Wednesday, February 28, 1996

FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES HARASSMENT CASE AGAINST CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT

U.S. District Court Judge David Levi dismissed in its entirety a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by seven Folsom State Prison employees in 1993.

In ruling for the California Department of Corrections, the court found that the plaintiffs failed to produce evidence or raise a genuine issue that the Department had a pattern or policy of gender-based discrimination.

"When we feel we've been wrongly accused," said Corrections Director James H. Gomez, "we defend ourselves."

"I abhor any form of gender discrimination and have moved aggressively to root it out and punish it," Gomez explained. "We will continue our efforts to create a positive, discrimination-free work environment for all Corrections employees."

Judge Levi's 166-page order dismissed all claims against the department and the employees named in the lawsuit. The Department of Corrections was represented by the private law firm Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann and Girard.

The seven plaintiffs were: Marcia Diaz, Crystal Davis, Kathie Dunham, Tiffany Keeney, Jayna Popovich, Carmen Rojas and Yvette Taylor.

Tuesday, February 20, 1996

MEDIA ACCESS FOR EXECUTION

The California Department of Corrections has completed processing security clearances for media firms requesting to send representatives to San Quentin State Prison for the February 23 execution of William George Bonin.

This advisory constitutes clearance for the individuals listed on the attached.

The following information should be distributed to all media representatives that will be involved as witnesses or participants of the news conference at San Quentin State Prison.

On February 22, media may enter the West Gate of San Quentin between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. For security purposes, two forms of identification will be required. One must be an official photo id such as driver's license, passport, or state-issued identification card. Only those credentialed for the news conference will be permitted. Any media representative that leaves the prison after 2 p.m. will not be permitted to return at a later time that day.

Media witnesses to the execution may enter as late as 5 p.m. through the West Gate of the prison.

Do not wear blue, black, or gray denim clothing or yellow raincoats. It is illegal to bring alcohol, drugs, or weapons into a California State Prison. Vehicles and individuals entering a California State Prison are subject to search.

Private vehicles, except for designated microwave or satellite broadcast trucks, will be parked near the West Gate. After credentials are confirmed, reporters will be transported by prison shuttle to the Media Center.

A video/audio feed for broadcasters of the media witness news conference is limited to 2 camera operators and 2 audio technicians. The broadcast vans facilitating distribution of the feed will be parked closest to the building.

Media movement will be restricted to the Media Center (IST building) and broadcast support area. No access will be permitted to the East Gate.

Still photos of the news conference will be provided by an Associated Press pool photographer.

Media witnesses to the execution will be escorted to the IST building immediately after leaving the witness observation area. Media witnesses must agree to make themselves available to members of the pool for interviews after the initial press conference.

Media organizations selected to send witnesses as representatives of the media pool are Associated Press; United Press International; San Diego Union-Tribune; Los Angeles Times; San Francisco Chronicle; Sacramento Bee; Orange County Register; Los Angeles Daily News; Long Beach Press-Telegram; KNBC-TV (NBC) Los Angeles; KCAL-TV (CNN), Los Angeles; KNX radio, Los Angeles; KFI radio, Los Angeles; KPIX-TV (CBS), San Francisco; KGO radio, San Francisco; KQED radio, San Francisco; and KXTV-TV (ABC), Sacramento.

The media pool is making arrangements for a catering truck and a power generator. Access should be coordinated with pool organizers, NorCal RTNDA Darryl Compton at (415) 341-9978 or SoCal RTNA Carolyn Fox at (818) 986-8168

The IST building has 60 amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are 7 pay telephones.

Friday, February 16, 1996

MEDIA ACCESS FOR EXECUTION

The California Department of Corrections is processing security clearances for media firms requesting to send representatives to San Quentin State Prison for the February 23 execution of William Bonin.

The following information should be distributed to all media representatives that will be involved as witnesses or participants of the news conference at San Quentin State Prison.

On February 22, media may enter the West Gate of San Quentin between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. For security purposes, two forms of identification will be required. One must be an official photo ID such as driver's license, passport, or state-issued identification card. Only those credentialed for the news conference will be permitted. Any media representative that leaves the prison after 2:00 p.m. will not be permitted to return at a later time that day.

Media witnesses to the execution may enter as late as 5:00 p.m. through the West Gate of the prison.

Do not wear blue, black, or gray denim clothing or yellow raincoats. It is illegal to bring alcohol, drugs, or weapons into a California State Prison. Vehicles and individuals entering a California State Prison are subject to search.

Private vehicles, except for designated microwave or satellite broadcast trucks, will be parked near the West Gate. After credentials are confirmed, reporters will be transported by prison shuttle to the Media Center.

A video/audio feed for broadcasters of the media witness news conference is limited to 2 camera operators and 2 audio technicians. The broadcast vans facilitating distribution of the feed will be parked closest to the building.

Media movement will be restricted to the Media Center (IST building) and broadcast support area. No access will be permitted to the East Gate.

Still photos of the news conference will be provided by an Associated Press pool photographer.

Media witnesses to the execution will be escorted to the IST building immediately after leaving the witness observation area. Media witnesses must agree to make themselves available to members of the pool for interviews after the initial press conference.

Media organizations selected to send witnesses as representatives of the media pool are Associated Press; United Press International; San Diego Union-Tribune; Los Angeles Times; San Francisco Chronicle; Sacramento Bee; Orange County Register; Los Angeles Daily News; Long Beach Press-Telegram; KNBC-TV (NBC) Los Angeles; KCAL-TV (CNN) Los Angeles; KNX radio Los Angeles; KFI radio Los Angeles; KPIX TV (CBS) San Francisco; KGO radio San Francisco; KQED radio San Francisco; and KXTV-TV (ABC) Sacramento.

The media pool is making arrangements for a catering truck and a power generator. Access should be coordinated with pool organizers, NorCal RTNDA Darryl Compton at (415) 341-9978 or SoCal RTNA Carolyn Fox at (818) 986-8168

The IST building has 60 amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are 7 pay telephones. Media orders for private telephone hookups must be arranged with Pacific Telephone.

Questions should be directed to Tip Kindel or Christine May at the Department of Corrections Headquarters at (916) 445-4950.

Media firms requesting credentials will be notified by telephone or tele-fax Tuesday, February 20, of representatives authorized to enter San Quentin on February 22.

AUTHORIZED ACCESS TO SAN QUENTIN

The following individuals have been cleared for access to San Quentin State Prison for the execution of William Bonin. A few more security clearances are underway; media representatives not noted on the attached list will be notified of their status on Tuesday, February 20.

The execution is scheduled to take place at 12:01 a.m. Friday, February 23. Media may enter the West Gate as early as 7 a.m. and no later than 2 p.m. on Thursday, February 22.

Monday, February 5, 1996

CDC DIRECTOR SPEAKS OUT ON MADRID CASE

Corrections Director James H. Gomez today acknowledged Federal District Court Judge Thelton Henderson's appraisal of the state's efforts to improve conditions at Pelican Bay State Prison.

"There has been significant progress in the last three months," said Judge Henderson. "This progress is not to be slighted."

"It is gratifying to be recognized for the massive improvements we've initiated, particularly in the area of health care," said Gomez. "We will be working with the court to ensure that our efforts move forward expeditiously."

"The department successfully argued for, and received, nearly $8 million in new funding over the next two years for medical and mental health services at Pelican Bay," Gomez explained. "In addition, I have redirected $1.5 million in staff and resources this year alone--money that had been budgeted for other important programs--to facilitate our progress," Gomez continued.

Specifically, Gomez noted that Corrections already:

Received approval for 101 new positions for Pelican Bay costing $2.8 million in Fiscal Year 1995-96 and continuing at $5 million each successive year. Over 90 percent of these positions are now filled.

When recruitment efforts lagged, contracted with private service providers to meet the psychiatric needs of Pelican Bay inmates. Also received authorization to boost the recruitment and retention incentives for psychiatrists from $200 to $1,250 a month. When recruitment problems continued, redirected staff from other prisons to ensure that at least five psychiatrists were delivering services at Pelican Bay every week.

Activated a new Psychiatric Services Unit December 1, 1995 to treat high security inmates in need of outpatient mental health services. It is the only program of its type in the world. In less than 30 days, all inmates known to need outpatient mental health treatment were rehoused from the Security Housing Unit to the new program.

Developed and submitted to the court a detailed health care remedial plan in August 1995.

Initiated numerous interim measures while the plan was being developed which included: providing mental health treatment within the Security Housing Unit; improving medical and mental health screening for all incoming inmates to Pelican Bay; and improving health care emergency response procedures and training.

Developed and submitted to the court necessary health care policies and procedures, also in August 1995.

Authorized a special diet program to increase the cost per meal of affected inmates by 200 percent.

"Each one of these important milestones represents months of preparation and dedicated effort by Corrections staff," said Gomez. "It has taken time, and careful planning to achieve the successes to date. We look forward to achieving our goals in the months ahead."

Judge Henderson said he was pleased with Director Gomez's personal assurances this morning that the department does have similar goals as the judge in complying with his order.

CDC already has met many of the requirements in today's court order.