Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Corrections Standards Authority Funds Proud Parenting Program

$835,000 in grants awarded to 10 projects to improve parenting skills

SACRAMENTO - The Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation today announced the release of $835,000 in 10 Proud Parenting Program grant awards to nine community-based organizations and one county probation department to help break the cycle of intergenerational delinquency by strengthening parenting knowledge and skills.

"By focusing on responsible parenthood and stronger relationships between parents and their children, we can break cycle of violence from one generation to another that is threatening the safety of our communities," said Kurt Wilson, Executive Director of CSA. "These grants help young parents understand the positive impact they can have on their children and provide them with the skills necessary to raise healthy, well-adjusted children."

Grant funds of approximately $83,500 for each organization were awarded for one year to serve parents between the ages of 14 and 25. Funding may continue for up to three subsequent years depending on grantee performance and the annual state appropriation process.

The Proud Parenting Program builds upon the fundamental components of the original Young Men as Fathers (YMAF) Program, including classroom instruction on parenting skills, structured family activities that reinforce lessons learned in the classroom and provides them with positive role models as mentors.

CSA's Corrections Planning and Programs (CPP) Division develops, administers and evaluates programs designed to improve the effectiveness of state and local correctional systems and enhance public safety. In carrying out its responsibilities, CPP works closely with federal, state and local government agencies, as well as the private sector and nonprofit service providers, to foster collaborative approaches for addressing crime and delinquency. The CPP division provides extensive technical assistance and training to state and local agencies as well as to grantees.

The Pound Parenting Program grantees for 2009/10 are listed below:

Proud Parenting Program - 2009/10 Funding Awards
Corrections Standards Authority

1) Children's Institute, Inc. (Los Angeles)   $83,500

2) MELA Counseling Services Center, Inc. (Los Angeles)    $83,500

3) Christian Counseling Service of the East Valley, Inc. (Redlands)   $83,500

4) Family Stress Center (Concord)   $83,500

5) Breakout Prison Outreach (San Jose)   $83,500

6) Stop the Violence and Increase the Peace Foundation (Inglewood)   $83,500

7) National Family Life and Education Center (Culver City)   $82,549

8) Madera County Probation Department (Madera)   $83,500

9) Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents (Pasadena)   $82,802

10) San Diego Youth Services, Inc. (San Diego)   $83,500

Total $833,351

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Board of Parole Hearings Launches Web Page for Crime Victims

Victims Can Now Access Parole Suitability Hearing Transcripts

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's (CDCR) Board of Parole Hearings has launched a web page that allows crime victims to request transcripts for Parole Suitability Hearings of inmates sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

"Continuing to protect the rights of victims through our criminal justice system is a top priority of my department," said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. "This new web page will make important information more readily available to victims of crime and their families and help to keep them safe."

Within approximately 30 days upon completion of a prisoner's hearing before the Board, a transcript of the hearing will be available upon request. Transcripts may be requested by email at no cost by accessing the web page. Alternatively, a copy of the transcript will be mailed for a fee of $25.00. Previously victims were charged per page, which could be costly for transcripts running hundreds of pages, and an electronic version was not available.

If a transcript requested by e-mail is not available in the database -- for example, transcripts of hearings that took place in the past and are archived - a fee of $25 will be charged for those as well. The requestor will be contacted if the Board does not have an electronic copy of the transcript and request the fee.

Any persons requesting a hearing transcript must be registered and meet the criteria of a victim as identified through the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services. The registration form is available by accessing the new web page.

In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 9, the "Victim's Bill of Rights Act of 2008," often called "Marsy's Law," which expands victims' rights in parole proceedings for prisoners sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The law applies to all hearings for the purpose of setting, postponing, or rescinding of life prisoner parole dates. Marsy's Law, Penal Code section 3041.5 (a) (4) permits the victim, next of kin, members of the victim's family, and two representatives designated by the victim to request and receive a stenographic record of all proceedings.

Marsy's Law was named after Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas, a University of California Santa Barbara student, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only a week after Marsy was murdered, her mother walked into a grocery store after visiting her daughter's grave and was confronted by the accused murderer. She did not know that he had been released on bail.

Victims can request transcripts of Parole Suitability Hearings by accessing the new web page at: www.cdcr.ca.gov/Divisions_Boards/BOPH/psh_transcript.html.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CDCR Files Response to Federal Three Judge Panel on Prison Management Plan

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today filed a revised plan with the federal three judge panel that addresses the panel’s concerns about the department’s previous filing submitted on September 18, 2009. The panel ordered the department to produce a population plan to meet the court’s operational capacity level of 137.5 percent by the end of 2011.

“We have thoroughly examined the court’s concerns and believe that this plan represents the best option to meet the court’s order,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate.

“Although this plan meets the court mandate, we continue to believe our best option is the original plan already being implemented by the state that reduces the prison population over time without compromising public safety.”

The revised plan includes the proposals from the September 18, 2009 plan as well as additional options the court may consider. The department can only reach the court’s population goals with changes in state laws or federal court orders.

The department has implemented or plans to implement measures directly available to it through the Administration’s executive powers, including:

  • developing and deploying the Parole Violation Decision Making Instrument statewide;
  • maximizing the use of the currently authorized California Out-of-State Correctional Facility program;
  • considering eligible undocumented inmates for commutation and deportation;
  • discharging from parole illegal aliens who have been deported by the federal government; and
  • utilizing electronic monitoring systems, such as global positioning systems (GPS), for eligible parole violators as an alternative to incarceration.
Other measures require changes in state law. In September 2009, the Administration was able to obtain legislative enactment of the following:

  • summary parole - low-level, lower-risk offenders will no longer be placed on active parole, which will reduce the number of offenders returning to prison for parole violations; and
  • credit earning enhancements – reduces time served for qualified inmates.
The Legislature declined to enact three of the Administration’s other proposed measures, including:

  • increasing the monetary threshold for grand theft;
  • providing alternative housing options for low-level offenders (alternative custody); and
  • limiting sentencing options to county jail for certain criminal offenses.
The Administration is seeking a change in state law through the legislative process early next year to:

  • increase the monetary threshold for grand theft;
  • provide alternative custody housing options;
  • seek authorization to continue the California Correctional Out-of-State Facility (COCF) program and to expand the number of inmates that can be held in custody out-of-state;
  • seek legislative enactment of a law that would enable CDCR to accelerate construction of in-state capacity authorized by AB 900; and
  • seek legislative enactment of a law that would expedite leasing, building and/or operating new beds through establishment of private vendor contracts to house inmates and operate private facilities in the state.
Today’s court filing does not derail the Department’s appeal of the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. CDCR filed its appeal in September and submitted a jurisdictional statement to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 5, 2009.

The November 12, 2009 Population Reduction Plan submitted to the court today will be posted to CDCR’s web site at www.cdcr.ca.gov once it is filed with the court.

Click here for CDCR's Population Management Plan Filing
Click here for Three Judge Court Ordered Plan: Table A

Friday, November 6, 2009

CDCR Files Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Medical and Mental Health Beds in Response to Coleman Lawsuit

Plan Includes Sites Statewide to Satisfy Lawsuits Ordering Increases in Medical/Mental Health Beds

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today filed a detailed long-range plan, including activation schedules, to provide medical and mental health treatment beds in response to the federal court order in Coleman v Schwarzenegger. The plan was filed electronically with the United States District Court, Eastern District of California.

“With the filing of this plan, California is moving forward to meet court orders to provide space for mental health and medical services for inmates,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “We have reviewed all our options carefully and believe that this plan represents a wise and efficient use of state resources.”

CDCR, working collaboratively with the Federal Receiver in the Plata v Schwarzenegger case and the Coleman Special Master, submitted the plan as part of its overall effort to increase inmate medical and mental health services.

The plan includes the construction of the Northern California Consolidated Care Facility in Stockton, converting three former juvenile facilities to include medical and mental health beds for adult inmates, adding additional beds to other facilities and other projects.

Funding for the construction was made possible through AB 900. For each new construction project, CDCR is required to submit an Environmental Impact Report, which will afford the public and stakeholders an opportunity to review and comment on the planned projects. CDCR anticipates hosting a number of community forums to allow interested community members to participate in the planning process.

CDCR is required to provide new beds and treatment space for over 1,400 inmates requiring mental health services enrolled in CDCR’s Enhanced Outpatient Program pursuant to an order of the Coleman Court. The Receiver has identified the need for CDCR to provide new beds and treatment space for over 1,400 inmates requiring medical services in an outpatient setting. The plan includes some projects already started by the Receiver.

Click here for a list of proposed projects that are part of the Coleman filing and the department’s AB 900 Integrated Strategy Plan.

Additional Related Information:

Coleman Filing (PDF)
Prison Plans for Chino Include Converting Former Juvenile Facility to House Adult Males
CDCR Finalizes Plan to Convert Former Juvenile Facility

Prison Plans for Chino Include Converting Former Juvenile Facility to House Adult Males

Conversion is Part of Effort to Satisfy Lawsuits Ordering Increases in Medical/Mental Health Beds

SACRAMENTO –The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), working collaboratively with the federal receiver's office, announced plans today to convert the former Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility (Stark) to house 1,802 adult male inmates. In addition, the department plans a 943-bed reception center facility for the housing of adult male inmates.

"In light of the significant pressure from the courts to build capacity for mental health and medical services for inmates, the department has reviewed all of its options carefully," said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. "Working in collaboration with the federal receiver and the special master on mental health, we have selected the Chino site to provide mental health services. The construction of a new 943-bed facility will help the department in its need for reception center beds for newly arriving inmates to be assessed, processed and assigned to another facility."

The last juveniles at Stark are scheduled to leave by March 2010. Stark will be used as a reception center for adult males until 2013, at which time it is planned to house general population males with a low/medium security level. Those inmates will include many requiring outpatient services for medical and mental health.

The revamped facility will include a central treatment clinic that will provide 60 high-acuity medical and mental health beds. CDCR is working closely with the federal receiver in the Plata v Schwarzenegger court case and the special master in the Coleman v Schwarzenegger case to provide housing and treatment space for its population.

Several factors were considered in the decision to repurpose Stark for use by adult males. Stark can be adapted for adult offenders with minimal modification and the property has been historically used for correctional programs. The site also will be less costly than constructing a new correctional facility. The proposed project is planned to be funded with lease revenue bonds authorized by Assembly Bill (AB) 900. The revamped facility is scheduled to be completed in Fiscal Year 2013-14.

Included in this plan is also a proposed 45-bed acute/intermediate care facility at the California Institution for Women (CIW) to serve female inmates with mental health needs. This project is estimated to start construction in early spring 2010, with occupancy expected to begin in the winter of 2011.

The department will submit the projects as part of a comprehensive statewide plan to be filed on November 6 in response to the Coleman lawsuit. CDCR is required to provide new beds and treatment space for more than 1,400 inmates requiring mental health services enrolled in CDCR's Enhanced Outpatient Program (EOP), pursuant to an order of the Coleman court. The federal receiver requires that CDCR also provide new beds and treatment space for more than 1,400 inmates requiring medical services in an outpatient setting.

The second project calls for construction of the 943-bed reception center. The reception center facility will add nearly 275,000 gross square feet and will include housing units, a warehouse, medical services and administrative support buildings. This project also will be funded with lease-revenue bonds authorized under AB 900. Once built, the Reception center will help reduce overcrowded conditions in local jails and in the California Institution for Men.

It is anticipated that the total population of adult male offenders in Chino between the repurposed Stark facility, the planned Reception Center and CIM will not exceed 9,800 inmates.

CDCR is required to submit an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which will afford the public and stakeholders an opportunity to review and comment on the planned projects. CDCR anticipates hosting a number of community forums to allow interested community members to participate in the planning process.

Stark opened in 1960 to serve juvenile offenders ages under 18 through 24 in the California Youth Authority, now the Division of Juvenile Justice. At its peak in April 1996, Stark housed 2,042 juvenile offenders. Due to a declining statewide juvenile population, it was announced in August 2009 that the facility would be closed in 2010 and repurposed for adult inmates. The current population is fewer than 400 youths. The peak population at CIM was 6,665 in October 2003.

To reduce overcrowding in California's prisons, Assembly Bill (AB) 900 authorized CDCR to construct up to 16,000 beds at existing prisons and build an additional 16,000 beds in secure reentry facilities, either through the acquisition of land and buildings or through renovation and construction on existing state-owned land. The Three Judge Panel of the U.S. District Court recently directed CDCR to develop a plan to ease overcrowding in the state's prison system. CDCR's building plans are even more urgently needed given the recent rulings by this panel of federal judges.

Additional Related Information:

Coleman Filing (PDF)
CDCR Files Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Medical and Mental Health Beds in Response to Coleman Lawsuit
CDCR Finalizes Plan to Convert Former Juvenile Facility

CDCR Finalizes Plan to Convert Former Juvenile Facility

DeWitt site is one of Several Planned to Satisfy Lawsuits Ordering Increases in Medical/Mental Health Beds

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), working collaboratively with the federal receiver's office, announced that it plans to convert the former DeWitt Nelson Youth Correctional Facility (DeWitt) in Stockton to satisfy court mandates to provide medical and mental health facility for adult males. The decision was made after CDCR and the receiver's office met with Stockton leaders last week to seek their input on the plan.

"Our department will continue to keep an open dialogue with community leaders and elected officials in Stockton as this important project to address inmate medical and mental health needs and reduce overcrowding in our prisons moves forward," said CDCR Secretary Matt Cate.

The conversion of DeWitt is part of the state's overall efforts to increase bed capacity for medical services as required under the court order in the Coleman v Schwarzenegger lawsuit. The detailed plan will be included in a comprehensive statewide plan to be filed by CDCR on November 6, as required by the court. This project is one of several being planned for construction statewide to provide additional capacity for the state's prison population.

The DeWitt facility will be converted into a 1,133-bed complex for housing Level II adult males with medical and mental health needs. Level II inmates are considered inmates requiring low-to-medium security custody. DeWitt, which opened in 1971, is located on 40 acres near Stockton and housed as many as 638 youth offenders, closed in July 2008 due to downward trend in the juvenile offender population. Working with the Receiver and a Special Master in the Coleman court, the department determined that DeWitt could be renovated and expanded to meet the mental health beds mandated by the Court and the required medical beds identified by the Receiver.

DeWitt, a 138,000 gross square feet facility, includes four dormitory housing units, a kitchen/dining facility, a warehouse, a central plant, a laundry, medical services, a chapel program services buildings and administrative support buildings. The proposed scope of the plan would renovate any structures necessary to house the new population as well as construct additional secure housing for inmates requiring mental health services. The project also includes strengthening security measures.

CDCR is required to submit an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which will afford the public and stakeholders an opportunity to review and comment on the specific elements of the planned projects. CDCR anticipates hosting a number of community forums to allow interested community members to participate in the planning process.

The DeWitt project - estimated to cost approximately $120 to $150 million - would provide an estimated 1,110 to 1,300 construction jobs. Once the complex is activities, it could employ between 500 to 600 staff.

Two weeks ago, the receiver and CDCR signed a Statement of Decision and Resolution of Approval to construct the Northern California Consolidated Care Facility on the site of the currently vacant Karl Holton Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton. This project is expected to begin in 2010 and provide health care services to accommodate up to 1,754 inmates. This facility alone will provide more than 9,000 construction jobs, up to 3,000 staff jobs and have an economic impact of over $1 billion annually.

CDCR also is in the process of converting the former Northern California Women's Facility to a proposed 500-inmate Northern California Reentry Facility in Stockton. This planned facility, which is in the early stages of the environmental review process, is expected to provide intense rehabilitative services for soon-to-be released inmates from San Joaquin, Calaveras and Amador counties. Those three counties, which supported the project along with the state Legislature in 2007, will receive a combined $128 million to expand their local jail capacity.

CDCR is required to provide new beds and treatment space for over 1,400 inmates requiring mental health services enrolled in CDCR's Enhanced Outpatient Program pursuant to an order of the Coleman Court. The federal Receiver requires that CDCR also provide new beds and treatment space for over 1,400 inmates requiring medical services in an outpatient setting.


Additional Related Information:


Coleman Filing (PDF)
CDCR Files Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Medical and Mental Health Beds in Response to Coleman Lawsuit
Prison Plans for Chino Include Converting Former Juvenile Facility to House Adult Males

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

CDCR Amends Contract to House More Inmates Outside of California

Contract adds much needed cell-capacity for 2,336 inmates

SACRAMENTO – In its continuing effort to reduce prison overcrowding and increase access to health care and rehabilitation programs, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced today that it has amended its agreement with the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) to temporarily house additional inmates out of state. This addendum will allow an additional 2,336 out-of-state beds to house California offenders, for a total of 10,468 beds.

“California is continuing to move aggressively to reduce overcrowding in our prisons,” said Scott Kernan, CDCR Undersecretary for Operations. “Our ability to place offenders out-of-state offers us much needed flexibility in placement of offenders that ultimately creates a safer environment for inmates, our staff and for the public.”

These out-of-state facilities also offers CDCR placement of higher-custody level inmates that normally require housing in a celled environment. CDCR prisons are overcrowded with inmates requiring celled housing. Due to public safety risks, these inmates are not eligible for low-security housing.

A 2006 Emergency Proclamation and subsequent passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 900, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, provides authority for CDCR to transfer inmates to private facilities in other states.

Since the department began the out-of-state transfers, it had reduced the number of non-traditional housing – such as in gymnasiums, dayrooms and other areas of the prison not intended for housing – from a high of 19,618 in August 2007 to the current total of 10,526.

CDCR began regular movements of inmates to these facilities in October 2006, and anticipates that by January 2011, CDCR will have a population of 10,468 inmates out of state. Inmates transferred to out-of-state facilities undergo a comprehensive medical, dental and, if required, mental health screening.

The Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) currently houses 7,911 California inmates in the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility (Mississippi), North Fork Correctional Facility (Oklahoma), Florence Correctional Center (Arizona), Red Rock Correctional Center (Arizona), and the La Palma Correctional Center (Arizona).