Thursday, July 30, 2009

O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility Re-opens to Visitors, Volunteers After Temporary Closure Due to H1N1 Virus

STOCKTON - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) today announced that the O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton has re-opened for visitors and volunteers. The facility was closed due to the H1N1 virus as a precaution last weekend, though has been reopened after consultation with local health officials.

O.H. Close is resuming normal operations for accepting new youth offenders and for transferring or releasing youth housed at the facility, after the three confirmed cases and four probable cases of H1N1 virus were successfully treated.

Throughout last weekend and early this week, the DJJ coordinated its efforts with the San Joaquin County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Furst, to ensure that all precautions were taken to protect the health of other youth and staff at the facility. Among those precautions was closing the facility to visiting and volunteer activities to minimize exposure to the virus.

The O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility houses approximately 192 youths, ages 13 to 18. The adjacent N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility was unaffected by the H1N1 influenza. It continued its normal classroom, visiting and volunteer activities while DJJ officials closely monitored the situation.

For periodic updates, please visit the DJJ web site at:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Juvenile_Justice/index.html
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

H1N1 Virus Closes O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility to Visitors, Volunteers

Precautions Taken to Minimize Spread of the Influenza Virus

STOCKTON - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) today announced that the O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton will be closed to visitors and volunteers in order to minimize the spread of the H1N1 virus this weekend after three youth were confirmed to be infected and four probable cases were identified. The facility also will stop transfers and not accept new youth offenders in an effort to contain the virus.

DJJ is coordinating its efforts with the San Joaquin County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Furst, to ensure that all precautions are being taken to minimize the spread of H1N1.

"We are taking every precaution to protect the health of staff and youths in the facility, and will continue to evaluate the situation until we are convinced that the H1N1 virus has run its course and that no one at the facility is vulnerable to exposure," said Dr. Gabriel Tanson, Chief Medical Officer for the Stockton complex.

The O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility houses approximately 192 youths, ages 13 to 18. The adjacent N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility has been unaffected by the H1N1 influenza and will continue its normal classroom, visiting and volunteer activities while DJJ officials closely monitor the situation.

For periodic updates, please visit the DJJ web site at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Juvenile_Justice/index.html

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CDCR Suspends Expanded Third Day Visiting Program on Fridays Due to Budget Crisis and Furlough Impacts

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will suspend the Third Day Visiting Program at adult institutions throughout the state beginning Friday, July 17, due to the state budget crisis and the impact of staff furloughs.

The Third Day Visiting Program began in July of 2006 and expanded visiting to include Fridays at 21 of 33 adult prisons as a privilege for inmates who participated in positive rehabilitation programming. The suspension of the Third Day Visiting program will not impact regular visiting at the state’s 33 prisons, which will continue on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Due to the state’s worsening fiscal crisis and the impact of staff furloughs we are forced to reduce operational costs and suspend the Third Day Visiting Program until further notice,” said Terri McDonald, CDCR Chief Deputy Secretary of Adult Operations. “Our staff will continue to work with inmates and their families to ensure they are afforded visiting opportunities during regular visiting hours.”

CDCR institutions will redirect Friday visiting staff to provide coverage for staff on leave due to state mandated furlough or other vacancies.

For more information on CDCR visiting policies go to: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Visitors/index.html

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Probable H1N1 Cases at San Quentin State Prison Limit Inmate Intake and Halt Transfers

SAN QUENTIN -- Beginning Wednesday, July 8, San Quentin State Prison will limit the intake of new inmates from 19 Northern California counties due to the detection of the H1N1 virus. Since July 6, no inmates have been transferred from the prison to other correctional facilities.

Today, approximately 47 inmates at San Quentin have exhibited flu-like symptoms of the H1N1 virus and there are four probable cases. As a result, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Prison Health Care Services (CPHCS) have decided to limit San Quentin intake and stop transfers to other facilities in the state in an attempt to minimize the spread of the virus. CDCR and CPHCS have informed county and state health officials and sent samples to labs to confirm whether or not the inmates have the H1N1 virus.

San Quentin State Prison serves as a reception center to complete diagnostic, medical and classification processes to determine initial institutional placement for offenders from 19 Northern California counties. CDCR administrators are notifying those counties of the situation, and working with them on delivery of offenders. San Quentin receives approximately 250 inmates a week from county jails. They typically release onto parole approximately 200 inmates per week. Due to the halt of transfers, the number of inmates that San Quentin accepts for intake from county jails may be reduced.

Since detection of H1N1, several units housing approximately 2,100 inmates have been quarantined and San Quentin has implemented the following preventative measures to limit the spread of the illness:

  • No inmates are being transferred from San Quentin to other state correctional facilities.
  • Inmate movement has been restricted.
  • Inmates scheduled to be released to parole are being medically evaluated and will be given written instructions before they are paroled.
  • Routine programs were suspended until further notice.
  • H Unit, Alpine Unit, Badger Unit and North Block were quarantined.
  • Visiting was cancelled in the quarantined units until further notice.
  • Inmates in the quarantined units are confined to quarters and being fed in their cells.
  • Staff is taking all necessary precautions to prevent contamination or spread of the illness.
CDCR, CPHCS and San Quentin medical officials are working together and closely monitoring the situation.

San Quentin State Prison, California's oldest correctional institution, was opened July 1852 and includes a reception center, general population units, and a minimum security work crew unit. Male condemned inmates are also housed at San Quentin. The prison currently houses 5,153 inmates and employs nearly 1,700 people.