Wednesday, October 30, 1996

CEREMONY FOR SLAIN CORRECTIONAL PEACE OFFICERS

At the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony Friday morning, Governor Pete Wilson will pay tribute to Ineasie M. Baker, a Youth Counselor who was slain August 9, 1996, allegedly by one of the wards she was supervising. Hers is the 34th name to be added to the Correctional Peace Officer Memorial at Galt.

Wilson will be joined by the Corrections Director James H. Gomez and Youth Authority Director Francisco J. Alarcon.

John Mitchum, an actor-writer and the brother of actor Robert Mitchum, will read the poem he wrote in memory of Ineasie Baker. A Youth Counselor at the Heman G. Stark Youth Training School in Chino, Baker was murdered at the school and her body thrown in a dumpster. After a lengthy search, her body was discovered at the local landfill.

Baker's family will be at the ceremony to accept a memorial flag that was flown over the State Capitol. The flag will be presented by Governor Wilson and state Assemblyman Larry Bowler.

Participating in the ceremony will be color guards and honor guards from two Youth Authority facilities and five state prisons along with the drums and bagpipes of the City of Sacramento Pipe Band. The honor guard from Pleasant Valley State Prison at Coalinga will give a 21-gun salute to honor all correctional peace officers killed in the line of duty.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Friday, November 1, at the Correctional Training Facility, 9850 Twin Cities Road in Galt.

Monday, October 28, 1996

FOLSOM STATE PRISON TO DELIVER HALLOWEEN BASKETS TO CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES

One hundred Halloween baskets made by inmates and staff at Folsom State Prison will be delivered to El Dorado County Child Protective Services on Tuesday, October 29, 1996 at 9:00 a.m. at 3057 Briw Road, Placerville.

Children in Halloween costume will be at the location to receive the baskets, which will be delivered to children in the Child Protective Services at another time.

The colorful wooden baskets constructed by inmates at the prison will be filled with treats donated by local merchants and prison staff. A special book mark designed by inmates in the Arts-in-Corrections program to highlight the National Red Ribbon Campaign will also be included in each basket.

Another 400 baskets will be delivered to Sacramento and Placer counties for their Child Protective Services. This is the sixth year that inmates at Folsom State Prison have provided counties with these Halloween crafts.

Tuesday, October 22, 1996

STATE CORRECTIONS OFFICIALS FORMALLY DEDICATE SALINAS VALLEY STATE PRISON

SOLEDAD-California's newest state prison was formally dedicated today during a ceremony here attended by state and local officials and community leaders.

Salinas Valley State Prison is the state's 32nd prison and the latest to be built as part of a major prison construction program begun in the mid-1980s. The facility opened in May 1996 and already houses 2,696 inmates, most of them maximum security.

The prison cost $236 million to build and operates on a $60 million annual budget.

Local officials attending today's ceremony included supervisors from Monterey County and mayors from a number of cities in the county's agriculture-rich Salinas Valley. They noted the prison's economic contribution to the surrounding communities including the addition of 928 jobs.

"We appreciate the positive support we continue to receive from Monterey County and our neighbors here in the Salinas Valley," said James H. Gomez, Di rec tor of the California Department of Corrections. "We are fortunate to be a part of this economic community."

The new institution is adjacent to the California Training Facility, a prison in operation since the 1940s. Salinas Valley State Prison operates an extensive vo ca tion al training program and provides a number of educational programs from pre-literacy through high school diploma.

Completion of Salinas Valley State Prison leaves only one remaining major state prison still under construction-the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran. It is scheduled to open next year.

Wednesday, October 16, 1996

CALIFORNIA PRISONS WIN MAJOR COURT VICTORY

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a contempt of court order against the California Department of Corrections saying U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton overstepped his authority in making such a ruling.

"I am elated at this decision" Corrections Director James H. Gomez said "It is a vindication of the State's position over the last two years that Judge Karlton was attempting to run the California prison system."

In their decision, Circuit Court Judges Goodwin, Farris, and Kleinfeld said that a consent decree requiring "appropriate" psychiatric care for inmates is not specific enough to hold prison officials in contempt for failing to provide such care.

"This is a 100 percent win for the taxpayers" said Gomez "It shows what can be accomplished by standing up to a federal judge who attempted to coerce State officials to spend taxpayer money without justification."

Karlton imposed a $10,000 a day fine, but stayed the fine as long as prison officials complied with his directives.

Circuit Judge Kleinfeld wrote" the practical effect of such a vague standard as "appropriate psychiatric care" is that the prison, and the state budget for the prison, remain under the continuing and largely unfettered supervision of the district court and its magistrate judge, mediator, special master, and experts, instead of the state political process and appointed prison administrators."

The consent decree settled a class action inmate lawsuit Jay Gates vs the California Department of Corrections. In the decree, CDC agreed to provide an "outpatient program that would provide appropriate psychiatric evaluation and treatment" for prison inmates. The Department spent over $10 million dollars on the program, but Judge Karlton said that was not enough to suit him and issued a contempt ruling.

Thursday, October 3, 1996

UPDATE ON SACRAMENTO PRISON INMATE DISTURBANCE

Accounts of all staff present during Friday's racial disturbance between Black and Hispanic inmates at California State Prison, Sacramento has provided more precise information than was available immediately after the incident was brought under control.

The fight involved about 150 to 200 inmates in the facility B main exercise yard. The fight started about 9 am and took 31 minutes to bring under control. In the process of stopping the fight, correctional officers used batons, pepper spray, rubber blocks, and rifle shots. Twenty one rifle shots were fired by seven staff and two officers fired 8 rounds of rubber blocks from 37 millimeter launchers.

The staff accounts reflect a pattern of inmates fighting in small groups at various parts of the large exercise area. The most serious injuries were suffered by 10 inmates.

Four staff were examined by doctors at community hospitals and then re turned to work..

One inmate died from a gunshot wound to the buttocks. Victor Flores was shot as he raced toward staff, refusing all orders to lay down on the ground. Four other inmates are recovering from gunshot wounds, and six inmates are recovering from stab wounds.

Another 50 inmates were treated for exposure to pepper spray and superficial scrapes and bruises. There were an additional 11 staff members treated for superficial injuries at the prison infirmary and returned to duty immediately.

Once all inmates were returned to the cells, staff searched the exercise yard and found 56 inmate-made weapons. All of the inmates remain locked in their cells as staff interview all inmates about the fight and also search each cell for weapons and contraband.

The prison will remain on lockdown with inmates being provided meals in their cells until the Warden determines it is appropriate to resume controlled in mate movement.