Thursday, May 31, 2007

The CDCR Story Now Available

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Governor Schwarzenegger Announces Initiative to Combat Gang Violence

Governor Schwarzenegger today proposed an anti-gang initiative to fight gang violence in California. The California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Program (CalGRIP) will target more than $48 million in state and federal funding toward local anti-gang efforts, including job training, education and intervention programs, and will give law enforcement the tools to closely track gang leaders both inside state prisons and when they are released on parole. CalGRIP combines funding from different programs and directs them toward intervention, suppression and prevention. The Governor is also appointing a statewide gang coordinator, to coordinate all state programs and funding for anti-gang activities with local and federal agencies.

"A growing number of Californians are living a nightmare trapped inside their homes, afraid to come out unless they absolutely have to. That's because in many of our cities, whole neighborhoods are terrorized and intimidated by street gangs. Kids are scared to go to school and parents are terrified for their safety," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "So today I am announcing a coordinated, multi-faceted, anti-gang initiative that focuses on the three strategies everyone agrees work best: suppression, intervention and prevention."

For the past several months the Governor has met with mayors, law enforcement, faith-based and community organizations, local officials and legislators to discuss how communities across the state are fighting gangs and what resources they need to strengthen their success. At every meeting the Governor heard about the same problems: lack of coordination between state and local agencies and programs, lack of funding, and lack of a comprehensive approach to anti-gang efforts. "Everywhere I went, local law enforcement would say the problem is just being pushed from one city to the next. They say gang leaders come out of state prisons and go right back to terrorizing their communities - law enforcement finds out they have gang leaders back in their communities when gang-related violence spikes. Prosecutors say they need more tools to protect witnesses. Community leaders say they can get kids out of gangs but they need help with job training and education. The State spends hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars on education, job training and substance abuse treatment every year - with no focused coordination on gang activities. We need a comprehensive approach to gang violence that provides a statewide framework with long-term solutions," Governor Schwarzenegger said.

Details of the initiative include:

The Governor's Plan Strengthens Law Enforcement on the Streets and in Our Courts

CalGRIP treats violent gang members like High-Risk Sex Offenders.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and an advisory committee of gang experts will establish a new parolee designation in California: "High Risk Gang Offender." Like sex offenders, high risk gang parolees will be subject to special parole conditions that limit their ability to recruit children into gangs and limit their access to gang-infested areas. Offenders convicted of gang-related offenses will be evaluated for HRGO status prior to release. Local law enforcement will be notified before High Risk Gang Offenders are released into their neighborhood in the same manner they receive notice of high risk sex offenders.

In addition, HRGOs:

  • Will wear GPS devices. Under this plan the Governor will expand a CDCR pilot program that puts GPS devices on gang leaders. With existing resources, CDCR is prepared to expand its current pilot in San Bernardino (19 units) to 20 units each in Sacramento, Fresno and Los Angeles.
  • Will register with law enforcement. The Governor will support legislation that makes it a crime for HRGOs to fail to register with local law enforcement upon release. Under CalGRIP, CDCR will advise local law enforcement before high-risk gang members are released back into their communities.
  • Will be tracked statewide. Law enforcement will track HRGO parolees in LEADS, the statewide, multi-jurisdictional parolee database used by law enforcement.
CalGRIP makes gang members pay for their crimes.

  • Permits civil suits. CalGRIP supports legislation that will let prosecutors and city attorneys bring damage suits against gang members who have violated civil injunctions, go after their assets to satisfy the judgment, and return any recovered funds to the community they have terrorized.
CalGRIP protects witnesses from threats and intimidation.

  • Doubles funding for witness protection. CalGRIP allocates an additional $3 million, from the state Victims Restitution Fund, for a total of $6 million for witness protection programs.
  • Makes witness intimidation a felony. CalGRIP supports legislation to make witness intimidation a felony and provides additional four-year terms for intimidating witness for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in affiliation with a criminal street gang.
  • Helps targeted witnesses have their say. CalGRIP supports legislation to allow the admission of out-of-court statements made by a prosecution witness when gang members, through intimidation or acts of violence, prevent them from testifying in court.
CalGRIP focuses help on the hardest-hit communities.

  • Makes high-intensity areas eligible for federal dollars. CalGRIP designates counties with jurisdictions as "High Intensity Gang Areas" (HIGAs). These are counties with the highest number (in the top 25) of gang-related homicides or homicides/resident. Jurisdictions within these counties can apply for additional funding for resources and programs. These funds will be allocated through a competitive process administered by the State Gang Coordinator (see below).
  • Homicide rates are established and published by the DOJ, which updates this information annually in June. The following counties currently have jurisdictions that rank in the top 25: Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Merced, Tulare, Kern, Stanislaus, Butte, and Madera.
  • HIGA designations position California to take advantage of funds that may become available as a result of federal legislation championed by Senator Feinstein.
CalGRIP puts more law enforcement on gang-infested streets.

  • Increases CHP support for police and sheriffs. Under CalGRIP, 100 California Highway Patrol officers will rotate though 90 day deployments in HIGAs. These resources are provided through the CHP's Project IMPACT and will be paid for by overtime costs in CHP's Tactical Alert Response Fund.
  • Fights gang activity in prisons and jail. New, regional CDCR gang task forces in Los Angeles and Fresno counties, the Bay Area and the Inland Empire will help local law enforcement reduce prison gang activities ($3.3 million and 34 positions).
  • Partners with local police. CDCR will establish a new, centralized Criminal Intelligence and Analysis Unit to gather gang intelligence from all 33 state prisons and disseminate this information to local law enforcement ($3.1 million and 36 positions.)
  • Centralizes information for all law enforcement. CalGRIP provides funding for the CalGANGS law enforcement database ($300,000 in ongoing state funding).
The Governor's Plan Centralizes Funds and Programs

CalGRIP Targets More Than $48 Million To Fight Gangs

  • CalGRIP brings together more than $48 million in state funds, grants and federal dollars for suppression, intervention and prevention programs. In addition, the Governor's budget investment in CTE courses, equipment and teachers ($227 million), after school programs ($547 million) and school counselors ($208 million) will give at-risk kids alternatives to gang life.
CalGRIP Creates a One-Stop Shop For Social Services, Law Enforcement and Leadership.

  • Fixes the current situation. Until now, the State of California's anti-gang funds and programs have not been centralized or coordinated, making it difficult for local jurisdictions to access the substantial resources that already exist to fight gang violence.
  • Brings resources together. Under CalGRIP, the Governor will appoint a State Gang Coordinator in the Office of Emergency Services to:
  • Coordinate anti-gang programs and grants at all state agencies.
  • Serve as the state contact for local governments and community organizations.
  • Collect, evaluate and promote local best practices.
  • Track all federal anti-gang funding and grants.
  • The coordinator will be supported by a Task Force and stakeholder Advisory Committee.
The Governor's Plan Strengthens Communities

CalGRIP Helps Rehabilitate and Reintegrate Gang Members.

  • Funds anti-gang initiatives in local communities. CalGRIP provides $7 million to local governments in 2007-08 for anti-gang programs, awarded through a competitive process administered by the State Gang Coordinator. These grants will be funded by the State Penalty Fund. The amount increases to approximately $21 million in upcoming years.
  • Funds job training programs. CalGRIP redirects $2.8 million in uncommitted Workforce Investment Act funds to expand job training for current gang members, gang-involved and at-risk youth. Under the plan, local programs will match state funds at a 1:1 ratio, for a $5.6 million total impact in 2007-08. Next year, CalGRIP will redirect $11.5 million in uncommitted funds, for a total impact of $23 million next year.
  • Helps businesses hire reformed gang members. The State Gang Coordinator will develop a list of community organizations that rehabilitate and provide job training to former gang members, as a resource for businesses interested in hiring them.
  • Gives a tax break to employers that provide jobs. CalGRIP adds "former gang member" to list of criteria allowing companies in Enterprise Zones to receive tax credits of up to $29,234 per employee. Status of "former gang member" verified by completion of a program recognized by the gang coordinator.
  • Helps young gang members give back and move on. CalGRIP will allocate $1,288,496 in federal and state funds to support 34 full-time AmeriCorps Restoring Youth and Communities positions. Reformed gang members will fill these positions. They will mentor youth who are currently incarcerated in Department of Juvenile Justice facilities or on parole as they get out of gang life.
CalGRIP Keeps At-Risk Kids Out of Gangs.

  • Gives 5,000 kids a safer summer. CalGRIP will help 5,000 young people attend summer programs in 2008 that keep them off the streets. Under the plan, $2 million will be allocated to eligible HIGA counties to expand summer programs in collaboration with community organizations.
  • Funds juvenile justice programs. CalGRIP redirects $1.1 million in uncommitted, discretionary Juvenile Acountability Block Grants for programs targeting at-risk youth. Under the plan, local programs will match state funds at 25%, for a $1.375 million total impact.
  • Gets youth into job training. CalGRIP sets aside 200 slots in California Conservation Corps summer programs for gang-involved young adults.
  • Helps young people leave gangs. CalGRIP expands an existing CDCR pilot program for incarcerated youth who are trying to leave gangs. It increases the number of young people participating in the program from 280 youth to 455 and funds two new 10-bed facilities. ($820,000 from the State Penalty Fund).
  • Protects kids from gang violence at school. CalGRIP provides $9 million in ongoing funding to HIGA county offices of education to hire approximately 120 additional school resource officers. Under the plan, counties must provide a 25% local match.
Governor's Gang Webpage: http://gov.ca.gov/issue/anti-gangs/
Video: http://gov.ca.gov/index.php?/press-release/6395/
Gang Initiative Background

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Parole Denied for Charles Manson

CORCORAN - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation' Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) today denied parole for convicted mass murderer Charles Manson during a hearing at Corcoran State Prison.

The denial was for five years, the maximum allowed by law. Manson did not appear before the panel and will be eligible for another hearing in 2012. The BPH decision marks the eleventh time that Manson has been denied parole since 1978.

In its denial, the BPH panel noted that Manson, 72 years old, "continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with."

Manson was convicted of seven counts of first degree murder as a result of separate incidents in an August, 1969 crime spree in Los Angeles County, including the fatal stabbing of five people in the home of actress Sharon Tate and the murders the following day of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Manson was initially sentenced to death. That sentence, as well as those of 107 other inmates, was modified in 1977 to life in prison with the possibility of parole after a 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court that determined the state's death penalty statute at the time was unconstitutional.

Folsom Inmates Contribute Thousands to Victim Services

Fried Chicken and Soda Fundraiser Recognizing Crime Victims' Rights Week Nets More Than $6,800 for PEACE For Families

FOLSOM - More than $6,800 raised by Folsom State Prison inmates was presented today to local victims’ services provider PEACE for Families by officials from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) The money was raised by inmates who participate in the Youth Diversion Program through a fried chicken and sodas sale at the prison on April 10 in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights week.

"This fundraiser was a way for inmates to give back and contribute to a worthy cause that helps victims, and is part of a broader effort by CDCR to be a good neighbor to the local community," said CDCR Assistant Secretary of the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) Sandi Menefee. "The fundraiser allowed inmates to voluntarily donate to programs that help victims, and is a way for them to help take some responsibility for the pain that their actions may have caused."

OVSRS Chief Jean Scott, Folsom State Prison Warden Matthew C. Kramer, and staff and inmate team members of the Folsom State Prison Youth Diversion Program were on hand to present the check for $6,840.50 to PEACE for Families at the Folsom State Prison visiting room.

The fundraiser was organized in conjunction with National Crime Victims' Rights Week which was April 23 - 27. Approximately one-quarter of the Folsom State Prison inmate population participated in the fundraising effort ordering more than 13,500 pieces of chicken and over 3,300 sodas.

PEACE for Families is a private, non-profit, community-based organization providing comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Placer County. For more information on the organization, visit: http://www.peaceforfamilies.org/

The Youth Diversion Program at Folsom State Prison uses staff and inmates to expose at-risk-youth from the community to the realities of prison life. The program goal is to aid in reducing the number of young people involved in criminal behavior by increasing youth and community awareness and promoting positive alternatives. Young people participating in the program assume the role of an inmate and, as such, are escorted through various areas of the institution. The youth actually experience prison life. The youth interact with carefully screened inmate team members to openly and directly discuss the negative effects of criminal behavior. School districts, probation departments, law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and other concerned groups participate in the program. To date, over 2,500 youth have benefited from this program.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Court Ruling Allowing Inmate Transfers to Temporarily Continue

Governor Schwarzenegger issued the following statement after the Third District Court of Appeals granted a stay in the case CCPOA vs. Schwarzenegger, which will allow California to continue to transfer inmates out of state to relieve prison overcrowding while appeals proceed:

"This ruling will allow the state to continue with our plan to transfer inmates out of state while the case is appealed, and will help California avoid a court-ordered release of dangerous felons. Out of state transfers will improve the safety of California's institutions for our correctional officers and staff as well as the inmates, and will provide much needed space for rehabilitation programs. The transferring of inmates out of state is a critical component of the state's overall plan to relieve overcrowding."

BACKGROUND

Beginning in June 2007, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) intends to resume transferring inmates to out-of-state private prison facilities. It is expected that CDCR will process approximately 400 inmates per month for transfer out of state, and that approximately 8,000 inmates will be transferred in total. The recently passed prison reform legislation, AB 900, authorizes involuntary transfers until July 1, 2011.

Inmates selected for transfer to out-of-state facilities must undergo a comprehensive medical screening. Only those inmates who meet the Receiver's medical criteria will be selected for transfer. Transferringinmates out of state will reduce overcrowding, which in turn will decrease the risk of violence and the spread of infectious diseases. Additionally, these transfers will result in reduced staffing requirements; for example, escort officers and medical staff will be better able to serve a smaller population. The transfers will also free space at existing facilities for enhanced medical services. Medical staff will be able to focus on non-emergent services, because reducing prison overcrowding, and in particular the use of non-traditional beds, will ease prison living environments and decrease violence and the spread of infectious diseases.

Friday, May 18, 2007

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

Two honored with Medals of Valor for heroism, one posthumously

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation today awarded Medals of Valor to the late Correctional Lieutenant Ronald Rowlett of the California Medical Facility and Correctional Officer Sheila Mitchell of California State Prison-Sacramento. The Medal of Valor is the Department’s highest award for heroism and courage beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The awards were presented by CDCR Secretary James Tilton and Undersecretary K.W. Prunty at a ceremony on the West Steps of the State Capitol. Nearly 150 employees received awards that ranged from the Medal of Valor to Unit Citations.

The combined honor guards of California State Prison, Sacramento, and Folsom State Prison as well as the color guard of the Preston Youth Correctional Facility presented the colors. In memory of Lt. Rowlett and others from the CDCR who died over the last year, the honor and color guards played taps and gave a flag ceremony. It ended with the presentation of an American flag to Mrs. Rowlett.

The Medal of Valor is “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.”

Lt. Rowlett was vacationing in Hawaii in February 2005 when he heard the cries of help from a woman on a flotation device. She was being dragged out to sea by rip currents that were estimated swells between 20 and 30 feet. Without fear or hesitation, he entered the treacherous waters in an attempt to save her life. Unfortunately, the rip currents overtook him in his attempt, ultimately resulting in his death.

“Lt. Rowlett’s act of heroism exemplifies the honor and dedication he presented as a public servant and proud peace officer for more than 20 years,” Tilton said. “He was not the only person on the beach that day who heard the cries for help. But in the end, it was only he and the woman’s husband who entered the waters—both sacrificing their lives for her.”

Officer Mitchell working at the prison last May when an inmate working in the culinary unit held her hostage at knifepoint. As responding staff arrived, they saw the inmate holding a homemade slashing weapon to her neck, threatening to kill her. The inmate gained control of Officer Mitchell’s keys and pulled her into a nearby office. He locked the door from the inside, barricading it and turning out the light.

“Never losing her calm demeanor in the face of possible death, Officer Mitchell was taken hostage for more than 10 hours,” said Tilton. “Her strength of spirit, bravery, courage, composure and professionalism throughout the long and traumatic day was the key factor in her release and the inmate’s surrender.”

Also honored at today’s ceremony were Correctional Lieutenant Kenneth Daubach from Centinela State Prison as the 2007 Correctional Supervisor of the Year, and Correctional Officer John Edward Popke from Sierra Conservation Center. The awards ceremony, held annually in May, honors employees from throughout California. The ceremony was followed by a luncheon for awardees, their families and friends on the West Lawn, and sponsored by the California Correctional Supervisors Organization.

Complete List of 2007 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 Lieutenant Ronald Rowlett, California Medical Facility (Posthumous); Correctional Officer Sheila Mitchell, California State Prison, Sacramento

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 Sergeant Rick Mullins and Correctional Counselor I Jo-Ella Mullins, California Institution for Men; Fire Captain Dan Smith, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison; and Correctional Officer Robert Paris, California State Prison, Sacramento

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 Keith Logan, California State Prison, Sacramento; Correctional Officer Jimmy Trujillo, Centinela State Prison; and Correctional Officer Ray Torrez, Sierra Conservation Center

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 Lieutenant William Wyman, California Correctional Center; Medical Technical Assistant Eric Callison, High Desert State Prison; Correctional Sergeant Bryan Colvin, California State Prison, Sacramento; Correctional Officer Raymond Din III, Centinela State Prison; Correctional Sergeant Christopher Pierce, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison; Correctional Officer Johnie Saucier, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison; Correctional Sergeant Herbert HuiHui and Correctional Officer Mike Deverick, Correctional Training Facility; Correctional Sergeant Arnold Leon, Ironwood State Prison; Correctional Officers Scott Buck, Rene Cortina and Casey Fenton, Kern Valley State Prison; Youth Correctional Counselors Kevin Cerniglia, Claudia Chavez, Fernando Flores and John Younger; Youth Correctional Officer Gabriel Flores; Registered Nurse Doreen Alvarez, N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility; Correctional Lieutenant Troy Wood and Correctional Officer Kennith Trimm, Pelican Bay State Prison; Correctional Officer Paul Rivera, Salinas Valley State Prison; Correctional Officers Jose Santiago and Anthony Sotelo, Salinas Valley State Prison; Correctional Counselor I Steve Ballachey, San Quentin State Prison; Correctional Officer Brandon Freemyer, Sierra Conservation Center; Correctional Officer Andy Ralph Thomas, Valley State Prison for Women; and Teacher Calvin B. Moppins, Jr., O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility

stinguished 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 Sergeant Wesley Lewis, California State Prison, Sacramento; Vice Principal, Vocational Programs Ruth Davis, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison; Vice Principal, Academic Programs, Kenya Williams, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison; Correctional Plant Manager II Lee Lanahan, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison; Youth Correctional Officers Jeff Moen, Paul Castro and Kevin Steel, Northern California Youth Correctional Center; and Special Agent Martin R. Davila, 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.

Correctional Sergeant John Perry Mayhew Jr.; Correctional Officers Wilberto Almodovar Jr., Jeffrey Gaskin, Charles Edward King Jr., Grant Elton Parker, Daniel Flores Rodriguez, and Chris Bruce Wuest; Correctional Lieutenants James Broddrick, Jeri Fry, and Tom Langford; Correctional Sergeants John Heckman, Brian Holmes, and Kevin Renkert; Correctional Officers Kenneth Ian Meadows, Wade Critz and Anthony McNeal, Folsom State Prison; Correctional Sergeants David Rios, Brian Colvin, Jon Clough, Roy Dickinson, Charlie Gibson, Keith Logan, Nate Costa, Avery Lanigan, Bryan Bishop, Roy Ulatan, and John McCoy; Correctional Officers Keith Logan, Robbi Geyser, and Jack Hansen, Correctional Captain Debra Leiber; Correctional Lieutenants John Banks and Sol Goldman; Correctional Sergeants Dennis Kennedy, Tina Ybarra, and Bryan Bishop; Correctional Officers Billy Deaver, Jack L. Hansen, Kenneth Lamphere, Ruby Mahan, Kelly Porter, Tim Gomez Jr., George Moua, Bret Cross, Celso Zamudio Jr., Tony Hom, Alan Shearer, Thomas Angello, Brian McCauley, Juan Munoz, Allan May, Miguel Martinez, James Mathews, Bill Hampton, Richard Merriweather, Kenneth Stears, Ernest Johnson, Glenn Branich, Stephen Camarillo, Machelle Calderon, Clarence Callahan, Steve Larios, John Lebeck, Michael Alcoriza, Marcus Magnani, Daniel Garland, Elizabeth Alejo, Ruben Jordan, Rickey Moore, Keith Yeager, Derral Sheldon, William Nunez, Pete Ugalino, David Matthews, Carlos Chavez, Kris DeAlba, Joseph Polich, David Peterson, Coby O’Hagan, Michael Munguia, David Villasenor, Daniel Sherven, Raul Macias, Jarvis Quenga, Jahmal Prudhomme, Carolina Lobato, and Donald Mandell, Brian Westmoreland, California State Prison, Sacramento; Correctional Officers Manuel Tamayo, Evaristo Duarte and Vincent Canada, Calipatria State Prison; Correctional Sergeant William Fletcher; Correctional Officers Terry Hammon, Raul Ramirez, Craig Robertson, Armondo Sosa, and Diego Vaca, Ironwood State Prison; Correctional Sergeant Kurtis B. Weatherford; Correctional Officers Scott Buck, Rene Cortina, Casey Fenton, Martin E. Machado, Robert A. Nuckles and Fidencio R. Venegas, Kern Valley State Prison; Correctional Lieutenants Dana Kays, Joe Pedroso, and Daryl Webster; Correctional Sergeants Joseph Anderson, Donald Coleman, Paul Hicks Sr., David Johnston, Carol McKellop, Anthony Pepiot, and Manuel Winningham; Correctional Officers Peggy Anderson, Benjamin Aragones, Johnny Atchinson, Dameon Bates, James Bemrose, Jason Biberston, Wendy Black, Sean Burris, Tyler Chapman, David Chisholm, James Commons, Una Cooper, Neil Cope, Gregory Darrett, Paul Gelinas, David George, John Gephart, Christopher Hamilton, Rudy Hammack, James Harlan, Paul Harman, James Herdina, P. Herman, James Holden, Robert Hood, David Howard, Mark Hutchinson, Thomas Hutzell, Karl Kiplinger, Charles Leveque, Darrell Love, Jeremy Marks, John Miller, Michael Nation, Daniel Nelson, Russ Olson, Arthur Paul, Alexandra Perez, David Phillips, Michael Popow, Phillip Reynolds, Jerry Reynoso, Keith Richcreek, Joseph Ross, John Rutledge, Marcus Sawaya, John Shaw, Michael Slavec, Jeffrey Stout, Lawrence Sullenger, and Scott Wilson; Medical Technical Assistants Victorio Gorospe, Rebecca Lambert, Crystal Martinho, James Patch, Christine Richcreek, and Jodi Torrance; Registered Nurses Joseph Escobar-Jerez and James Phillips; Psychiatric Technician Ian Kirkpatrick; Licensed Vocational Nurse Elizabeth Scott, Pelican Bay State Prison; and Registered Nurses Myra Luna, Tae Moon, and Jennifer Parker; Psychiatric Technician Jeovani Pajo, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility.

Correctional Officer of the Year is Correctional Officer John Edward Popke from Sierra Conservation Center, and Correctional Supervisor of the Year is Kenneth Wayne Daubach, Centinela State Prison.

View Photos of the Event

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

California Responds to Federal Courts with Plan to Reduce Prison Overcrowding

Today the state of California detailed its aggressive, comprehensive plan to reduce overcrowding in California's prisons in a court filing with a federal judge contemplating whether an inmate population cap is warranted. State attorneys filed the brief in response to U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson's February 15, 2007 order in the case of Plata v. Schwarzenegger. The state argued that the new prison reforms in AB 900, coupled with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's (CDCR) administrative parole reforms, should pre-empt the need for further court intervention.

"By working together, California lawmakers and my administration have launched an aggressive plan to reduce overcrowding in our state's prisons," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "We have established strike teams to expedite the implementation of this plan and will ensure that all inmates will receive a constitutional level of care. Public safety is always my top priority, and I am confident that the plan we have put in place will address overcrowding and ensure that no dangerous criminals are prematurely released into our communities."

The report to the court outlines the immediate and dramatic steps that the state is taking to reduce prison overcrowding, including:

  • Temporarily transferring inmates out of state;
  • Implementing administrative parole changes that reward successful rehabilitation;
  • Implementing rehabilitation programs to reduce recidivism;
  • Building new prison space that will reduce prison overcrowding, increase rehabilitation programs, and provide more beds for inmate medical care; and, Appointing expert management strike teams to ensure expedited implementation of AB 900.
Many of the components of the state's plan to reduce overcrowding in California's prisons were included in the historic, bipartisan plan to reduce prison overcrowding passed by the legislature, AB 900. This plan is being supplemented with CDCR's parole reforms.

"The state is working on many fronts to reduce overcrowding in California's prisons," said Secretary Jim Tilton, CDCR. "We will be utilizing all of the tools at our disposal to implement the new reforms, and ensure that public safety is protected."

DETAILED COMPONENTS OF THE STATE'S PLAN:

Out of State Transfers Temporarily Relieve Overcrowding: Beginning in June 2007, CDCR will resume transferring inmates to out-of-state private prison facilities. It is expected that CDCR will process up to 400 inmates per month for transfer out of state, and that approximately 8,000 inmates will be transferred by March 2009. Transfers will continue thereafter as needed, as AB 900 authorizes transfers until July 1, 2011.

Inmates selected for transfer to out-of-state facilities will undergo a comprehensive medical screening. Only those inmates who meet the Receiver's medical criteria will be selected for transfer. Transferring inmates out of state will reduce overcrowding, which in turn will decrease the risk of violence and the spread of infectious diseases. Additionally, these transfers will result in reduced staffing requirements; for example, escort officers and medical staff will be better able to serve a smaller population. The transfers will also free space at existing facilities for enhanced medical services. Medical staff will be able to focus on non-emergent services, because reducing prison overcrowding, and in particular the use of non-traditional beds, will ease prison living environments and decrease violence and the spread of infectious diseases.

Administrative Parole Changes Reward Successful Rehabilitation: Parole reform strategies will play a large role in the reduction of prison overcrowding and the provision of constitutional medical care. In addition to the implementation of AB 900, CDCR has implemented immediate parole changes to reward successful rehabilitation. CDCR is actively pursuing strategies to release parolees from their statutory parole periods as soon as is appropriate. Under current California law, parolees initially released from prison after serving a period of incarceration for a non-violent offense, and who have complied with the terms of their parole continuously for one year since their release, shall be discharged on the 30th day after their first year of parole (or at the 13th month of their parole term), unless the recommendation to retain them on parole has been made to, and approved by, the Board of Parole Hearings. Similarly, parolees initially released from prison after serving a period of incarceration for a violent offense and who have complied with the terms of their parole continuously for two years since their release, shall be discharged the 30th day after their second year of parole (or at the 25th month of their parole term), unless the recommendation to retain has been made to, and approved by, the Board of Parole Hearings.

Prior practice within the Division of Adult Parole Operation (DAPO) resulted in fewer parolees being discharged from parole at the 13th and 25th months than is allowed by California Penal Code Section 300l. DAPO is issuing a memorandum clarifying when parolees must be released from parole under state law. Historically, DAPO discharged approximately 13,800 parolees annually at the 13th month, and 5,000 at the 25th month. Based on the revised practice, it is anticipated that there will be an additional discharge of between 2,000 and 4,000 parolees from parole in the next 12 months. By discharging more parolees from supervision, CDCR expects to experience a reduction in the number of parolees returned to custody for technical parole violations.

Implementing Rehabilitation Programs to Reduce Recidivism: AB 900 ties rehabilitation programs to all of the new beds that will be created. Rehabilitation services-like substance abuse treatment, mental health services and vocational education-will accompany all new bed construction. Secure Re-Entry Facilities, small correctional centers built in local communities, are the legislation's rehabilitation centerpiece. The legislation funds 16,000 new beds in these centers to provide focused rehabilitation in the critical few months just before offenders are paroled. Programs will include: job training and placement; GED coursework; anger management classes; family counseling; and housing placement. These new rehabilitation programs and re-entry facilities will improving inmate re-entry to California communities, thereby reducing recidivism, easing prison overcrowding, and ensuring public safety.

Building new prison space that will reduce prison overcrowding, increase rehabilitation programs, and provide more beds for inmate medical care: AB 900 was designed to reduce prison overcrowding, increase rehabilitation programs, and provide more beds for inmate medical care. AB 900 creates a comprehensive plan for the construction of 40,000 prison beds, including much-needed medical beds. These beds include 16,000 infill beds, to eliminate all non-traditional beds, 16,000 beds in secure re-entry facilities to improve inmate re-entry into California communities, and 8,000 medical and mental health beds to ensure proper care.

1. Infill Beds Will Eliminate Non-Traditional Beds: AB 900 will reduce prison overcrowding by authorizing the construction of 16,000 in-fill beds. In-fill beds will provide additional capacity at existing prisons in a way that ensures proper facilities, support, and services. Creating in-fill beds will not require the construction of new prisons; rather, there will be construction of new facilities at existing prisons. In-fill beds, like the out-of-state transfer of inmates, will eliminate non-traditional beds and provide better care and services for inmates.

The newly-established Facilities Strike Team will expedite construction. The means to expedite construction will include waiving state laws, as needed, pursuant to the Governor's Emergency Proclamation. As required by AB 900, these beds will be constructed so as to fully integrate rehabilitative programs into the new facilities. The Facilities Strike Team will work to finish construction as quickly as possible, but at a minimum it is expected that construction of the 12,000 Phase I in-fill beds will be completed in 2009. As new in-fill beds are constructed, AB 900 mandates the reduction in a proportionate number of non-traditional beds, until non-traditional bed use is entirely eliminated.

2. New Secure Re-Entry Beds Ease Inmates Transitions, Reduce Crime and Recidivism: AB 900 provides for the creation of 16,000 re-entry beds, which are beds in small, secured facilities (500 inmates maximum per facility), that are operated by CDCR but are geographically closer to communities and are focused on providing rehabilitation services and preparing inmates for re-entry into society. The Facilities Strike Team will expedite construction to provide 6,000 Phase I re-entry beds, followed by the remaining 10,000 re-entry beds in Phase II.

3. Medical and Mental Health Beds Ensure Proper Care: The addition of medical and mental health beds is also provided for by AB 900. A total of 8,000 medical/mental health beds will be created. The Facilities Strike Team will expedite construction and will work to bring the beds on line as soon as possible. Based on the scope of the Plata Receivership, construction of the AB 900 medical beds will require the cooperation of the Receiver.

Appointing expert management strike teams to ensure expedited implementation of AB 900 and administrative changes to address overcrowding: In addition to the management assessment and plan required by AB 900, Governor Schwarzenegger has already established two expert strike teams to ensure that California's prisons are managed effectively and that bed construction and rehabilitation programs are implemented expeditiously. The strike teams have been established with twenty experts from universities, community organizations, and state government. The Facilities Construction Strike Team will restore CDCR's major project management capability and will work to expedite in-fill, re-entry, medical/dental/mental-health, and jail beds authorized by AB 900.

The Facilities Construction Strike Team will also:

  • 1. Consider all available options for housing inmates and improving inmate housing;
  • 2. Evaluate alternative construction methods;
  • 3. Work to overcome impediments to expedited construction; and,
  • 4. Work with local communities impacted by prison facilities.
At the same time, the Rehabilitation Strike Team will provide expertise on rehabilitation and will expedite implementation of the rehabilitation programs, which will increase successful community re-entry and reduce recidivism.

The Rehabilitation Strike Team will also:

  • 1. Assess existing CDCR rehabilitation programs and space;
  • 2. Design an integrated rehabilitation services delivery plan for inmates and parolees including substance abuse treatment, education, job training, counseling, and life skills; and develop a plan for inmate job training;
  • 3. Quickly implement inmate intake and pre-release needs assessment tools;
  • 4. Develop incentives for program participation;
  • 5. Develop a plan to immediately reduce the number of lockdown days so that inmates can participate in rehabilitative programming; and,
  • 6. Develop the $50 million in rehabilitation and treatment funds that are authorized by AB 900.
Court Documents

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

CDCR, Community Groups Partner for Eighth 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 Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles are again working together to bring children to visit their incarcerated mothers on Mother’s Day.

The female offenders are housed at one of five state adult and juvenile facilities. The adult prisons are the California Institution for Women, California Rehabilitation Center, 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 eighth annual Get on the Bus program. This year, approximately 34 buses 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, touch 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.

Learn more about Governor Schwarzenegger's comprehensive prison reform package at: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/PrisonReform.html

Photos

Gov. Schwarzenegger Creates Strike Teams to Implement Historic Prison Reform Plan

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the creation of two strike teams to expedite implementation of AB 900, the historic $7.7 billion measure to help reform California's overburdened correctional system. Composed of nationally recognized rehabilitation and prison construction experts, the strike teams will ensure that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has the programs and resources to add the "R" to CDC and build 53,000 beds.

One strike team will fundamentally reform California's prison rehabilitation programs; the other will expedite the construction of correctional facilities. The teams are being launched with 20 experts from universities, community organizations and state government; others will be added.

"My administration is taking immediate action to implement California's historic prison reform plan," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "With these strike teams, we are aggressively moving forward to shift our approach to rehabilitating prisoners in California. And, we will cut through the red tape to expedite construction, just as we have done with California's levees, and recently with the collapsed overpass in the Bay Area. I will not tolerate bureaucratic hang ups and delay when it comes to public safety."

"Building the re-entry facilities - is another historic task in my prison reform act - and I have asked CDCR Secretary Jim Tilton to assign Chief Deputy Marisela Montes to work with local governments and community groups to build the 16,000 beds and arrange for program services delivery."
The Rehabilitation Strike Team will focus on evaluating existing education, training and substance abuse programs; on developing leading-edge rehabilitation classes; on delivering the services to inmates and parolees in order to improve public safety; on designing facilities to best accommodate program and on working with communities to continue services in local settings.

Kathy Jett, Director of CDCR's Division of Addiction and Recovery Services and former Director of the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP), will chair the Rehabilitation Strike Team. She will be joined by a public-private team that includes: Joan Petersilia, PhD, Professor, Criminology, Law & Society Director, UCI Center on Evidence-Based Corrections; Jose' Millan, Vice Chancellor, Economic Development &Workforce Preparation, California Community Colleges; Nena Messina, PhD, Principal Researcher, UCLA Institute of Substance Abuse Treatment; Matt Powers, Director, PRIDE Industries (Sacramento); Mimi Budd, retired Chief Counsel, ADP;

Also, Cherry Short, PhD, Assistant Dean, USC School of Social Work; Joe Lehman, retired Washington State Director of Corrections and National Institute of Corrections consultant; Barbara Bloom, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Sonoma State University and Frank Russell, the lead CDCR education executive. Todd Jerue, Department of Finance Corrections Principal Program Budget Manager, and Julie Chapman, Deputy Director, Department of Personnel Administration, will assist.

The Facilities Construction Strike Team will restore CDCR's major project management capability and begin work immediately to build re-entry, infill, medical and jail beds. Deborah Hysen, former Department of General Services (DGS) Chief Deputy and California Performance Review leader, will chair the team. Other members include: Robert Denham, retired Chief Deputy Sheriff, Sacramento County; Kevin Carruth, retired Undersecretary, CDCR; Jim Varney, Major Damage Engineer, Department of Transportation; Ben Martin, Acquisition Manager, DGS Procurement; Scott Harris, Executive Director, Corrections Standards Authority. Karen Finn, Department of Finance Capital Outlay Principal Program Budget Manager, and Doug Button, Deputy Director, Real Estate Services, DGS, will assist.

Among the tasks, the Facilities Construction Strike Team will:

  • Evaluate all alternative construction methods for the construction of reentry facilities and infill capacity.
  • Look at any options for housing inmates in existing facilities within the state that are not being utilized before inmates are transferred.
  • Develop cost containments for proposed construction.
  • Evaluate regulatory impediments to construction and whether waiver of regulations benefit the state.
  • Address local mitigation issues for communities that are impacted by current prison facilities.
Strike team members from the private sector will be compensated by CDCR for professional services and travel from its 2007-08 budget; state employees will be loaned by their respective departments. It is anticipated the Strike Team will take from 6-12 months to complete its work, under the direction of Cabinet Secretary Dan Dunmoyer and Deputy Cabinet Secretary Robert J. Gore.

The strike teams held an introductory session Wednesday. They will work, depending on the individual member's commitment and tasks, full- and part-time. Additional members will be added as necessary, and other experts will be invited to participate for short-term assignments.

"This is a core group of senior, experienced, widely recognized experts," Dunmoyer said, "who will work fast to move CDCR into a new era of both rehabilitation and construction. The teams are designed to be innovative, flexible and lean."

Team leaders will meet weekly with CDCR senior managers to provide direction and to coordinate action steps, according to Dunmoyer. The Strike Teams will work together to fully integrate and install new, effective and efficient rehabilitative programs at CDCR and to build beds quickly and at the lowest cost to relieve overcrowding. The Strike Teams will also focus on management improvements, include filling vacancies, recruiting and retention, improving accountability and communications.

Assembly Bill 900, also known as the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, provides $7.7 billion to add 53,000 prison and jail beds in two phases and fundamentally shift how the CDCR approaches rehabilitation for California's prisoners.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Out of State Inmate Death Under Investigation

MASON, TENNESSEE A California inmate at an out-of-state facility died of an apparent heart attack yesterday while observing an inmate group disturbance. The death occurred at the West Tennessee Detention Facility in Mason, Tennessee on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at approximately 8:25 p.m. (CST). The inmate apparently suffered the heart attack when a fight erupted between approximately 20 inmates in the housing unit dayroom. The inmate was given life saving techniques on site by staff, but was later pronounced dead at the facility by EMS responders. The official cause of death is pending autopsy results. No other inmates were seriously injured and the institution remains on lockdown status while the incident is under investigation.


The deceased inmate, 48-year-old Anthony Kelly, was a second striker received from Los Angeles County on March 24, 2003, and was serving an eight-year sentence for transportation and sale of a controlled substance.

The case is under investigation by the Tipton County Sheriff's Office, Tipton County Coroner's Office, Mason Police Department and Tennessee Bureau of Investigations as well as representatives from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The Office of Inspector General's Bureau of Independent Review was notified.

CDCR has had a three-year contract since November 2006 with the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, to house inmates. Since November, approximately 80 California inmates have voluntarily transferred to the West Tennessee Detention Facility operated by CCA. Each inmate transferred to CCA facilities is housed in a secure, private correctional facility with other inmates from California. Although CCA operates a private institution, they are required by contract to operate them consistent with all CDCR policies and procedures, and California law.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Director of the Division of Addiction and Recovery Services for CDCR Discusses Historic Prison Reform Agreement in Governor's Weekly Radio Address

Hi, this is Kathy Jett, filling in for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, with another California Report.

I'm the Director of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Division of Addiction and Recovery Services. The Governor has asked me to talk to you about the rehabilitation initiatives included in his prison reform plan.

Governor Schwarzenegger signed a landmark bill on Thursday to add 53,000 new prison and jail beds to our corrections system.

This new capacity will ease overcrowding and create the space we need to prepare inmates for their return to society after they have served their time.

As the Governor has said, it is unacceptable that California has the highest recidivism rate in the nation.

When we jam prisoners into giant warehouses in remote areas, public safety is threatened because many of the criminals come out more dangerous than when they went in.

More than 90 percent of our inmates will be eligible for parole, and the law says we must release them in their home communities. That's why 16,000 of the new beds will focus on intense rehabilitation in the months before a prisoner is released.

So instead of going straight from prison back to our streets, inmates will be housed in secure reentry facilities that are based in local communities, under new partnerships with local law enforcement officials and service providers.

The facilities will be fully functional, with programs such as education, job training and placement, and mental health and substance abuse counseling.

And inmates must demonstrate their commitment to rehabilitation, or they will be removed from the re-entry programs.

We have also set aside 4,000 beds that will be devoted to drug treatment.

These beds will reduce the harmful effects of addiction and cut into the massive costs of drug-related crimes.

Governor Schwarzenegger and I are excited about this giant step forward for corrections and rehabilitation in California.

We have addressed the dangerous levels of overcrowding while supplying the resources inmates need to be successful. And when inmates leave prison ready to make positive contributions to the community, we have improved public safety.

On behalf of Governor Schwarzenegger, I'm Kathy Jett. Thank you for listening.

Friday, May 4, 2007

CDCR Awards Contract for New Fresno Family Foundations Program

Female offender reform programs aimed at supporting family unification

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has awarded a $7,240,326 contract to WestCare California, Inc., to operate a third Family Foundations Program, to be opened in Fresno in July 2007. The Fresno FFP will be located at the site of the former CDCR Fresno First Female Offender Treatment and Education Program for female parolees in west Fresno. The FOTEP was relocated to another facility in Fresno.

The Family Foundations Program is a community-based residential-type setting for non-serious, non-violent female offenders, the majority of whom have been convicted of drug-related offenses. On-site services include parenting skills, health services, child development services, and vocational skills training. Residents have the benefit of support groups and assistance to establish and enhance close ties with their young children. Additionally, the mothers share cooking and cleaning chores and learn life skills to help improve their employability.

"These smaller community-based programs for female offenders comprise a key component of our prison reform efforts," said Wendy Still, Associate Director for CDCR Female Offender Programs and Services. "By providing the opportunity for these women to live with and be parents to their children, we hope to break the intergenerational cycle of incarceration that we see all too often. By opening the third such program in California's Central Valley, we plan to provide the type of wrap-around services that such community-based programs can provide. It also allows for more family visiting with inmates' families and friends located much closer."

The contract award culminates a process that began in December 2006 with the release of the Request for Proposals (RFPs) to prospective bidders. Bidders were invited to tour the site in early January 2007 and attended a mandatory bidders conference in mid-January. The deadline to submit proposals was March 21, 2007, and the CDCR evaluated all bids and reviewed the cost allocation plans. The contract expires in 2012.

CDCR Opens Third Family Foundations Program

"This alternative sentencing holds women accountable for their criminal behavior while affording mother and child a chance to lead a healthier and productive life as the mother completes her sentence," said Still. "With the addition of this new facility, we will continue to expand programs for the female offender population."

WestCare America, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1973 and has 34 years of experience operating therapeutic community drug treatment services in community-based, residential, and in-prison treatment environments. WestCare's comprehensive experience includes substance abuse treatment and relapse prevention programs; parenting skills development; child development services; vocational skills training; ancillary services; and services to special populations that includes pregnant, post-partum and parenting women. It is headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, and has offices in several states and in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It serves more than 10,000 individuals each month, and has an annual budget of $68 million.

The Family Foundations Program was created by the State Legislature in 1994 when then-Sen. Robert Presley (R-Riverside) sponsored legislation establishing The Pregnant and Parenting Women's Alternative Sentencing Program Act. Each facility houses 35 women and up to 40 children. Overseeing each facility is a CDCR Correctional Counselor III, who supervises a staff of vocational and academic instructors, substance abuse counselors, and others. Sen. Presley, as Secretary of the Youth and Adult Corrections Agency, oversaw implementation of the first two programs. They are located in Santa Fe Springs (Los Angeles County) and in San Diego.

Learn more about Governor Schwarzenegger's comprehensive prison reform package at: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/news/PrisonReform.html

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Historic Bipartisan Agreement, Takes Important Step Toward Solving California’s Prison Overcrowding Crisis


Joined by a bipartisan group of legislators, law enforcement officials and public safety experts, Governor Schwarzenegger today signed a historic measure to help reform California’s overburdened correctional system. Assembly Bill 900 will provide critical relief to prison overcrowding and increase public safety by dramatically changing California’s approach to rehabilitating prisoners. The Governor will also establish strike teams to ensure this legislation is implemented quickly and effectively.

“This is a major step forward, but now the real work begins. With this bill, we will add 53,000 beds - the most built in a generation. But we will also put management reforms in place so that these beds are built quickly and the rehabilitation programs tied to each and every new bed are strong,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

“I would like to congratulate the Legislature, especially its leaders, Senate President Pro Tem Perata, Speaker Núñez, Senator Ackerman and Assemblyman Villines, who put aside their political differences and never forgot the public we all serve. I would also like to thank all of the sheriffs, police chiefs, district attorneys, probation chiefs, county officials and everyone else who worked so hard to help us get here. They all share my commitment to public safety and know that this legislation will make our streets safer.”

Assembly Bill 900, also known as the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, will provide $7.7 billion to add 53,000 prison and jail beds in two phases and fundamentally shift how the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) approaches rehabilitation for California’s prisoners. The legislation will also help move more than 16,000 prisoners out of “bad beds” located in prison libraries, gymnasiums and day rooms, freeing up these spaces for rehabilitation programs.

“No longer will we build giant warehouses in remote locations that produce criminals who are more dangerous the day they are released than on the day they came in. We are finally facing up to the fact that most California inmates are someday eligible for parole and that we must do everything we can to make sure those who are released don’t commit new crimes,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

Assembly Bill 900 funds 16,000 beds in Secure Re-Entry Facilities, small and secure centers that provide offenders with job training, mental health and substance abuse counseling, housing placement, and other programs in the critical few months just prior to their release.

To speed up construction and overhaul rehabilitation programs, the Governor will direct his Administration to establish strike teams within CDCR’s management.

“And we will act quickly to use the other remedies in this legislation, such as the statutory authority to move inmates out of state whether they volunteer or not as another way to reduce overcrowding. My administration also intends to make smarter and more effective use of existing parole policies, beef up probation services and reform juvenile justice,” continued the Governor.

Governor Schwarzenegger is committed to continue aggressively pursuing many aspects of his prison reforms he introduced in January, including funding for probation services; moving non-serious/non-violent juvenile offenders to local facilities; and transferring 4,500 low-risk female offenders into local facilities.

Details of the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007 include:

Balancing More Beds With Better Rehabilitation Total Beds: 53,000. This $7.7 ($7.4 bonds/$350 General Fund) billion agreement will provide 53,000 prison and jail beds in two phases. Phase I funding will permit immediate construction. Phase II funding is contingent on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation meeting rehabilitation, management and construction benchmarks during Phase I.

  • Phase I: $3.6 billion lease revenue bond.
  • Phase II: $2.5 billion lease revenue bond. Must be enacted by 2014.
  • Local matches: 25% (approximately $300 million) of $1.2 billion in lease revenue bonds for local jails.
  • Additional funding: $350 million General Fund ($300 million for infrastructure, $50 million for rehabilitation).
Prison and Community Re-Entry Beds for State Prisoners: 40,000. The agreement provides $6.1 billion to increase the number of beds in state prisons. Rehabilitation services—like substance abuse treatment, mental health services and job training—will accompany all new bed construction.

Rehabilitation and Secure Re-Entry Beds: 16,000. The agreement prioritizes rehabilitation and reducing recidivism. It directs CDCR to set aside 4,000 beds for drug treatment and create 16,000 new beds in secure re-entry facilities.

  • Phase I Construction: 6,000 secure re-entry beds.
  • Phase II Construction: 10,000 secure re-entry beds
“Infill” Beds: 16,000. The agreement adds 16,000 beds at existing prisons to reduce the number of prisoners in bad beds. Currently state prisons currently house approximately 172,000 prisoners in facilities designed for about half that number.

  • Phase I Construction: 12,000 infill beds
  • Phase II Construction: 4,000 infill beds
Medical Beds: 8,000. The agreement adds 8,000 medical, dental and mental health facility beds as mandated by the federal Receiver The Receiver will determine where these beds will be added, and what services (mental health, long-term care, other) they will provide.

  • Phase I Construction: 6,000 medical beds
  • Phase II Construction: 2,000 medical beds
Local Jail Beds: 13,000. The agreement provides $1.2 billion to increase the number of beds in local county jails by approximately 13,000 to remediate overcrowding faced by counties across the state. Counties are required to match 25% of the $1.2 billion (approximately $300 million), unless their population is less than 200,000—in these counties, the CSA can reduce or eliminate the match. Counties that assist the state in locating re-entry facilities and helping parolees get mental health services will receive funding preference. In 2005 alone, 233,388 individuals avoided incarceration or were released early from jail sentences due solely to a lack of jail space.

Out of State Prison Transfers: The agreement gives the Legislature clear statutory authority to voluntarily and involuntarily transfer prisoners out-of-state for the next four years. In October 2006 Governor Schwarzenegger authorized CDCR to transfer prisoners out-of-state by Executive Order.

Phase I Benchmarks: CDCR has committed to meeting specific benchmarks during Phase I to trigger Phase II funding. They are:

  • Successfully completing construction of ½ of Phase I beds (12,000 new beds).
  • 75% average participation in drug treatment programs over six months.
  • Establishing the California Rehabilitation Oversight Board (C-ROB) in the Office of Inspector General.
  • Proper assessment and placement of offenders in rehabilitation programs when they enter the system, and then again when they’re a year away from parole.
  • Increasing offender participation in classes and education programs.
  • C-ROB’s completion of a prison-to-employment plan.
  • Providing mental health day treatment for parolees.
  • Completion of various studies by CDCR and C-ROB assessing the effectiveness of inmate programming.
Audio of Governor Signing Agreement

View CDCR's Prison Reform and Rehabilitation Page for More Resources

CDCR's Inmate Firefighter Crews Gear Up for the 2007 Fire Season


PAYNES CREEK – More than 700 inmate firefighters from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) participated today in the annual Fire Preparedness Exercises at Ishi Camp in Tehama County. The exercises allow the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to evaluate inmate firefighter crews’ physical conditioning, firefighting knowledge, ability to perform safely, and readiness for the 2007 fire season.

“For 61 years, California inmates have been given the chance to be heroes by risking their lives to fight wildfires while taking advantage of positive rehabilitative programs,” said CDCR Secretary James Tilton. “The Conservation Camp Program plays an integral role in California’s statewide wildfire response. These inmate firefighters and the staff from CDCR and CAL FIRE should be commended for the hard work they do to minimize the loss of life and property.”

Established in 1946, the Conservation Camp Program provides California with an able-bodied, well-trained, and well-equipped workforce for fire suppression and other emergencies. There are 42 adult and two Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) conservation camps statewide. CDCR jointly manages 37 adult and juvenile camps with CAL FIRE. Five adult camps in Southern California are jointly managed with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"The cooperative nature of our partnership makes this a successful program at all levels," said CAL FIRE Director Ruben Grijalva. "The crews perform a vital public service that benefits Californians as well as state, federal, county and local government agencies."

More than 4,400 offenders are in the program. Approximately 200 crews log an average of more than three million person hours a year fighting wildfires and responding to floods, earthquakes, and search and rescue missions.

When not responding to emergencies, crews put in an additional seven million hours every year working on conservation projects on public lands and community service projects. Fire crews clean up campgrounds, beaches and parks on city, county and state land and provide the labor for weed abatement and other projects that help reduce the risk of fires and other disasters.

Inmates and CDCR fire camp staff also benefit communities when they are not fighting fires by participating in presentations to schools and juvenile group homes to encourage kids to avoid drugs and alcohol. Many camps raise funds to help feed the hungry and support local non-profit organizations.

Inmates assigned to the camp program are carefully screened and medically cleared for participation. Screened adult inmates are serving sentences of less than two years and spend an average of eight months in the camp program. Inmates must be physically fit, and are evaluated on their emotional and intellectual aptitudes and criminal history. Those convicted of kidnapping, arson, or sex offenses are excluded from 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 evaluated for their overall suitability to continue in the program. Those who do not pass the evaluation are sent back to a state prison.

Juvenile offenders earn their way into camp placement. Wards must be medically fit, have between four and 36 months left to serve, must be free of major rule infractions, and have no history of escape with force or violence. Wards convicted of sex offenses or arson are excluded.

While in the camp, juvenile wards participate in treatment and training programs including academic education, substance abuse treatment, anger management, parenting classes, group counseling, and other programs.

“The Conservation Camp Program provides many benefits to the State and to the inmates who accept the responsibility of fire camp placement,” said Associate Director Anthony Kane, who oversees the camp program for CDCR. “California and its citizens benefit by having a fully trained workforce able to respond immediately to wildfires statewide. Inmates benefit by learning a solid work ethic, values, teamwork, discipline and skills that put them on a road to a better future, reducing the chance of them returning to prison after their release.”

The program is estimated to save the State more than $80 million annually that otherwise would be paid to accomplish the same tasks. It is also less expensive to house offenders in conservation camps instead of State correctional facilities.

Fact Sheet

Background

Dr. Joan Petersilla Discusses Reentry Centers to be built Following the Governor signing the Prison Reform Legislation

To read this article Click Here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

CDCR Division of Juvenile Justice Announces Intent to Award $9.5 Million in Parole Reentry Services Grants to Five Counties

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in consultation with the Corrections Standards Authority announced today that it will award $9.5 million in grants to providers in five different counties in an effort to improve reentry services for juvenile offenders returning home on parole.

The grant award recipients include the Youth Employment Partnership in Oakland; the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency; Phoenix House in Orange County; Prototypes, Center for Innovation in the City of Los Angeles, and California Youthbuild Initiatives in Fresno. The Juvenile Justice Community Reentry Challenge Grant Program is a pilot program intended to offer new tools, opportunities and structured reentry approach for parolees leaving DJJ institutions and returning to their home counties on parole as well as youthful offenders under the jurisdiction of the county or local juvenile court. The contracts will begin June 1, 2007 and are in place until June 30, 2009.

"It is important that the state partner with local governments and community-based service providers to help meet the needs of youthful offenders as they are released, and give them a better chance to lead a crime-free life on the outside," said DJJ Chief Deputy Secretary Bernard E. Warner. "This program helps provide a continuity of services for wards of the Division of Juvenile Justice that is important as they reenter society."

"These grants are part of a broader statewide effort to increase rehabilitation programs and reentry services for youth and adult offenders so that they can be successful upon their release," said Senator Michael Machado, who sponsored legislation including these grants to be part of Governor Schwarzenegger's budget in 2006. "Reducing California's recidivism rates will be key to addressing the underlying problems affecting our criminal justice system."

Program Specifics

The Juvenile Justice Community Reentry Grant Program awarded the grants on a competitive basis. Applicants were required to demonstrate a collaborative and comprehensive approach to the successful community reintegration of juvenile parolees and county probationers returning from commitment or out of home placement. Services to be provided include: transitional or step-down housing, occupational development and job placement, outpatient mental health services, education, life skills counseling, restitution and community service, case management, and intermediate sanctions for technical violations of parole. The funding was provided by AB 1806, Chaptered July 12, 2006.

Per the legislation and grant language, 75 percent of the grant award is to be used for providing program services to individuals on parole from the Division of Juvenile Justice. The remainder of the grant award (up to 25 percent) may be used for providing program services to youthful offenders under the jurisdiction of the county or local juvenile court who are transitioning from commitment or out of home placement back into the community.

The programs winning the grant awards are expected to work with the juvenile court and the local probation departments throughout the state targeting 680 juveniles released on parole or probation. The Department received 40 applications requesting more than $60 million in funding to establish and track outcomes of their respective programs. A total of 29 applications made it through the initial screening process with five grantees announced today.

Background on Juvenile Justice Reforms

Working with special experts under a stipulated court agreement, the Division of Juvenile Justice filed six remedial plans with the courts in the areas of sexual behavior treatment, ward with disabilities, education, health care, mental health treatment and safety and welfare. The division has an aggressive agenda to fulfill necessary tasks laid out in the plans, and has secured the necessary funding to get those initiatives moving in this Legislative session. The funding for The Juvenile Justice Community Reentry Challenge Grant Program supports the remedial plans. More grant funding related to juvenile justice needs between the state and the counties is expected in the coming months.

For more information on the grant process, click here http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Divisions_Boards/DJJ/rfp/index.html

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Community Leaders, Employers Discuss Benefits of Hiring Trained Ex-Offenders



SACRAMENTO – Community leaders and employers from Sacramento gathered today to discuss the benefits of hiring trained ex-offenders at the Sacramento Regional Employers’ Forum. The Sacramento Region’s Undiscovered Labor Resource was the theme of the event where employers learned how job training provided to inmates during incarceration can greatly reduce training costs for hiring agencies. The forum was sponsored by the Prison Industry Authority, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and PRIDE Industries

“The opportunity to bring employers together to discuss the benefits of hiring trained ex-offenders is an important step in establishing an employment path for inmates preparing to parole. This re-entry program is a component of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s commitment to increasing public safety and reducing recidivism by successfully transitioning parolees into meaningful employment,” said K.W. Prunty, Undersecretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. “Hiring trained ex-offenders can bring significant value for employers, parolees, and our community. Employers gain well-trained workers, parolees obtain employment and the local community benefits by creating neighborhoods with fewer unemployed ex-offenders.”

Inmates have opportunities to learn a variety of skill sets while working in over 60 factories that PIA operates. In many factories, inmates can earn industry-accredited certifications that document their skill sets including welders, opticians, metal workers, and carpenters.

Employers can obtain a federal tax credit worth up to $8,500 and a no-cost federal bond for up to $50,000 for hiring ex-offenders. Employers seeking further information about hiring trained ex-offenders should contact Joseph Armor, PIA Administrator, Inmate Development Branch, at (916) 358-1661.

PIA is the State organization that provides productive job training assignments for inmates in California’s adult correctional institutions. PIA’s products and services are available to governmental entities, including federal, state, and local agencies. PIA operates factories that produce a variety of goods and services including: modular buildings, office furniture, eye glasses, license plates, coffee, shoes, printing services, signs, binders, clothing, and much more.