Tuesday, May 20, 2008

20-Year Anniversary Memorial for Heman Stark Officer Death While on Duty

Wards/Staff at Heman Stark Recognize 20-Year Anniversary of Staff Death

CHINO - Today, staff, community leaders, and the family of a deceased Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Officer who died in the line of duty 20-years-ago today, gathered at the Chino institution for the groundbreaking of a memorial to the officer.

A fundraising effort involving staff and community groups has raised nearly $8,000 to place a memorial in the memory of Officer Leslie (Les) Martin Macarro, it was announced today. This new memorial will be placed next to the memorial for former CYA Correctional Counselor Ineasie Baker, who was murdered by a ward at the facility in 1996. Both memorials sit in a special garden at the front of the institution.

"The significance of Officer Macarro's untimely death resonates today because his tragic death is a reminder of the perils that face all correctional staff in their duties," said Bernard Warner, Chief Deputy Director of the Division of Juvenile Justice. "I am so very happy, Officer Macarro's son Mark, can be with us today to pay tribute to the memory of his father."

Mark Macarro was there to represent the family, as well as represent the Temecula Band of Luiseno Mission Indians tribe, of which the deceased officer was an active participant.

On May 20, 1988, Officer Macarro was killed in the line of duty while transporting a ward to the Los Angeles County Hospital - Jail Ward.

During that transport, the ward jumped out of the van in the hospital parking lot in an escape attempt. When Officer Macarro attempted pursuit, he was struck by another vehicle. His partner Arthur (Smokey) Perez, alerted medical staff to Officer Macarro's life-threatening injuries, staying with Macarro until he was transported into the hospital.

At that point, Officer Perez, working with local law enforcement began a pursuit of the ward who had run off, eventually capturing him. Officer Macarro died several hours later from his injuries at Los Angeles County Hospital. He had worked for the Department for approximately 13 years and was 52-years-old at the time of his death.

"Officer Macarro was the first peace officer at Heman G. Stark to die in the line of duty.," said Heman G. Stark Superintendent Ramon Martinez. "His legacy marked a catalyst for change in the way we now preserve public safety. This dedication will honor the 20-year anniversary of the loss of ‘one of our own'."

The event also marked the contributions of Arthur (Smokey) Perez, who made a valiant effort to save Officer Macarro's life that day, 20-years-ago.

Wards in the facility also marked the anniversary of Officer Macarro's death, with curriculum at the institution specifically focused on the role of youth correctional officers and youth correctional counselors within the institution, as well as the damage that violent acts have on the community-at-large. This is part of the restorative justice mission of the Division of Juvenile Justice.

"We would like to continue to recognize Officer Leslie Martin Macarro for such dedication in sacrificing his life for the safety of others," said Superintendent Martinez. "The loss of such an outstanding officer deserves continued commemoration for years to come that will be represented by this monument. The dedication ceremony is an opportunity for Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility, as well as the community, to remember Officer Macarro."

Background on Officer Les Macarro

Les Macarro was a local, residing in the Inland Empire for most of his life. He was born on May 9, 1936, in San Bernardino, California. He was a descendent of the Temecula Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from Pechanga Reservation. He lived in Colton, California, for 24 years. Macarro also served our country in the United States Army 1st Infantry Division as a military policeman stationed in South Korea. He began employment with Heman G. Stark in 1974. He worked while attending school to earn his AA degree. He completed his education in 1976. Officer Macarro continued to work diligently with the youth and was recognized for his caring and persistence in 1983 by receiving an outstanding performance award.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

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

Watch video of the
Medal of Valor event

View slide show of
honorees



Four Honored with Medal of Valor for Extraordinary Courage

SACRAMENTO - The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation today awarded Medals of Valor, the Department’s highest award for heroism and courage beyond the normal demands of correctional service to four employees: Correctional Officer Elizabeth O’Campo, Ironwood State Prison, Correctional Officer William A. Roper, Wasco State Prison, Youth Correctional Officer Benjamin Flores, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility, and Parole Agent I Jimmy Gruender, Division of Adult Parole Operations. The awards were presented by CDCR Secretary James E. Tilton at a ceremony on the West Steps of the State Capitol. Nearly 100 employees received awards that ranged from the Medal of Valor to Unit Citations.

The Medal of Valor is “earnedby 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.”

Correctional Officer O’Campo was honored for coming to the rescue of a fellow correctional officer after more than nine inmates attacked the officer with weapons and Officer O’Campo was herself attacked. She fended off the attack and defended the officer and also coming to the rescue of another officer who was struck in the face with a trashcan.

Correctional Officer Roper was cited for “risking his own life to save the life” of a woman whose pickup truck was on fire after a serious automobile accident. The woman had sustained two broken legs and a broken back, and Officer Roper went to her rescue and pulled her to safety.

Youth Correctional Officer Flores was recognized for intervening and protecting a youth correctional counselor who was under attack by nine wards, who were repeatedly kicking and stomping the counselor on his back, upper body, neck, head and face. In his nomination, Flores was honored for “bravery, courage and life-saving actions.”

Parole Agent I Jimmy Gruender was cited for “conspicuous bravery…in the face of immediate life-threatening peril” when he successfully located an elderly man in a burning house, bringing him to consciousness, and leading the disoriented man to safety.

Also honored at today’s ceremony were Correctional Officer Maria G. Murrieta, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility as the 2008 Correctional Officer of the Year, and Correctional Case Records Supervisor Rhonda Baker, Mule Creek State Prison, as the 2008 Correctional Supervisor of the Year.

Complete List of 2008 Award Winners


Medal of Valor

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.

Correctional Officer Elizabeth O’Campo, Ironwood State Prison

Correctional Officer William A. Roper, Wasco State Prison-Reception Center

Youth Correctional Officer Benjamin Flores, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility

Parole Agent I Jimmy Gruender, Division of Adult Parole Operations



Gold Star Medal

The Corrections Star (Gold) medal is the Department’s second highest award 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 Fred Daniel Martinez, California Institution for Men

Correctional Sergeants Arron Audette and Todd Posch; Correctional Officers Douglas Brooks, William Denton and Tina Lucas, High Desert State Prison

Correctional Officer Anis De La Cruz, Wasco State Prison

Youth Correctional Officer James Crain, N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility

Parole Agent I Shad Colbert and Parole Agent I Eric Kraus, Office of Correctional Safety



Silver Star Medal

The Corrections Star (Silver) medal is the Department’s third highest award for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish himself or herself by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics or judgment.

Correctional Officer Steven A. Montgomery, California Correctional Center

Correctional Officers John Brown and Umberto Resendez, California Correctional Institution

Correctional Officer Edward Becerra, California Men’s Colony

Correctional Counselor I Darren White, California State Prison-Corcoran

Correctional Sergeant Bryan M. Bishop and Correctional Officer Scott S. Camp, California State Prison-Sacramento

Fire Captain Eduardo Medina, Centinela State Prison

Correctional Officer Sergio Almodovar, Ironwood State Prison

Correctional Lieutenants Reginald Lawson and Peter M. Zinser, R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility

Correctional Lieutenant Vicki Contreras, N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility

Parole Agent I Alex Hoang, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent IIs Curtis Smith and Jaime Caballero; Parole Agent Is Jon Ashley, James Bellmeyer and Robert Wheeler, Office of Correctional Safety



Bronze Star Medal

The Corrections Star (Bronze) is the Department’s award for saving a life without placing oneself in peril. The employee shall have used proper training and tactics in a professional manner to save, or clearly contribute to saving, the life of another person.

Correctional Officer Gary E. Allhiser, California Correctional Center

Harold Su-Ay, Correctional Officer, California Institution for Men

Correctional Sergeant Lori Dark and Correctional Officer Mike Gobbell, California Men’s Colony

Fire Service Training Specialist John J. Hurley, California Medical Facility

Correctional Sergeant Charles Gibson, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Officer Arnoldo Hernandez, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Officer Ney Vencer, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Officer Chris B. Wuest, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Sergeant Pedro Chanelo Jr., Correctional Training Facility

Correctional Officers Kenneth Coffman, Rodolfo Padilla, Barnabe Torres and Marc White, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison-Corcoran; Correctional Officer Raymond Montion, North Kern State Prison

Correctional Officer Joel Adam Martin, Folsom State Prison

Correctional Sergeant James Fitzpatrick, Kern Valley State Prison

Correctional Officer Kerri Sweeny, Kern Valley State Prison

Correctional Sergeants Gregory Gordon and Kathy Ohland; Correctional Officers Will Baptista, Joseph Ross, Pamela Russell, and Donald Thomas, Pelican Bay State Prison

Correctional Officer Ryan Hormel, Valley State Prison for Women

Correctional Officer Carlos Rodriguez, Wasco State Prison

Program Administrator Joe Hartigan, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility

Youth Correctional Captain Fernando Quiroz, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility

Parole Agent I Russell Wayne Skinner, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent I Perry Little, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent I John Edelman, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent II David Fernandez; Parole Agent Is Stephen Cornwell and Christopher Morris, Office of Correctional Safety

Senior Special Agent Joe Galvan; Special Agents Scott Barnett, Azell Middlebrooks and Bryan Shill, Office of Internal Affairs

Correctional Lieutenant James Bales; Correctional Sergeants Anthony Murphy and Richard Bishop, Office of Correctional Safety; Correctional Officer Damon Reynoso, California Men’s Colony



Distinguished Service Medal

The Distinguished Service Medal is for an employee’s exemplary work conduct with the Department for a period of months or years, or involvement in a specific assignment of unusual benefit to the Department.

Correctional Lieutenant Michael Brownell, California Rehabilitation Center

Vocational Instructor Michael E. Doud, Mule Creek State Prison

Executive Assistant Thomas Paul Gaines, Wasco State Prison

Parole Agent I Donnie Elliott, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent II Ken Wong, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent I Wesley Heninger, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Correctional Captain Dan Elledge; Correctional Lieutenants Ronald Bickford, Shawn Brown, Mike Davis, Tim Dolan, Trond Gottfried, Doug McClure, and Charlie Rogers; Correctional Sergeants Chris Modlin and Chris Paris, Office of Correctional Safety/Emergency Operations Unit

Special Agent Daniel Evanilla, Office of Correctional Safety



Unit Citation

The Unit Citation is for great courage displayed by a departmental unit in the course of conducting an operation in the face of immediate life-threatening circumstances.

Supervising Registered Nurse III/Director of Nursing Mark Bravo, Nurse Practitioner Don Jeske, Youth Correctional Officers Paul Diaz, Anthony Jordan and Ken Marks, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility

Senior Youth Correctional Counselor Jeanne Espinosa, Youth Correctional Officer Dean Kirby, Youth Correctional Counselors Stanley Scott and Ernie Souza, N.A Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

**Special Op-ed By Secretary James E. Tilton**

James E. Tilton: Investing in prison reform pays in safety Published May 15, 2008 (Sacramento Bee)


One year ago this month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the most comprehensive and bipartisan prison reform legislation that California has ever seen. The law's passage was in response to a combination of crises that had the state's prison system on the verge of collapse. While there is still much hard work to be done, California is finally on the right track toward real prison reform.

Before the passage of Assembly Bill 900, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Act of 2007, the state had no concrete plan to address the myriad serious issues facing our prison system. Overcrowding was near record highs, and California was very close to running out of beds for new inmates. Federal judges were contemplating imposing a population cap to force the release of inmates who had not served their full sentences.

Fortunately the governor, working with legislators from both parties, law enforcement and community leaders, crafted a plan to address these issues head-on. The reform measure authorized transferring up to 8,000 inmates to out-of-state facilities, funded up to 53,000 beds in state prisons and local jails to reduce overcrowding, and set benchmarks to ensure that all inmates sent to prison are given access to rehabilitation programs.

While these reforms will not solve all of California's prison problems overnight, they provide for long-term solutions. However, in just one year since the passage of these reforms, significant progress is being made.

To date, more than 4,000 inmates have been transferred to out of state facilities, enough to fill an entire prison. This has allowed for more than a dozen gymnasiums used to house prisoners to be deactivated, so that they can be reused for recreation and rehabilitation programs. The state is on track to transfer 8,000 inmates out of state by early next year, providing much-needed breathing room in California prisons.

Construction plans are also moving forward. New beds are being built at existing prisons, at secure community reentry facilities and in local jails across the state. These beds will relieve the strain on the system and create accompanying rehabilitation space. More than 6,000 infill beds at state prisons are currently moving through the approval process, 19 counties have submitted proposals for nearly 7,000 reentry beds to help transition inmates in their final 12 months of incarceration, and 24 counties have applied for funds to relieve jail overcrowding.

The state also understands that real prison reform takes more than just inmate transfers and new construction; it takes a seismic shift in focus toward providing inmates with programs that will help them be successful upon release. California's prison system has turned into a virtual revolving door for repeat offenders. Effective rehabilitation programs are being put in place to help end this vicious cycle.

California is implementing a project to provide pathways to rehabilitation for inmates designed to reduce recidivism rates. The state is also looking at parole and other reforms to better assess the risks and needs of ex-offenders and to tailor evidence-based programs to improve their chances of becoming law-abiding citizens.

California is taking progressive steps to end drug addiction, especially among its parolee population, which is also having a positive impact in reducing recidivism. The number of parolees diverted into community drug treatment beds is up 42 percent in the past year alone. This positive change has resulted in fewer parolees reoffending and decreased population in correctional institutions.

For true reform to be successful, partnerships with local communities must continue to be built. Their involvement and shared dedication is critical throughout the process for siting reentry facilities, and local communities should remain involved as citizens are returned to their homes.

It is a monumental task to overhaul such a massive system, with 67,000 employees, more than 170,000 inmates and more than 120,000 parolees. Fortunately, the reform movement is heading in the right direction and continuing to gain momentum.

I am retiring this week, after two years of leading the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation through a period of significant change. While I know that there are more challenges ahead, I have full confidence in the men and women who are working toward achieving the goals set out by the governor and legislators in their roadmap to reform.

By investing in reform and inmate rehabilitation, we are investing in the safety and the future of all Californians.

(Sacramento Bee - story link: http://www.sacbee.com/110/story/939597.html)

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Preventing The Early Release Of State Inmates

Watch video of press conference regarding Governor's May Revisions to the budget





With Parole Reforms Working and Our Inmate Population Decreasing, the Governor’s May Revise Eliminates Early Release Proposal

Fewer people are being sent to prison, and fewer felons are reoffending, meaning decreases in California’s prison inmate population and its parolee caseloads. This results in significant budgetary savings of approximately $300 million. Subsequently, the Governor’s May Revise has dropped the proposal included in the Governor’s proposed budget to release specified non‑serious, non‑violent, non‑sex‑offending inmates.

The Governor’s May Revise reaffirms the Governor’s commitment to public safety. The Governor’s May Revise does not include the early release plan introduced in the proposed budget due to downward inmate and parolee trends. These trends indicate that the Governor’s parole reforms are starting to have a positive impact.

Parole reforms are apparently working. The Governor is committed to parole reform, and a drop on parole caseloads is due in part to those reforms. AB 900 will continue that focus toward rehabilitation.

The downward inmate and parolee trends bring significant savings to the state’s budget. It is anticipated that these downward institutional and parolee Average Daily Population (ADP) trends will reduce costs to the General Fund by $27.9 million in the current budget year and another $78.2 million in the 2008-09 budget.

  • Institutional Average Daily Population:
    • Projected to drop 2,107 in 2007-08 from the level projected in the proposed budget.
    • Projected to drop 6,380 in 2008-09 from the level projected in the proposed budget.
    • These trends are the result of successful implementation of parole reforms, increased access to rehabilitation services, implementation of SB 1453, and a decline in new admissions
  • Parolee Average Daily Population:
    • Projected to drop 2,887 in 2007-08 from the level projected in the proposed budget.
    • Projected to drop 10,189 in 2008-09 from the level projected in the proposed budget.
      • The parole population is expected to continue to decrease due to the effectiveness of parole reforms.
The Governor’s May Revise also includes additional savings from the Summary Parole proposal.

  • The May Revise includes total savings of $173.6 million for the Summary Parole proposal, which is a $75.7 million increase compared to the Governor’s proposed budget.
    • The net increase in savings is due to $110 million in corresponding operational and programmatic savings.
Other Highlights:

  • Activating the state’s first reentry facility. Consistent with the Administration’s commitment to rehabilitation and current efforts to implement AB 900, the May Revise includes $11.7 million to activate the state’s first secure re‑entry facility beginning July 1, 2009.
  • Supporting the Prison Receiver’s court mandated efforts to improve inmate medical care. The May Revise proposes an augmentation of $8.6 million General Fund in 2008‑09 and makes note proposed urgency legislation to authorize approximately $7 billion in lease revenue bonds to ensure that the Receiver is able to improve the delivery of medical care to inmates.
Revised Budget Detail For the May Revise
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To visit the revised budget page on the California Budget web site, hit the following Hotlink url:

http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/Revised/BudgetSummary/DCR/8867200.html

Corrections and Rehabilitation
The mission of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is to enhance public safety through safe and secure incarceration of offenders, effective parole supervision, and rehabilitative strategies to successfully reintegrate offenders into our communities.

The CDCR is organized into twelve programs: Corrections and Rehabilitation Administration; Corrections Standards Authority; Juvenile Operations; Juvenile Education, Vocations, and Offender Programs; Juvenile Parole Operations; Juvenile Health Care Services; Adult Operations; Adult Parole Operations; Board of Parole Hearings; Community Partnerships; Adult Education, Vocations, and Offender Programs; and Correctional Health Care Services.

AGENCY'S PORTION OF THE BUDGET (State Funds)
The following charts represent the Agency's portion of the 2008-09 Budget. These totals do not include federal funds, certain non-governmental cost funds, or reimbursements.
Corrections and Rehabilitation High Level May Revision Summaries
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The May Revision continues the Administration's commitment to public safety and inmate rehabilitation in programs operated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
  • 2007-08 -$46.8 million
  • 2008-09 -$115.2 million
The May Revision proposes a decrease of $115.2 million General Fund for the CDCR.

Northern California Re-entry Facility

Adult Inmate/Parolee Population/Caseload Changes

Ward/Parolee Population/Caseload Changes

Prison Medical Care Receiver

Juvenile Probation Funding

Update to Budget-Balancing Reductions

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Corrections and Rehabilitation Web Site
Transfers user to this Agency's web site.

Proposed January 10 Budget Summary - Corrections and Rehabilitation
Displays Proposed January 10th, 2008 Budget Summary information for Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Friday, May 9, 2008

CDCR, Community Groups Partner For Ninth Annual Mother's Day "GET ON THE BUS"

Program brings children, incarcerated mothers together at four correctional facilities, lowers risk of recidivism by participating moms.

SACRAMENTO -The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Center for Restorative Justice Works are again working together to bring children to visit their incarcerated mothers on Mother's Day. The female offenders are housed at one of four state adult and juvenile facilities. The adult prisons are the California Institution for Women, Central California Women's Facility, and Valley State Prison for Women. The juvenile facility is the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.

The children, who are accompanied by loved ones and guardians, will visit today as part of the ninth annual Get on the Bus program. What began as one bus with 17 children has become a statewide event, and this year, 35 buses filled with more than 650 children and their guardians will travel from 17 cities throughout California to the prisons in southern and central California. The mothers have to be on good conduct for one year to earn a visit from their children.

When released from prison, those mothers are less inclined to return to crime because of the ties they have maintained with their children, according to most industry researchers.

"Every child wants to see, hug and talk with their mother, whether they are incarcerated or not," said Wendy Still, Associate Director of CDCR Female Offender Programs and Services. "Get on the Bus helps moms and kids stay connected. This benefits these children by lowering the likelihood that their mother will return to prison."

Get on the Bus provides free transportation for children and their caregivers, travel bags for the children, comfort care bags for the caregivers, a photograph of each child with his or her mother, and meals for the day. The meals include breakfast, snacks on the bus, lunch at the prison, and dinner on the way home. On the bus trip home, following the visit with the mothers, each child receives a teddy bear with a letter from their mother as well as post-event counseling. Children with mothers in prison are usually cared for by relatives, often grandparents, who are often unable to make the drive due to distance or expense. The program is funded by donations from churches, schools, agencies, family foundations, grants and other organizations.

"It's all about the children," said Sister Suzanne Jabro of the Center for Restorative Justice Works, who has spearheaded this event over the years. "With Get on the Bus our goal is to raise awareness regarding the needs of these children of incarcerated mothers."


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NOTE TO MEDIA: all images are available in hi-res format.
Please call (916) 445-4950, to request larger file images

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Preliminary County Jail Funding Rankings Released, Contingent on Reentry Siting and Final Approval

CSA Board Sets Process for Validating Reentry Proposals Before $750 Million in AB 900 Jail Bond Funds Awarded

SACRAMENTO -SACRAMENTO – The Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) Board met today to discuss county rankings in the competitive application process for $750 million in jail bond funds authorized by AB 900, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Act of 2007. The Board unanimously approved the preliminary rankings of county proposals made by a CSA executive steering committee, which will be validated over the next 90 days. The Board also unanimously approved a board motion to clarify that only those counties that have received formal approval from their Boards of Supervisors, and local City Councils, and have signed siting agreements with the state for Secure Community Reentry Facilities, will be eligible to receive jail bond funds in Phase I of the award process.

If the preliminary recommendations on awards are ultimately adopted, these funds will be used to build 8,286 beds in 12 county jails. The siting agreements will also result in inmates from at least 12 counties being able to transition back home through a reentry facility in or near to their county of last legal residence.

“The competitive process in place for awarding scarce resources for jail construction rewards counties that have stepped up to help enact real corrections reform and improve public safety,” said James Tilton, CSA Board Chair and Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). “The Board’s actions today bring California one step closer toward building Secure Community Reentry Facilities and relieving jail and prison overcrowding across the state, furthering of the goals of AB 900.“

In total, 24 counties applied for $750 million in AB 900 jail bond funds appropriated for Phase I of the reentry process. Of those counties, 19 took steps toward siting Secure Community Reentry Facilities.

The preliminary rankings approved by the CSA Board today would award $650 million in funds to build 7,720 beds in eight large and medium counties, and $100 million for 566 beds in four small counties, based on the proposals that they submitted for review.


However, the awards are conditional since the sites for reentry facilities identified in these proposals will need to be validated by CDCR’s Division of Facilities Planning, Construction and Management over the next 90 days to ensure that they are viable. If these sites are not validated or found to be viable within 90 days, the points that were the basis for the conditional award could be rescinded, and the county could lose their ranking for Phase I funds. Counties applying for jail bond funds will also have to sign siting agreements with the state on reentry before their proposal will be formally approved and funds awarded.

The CSA Board will be updated on the status of these preliminary conditional awards at their September 18, 2008 meeting. At this meeting the Board will vote to make grant awards final.

There is an additional $450 million in funding for jail bonds authorized under AB 900 that will be eligible for distribution in Phase II once all Phase I benchmarks have been met or exceeded. For more information on AB 900 benchmarks and implementation visit:



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Thursday, May 1, 2008

CDCR's Inmate Firefighters Prepare for the 2008 Fire Season

Conservation Camp Program benefits the State year round, saves tax dollars

PAYNES CREEK – James Tilton, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and other CDCR administrators were among the guests who observed the more than 700 inmates who participated in today’s annual Fire Preparedness Exercise at Ishi Camp in Tehama County. The exercise also allowed the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to evaluate inmate firefighter crews’ physical conditioning, firefighting knowledge, safety performance and readiness for the 2008 fire season.

“Since 1946, the Conservation Camp Program has provided California with a well trained, well equipped workforce for fire suppression and other emergencies. The crews andthe staff who supervise them are ready to respond to wildfires and other emergencies,” Tilton said.

Tilton noted that nearly 600 inmate firefighters responded to last week’s Santa Anita Fire in Los Angeles County and that last fall, more than 3,000 inmates fought the firestorms in Southern California.

“This program and our long-standing partnership with CAL FIRE is the backbone of the state’s fire response. In 2007 alone, we conservatively estimate the inmate fire crews put in more than three million person hours fighting fires and responding to other emergencies, saving California taxpayers more than $50 million,” Tilton said.

There are 42 adult conservation camps statewide with more than 4,400 offenders in the program. CDCR jointly manages 37 adult camps with CAL FIRE. Five adult camps in Southern California are jointly managed with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

When not responding to fires and other emergencies, crews put in millions of hours every year working on fire reduction and conservation projects and providing forest, range and watershed enhancement on public lands.

“The crews work year round to reduce fire hazards by clearing brush, weeds and other vegetation and constructing fuel breaks. They also do other conservation projects including trail rehabilitation and restoration, removing invasive plant species, and improving levees. This is an enormous benefit to state, county and federal government agencies and to our communities,” Tilton said.

Fire crews provide maintenance at state parks, forests, beaches and veterans’ homes; restore trails; and build signs, picnic benches and tables at state and local parks. In addition, fire crews provide community service work to local and volunteer fire departments, local schools, cemetery districts, and fish hatcheries and clean up highways, parks, beaches and campgrounds.

The inmates assigned to the camps participate in vocational education programs including sawmill and lumber yard operations, carpentry and woodworking, automotive maintenance and repair, welding, silkscreen printing, and making signs. And they participate in other rehabilitative programs, including substance abuse treatment, pre-release, and religious programs. Many camps raise funds to help feed the hungry, deter kids from crime and support local non-profit organizations.

Inmates assigned to the Conservation Camp Program are carefully screened and medically cleared. They must be physically fit and are evaluated on their emotional and intellectual aptitudes and criminal history. Inmates convicted of kidnapping, arson, or sex offenses are excluded from the program.

The average sentence for adult inmates selected for camp is less than two years and the average time they spend in camp is eight months. They earn about a dollar an hour fighting fires and earn two days of credit off their sentence for every day they participate in the program.

After being selected for camp, inmates go through two weeks of physical fitness training followed by an additional two weeks of training in fire safety and suppression techniques. During their training, they are constantly being evaluated for their overall suitability to continue in the program. Those who do not pass the evaluation are sent back to a state prison.

“In these tough budget times, it is noteworthy there is a program that provides so many benefits. The Conservation Camp Program provides the state with a fully trained workforce able to immediately respond to fires and other emergencies. The program saves tax dollars. We are able to enjoy the beauty of California at our parks and beaches. Our highways are clean. And inmates are better prepared to return to their communities when they are released to parole, enhancing public safety,” Tilton said. “My hat is off to the hardworking CDCR and CAL FIRE employees who make this program a success.”

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About Ishi Conservation Camp:
The annual fire preparedness exercise for Northern California is held at the Ishi Conservation Camp, which opened in April 1961. It is located in Tehama County, 25 miles east of Red Bluff. It houses 110 male minimum-custody inmates who make up five 17-man fire crews. The remaining inmates serve as cooks, porters, landscapers, launderers, clerks, maintenance, and other support activity workers. The camp is staffed with 10 CDCR correctional staff including officers, sergeants and one lieutenant who is the camp commander. CAL FIRE staff assigned to the camp include 10 fire crew captains, two heavy fire equipment operators, one office technician, one water sewer plant operator, and one assistant chief also known as the division chief. During 2007, the Ishi Conservation Camp provided 216,592 hours of project and conservation work and 125,942 hours fighting fires and floods.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CDCR Completes GPS Implementation for High Risk Sex Offenders on Parole

All HRSOs on Active Parole Being Monitored

SACRAMENTO - Leading the nation in monitoring sex offenders with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has completed placing every High Risk Sex Offender parolee on GPS monitoring.

"This is a significant accomplishment and shows that we are on track in implementing the GPS requirements mandated by Jessica's Law," said Scott Kernan, Chief Deputy Secretary of Adult Operations for CDCR. "Our parole agents are working aggressively to increase public safety, and this is a major step for us to monitor those sex offenders deemed high risk to re-offend."

Passed by California voters in 2006, Proposition 83 - also known as Jessica's Law - requires that every paroled sex offender be monitored by GPS. With limited amounts of GPS units, CDCR has prioritized the approximately 2,500 of its high-risk sex offender population on parole to be equipped with ankle monitors.

At any given time, California has nearly 9,000 sex offenders on parole supervision by CDCR. In addition to the high-risk population, CDCR has equipped 2,300 non high-risk sex offenders with GPS, bringing the total of sex offenders on GPS in California to 4,800. That is nearly triple the 1,800 GPS units currently used by Florida, the second leading state to use the devices.

CDCR is scheduled to have the entire sex offender parolee population on GPS monitoring devices by June 2009.

"Not only do we monitor these individuals by GPS, we have put them on reduced caseloads so that our parole agents can focus on keeping track of this population," said Division of Adult Parole Office Director Tom Hoffman. "Our parole agents are out there every day doing their best to monitor these individuals to prevent them from re-offending."

Managing sex offender issues has been a priority for the department. In 2006, the CDCR developed and implemented significant notification procedures to local law enforcement agencies prior to the release of a sex offender parolee to their county. The department also works continuously to improve its policies on managing sex offenders, including implementing the life-time GPS monitoring required by Jessica's Law. CDCR frequently seeks input from the California Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB), which was created in 2006 to advise the Legislature, the Governor and the CDCR in developing sound policy and recommendations on sex offender management.


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Thursday, April 24, 2008

CDCR Agents Assists Sacramento County In Sweep Targeting Gang Members

Efforts Support Governor’s Anti-Gang Initiatives

SACRAMENTO – Working with an array of law enforcement agencies to crack down on gang activity, agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) participated last week in the third annual Sacramento Neighborhoods Against Gangs (SNAG III) operation.

Hosted by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, the SNAG operation held April 17-18 targeted active gang members and their associates. The sweep resulted in 115 arrests, recovery of seven firearms and five edged weapons. Illegal cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $238,000 were also seized.

“This is a highly coordinated effort between numerous law enforcement agencies with the goal of protecting public safety,” said Margarita Perez, CDCR Parole Administrator. “CDCR is adamant that gang violence will not be tolerated, and we are committed to assisting other law enforcement agencies to make our communities safer.”

Agents with CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) and Office of Correctional Safety (OCS) joined 18 other law enforcement agencies and 320 officers as well as numerous non-sworn staff during the two-day gang sweep.

DAPO supervises more than 123,000 parolees throughout the State of California. Of this total, more than 22,000 parolees are validated gang members or associates, of which approximately 783 reside in Sacramento County. DAPO imposes conditions of parole on this class of offenders which prohibit their participation or association in activities which resemble affiliation with gangs.

The third annual SNAG operation enabled CDCR to work in tandem with city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies in a collaborative effort to reduce gang violence, with the ultimate goal of making the streets safer for all. Known gang members have terms and conditions of parole that prohibit affiliation with other gang members.

Last week’s effort marks the third year CDCR agents have participating in the SNAG operation. The operation supports Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Anti-Gang efforts such as CalGRIP, which earmarked more than $31 million in state and federal funding toward local gang intervention, suppression and prevention. In July 2007, the Governor signed SB 271 to give prosecutors more tools in the fight against gangs. That same month, he signed AB 104 to give city attorneys the tools they need to pursue gang injunctions and two other anti-gang measures, SB 706 and AB 924, to assist cities in curbing the source of income that funds gang activity.

Hosted by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, other participating agencies included: Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agency (ATF), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; California Highway Patrol, California Department of Justice, Citrus Heights Police Department, Elk Grove Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI - Safe Streets), Folsom Police Department, Galt Police Department, Grant School Police Department, Immigrations Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), Rancho Cordova Police Department, Regional Terrorist and Threat Assessment Center, Roseville Police Department, Sacramento County District Attorney's Office, Sacramento County Probation Department, Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, and the Sacramento Police Department.

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