally ill inmates and provides work, academic, career technical education, self-help and other rehabilitative programs. PBSP also has a firehouse with eight fulltime inmate firefighters. PBSP opened in 1989, currently houses approximately 2,000 inmates and employs approximately 1,300 people.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         
MAY 24, 2017  

Contact: Lt. Jessica Berg
(707) 465-9040
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Mule Creek State Prison investigating attempted murder of an officer



IONE ― Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) officials are investigating the attempted murder of a correctional officer that occurred Sunday afternoon in Facility A during a recreation yard release.

At 12:31 p.m., inmate Brian Jones, 28, came out of his cell and asked the floor officer, “What’s up?” Jones then punched the officer in the face and struck him multiple times in the head and in the back under his protective vest with an inmate-made weapon.

Responding staff used physical force, batons, and pepper spray to quell the incident.

The battered officer suffered multiple stab wounds to the back of his head, one stab wound to his ribs and a laceration under his left eye. Additional stab wounds were prevented by his protective vest. He was transported to an outside hospital and released Sunday night, receiving sutures for the laceration under his eye.

Three other officers also sustained injuries during the incident and were treated at outside hospitals and released. Two officers suffered injured knees in the incident and a third injured his hand.

All the officers involved are expected to make full recoveries from their injuries.

Inmate movement is limited as the MCSP Investigative Services Unit examines the incident.

While being treated for minor injuries after the attack, Jones became aggressive and uncooperative, ultimately pushing his wheelchair over backwards, causing an injury to the back of his head that required treatment for bleeding.

Jones was later transferred to California State Prison, Sacramento (CSP-SAC).

Jones was received into CDCR custody on July 8, 2014 from Sacramento County to serve a 58-years-to-life sentence with the possibility of parole for First Degree Murder.

MCSP opened in 1987, houses 3,619 inmates and employs approximately 1,700 people.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2017 

Contact: Lt. Angelo Gonzalez  
(209) 274-5080

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