Friday, December 2, 2005

Media Advisory: Clarence Ray Allen Execution

The execution of Clarence Ray Allen, convicted of three counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances in the deaths of three people and one count of conspiracy in Glenn County (a change of venue from Fresno County where the murders occurred), is set by court order for January 17, 2006, at San Quentin State Prison.

Access Inquiries:

Direct all requests and inquiries regarding access to San Quentin State Prison to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Press Office in Sacramento, which is responsible for all media credentials. Requests are due by January 3, 2006. (See “Credentials.”)

Reporters:

Up to 125 news media representatives may be admitted to the Media Center Building at San Quentin to attend news briefings and a news conference after the execution. To accommodate as many media firms as possible, each news media organization applying will be limited to one representative. Firms selected to send a news reporter to witness the execution will be allowed a separate representative at the media center.

Audio/Visual/Still Photographs:

In anticipation that interest may exceed space, pool arrangements may be necessary for audio/visual feeds and still photographs from inside the media center. The pool will be limited to two (2) television camera operators, two (2) still photographers, and one (1) audio engineer. The Radio-Television News Directors Association of Northern California (RTNDA) and the Radio-Television News Association (RTNA), Southern California, arrange the pool.

Live Broadcast:

On-grounds parking is limited. Television and radio stations are limited to one (1) satellite or microwave vehicle.

Television Technicians:

Television technicians or microwave broadcast vehicles will be permitted three (3) support personnel: engineer, camera operator, and producer.

Radio Technicians:

Radio broadcast vehicles will be allowed two (2) support personnel: engineer and producer.

Credentials:

For media credentials, send a written request signed by the news department manager on company letterhead with the name(s) of the proposed representatives, their dates of birth, driver’s license number and expiration date, social security number, and size of vehicle for live broadcast purposes to:

           CDCR Press Office
           1515 S Street, Room 113 South
           P.O. Box 942883
           Sacramento, CA 94283-001

All written requests must be received no later than Tuesday, January 3,2006. Media witnesses will be selected from requests received by that time. Telephone requests will NOT be accepted. Editors: If you submit alternate names, please identify who is the primary media representative and who is the back-up representative and submit background information for each.

Security clearances are required for each individual applying for access to San Quentin. The clearance process will begin after the application deadline. No assurances can be provided that security clearances for the requests, including personnel substitutions, received after the filing period closes January 3, 2006, will be completed in time for access to the prison January 16, 2006.

Facilities:

The media center has a 60-amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are several pay telephones. Media orders for private telephone hookups must be arranged with SBC. SBC will coordinate the actual installation with San Quentin. There is one soft drink vending machine at the media center. Media personnel should bring their own food. Only broadcast microwave and satellite vans and their support personnel providing “live feeds” will be permitted in a parking lot adjacent to the In-Service Training (IST) building.

For information and statistics about capital punishment in California, visit http://www.cdcr.ca.gov and click on “Capital Punishment Information.”

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Media Advisory: Stanley Williams Execution

The execution of Stanley Williams, convicted of four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances in the deaths of four people in Los Angeles, is set by court order for December 13, 2005, at San Quentin State Prison.

Access Inquiries:

Direct all requests and inquiries regarding access to San Quentin State Prison to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Press Office in Sacramento, which is responsible for all media credentials. Requests are due by Tuesday, November 29, 2005. (See “Credentials.”) No requests will be accepted or considered after that date.

Reporters:

Up to 125 news media representatives may be admitted to the Media Center Building at San Quentin to attend news briefings and a news conference after the execution. To accommodate as many media firms as possible, each news media organization applying will be limited to one representative. Firms selected to send a news reporter to witness the execution will be allowed a separate representative at the media center.

Audio/Visual/Still Photographs:

In anticipation that interest may exceed space, pool arrangements may be necessary for audio/visual feeds and still photographs from inside the media center. The pool will be limited to two (2) television camera operators, two (2) still photographers, and one (1) audio engineer. The Northern California Radio Television News Directors Association (NCRTNDA) and the Radio Television News Association (RTNA) in southern California arrange the pool.

Live Broadcast:

On-grounds parking is limited. Television and radio stations are limited to one (1) satellite or microwave vehicle.

Television Technicians:

Television technicians or microwave broadcast vehicles will be permitted three (3) support personnel: engineer, camera operator, and producer.

Radio Technicians:

Radio broadcast vehicles will be allowed two (2) support personnel: engineer and producer.

Credentials:

For media credentials, send a written request signed by the news department manager on company letterhead with the name(s) of the proposed representatives, their dates of birth, driver’s license number and expiration date, social security number, and size of vehicle for live broadcast purposes to:

           CDCR Press Office
           1515 S Street, Room 113 South
           P.O. Box 942883
           Sacramento, CA 94283-001

All written requests must be received no later than Tuesday, November 29, 2005. Media witnesses will be selected from requests received by that time. Telephone requests will NOT be accepted. Please indicate in the request if the news outlet representative is requesting to witness the execution or be admitted to the media center. If the news outlet is requesting both, all names and background information must accompany the request.

Security clearances are required for each individual applying for access to San Quentin. The clearance process will begin after the application deadline. No assurances can be provided that security clearances for the requests, including personnel substitutions, received after the filing period closes November 29, 2005, will be completed in time for access to the prison December 12, 2005.

Facilities:

The media center has a 60-amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are several pay telephones. Media orders for private telephone hookups must be arranged with SBC. SBC will coordinate the actual installation with San Quentin. There is one soft drink vending machine at the media center. Media personnel should bring their own food. Only broadcast microwave and satellite vans and their support personnel providing “live feeds” will be permitted in a parking lot adjacent to the In-Service Training (IST) building.

For information and statistics about capital punishment in California, visit http://www.cdcr.ca.gov and click on “Capital Punishment Information.”

Saturday, June 11, 2005

California Activates Kern Valley State Prison, Receives First Inmates on June 15

DELANO - The California Department of Corrections (CDC) will formally activate California’s 33rd prison, Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP), on Wednesday, June 15, with the arrival of the first Level I (Minimum Security) inmates. Designed as a Level IV (Maximum-Security) institution, it will house about 5,000 inmates when it is fully activated in January 2006. The institution is also designed to be the first fully programmed Level IV institution in California with a variety of academic and vocational education programs, thereby increasing an offender’s chances of reentering society successfully.

“While California’s prison population has remained relatively stable over the last two years, there has been a significant increase in the number of maximum security inmates and in the average time served,” said Roderick Q. Hickman, Secretary of the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency (YACA). “This led to an increase in inmate violence and threats to staff and public safety.

“Prisons are designed to serve the public safety by keeping inmates in custody and preparing them for their eventual release. This new facility will ease the pressure and lower the risk to staff at the state’s other 10 maximum-security prisons,” Hickman added.

The number of maximum-security male inmates in California prisons has increased—in numbers and in percentage of total population—from about 28,230 inmates (18.8 percent of total population) in 2000 to about 31,730 (21 percent of total). In addition, the number of second- and third-strike inmates has increased from approximately 38,400 in 2001 to more than 40,200 in 2004. Coupled with these numbers is a gradual increase in average time served, from a relatively low 16 months in 1994 to 19 months in 2004.

The prison is composed of four facilities, including about 500 Substance Abuse Treatment beds and two Administrative Segregation Units (ASU). These four facilities are located inside the secure perimeter, which is composed of a combination of double fences topped with barbed wire, perimeter towers, a sophisticated communications system, and a lethal electrified fence. Located outside the secure perimeter are the Minimum Support Facility (MSF) and a number of prison-wide support services, including administration, warehousing and maintenance.

Inmates will participate in a number of academic and vocational education programs. There will be special programs that include general and a law libraries, religious programs, Arts-in-Corrections, recreation, and substance abuse treatment.

The prison construction began in June 2002. Design and construction costs were $379 million, with an annual operating budget of approximately $136 million. The prison is located on 480 acres, with an additional 200 acres on an adjacent site for wastewater disposal. When fully activated, the prison will have about 780 custody and 365 support staff..

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS TO HOLD

KERN VALLEY STATE PRISON MEDIA DAY


WHAT: An overview briefing of Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) and tour of the facility. Media is invited to visit the institution ahead of the arrival of Level I (Minimum Security) inmates. Kern Valley State Prison will use the new rehabilitation model that will allow for full programming by Level IV (Maximum Security) inmates. Inmates moved into the institution are already fully participating in programs where they currently reside. The institution will house approximately 5,000 inmates. It will become California’s 33rd prison.

WHERE: Kern Valley State Prison, 3000 West Cecil Avenue, Delano 93215

WHEN: Tuesday, June 14, 2005, 9 a.m. Media is also invited to be on-site on Wednesday, June 15, to photograph the arrival of the first Level I inmates.

CREDENTIALS: For media credentials, send a written request signed by the news department manager on company letterhead with the name(s) of the proposed representatives, their dates of birth, driver’s license number and expiration date, and social security number. Faxed requests will be accepted (916) 327-1988. Written requests should be sent to:

CDC Communications Office
1515 S Street, Room 113 South
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001

Clearance requests must be received by Friday, June 10, 2005, to allow for processing for media access on June 14, 2005.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Secretary Asks for Review of all State Prisons and Juvenile Facilities

BAKERSFIELD – California Board of Corrections Chairman Roderick Q. Hickman today, following the receipt of another critical report on staff safety at the California Institution for Men, asked the Board to establish a panel to review staff safety issues at all the state's 32 prisons, and eight juvenile facilities.

The board will take formal action on this request at its next business meeting. In the meantime, Board staff will work with the directors of both the California Youth Authority and the Department of Corrections to establish the broad-based panel.

The staff will invite representatives from the American Correctional Association, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the Association of State Correctional Administrators, the Association of Black Correctional Workers, the Chicano Correctional Workers Association, the California Correctional Supervisors Association, the California Department of Corrections and the California Youth Authority to participate as members of this panel. The panel will be charged to evaluate staff safety practices and provide recommendations to the departments to improve safety for all employees in state prisons and juvenile facilities.

"The two reports I have received on the homicide of Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez, Jr., made it very clear to me that we as a state must do more - better training and supervision - to ensure our staff is safe," said Hickman, who is also Secretary of the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency.

CDC Director Jeanne S. Woodford and CYA Director Walt Allen, both passionately committed to improving staff safety, have offered to provide employee expertise and support for the board and the proposed panel.

The Board of Corrections has the statutory authority to provide evaluation and review and inspection of local detention facilities and to set operational standards for both youth and adult facilities.

"The board has been doing an outstanding job at the local and county levels for many years and the state should and will take advantage of the board's vast expertise," Hickman said.
The board's next business meeting is scheduled for May 19 in Sacramento.

Independent Review Panel Report on Correctional Officer Homicide Available

Sacramento – The independent panel of national and state correctional experts, established at the request of Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Roderick Q. Hickman, has conducted an operational and incident review of the Jan. 10 homicide of California Institution for Men Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez, Jr. The panel’s report is available on the Board of Corrections’ website at http://www.bdcorr.ca.gov/

On Jan. 13, Secretary Hickman asked the Board of Corrections to empanel a group of experts to review, analyze and comment on the incident and attendant operational issues in order to provide the leadership of the Agency and the California Department of Corrections with objective, needed insight into the incident and the events leading up to it, to ensure that those circumstances can be averted in the future.

Secretary Hickman asked that the following individuals be appointed to the panel: Glenn Goord, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services; William B. Kolender, Sheriff of San Diego County; John L. Scott, Commander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Joe McGrath, Deputy Secretary of Internal Affairs (A), YACA; and Brian Parry, National Major Gang Task Force.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

BOARD OF CORRECTIONS APPROVES INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL TO INVESTIGATE

The Board of Corrections (BOC) today unanimously approved a request from Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Roderick Q. Hickman to empanel a group of national and state correctional experts to conduct an operational and incident review of the homicide of Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez.

The panel will not begin its study until the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has completed its own review of the investigation. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department was the lead investigative agency, and turned the case over to the DA this week.

The panel will provide immediate recommendations for improvements of operations in areas identified by their review and the review of California’s Office of the Inspector General.

“It is imperative that we learn all we can about this incident so that we can avoid a similar tragedy from occurring ever again,” said Secretary Hickman. “This independent review will provide the leadership of the Agency and the Department of Corrections with objective, needed insight into this attack and the events leading up to it, to ensure that those circumstances will be averted in the future.”

Hickman, as chair of the Board of Corrections, asked the board to appoint New York State Department of Correctional Services Commissioner Glenn S. Goord as chairman of the panel. Hickman is also asking that the Board appoint the following individuals to the group; Assistant Secretary for Internal Affairs (A) Joe McGrath, San Diego Sheriff William B. Kolender, Brian Parry of the National Major Gang Task Force, and Los Angeles County Jail Commander John L. Scott. The group will also include a representative from the National Institute of Corrections, and another national expert chosen by Commissioner Goord.

“Commissioner Goord, will bring years of security and correctional experience to this task and I know his leadership will bring an honest and accurate assessment of the facts surrounding this murder and provided us with sound and reasoned recommendation,” Hickman said.

“This operational review, in conjunction with the Inspector General’s review, will give us within the Correctional system of California the information we need to properly protect the officers who work the line every day,” he said.

Officer Gonzalez was killed in the line of duty Monday, Jan 10, as he was working to calm down inmates who were becoming disruptive. An inmate attacked Gonzalez and stabbed him three times, with an inmate-made weapon. He died as he was being transported to the hospital. Gonzalez is the first correctional officer killed in the line of duty in California in nearly 10 years and the first officer from the Department of Corrections killed since 1985.

During the review process the panel will interview staff at the institution and administrators throughout the department. They will conduct their review independent of the criminal investigation in order to ensure the integrity of the criminal case that the department and local law enforcement are working to build, Hickman said.

The Board of Corrections is statutorily responsible to set training and operations standards for correctional facilities throughout the state. The Board membership includes representatives from state and local government public safety agencies including the directors of the Department of Corrections and the Department of the Youth Authority.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Secretary Asks for Review of Officer Homicide California Board of Corrections Asked to Appoint an Independent Panel of National and State Correctional Experts to Review Incident

Memorandum on "APPOINTMENT OF A BOARD OF EXPERTS"

Sacramento – In a letter sent to the executive officer of the California Board of Corrections, (attached) Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Roderick Q. Hickman today asked the Board to empanel a group of national and state correctional experts to conduct an operational and incident review of the homicide of Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez.

“It is imperative that we learn all we can about this incident so that we can avoid a similar tragedy from occurring ever again,” said Secretary Hickman. “This independent review will provide the leadership of the Agency and the Department of Corrections with objective, needed insight into this attack and the events leading up to it, to ensure that those circumstances will be averted in the future.”

The panel will provide immediate recommendations for improvements of operations in areas identified by their review and the review of California’s Office of the Inspector General.

In addition to the panel’s review, the Secretary met with the Inspector General the day after the homicide and asked his office to conduct an administrative review of the circumstances surrounding the murder of Officer Gonzalez. The OIG will identify areas that need improvement. The Secretary has directed the department to cooperate with OIG’s review of the incident to ensure that it is completed in a timely manner.

Additionally, the department is working with local law enforcement and the San Bernardino District Attorney as they conduct their criminal investigation of the homicide. Neither of the reviews will interfere with the criminal investigation.

Hickman, as chair of the Board of Corrections, is asking the board at its January 27 meeting to appoint New York State Department of Correctional Services Commissioner Glenn S. Goord as chairman of the panel. Hickman is also asking that the Board appoint the following individuals to the group; Assistant Secretary for Internal Affairs (A) Joe McGrath, San Diego Sheriff William B. Kolender, Brian Parry of the National Major Gang Task Force, and Los Angeles County Jail Commander John L. Scott. The group will also include a representative from the National Institute of Corrections, and another national expert chosen by Commissioner Goord.

“Commissioner Goord, will bring years of security and correctional experience to this task and I know his leadership will bring an honest and accurate assessment of the facts surrounding this murder and provided us with sound and reasoned recommendation,” Hickman said.

“This operational review, in conjunction with the Inspector General’s review, will give us within the Correctional system of California the information we need to properly protect the officers who work the line every day,” he said.

Officer Gonzalez was killed in the line of duty Monday, Jan 10, as he was working to calm down inmates who were becoming disruptive. An inmate attacked Gonzalez and stabbed him three times, with an inmate-made weapon. He died as he was being transported to the hospital. Gonzalez is the first correctional officer killed in the line of duty in California in nearly 10 years and the first officer from the Department of Corrections killed since 1985.

The last officer killed in California was Youth Correctional Officer Ineasie Baker at Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility in 1996. The last Department of Corrections Officer killed in the line of duty was Correctional Sergeant Howell D. Burchfield at San Quentin State Prison in 1985.

During the review process the panel will interview staff at the institution and administrators throughout the department. They will conduct their review independent of the criminal investigation in order to ensure the integrity of the criminal case that the department and local law enforcement are working to build, Hickman said.

The Board of Corrections is statutorily responsible to set training and operations standards for correctional facilities throughout the state. The Board membership includes representatives from state and local government public safety agencies including the directors of the Department of Corrections and the Department of the Youth Authority.

Monday, January 10, 2005

16-Year Veteran CDC Correctional Officer Dies From Inmate Stabbing Attack

Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez, Jr., 43, a 16-year employee of the California Department of Corrections, died today following a stabbing incident involving an inmate at California Institution for Men (CIM). Today’s tragic murder of a California Department of Corrections correctional peace officer is the first in nearly 20 years.

At approximately 10:50 a.m. today, Officer Gonzalez was stabbed while performing his duties at CIM. The officer was transported to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment where he subsequently died. His next of kin was notified. The CDC Law Enforcement and Investigations Unit and the Chino Police Department are conducting the investigation at this time.

Three inmates are being questioned about today’s incident. One inmate is believed to have been responsible for the murder; however, investigators are questioning two other inmates.

The primary inmate suspect in the murder is Jon Christopher Blaylock, 35, who was committed from Los Angeles County in June 2004 after being convicted of attempted murder of a peace officer. He was given a sentence of 75 years and had served time at CDC twice before, for attempted burglary in 1990 and in 1993. He was last released from prison in April 2002.

Roderick Q. Hickman, Secretary of the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, issued a statement:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Gonzalez’ family at this tragic time. When something like this happens, all of us in the Corrections family are deeply impacted and pained. There is no greater loss than to lose a brother officer killed in the line of duty. I know as professionals we will pull together to help Officer Gonzalez’ children and parents deal with this loss and all of us throughout this state will pull together to help heal the wound that has been inflicted on our agency and state.

I also want to assure the family and the officers who served with Manuel Gonzalez that we will do everything in our power to ensure that the ones responsible for this crime are held accountable to the highest degree of the law.”

CDC Director Jeanne S. Woodford issued a statement:

“My condolences go out to the family of Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez, Jr. I do not have the words to express my grief and sadness. It has been nearly 20 years since a CDC employee died in the line of duty. Prison design, the classification system, and CDC policies and procedures all contribute to staff safety, but the risk is always there that we could be subjected to severe injury, or as in this case, give our lives for public safety.

Correctional Officer Gonzalez was a consummate professional who was well respected by his co-workers. He was reliable and approached his responsibilities with a spirit of teamwork. He was friendly, went beyond his duties to assist other staff, communicated well with inmates, and worked to make our facilities safer.

Not only was Correctional Officer Gonzalez a corrections professional, but a beloved father of five children. His death is a great loss not only to CDC, but to his family, friends and co-workers.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Correctional Officer Gonzalez’ family and friends and to those employees who knew him and worked with him at California Institution for Men, California State Prison, Los Angeles County; and Corcoran State Prison. All of us have been touched by this loss and I know that we will all pull together to support each other during this difficult time.”