Thursday, May 29, 2008

Prison Inmates Graduate from Construction Training

Union Partnerships Lead to Jobs and Lower Recidivism

FOLSOM - Representing the largest graduating class since the inception of pre-apprenticeship training in 2006, 75 inmates received diplomas and certificates during graduation ceremonies today at Folsom State Prison as they completed all or portions of a program that ultimately will lead to apprenticeships in construction when they are paroled.

"This pre-apprenticeship program produces jobs immediately when someone leaves prison, with the help of our union partners on the outside," noted Kathy Jett, Undersecretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who gave the commencement address. "Men need a job and if it gives them money for their family, it gives them pride and a sense of accomplishment," added Jett, who is responsible for developing rehabilitation programs.

"When they put on that tool belt, get their union card and go to work on the day they leave prison, it changes their lives," she continued, while noting that the prison system under Governor Schwarzenegger "is investing more in rehabilitation now than we have in the last 20 years."

Inmates receive training from journeymen craftsman in various construction skills, ranging from welding and ironwork to finished carpentry. The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) and three trade unions representing industry workers, act as partners in the program. Ex-offenders are then eligible for placement in apprenticeship jobs when they are released from prison.

Unions that participate in the program include the Northern California Carpenters Local 46; the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 118 and the Laborers Local 185.

To give them an additional helping hand, CALPIA provides each graduate with a tool belt so that they are ready for work on their first day of their new job and pays their union dues for one year.

"These guys have all the same skill as anybody else who comes to us looking for work," said Doyle Radford, of the Laborers Union 185.

New CALPIA research has shown that providing real, hands-on job skills, combined with employment upon parole, dramatically reduces the number of ex-offenders who return to prison. Since the construction pre-apprenticeship program began in 2006, only 18 percent of its graduates have returned to prison, compared with an estimated 70 percent recidivism rate of California's general population.

In general, the recidivism rate of all inmates who participate in CALPIA's 22 business enterprises is 25 percent lower than the general prison population, which helps reduce prison overcrowding and saves taxpayers an estimated $40 million a year that otherwise would be spent for prosecuting or housing inmates.

Forty of the inmate graduates today received diplomas documenting that they have completed the full carpentry pre-apprenticeship training, while most of the remainder accepted certificates documenting that they have completed training in ironworking or welding.

In addition, nine inmates were granted certificates for completing the training to install telecommunications equipment, the newest career program offered by the California Prison Industry Authority in a partnership with the Panduit Corporation.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ironwood State Prison Activates Zero-Emission Solar Power System

System Deployed Under Public-Private Partnership with SunEdison to Produce Over 2.4 Million Kilowatt Hours in First Year

BLYTHE - Ironwood State Prison (Ironwood) and SunEdison today announced the activation of a new 1.18 megawatt (MW) ground-mounted photovoltaic solar photovoltaic system. The photovoltaic system, which will deliver 2.4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean renewable energy in the first year of operation, was deployed through an innovative public-private partnership between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and SunEdison, North America’s largest solar energy services provider.

Under a solar power services agreement (SPSA) SunEdison financed, constructed and will operate the solar energy system. The CDCR avoids all upfront capital costs and will purchase the solar energy at predictable prices equal to or less than current retail rates. The solar system will produce no greenhouse gases, no noise and will use no water in operation.

According to Ironwood Warden Debra Dexter, “We are strongly committed to being a good neighbor and in doing what’s right for our community. Leveraging our most plentiful natural resource – the desert sun – while protecting a limited local resource – water – makes both environmental and fiscal sense for Ironwood and California taxpayers. This partnership with SunEdison makes it possible for Ironwood Prison to be the community’s host for solar energy.”

Activation of the zero-emission solar power system is a major step for Ironwood in meeting the CDCR’s energy management goals as well as Governor Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order S-20-04. The order mandates that State agencies evaluate the merits of using clean and renewable on-site energy generation technologies in all new building or large renovation projects, and take measures to reduce grid-based energy purchases for state-owned buildings by 20 percent by 2015, through cost-effective efficiency measures and distributed generation technologies. Over twenty years of operation, the Ironwood system will produce more than 43 million kWh of solar energy, the equivalent to powering 4,107 homes and removing 3,770 cars off the road annually.

Harry Franey, Chief of Energy Management and Sustainability Section for CDCR, described the project, “This system at Ironwood has more than 6,200 PV panels that utilize the sun, our greatest natural resource. Plus, they require no water to operate, which makes PV a perfect solar technology for this region. In the first year, the system will produce more than 2.4 million kilowatt hours of clean renewable solar energy. That has an immediate beneficial impact upon our environment.”

CDCR’s Deborah Hysen, Chief Deputy Secretary, Facilities, Planning and Construction, said, “The power of this innovative public-private partnership allows us to meet the environmental goals of both the CDCR and of the State of California. We’re helping to clean the air, and simultaneously relieve some of the ever increasing pressure on the electric utility grid.”

“SunEdison is extremely proud to be part of this public-private partnership with the Ironwood State Prison and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to deploy clean renewable energy,” said Thomas (Tom) Rainwater, CEO of SunEdison. “This is truly a long-term partnership, where the solar power produced at Ironwood will support our partner’s commitment to being a good community member.”

Ironwood is the second PV system SunEdison is managing under an SPSA for CDCR. In June 2006, SunEdison activated a 1.16 MW solar power system at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison. The PV system at Chuckawalla has produced more than 3.7 million kWh since commercial activation.

Over 20 years of production, the system will offset 31,627,817 lbs of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing 3,100 cars from the road. It will produce 35,981,589 kWh over 20 years, the equivalent of powering 3,377 homes.

Encouraged by the success of the CVSP and ISP systems, CDCR is accelerating the process to install PV systems at 10 additional facilities. The additional installations will add significantly to the department’s renewable energy portfolio and put the department on track to exceed the power grid reductions specified in Executive Order S-20-04.

About Ironwood State Prison
The primary mission of Ironwood State Prison (ISP) is to improve public safety through the confinement of minimum and medium custody male offenders, while providing them the life improvement skills needed to successfully re-integrate back into society upon parole. ISP is comprised of four (4) Level III (medium security) facilities within its security perimeter and (1) Minimum Support Facility (minimum security) outside of the security perimeter area. ISP was opened February 1, 1994, covers 1,700 acres and houses approximately 4,524 inmates.

About California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
CDCR is California’s correctional agency, consisting of the Division of Adult Operations, the Division of Adult Programs and the Division of Juvenile Justice. CDCR employs 66,580 people at 33 adult prisons, 38 conservation camps, 8 youth facilities, and at its 4 Sacramento area offices. Its current operating budget is $10.7 billion. CDCR is a member California Climate Action Registry (CCAR), a public/private partnership created by the State to encourage companies, government agencies and other organizations that do business in California to voluntarily measure and report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

About SunEdison
Sun Edison LLC is North America’s largest solar energy services provider and operates across a global marketplace. SunEdison provides solar-generated energy at or below current retail utility rates to a broad and diverse client base of commercial, municipal and utility customers. For more information about SunEdison, please visit

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Deuel Vocational Institution Escapee Captured

TRACY – On Tuesday, May 27, 2008, at approximately 8:30 p.m., an escaped state prison inmate from Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy was captured.

Tony Jones, 21, who escaped from custody Tuesday afternoon from the San Joaquin County Courthouse in Stockton, was apprehended by special agents from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Correctional Safety at a residence in Richmond, California. Inmate Jones was transported back to DVI late last night.

Jones was received from Amador County on February 20, 2007 with a three-year term for assault with a deadly weapon.

DVI houses reception center inmates from 19 Northern California counties and minimum- and medium-custody general population male inmates. The institution houses approximately 3,800 inmates and employs approximately 1,300 people.


On Tuesday, May 27, 2008, at approximately 2 p.m., a state prison inmate from Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) in Tracy escaped from custody from the San Joaquin County Courthouse.

DVI transportation officers were unloading three inmates into the rear of the courthouse for court appearances. The transportation officers responded when inmate Kirk Robbins, 22, displayed symptoms of a seizure. While tending to Robbins, inmates Richard Potts, 39, and Tony Jones, 21, slipped their handcuffs and escaped into the downtown Stockton area. Custody staff immediately gave chase and apprehended Potts.

Inmate Jones was chased further in the downtown area and was last seen fleeing the area as a passenger in a late model CL600 black Mercedes Benz with temporary plates with the name “Eaton.” Jones was committed from Amador County in 2007 and was serving a three-year term for assault with a deadly weapon. Jones is a black male, 5’ 10”, 185 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair, and a medium build.

DVI houses reception center inmates from 19 Northern California counties and minimum- and medium-custody general population male inmates. The institution houses approximately 3,800 inmates and employs approximately 1,300 people.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background on Officer Les Macarro

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

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Friday, May 16, 2008

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

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Medal of Valor event

View slide show of

Four Honored with Medal of Valor for Extraordinary Courage

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

The Medal of Valor is “earnedby employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.”

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

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

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

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

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

Complete List of 2008 Award Winners

Medal of Valor

The Medal of Valor is the Department’s highest award, earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.

Correctional Officer Elizabeth O’Campo, Ironwood State Prison

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

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

Parole Agent I Jimmy Gruender, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Gold Star Medal

The Corrections Star (Gold) medal is the Department’s second highest award for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.

Correctional Officer Fred Daniel Martinez, California Institution for Men

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

Correctional Officer Anis De La Cruz, Wasco State Prison

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

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

Silver Star Medal

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

Correctional Officer Steven A. Montgomery, California Correctional Center

Correctional Officers John Brown and Umberto Resendez, California Correctional Institution

Correctional Officer Edward Becerra, California Men’s Colony

Correctional Counselor I Darren White, California State Prison-Corcoran

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

Fire Captain Eduardo Medina, Centinela State Prison

Correctional Officer Sergio Almodovar, Ironwood State Prison

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

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

Parole Agent I Alex Hoang, Division of Adult Parole Operations

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

Bronze Star Medal

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

Correctional Officer Gary E. Allhiser, California Correctional Center

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

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

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

Correctional Sergeant Charles Gibson, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Officer Arnoldo Hernandez, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Officer Ney Vencer, California State Prison-Sacramento

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

Correctional Sergeant Pedro Chanelo Jr., Correctional Training Facility

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

Correctional Officer Joel Adam Martin, Folsom State Prison

Correctional Sergeant James Fitzpatrick, Kern Valley State Prison

Correctional Officer Kerri Sweeny, Kern Valley State Prison

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

Correctional Officer Ryan Hormel, Valley State Prison for Women

Correctional Officer Carlos Rodriguez, Wasco State Prison

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

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

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

Parole Agent I Perry Little, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent I John Edelman, Division of Adult Parole Operations

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

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

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

Distinguished Service Medal

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

Correctional Lieutenant Michael Brownell, California Rehabilitation Center

Vocational Instructor Michael E. Doud, Mule Creek State Prison

Executive Assistant Thomas Paul Gaines, Wasco State Prison

Parole Agent I Donnie Elliott, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent II Ken Wong, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent I Wesley Heninger, Division of Adult Parole Operations

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

Special Agent Daniel Evanilla, Office of Correctional Safety

Unit Citation

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

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

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

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Sacramento Bee - story link:

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Preventing The Early Release Of State Inmates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following charts represent the Agency's portion of the 2008-09 Budget. These totals do not include federal funds, certain non-governmental cost funds, or reimbursements.
Corrections and Rehabilitation High Level May Revision Summaries

The May Revision continues the Administration's commitment to public safety and inmate rehabilitation in programs operated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
  • 2007-08 -$46.8 million
  • 2008-09 -$115.2 million
The May Revision proposes a decrease of $115.2 million General Fund for the CDCR.

Northern California Re-entry Facility

Adult Inmate/Parolee Population/Caseload Changes

Ward/Parolee Population/Caseload Changes

Prison Medical Care Receiver

Juvenile Probation Funding

Update to Budget-Balancing Reductions


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

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

Friday, May 9, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, May 1, 2008

CDCR's Inmate Firefighters Prepare for the 2008 Fire Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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