Thursday, December 30, 2010

Three AB 900 Correctional Facility Projects Approved

Effort will speed reentry, adult facility conversion and offer medical and mental health services

SACRAMENTO — Officials from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Prison Health Care Services signed documents on December 29 that will speed the conversion of shuttered correctional facilities in San Joaquin and San Luis Obispo counties to reduce prison overcrowding and improve medical and mental health services.

“California is taking another step toward offering community-based reentry services while reusing existing facilities to offer mental health treatment services needed right now,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate.

Yesterday’s signing marked formal approval for each of the three proposed correctional projects and completion of the respective Environment Impact Report (EIR) process. The three projects are:

 Renovation and reuse of the former Northern California Women’s Facility in San Joaquin County as a 500-bed adult male secure community reentry facility pursuant to the mandates of AB 900, which envisioned this new type of correctional facility for inmates within 6-12 months of parole;

 Renovation and reuse of the former El Paso De Robles Youth Correctional Facility in San Luis Obispo County (closed in 2008) as a 1,000-bed Level II adult correctional facility to be named the Estrella Correctional Facility, and

 Renovation and reuse of the former Dewitt-Nelson Youth Correctional Facility in San Joaquin County (closed in 2008) as a 1,133-bed adult correctional facility with a mental health treatment mission.

All three projects are expected to be converted by 2013-14:

AB 900, also known as the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, was designed to help reform California’s overburdened correctional system and address severe overcrowding in state prisons and local jails by funding new beds tied to rehabilitation and to create secure reentry facilities. AB 900, signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in May 2007, provides $7.7 billion to add up to 53,000 prison and jail beds.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 30, 2010

Contact:
Terry Thornton
(916) 445-4950

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Riot at Red Rock Correctional Facility in Arizona Under Investigation

[UPDATED December 24, 2010 @ 11:31am]

ELOY, ARIZONA – Eloy Police Department investigators, managers from private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation investigators are examining a riot that broke out at the prison Thursday afternoon.

Ten inmates were injured and seven of them transported to outside hospitals for treatment of moderate to serious injuries. One of the seven remains hospitalized Friday for treatment of injuries, which are described as not life-threatening.

The incident occurred during the lunch hour in an area that houses only California inmates. CCA officials said 43 inmates are believed to have been involved. Original estimates were110 inmates. The 43 inmates were identified during a review of videotape, and all have been placed in administrative segregation pending further investigation.

CDCR is pleased with the professionalism and training of CCA staff in this situation. Following California approaches to crowd fighting, they knocked this down quickly with no injuries to staff. Staff issued lawful orders to the participating California inmates to end the altercation and then used pepper spray. Inmates complied with orders, and within 10 minutes the inmates stopped fighting and lay down.

The incident drew trained response teams from other areas of the prison, as well as mutual aid from the Eloy Police Department as a precautionary measure.

Riot at Red Rock Correctional Facility in Arizona Under Investigation. The facility and a nearby facility of similar size remained on lockdown Friday.

The 1,596-bed medium-security Red Rock Correctional Center is owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and houses male inmates for the state of California and the state of Hawaii and detainees of the U.S. Marshals Service.

RELEASED
December 23, 2010
Contact: George Kostyrko (CDCR)
(916) 445-4950
Bobbi Jo Roscoe-Bryan
(CCA/Red Rock Correctional Center)
(520) 464-3800 ext. 21845

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Condemned Inmate John Levae Post’s Death Under Investigation

SAN QUENTIN – Condemned inmate John Levae Post, 42, died Monday afternoon, shortly after being found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison.

Post, who was discovered unresponsive in his cell at 2:20 p.m. Monday, was pronounced dead at 2:52 p.m. The cause of death is under investigation.

Post was received onto California’s death row from Los Angeles County on December 26, 2001, for first-degree murder in the September 22, 1996, drive-by shooting deaths of Aaron Johnson, 17, and Larry Logan, 23.

He was sentenced to death on December 17, 2001.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 52 condemned inmates have died from natural causes; 18 have committed suicide; 13 were executed in California; one was executed in Missouri; five have died from other causes; and one cause of death, this latest, is under investigation. As of December 21, 2010, there are 717 offenders on California’s death row.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2010

CONTACT
Peggy Bengs
(916) 445-4950
Lt. Sam Robinson, SQ
(415) 455-5008

Friday, December 17, 2010

Calaveras County Holds Groundbreaking for AB 900 Jail Construction Project

New Calaveras County Adult Detention Facility Quadruples County’s Jail Capacity

SAN ANDREAS – Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Calaveras County officials today conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for a major jail expansion that will quadruple the county’s jail capacity. It is the second groundbreaking this week for jail projects funded by Assembly Bill 900 (AB 900), which was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007.

The Corrections Standard Authority (CSA) conditionally awarded $26,387,591 to Calaveras County to build the Calaveras County Adult Detention Facility, which will provide 160 new beds.

“This is another step in our journey of making California safer by increasing capacity in county jails,” CSA Chair and CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said.

Originally built in 1963, the jail in Calaveras County has 65 beds. With limited space and a court ordered population cap, the county was forced to release offenders before they completed their full sentences.

“The AB 900 funding for new jail beds will help us provide the means to hold offenders accountable and reduce future victimization,” said Calaveras County Sheriff Dennis Downum. “This project is a partnership between the state, the county, and the citizens of Calaveras County.”

The project, which will add up to 240 new jail beds, is funded by a combination of lease revenue-bonds made available by AB 900 and county bond measures. The project is expected to go out to bid in January 2011, and construction is slated to begin in the spring.

The ceremony marked the second groundbreaking this week. On Wednesday, the governor and Secretary Cate joined San Bernardino County officials in a groundbreaking for a project to increase jail capacity in that county by 1,348 beds.

AB 900, also known as the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, provides $7.7 billion to add up to 53,000 prison and jail beds. The legislation provides funding for treatment and rehabilitation beds and to reduce prison overcrowding.

AB 900, through a partnership with local governments, provides $1.2 billion to add 13,000 local jail beds to reduce overcrowding in jails. Each county is required to provide a 25 percent match for its share of the $1.2 billion, unless its population is less than 200,000. Counties that assist the state in locating reentry facilities and helping parolees receive mental health services will receive funding preference. Conditional funding for 11 counties, including Calaveras, has been awarded through the Corrections Standards Authority for jail bed expansions.

Calaveras County joined with Amador and San Joaquin counties to help the state locate the Northern California Reentry Facility planned in Stockton.

LINKS:

Corrections Standards Authority Jail Financing Website: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/CSA/CFC/AB900_Program.html

Corrections Standard Authority Conditional Awards: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/CSA/CFC/Docs/AB_900_Phase_I_Funding_111909.pdf

AB 900 Construction Status:
AB 900 Construction Update Fact sheet (PDF)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Inmates Compensate Crime Victims

Nearly $32,000 Dispersed to Local Charities by “Joint Venture Program”


On December 15, the Joint Venture Program (JVP) at San Quentin State Prison presented checks for $10,659.27 each to three North Bay charities.

All three charities -- Sunny Hills, the Center for Domestic Peace and Bay Area Women against Rape -- assist local victims of crime.

The money dispersed by the JVP, a component of the CDCR that is managed by the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA), represents the local distribution of crime victim funds for fiscal year 2010-2011.

“The Joint Venture Program mandates that inmates pay 20 percent of their wages to victims of crime,” said San Quentin Warden Vincent Cullen. “The program provides inmates with training and real-work job experience, and offers inmates opportunities to obtain meaningful employment upon parole.”

The JVP was created in 1990 with the passage of Proposition 139, the Inmate Labor Initiative, which authorized private companies to establish businesses within California adult institutions and employ inmates as their work force. Inmates in the program earn a comparable wage and pay taxes, room and board, and family support. In addition, state and federal laws require the deduction of 20 percent of the inmates’ net wages to compensate victims of crime.

In fiscal year 2009-10, CDCR/CALPIA Joint Venture Programs disbursed more than $89,000 to crime victim groups throughout the state.

CALPIA is a self-financed state entity that receives all of its revenue from the sale of products it manufactures. The recidivism rate among CALPIA inmates is more than 25 percent lower than the general prison population, a success attributed to the job skills they receive by working in CALPIA business enterprises.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

AB 900 Jail Construction Project Groundbreakings: Protecting Public Safety in San Bernardino and Calaveras Counties

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and local San Bernardino County officials on Wednesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the first jail construction project as a result of AB 900. Increasing jail bed capacity for San Bernardino County, the project will provide the Adelanto Detention Center under the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department with a maximum-security 1,368 bed expansion.

The project will be funded through a combination of lease-revenue bonds made available by AB 900 and county funds. The Adelanto Detention Center expansion project will be coordinated by San Bernardino County and is expected to be completed in June 2013. The Adelanto Detention Center expansion project will total approximately $120 million in construction costs. The Corrections Standard Authority (CSA) conditionally awarded $82 million of that to San Bernardino County for construction and the remaining funds will be provided by the County.

On Friday, CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate and Calaveras County officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for a major jail expansion that will quadruple the county’s jail capacity. The Corrections Standard Authority (CSA) conditionally awarded $26,387,591 to Calaveras County to build the Calaveras County Adult Detention Facility, which will provide 160 new beds. Originally built in 1963, the jail in Calaveras County has 65 beds. With limited space and a court ordered population cap, the county was forced to release offenders before they had completed their full sentences.

AB 900, also known as the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, provides $7.7 billion to add up to 53,000 prison and jail beds. The legislation provides funding for treatment and rehabilitation beds and to reduce prison overcrowding. Conditional funding for 11 counties, including Calaveras, has been awarded through the Corrections Standards Authority for jail bed expansions.

The events marked the first two local jail construction projects and added to three AB 900 construction project launched this year. In November, CDCR and California Prison Health Care Services broke ground on a 1,722-bed inmate medical facility southeast of Stockton. In June, CDCR broke ground on a 64-bed intermediate-care mental health facility at California Medical Facility in Vacaville and a 45-bed acute/intermediate-care mental health facility for female inmates at California Institution for Women in Chino. Click here for more information on the status of AB 900 construction projects, and click here and here for more information on AB 900 financing and awards through the Corrections Standards Authority.

Click here for additional photos from this event.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wish Upon A Star

Kids of all ages from the Sacramento Children's Receiving Home wrote out their Christmas wishes on a star. Staff from the Division of Juvenile Justice made more than a dozen of them come true.




 
Staff from the Policy, Program, Procedures and Regulation (PPP&R) unit collected "stars" from the Home, on which children listed what they would like for Christmas. The office "elves" then went shopping to make many of the "wishes"come true. Last week was deliver day. The staff loaded bags and boxes into a caravan, delivering them to the front door of the Receiving Home, which is near the DJJ's South Sacramento headquarters.  The staff hopes that this is the beginning of a new tradition, with more staff invited to join in for next year. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

CDCR and Alameda County Sign First-Ever Reentry Partnership

Agreement will more effectively deliver services for parolees and aid in reducing recidivism

OAKLAND – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary Matthew Cate and Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern today signed the first-ever formal partnership between the department and a county to more effectively deliver reentry services to parolees.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Alameda County to strengthen our efforts to provide the services parolees need to succeed and stay out of prison,” said Secretary Cate. “Especially in this time of budget constraints, it is important that we work together to make the most effective use of our resources to help reduce recidivism.”

“This partnership will help us do a better job of using our resources for rehabilitation and job-related services so that these individuals will have a better chance to succeed once they are released from custody,” said Sheriff Ahern. “We look forward to working with CDCR to coordinate and strengthen our efforts to make our communities safer.”

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CDCR and Alameda County establishes mechanisms for data sharing; identifying gaps in services; increasing collaboration with parole; and coordination with reentry service providers and local stakeholders to ensure that available resources are prioritized in the most effective manner to meet the risks and needs of Alameda County parolees. Under the agreement, Alameda County will also serve as a “laboratory” for piloting appropriate and effective reentry programming. The MOU recognizes that CDCR and the local community must work together to streamline and strengthen an offender’s reintegration into society. The goal of the MOU is to find solutions by increased coordination and cooperation between CDCR and the county.

CDCR utilizes contracted services in Alameda County to assist reentry for parolees. These include substance abuse treatment services provided through Substance Abuse Services Coordination Agencies; and California New Start, a partnership with the California Workforce Investment Board, the Employment Development Department and the Local Workforce Investment Boards, to provide prison-to-employment services.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office also offers a wide variety of reentry services for CDCR inmates at the Santa Rita Jail. These programs include General Education Development, literacy, anger management, computers, Independent Study, English as a Second Language, food service and other programs. Beginning in early 2011, it will also offer employability classes.

CDCR continues to pursue additional partnerships with other counties.

For more information, please visit CDCR’s Adult Programs website: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Programs/index.html.

For services available to parolees in Alameda County, see the California Community Resource Directory at:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Community_Partnerships/Resource_Directory.aspx
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2010
 
Contact: Peggy Bengs
(916) 445-4950

Thursday, December 9, 2010

CDCR's Spirit of Giving, Community Support Continues In Annual Effort by Staff and Inmates

Media Urged to Visit Regional Events During the Holidays

SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released its annual calendar of community benefit activities organized by hundreds of CDCR employees statewide for the holidays. Click here for Calendar of events (PDF)

“Our employees have really stepped up to help local communities and needy families this year,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “The holiday, charitable events and fundraisers underway by staff and inmates at institutions and field offices across California will help to brighten the holidays for those less fortunate.”

More than 50 activities and events will help to feed, clothe, and bring toys to needy families and children statewide. Food and donations to purchase food will feed hundreds as the holidays approach and cold weather sets in. An annual tradition begun several decades ago, this effort is held between the Thanksgiving holiday and New Year’s Day.


Typical holiday activities include offenders spending months creating crafts and toys, assembling holiday food baskets with donated goods and food, and rebuilding bicycles. Staff and volunteers work together to solicit donations, contribute to charitable activities, and ensure the final efforts are delivered to those most in need.

“The generosity and good will shown by our staff is impressive,” said Cate. “Because of their efforts, a few hundred more children will have a shiny bicycle and others got to eat a warm Thanksgiving meal. We want to continue the tradition of making a difference in our communities.”

CDCR oversees 33 adult state prisons ranging from minimum to maximum-custody, 44 conservation camps, 10 community correctional facilities and four facilities designed for inmate mothers and their children. For offenders released to parole, four parole regions oversee 190 parole units and sub-units in 84 separate locations. CDCR also oversees four facilities for juvenile offenders and regional parole offices for youths on parole. Nearly 65,000 employees oversee more than 274,000 adult and juvenile offenders in institutions and on parole.

View Holiday slideshow from Flickr

Download the complete list of holiday events (PDF format)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jonathan Parsley - (916) 445-4950

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Casa Aurora Community-Based Female Offender Program Opens In Kern County

Program is First of its Kind in US

Bakersfield – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Mental Health Systems, Inc. (MHS), hosted an open house for the state’s only Female Rehabilitative Community Correctional Center to highlight the groundbreaking rehabilitative program Casa Aurora in Bakersfield. The program is a collaboration between CDCR and MHS and is the first program of its kind in the country.

“We are very proud of this new and innovative program where MHS treatment staff work hand-in-hand with our correctional staff to rehabilitate incarcerated women using proven gender responsive principles,” said Debra Herndon, Associate Director of CDCR’s Female Offender Programs and Services. “This program allows female offenders to serve the remainder of their sentence in a therapeutic environment designed to assist them in reintegrating into society, improves community safety and reduces recidivism,” Herndon said.

Casa Aurora can accommodate 75 non-serious, non-violent female offenders, and provides rehabilitative services through a trauma-informed and gender-responsive program achieved through education and vocational programs, family and social support, health and mental health services, substance abuse treatment, comprehensive case management, and the establishment and completion of life goals.

“We were proud to show the community and officials the importance of this innovative new program and demonstrate how cost-effective this type of treatment can be,” said Kim Bond, president of Mental Health Systems.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Cassandra Hockenson - (916) 445-4950
Capt. Michael Alonzo - (559) 665-6100, ext 6167