Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Edition of Rehabilitation News- June 2011

Our new edition of Rehabilitation News June 2011, is posted on our substance abuse treatment page at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/DARS/index.html

In this issue members of the first class of inmates trained to become certified alcohol and drug counselors at California State Prison, Solano, now work at Options Recovery Services in Berkeley.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Information about the Three-Judge Court's Decision

For information and updates about the Three-Judge Court’s prisoner reduction order, visit http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/3_judge_panel_decision.html

Monday, May 23, 2011

Secretary Cate's Statement on the U.S.Supreme Court Ruling

Find CDCR Secretary Cate’s statement about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming a three-judge court’s population reduction order, information, fact sheets, and links to graphics by visiting:

CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate Issues Statement on Today’s U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Affirming Inmate Reductions

“The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken, and in their ruling affirmed a lower court’s decision to reduce California’s inmate population. It is disappointing that the court did not consider the numerous improvements made in health-care delivery to inmates in the past five years, as well as the significant reduction in the inmate population.

“California’s inmate population has been reduced to levels not seen since 1995, and non-traditional beds have been eliminated by nearly 13,000. We’ve come a long way in both population reduction measures and in the quality of care given to inmates.

“To meet this order, CDCR cannot act alone. It will take cooperation from all facets of state and local government. We particularly need the support and cooperation of the Legislature with the immediate funding and implementation of AB 109, the Public Safety Realignment plan signed by Governor Brown on April 4. The Governor has repeatedly called for full and constitutionally protected funding of this bill to allow certain offenders to serve their incarceration and parole term under local supervision.

“We appreciate that the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged that it may be warranted for the State to request that the district court modify its population reduction order – including establishment of more appropriate timeframes, if necessary, to implement inmate reduction proposals as safely as possible – or to request termination of ongoing injunctive relief.”

# # #

Note: For a list of recent actions taken by CDCR to reduce overcrowding, a timeline of court actions, and other documents related to this decision, visit CDCR’s 3 Judge Panel web site at: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/3_judge_panel_decision.html.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 23, 2011

CONTACT:
OSCAR HIDALGO, (916) 445-4950

Friday, May 20, 2011

Update – Status of Inmates Injured in Riot at California State Prison-Sacramento

REPRESA – Approximately 150 inmates from various groups were involved in a large scale riot involving weapons on the B-Facility main exercise yard just after 10:00 a.m. this morning. The riot has been quelled and the prison placed on modified program. No staff were injured by inmates.

Inmates were assessed for injuries and those with more severe injuries were transported to local hospitals by ambulance and state vehicles. As of this afternoon, several inmates were transported to area hospitals. The majority of the inmates involved sustained minor injuries as a result of the incident.

Two inmates were stabbed multiple times during the incident and are being treated at an outside hospital. As of this afternoon, one is in surgery. CDCR does not know his condition at this time. The other inmate suffered a broken eye socket and a broken left hand. He is said to be in stable condition.

Two additional inmates who were transported to local hospitals were treated and released back to the prison. Two others are waiting to be evaluated for what is being described as minor injuries. Other inmates at the prison are still being assessed to determine whether they need additional evaluation and treatment.
More than seven inmate-made weapons were discovered. Six were knives and one was a cane.

The cause of the riot is under investigation. This incident is being investigated by the Investigative Services Unit at the prison. The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified. CDCR’s Deadly Force Investigations Team is also investigating.

The entire prison has been placed on a modified program pending further investigation into this matter. B-Facility is expected to remain on modified program until further notice.

California State Prison-Sacramento is a multi-mission institution that houses approximately 3,000 inmates and currently has a staff of more than 1,700 people. Opened in 1986, the institution primarily houses maximum-security inmates serving long sentences and those who have proved to be management problems at other institutions.

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 20, 2011

CONTACT: CONTACT: LEVANCE QUINN
(916) 294-3012

Riot at California State Prison-Sacramento Quelled Inmates Being Assessed for Injuries

REPRESA – Approximately 150 inmates from various groups were involved in a large scale riot involving weapons on the B-Facility Main Exercise Yard just after 10:00 a.m. this morning. Staff utilized less lethal rounds, pepper spray and one lethal round (warning shot) to quell the incident.

Inmates are currently being assessed for injuries and those with more severe injuries are being transported to local hospitals by ambulance and state vehicles. The majority of the inmates involved sustained minor injuries as a result of the incident. Two inmates were stabbed multiple times during the incident and are being treated at an outside hospital. CDCR does not know the status of their condition at this time. No staff were injured.

The entire prison has been placed on a modified program pending further investigation into this matter. B-Facility is expected to remain on modified program until further notice. California State Prison-Sacramento is a multi-mission institution that houses approximately 3,000 inmates and currently has a staff of over 1,700 people. Opened in 1986, the institution primarily houses maximum-security inmates serving long sentences and those who have proved to be management problems at other institutions.

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 20, 2011

CONTACT: LEVANCE QUINN
(916) 294-3012

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

All-Faith Outdoor Chapel and Meditation Gardens Dedicated at Valley State Prison for Women

Chapel is privately funded, including thousands of dollars donated by inmates

CHOWCHILLA – Today nearly 500 inmates and community members attended a dedication ceremony for a new all-faith, outdoor chapel and meditation garden on the grounds of Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW). The first of its kind in California, the Chapel of Grace will be accessible to all inmate faith groups registered with prison authorities.

“We are delighted that women at VSPW will have such a peaceful and uplifting atmosphere as they seek to turn their lives around,” said Debra Herndon, Associate Director of Female Offender Programs and Services, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

The Chapel of Grace has been funded by private donors, including thousands of dollars from VSPW inmates, and will be a gift to the State of California.

“This beautiful place where inmates can go for inspiration is a wonderful addition to Valley State Prison for Women,” said Warden Walter Miller.

Chapel of Grace for Women in Prison, a nonprofit organization, worked in conjunction with CDCR to build an outdoor amphitheater that will seat 400 people. The amphitheater is surrounded by five individual component garden settings that will address specific uses, such as meditation, community, learning and solitude. The Chapel of Grace accommodates an additional 1,000 inmates seated in the lawn incorporated in the surrounding meditation gardens.

"The Chapel of Grace will offer women at VSPW a safe, quiet sacred space where they will be able to hear the still, small voice of God whisper to them as they reconcile their pasts, make peace with their present situations and find hope for their futures,” said James C. Vogelzang, the nonprofit organization’s president.

VSPW’s Long Termer's Association, a group of women lifers and others serving long-term sentences, donated $4,500. The Coalition for Cultural Awareness gave $3,500. One former inmate who has since been released, Cynthia Gonzales, contributed $1,000. Many other inmates at VSPW contributed $10 to $20 on a regular basis.

“The Chapel of Grace will give inmates the opportunity to have chapel services without limitation of space,” said keynote speaker Pete Untalon, former Chaplain and VSPW’s Community Partnership Manager. “More inmates will have the opportunity to hear inspiring messages providing tools to help break the cycle of recidivism. This is a historical dedication in how community partnerships can contribute to this cause at no cost to the state.”

The vision for a new chapel for VSPW began in 2005 when Untalon visited a number of Texas prisons where private donations funded the building of chapels for inmates. The following year, Vogelzang became involved and launched the program after a 30-year career in the investment management marketing business.

Over the past several years nearly $500,000 was raised in private donations for the design and construction, including thousands of dollars from VSPW inmates. The Chapel was built by Truxell & Valentino Landscape Development, Inc., of Clovis. Isabelle Greene & Associates, Inc., of Santa Barbara served as the primary project design consultant.

First opened in 1995, VSPW functions as a reception center and as a general population institution providing education and vocational opportunities for 3,216 inmates.

#####

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Contact: GREGORY BERGERSEN, VSPW
(559) 665-6100 X 5509

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Energy Savings Projects in State Prisons

Energy Savings Projects will reduce the prison system electrical usage annually by 50 million kwh and 2.1 million therms and save $6 million by the end of 2012

SACRAMENTO -- The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced today an expansion of its ambitious energy-savings projects at 17 of its 33 adult prisons that will save electricity, natural gas and taxpayer dollars. Construction is under way at 10 prisons this year, and agreements are in place for additional projects at seven prisons in 2012. Projects include replacing antiquated boilers and upgrading lighting systems and HVAC controls. By the end of 2012, these projects will be saving enough electricity to power more than 4,500 homes.


“These Energy Savings Projects reduce CDCR’s dependency on the electrical grid, save taxpayers millions of dollars a year and place state-of-the-art equipment in our facilities,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate.

In 2007, CDCR joined the Southern California Edison Cool Planet Program and became a member of the Climate Registry, a nonprofit collaboration that sets standards used to calculate, verify and publicly report carbon dioxide emissions into a single registry.

CDCR successfully obtained alternative sources of financing without using the state’s General Fund to finance the projects, including the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program and the On Bill Financing program through Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric. The alternative financing was secured through low interest loans, which are paid off within several years of the projects’ completion. Project costs are additionally offset by incentives from the California Investor Owned Utilities and reduced monthly utility expenditures made possible by the upgrades.

In 2010, CDCR completed energy-efficiency projects that reduced demand on the state electrical grid by approximately 2.9 million kilowatt-hours and cut the department’s natural gas usage by 31,542 therms. These savings equate to a reduction of 1,224 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

For 2011, CDCR is on schedule to complete additional energy-efficiency projects that will cut electrical demand by 11.3 million kilowatt-hours, further reduce natural gas usage by 1,116,251 therms and eliminate another 10,040 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

For 2012, CDCR has low-interest funding approved for $10.8 million in additional projects at seven prisons that will save an estimated 13.3 million kilowatt-hours and 561,000 therms; reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7,800 metric tons; and cut the department’s utility expenditures by another $1.4 million each year.

Energy Savings Projects account for an annual savings of more than 50 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 2.1 million therms of natural gas. The projects help CDCR reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and its electrical and natural gas usage in order to meet the state’s goal of cutting grid-based electrical consumption.

All Energy Savings Projects are managed by CDCR’s Energy Management and Sustainability Section, part of the Facility Planning, Construction and Management Division.

Listing of Energy Savings Projects (PDF)

Photographs of Energy Savings Projects from our Flickr website

CDCR Energy Savings Website

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inmate Locator on CDCR website wins Best of California Award

Public given 24-hour access to information about inmate location, addresses,
visitation guidelines, and other resources


The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Enterprise Information Services has won the Center for Digital Government’s 2011 Best of California Award in the category of Best Application Serving the Public. Accepting the award for CDCR were Sandra Chamberlin, Robert Patterson, Bill Buffington and Chris Beach.

The award, presented Monday, May 9, during the Government Technology Conference West in the Sacramento Convention Center, is for the Inmate Locator on the CDCR website, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/. The Inmate Locator gives the public – including friends, family, the media, and crime victims – as well as other government agencies the ability 24/7 to find an inmate among the nearly 165,000 in the State’s correctional institutions.

"This is an excellent demonstration of the efficiencies gained by leveraging technology," said Joe Panora, Chief Information Officer for CDCR. "This is a powerful example of improving public access and availability of information through the use of technology and the Internet."

CDCR estimated the site would attract between 50,000 and 100,000 visitors a month. Since its implementation on Oct. 13, 2011, however, the site is averaging nearly 8,000 visitors a day – about 250,000 a month and growing. The only cost of the site was its development, which was projected to be $13,000 but was actually $10,000.

The Inmate Locator site includes links to related information, such as addresses for facilities, visitation guidelines, mail guidelines, frequently asked questions and community resource information. It reduces the demands on CDCR staff time to respond to telephone or written requests for such information. Phone calls seeking information provided on the site have dropped from approximately 7,200 a month to 2,000, and letters from approximately 1,000 a month to 360.

Other CDCR offices collaborating with the Enterprise Information Services on the development of the site were the Office of Legal Affairs; the Division of Adult Institutions; Female Offender Programs and Services; and the Office of Public and Employee Communications.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hundreds of Children Visit Incarcerated Moms for Mother’s Day

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Silverado Stages, Inc., in conjunction with the Center for Restorative Justice Works (CRJW), are again bringing together hundreds of children and their incarcerated mothers to celebrate Mother’s Day during this 12th annual Get On The Bus event.

Thirty buses filled with more than 700 children and their caregivers traveled early this morning from major cities across California to Central California Women's Facility and Valley State Prison for Women, both in Chowchilla. Children will visit their mothers at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona on May 14. The buses arrived between 8 and 10 a.m. to allow the greatest number of visitors in visiting rooms with limited space.

“These moms look forward each year to this joyful reunion with their children,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. "Women who have strong family ties have a far better chance to successfully transition back to their homes and communities.”

Approximately 200,000 children in California have an incarcerated parent and live with relatives or in foster care, according to CDCR. Approximately 75 percent of female inmates are mothers.

"We have a responsibility to bring these families together,” said Sister Suzanne Jabro, who has led the Get On The Bus effort for 12 years. The children, she said, are the “hidden victims who are suffering especially in these stressful economic times when families do not have the extra funds to visit. Get On The Bus helps them to see, touch and speak to their mother.”

For many of these children, this is the only time during the year that they will see their mother, due to the distance and expense for family members or caregivers.

Get On The Bus provides children and their caregivers with 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. On the bus trip home after the visit with the mothers, each child will receive a teddy bear with a letter from his or her mother, as well as post-event counseling. The program is funded by donations from churches, schools, family foundations, grants and other organizations.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 7, 2011
CONTACT: PEGGY BENGS, (916) 445-4950
HILARY CARSON, GOTB, (818) 980-7714 X 12

Friday, May 6, 2011

CDCR Announces 20-year Agreements for Solar Power Plants at Five Prisons

Nearly 1 billion kilowatt-hours of solar-generated power will offset more than1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide over 20 years — that’s equivalent to powering more than 89,000 homes and removing more than 90,000 cars from the road

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced five renewable-energy agreements to add nearly 23 megawatts of on-site solar-generated power at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, North Kern State Prison in Delano, and California State Prison, Los Angeles County, in Lancaster. The expansion is anticipated to save taxpayers more than $55 million over the life of the contracts. Construction and maintenance will be arranged by SunEdison, using no state General Fund tax dollars. The costs of the projects are further reduced by incentive dollars from California Investor Owned Utilities, through the California Solar Initiative Program, which is administered by the California Public Utilities Commission.

“These projects demonstrate our continued commitment to reducing operational costs,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “The energy-conservation strategy we have been pursuing for many years is starting to pay big dividends at a time when there are competing priorities for limited state resources.”

On April 12, 2011, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed SBX1 2, which requires one-third of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources. The legislation increases California’s current 20 percent renewables portfolio standard target in 2010 to a 33 percent renewables portfolio standard by December 31, 2020. CDCR’s solar power projects will help the state to achieve this goal.

Chuckawalla Valley and Ironwood state prisons were the first CDCR facilities to receive solar-generating systems, each currently operating a 1-megawatt photovoltaic array with approximately 6,400 solar panels total. The systems were constructed in 2006 and 2008 respectively, and when brought on line, were the largest solar installations at any prison system in the United States, providing nearly 25 percent of the prisons’ total electrical demand.

The new projects will add more than 83,000 solar panels on the grounds of the five prisons with construction expected to begin in 2012. The environmental attributes of the systems, which may be sold to one or more third parties to help finance installation of the solar systems, will offset almost 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide over the 20 year contract term—the equivalent of taking nearly 90,000 cars off the road for a year.

These projects are managed by CDCR’s Energy Management and Sustainability Section, part of the Facility Planning, Construction and Management Division.

CDCR Solar Power: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/CDCR_Going_Green/Solar_Power.html

# # # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 6, 2011

CONTACT:
PAUL VERKE (916) 445-4950

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hundreds of Children to Visit Incarcerated Moms in 12th Annual Get On The Bus Event

WHAT: More than 700 children from throughout the state will visit their moms at three prisons for Mother’s Day for the Annual Get On The Bus event. Families leave early in the morning on May 7 and spend several hours with their incarcerated loved ones, returning home that night. The event is sponsored by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Center for Restorative Justice Works.

WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 2011: Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW.) Saturday, May 14, 2011: California Institution for Women (CIW). Bus arrival between 8:00 and 10:00 A.M.

WHERE: CCWF, 23370 Road 22, Chowchilla.
VSPW, 21633 Avenue 24, Chowchilla.
CIW, 16765 Chino-Corona Road, Corona.

Institutional Contacts: CIW: Contact Lt. Felix Figueroa at (909) 597-1771 x 4921.
CCWF: Contact Lt. Travis Wright at (559) 665-6002.
VSPW: Contact Lt. Gregory Bergesen at (559) 665-6100 x 5509.

Note to media: Media interested in attending the Get On The Bus event need to obtain a gate clearance. Representative’s name, date of birth, and driver’s license number and expiration date, must be faxed to the prison(s) you plan to visit. Equipment lists must also be faxed to the institutions(s) you plan to visit. Production companies must also complete a CDCR location agreement and secure a film permit from the California Film Commission. No denim of any kind or a combination of blue pants and blue shirt is permitted inside the institutions. No cells phones or other electronic devices are allowed. All media background information must be received by Thursday, May 5, 2011.

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES
May 3, 2011
Contact: Peggy Bengs, CDCR (916) 445-4950
Hilary Carson, GOTB, (818) 980-7714 X12

Monday, May 2, 2011

Escapee from California State Prison-Corcoran Captured in Palmdale

Minimum-Security Inmate Arrested Without Incident

Palmdale, CA- Special Service Unit agents from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Correctional Safety (OCS) apprehended minimum-security escapee Ramon Perez on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 1:10 a.m.

Perez had walked away from the minimum-security Prison Industry dairy at California State Prison (CSP)-Corcoran Friday, April 29, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Institutional staff immediately notified local law enforcement and OCS. A search was initiated and continued until his capture on Monday.

The Special Service Unit agents had initiated surveillance in Palmdale after receiving leads from CSP-Corcoran’s Investigative Services Unit. Upon spotting Perez entering a car, the agents followed the vehicle, initiated a traffic stop, and arrested Perez without incident. The agents were assisted by Sherriff’s deputies from the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department-Lancaster Station.

Since 1977, 98.7 percent of all CDCR escapees have been apprehended.

CSP-Corcoran opened in 1988 and houses nearly 5,000 minimum-, medium-, maximum- and high-security custody inmates. The Kings County prison offers academic classes and vocational programs as well as community programs and work crews. The prison employs approximately 2,100 people.



CONTACT: M. Theresa Cisneros
                     (559) 992-6104