Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CDCR Parole Agents Use GPS Technology to Prevent Sex-Offender Parolees from Attending the California State Fair

Three At-Large Parolees and Three Sex Offenders Kept Out of 2011 Event

 

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) is again using its Global Positioning Satellite technology to increase security efforts at the California State Fair.


This multi-agency operation is a collaboration among the California Exposition and State Fair Police, the DAPO, the Sacramento Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol to ensure that sex-offender parolees, and GPS-monitored gang members comply with their terms of parole.

“For the third year in a row we have successfully kept prohibited sex-offender parolees out of the State Fair,” DAPO Director Robert Ambroselli said. “Our agents are out there to keep the public safe, and this operation is helping us accomplish that mission.”

Using state-of-the-art technology, DAPO established an electronic exclusion zone to alert on-site parole agents if a GPS-monitored sex offender parolee breaches the perimeter to enter the State Fair grounds. Approximately 20 DAPO agents are involved in the operation to help patrol the grounds during the fair’s 18-day run.

“The highest priority for the California Exposition & State Fair is to provide a safe and fun environment for our State Fair guests,” Police Chief Robert L. Craft said. “This law enforcement teamwork helps discourage the presence of criminal elements that may come to the State Fair only to prey on the public.”

To date, during the 2011 California State Fair operation, surveillance activities have resulted in one GPS sex offender arrest, two additional GPS sex-offender parolee contacts escorted from the fair, and three at-large parolees arrested after citizen contacts with parole agents. Parole agents have worked in concert with the California State Fair Police to assist in gang GPS surveillance, non-parolee arrests, and in providing aid to fair patrons.

In 2010, there were a total of four arrests during the fair’s run. One of the arrests occurred when a Sacramento County sex offender was too close to the State Fair perimeter and triggered an alert. The other arrests were of out-of-county parolees restricted from accessing the fairgrounds.

During the 2009 operation, five sex offenders were arrested for non-compliance after trying to enter the fair. Approximately 35 sex offenders on parole were arrested during compliance checks at six fairs throughout California.

California’s Parole Division utilizes GPS technology daily to track and monitor sex offenders on parole. CDCR’s use of technology and its partnerships with local law enforcement helps to improve public safety throughout the state.

Currently, there are approximately 1,750 GPS-monitored sex offenders in the DAPO’s Region I, which stretches from Siskiyou County to Kern County. Region I also includes approximately 80 GPS-monitored gang members.

For more information about CDCR Parole and the GPS program, please visit this link: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/index.html

For more information about the California State Fair, please visit http://www.bigfun.org/

Find a map of the fairgrounds here: http://www.calexpo.com/PDFs/BldgsGrounds/grounds%20map_fnl.pdf

CDCR Parole Agents Use GPS Technology to Prevent Sex-Offender Parolees from Attending the California State Fair

Three At-Large Parolees and Three Sex Offenders Kept Out of 2011 Event

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) is again using its Global Positioning Satellite technology to increase security efforts at the California State Fair.

This multi-agency operation is a collaboration among the California Exposition and State Fair Police, the DAPO, the Sacramento Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol to ensure that sex-offender parolees, and GPS-monitored gang members comply with their terms of parole.

“For the third year in a row we have successfully kept prohibited sex-offender parolees out of the State Fair,” DAPO Director Robert Ambroselli said. “Our agents are out there to keep the public safe, and this operation is helping us accomplish that mission.”

Using state-of-the-art technology, DAPO established an electronic exclusion zone to alert on-site parole agents if a GPS-monitored sex offender parolee breaches the perimeter to enter the State Fair grounds. Approximately 20 DAPO agents are involved in the operation to help patrol the grounds during the fair’s 18-day run.

“The highest priority for the California Exposition & State Fair is to provide a safe and fun environment for our State Fair guests,” Police Chief Robert L. Craft said. “This law enforcement teamwork helps discourage the presence of criminal elements that may come to the State Fair only to prey on the public.”

To date, during the 2011 California State Fair operation, surveillance activities have resulted in one GPS sex offender arrest, two additional GPS sex-offender parolee contacts escorted from the fair, and three at-large parolees arrested after citizen contacts with parole agents. Parole agents have worked in concert with the California State Fair Police to assist in gang GPS surveillance, non-parolee arrests, and in providing aid to fair patrons.

In 2010, there were a total of four arrests during the fair’s run. One of the arrests occurred when a Sacramento County sex offender was too close to the State Fair perimeter and triggered an alert. The other arrests were of out-of-county parolees restricted from accessing the fairgrounds.

During the 2009 operation, five sex offenders were arrested for non-compliance after trying to enter the fair. Approximately 35 sex offenders on parole were arrested during compliance checks at six fairs throughout California.

California’s Parole Division utilizes GPS technology daily to track and monitor sex offenders on parole. CDCR’s use of technology and its partnerships with local law enforcement helps to improve public safety throughout the state.

Currently, there are approximately 1,750 GPS-monitored sex offenders in the DAPO’s Region I, which stretches from Siskiyou County to Kern County. Region I also includes approximately 80 GPS-monitored gang members.

For more information about CDCR Parole and the GPS program, please visit this link: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/index.html.

For more information about the California State Fair, please visit www.bigfun.org.

Find a map of the fairgrounds here: http://www.calexpo.com/PDFs/BldgsGrounds/grounds%20map_fnl.pdf

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dana Toyama
(916) 445-4950

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Inmate Death in High Desert State Prison Is Under Investigation

SUSANVILLE – High Desert State Prison (HDSP) officials are investigating the death of inmate Jesse Walden, who was pronounced dead about 3 a.m. July 25, 2011.

The circumstances of the death are suspicious, and his cellmate has been placed in the Administrative Segregation Unit pending investigation.

Walden, 25, was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from Santa Clara County on October 28, 2010, and was serving a 25-year-to-life sentence for first-degree murder. He arrived at HDSP on May 5, 2011.

His cellmate, Charles Shifflett Jr., is the main suspect in the homicide. Shifflett was received by CDCR from Siskiyou County on June 10, 2010, and is serving a 21-year, eight-month sentence for assault with force causing great bodily injury and first-degree burglary with enhancements for criminal gang activity. Shifflett, 27, arrived at HDSP on June 10, 2011.

The case is under investigation by the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office, the Susanville Police Department, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the CDCR Investigative Services Unit at HDSP. The Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Independent Review, was notified.

HDSP houses 4,600 minimum-, medium- and maximum-custody inmates. Opened in 1995, the Lassen County institution provides academic classes and vocational instruction. It employs more than 1,400 people.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 25, 2011
CONTACT: LT. C. HAHN
(530) 251-5100 EXT 5501

Friday, July 22, 2011

Incapacitated Inmate Granted Medical Parole Under New Law

DELANO -- Today, the California Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) granted medical parole to inmate Michael Barnes, the fourth inmate to be granted medical parole this year.

Inmate Barnes was referred to the Board because he met the criteria of Penal Code Section 3550, subdivision (a). The Board determined today at a hearing at Kern Valley State Prison that the conditions under which inmate Barnes would be released on medical parole would not reasonably pose a threat to public safety.

Inmate Barnes is serving a 24-year sentence from Santa Cruz County for two counts of rape with force.

Due to privacy laws regarding medical information, CDCR cannot comment on inmate Barnes’ medical condition. Additionally, because there was no authorization for release of medical information, the Board discussed inmate Barnes’ medical condition in private.

The Board hearing transcript will serve as the official record and it will not include a discussion of his medical condition by BPH panel members. Discussion of his medical condition by other principals at the hearing, however, may be included in the transcript. The transcript is expected to be transcribed and ready in approximately 30 days.

Penal Code Section 3550, Medical Parole, became effective on January 1, 2011. The intent of the Medical Parole program is to allow inmates, who are permanently medically incapacitated and require 24-hour care, to be released to community medical care, if they do not require custody supervision or pose a risk to public safety. The law prohibits inmates convicted to “life in prison without the possibility of parole,” or those condemned to death from eligibility for medical parole. The Board of Parole Hearings reviews cases referred by institution medical staff and determines who is suitable for release.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 22, 2011
CONTACT: PAUL VERKE (916) 445-4950
NIKKI POLIN (916) 324-0187

Incapacitated Inmate Granted Medical Parole Under New Law

DELANO -- Today, the California Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) granted medical parole to inmate Edward Rister, the fifth inmate to be granted medical parole this year.
Inmate Rister was referred to the Board because he met the criteria of Penal Code (PC) Section 3550, subdivision (a). The Board determined today at a hearing at Kern Valley State Prison that the conditions under which inmate Rister would be released on medical parole would not reasonably pose a threat to public safety.

Inmate Rister is serving a 12-year sentence from Sutter County at North Kern State Prison for continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14.

Due to privacy laws regarding medical information, CDCR cannot comment on inmate Rister’s medical condition. Additionally, because there was no authorization for release of medical information, the Board discussed inmate Rister’s medical condition in private.

The Board hearing transcript will serve as the official record and it will not include a discussion of his medical condition by BPH panel members. Discussion of his medical condition by other principals at the hearing, however, may be included in the transcript. The transcript is expected to be transcribed and ready in approximately 30 days.

Penal Code Section 3550, Medical Parole, became effective on January 1, 2011. The intent of the Medical Parole program is to allow inmates, who are permanently medically incapacitated and require 24-hour care, to be released to community medical care, if they do not require custody supervision or pose a risk to public safety. The law prohibits inmates convicted to “life in prison without the possibility of parole,” or those condemned to death from eligibility for medical parole. The Board of Parole Hearings reviews cases referred by institution medical staff and determines who is suitable for release.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JULY 22, 2011
CONTACT: PAUL VERKE (916) 445-4950

NIKKI POLIN (916) 324-0187

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Statement by CDCR on Inmate Hunger Strike

SACRAMENTO – Today, Matthew Cate, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), announced that inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison have ended their hunger strike.

“Hunger strikes are a dangerous and ineffective way for prisoners to attempt to negotiate,” Secretary Cate said. “This strike was ordered by prison gang leaders, individuals responsible for terrible crimes against Californians, and so it was with significant and appropriate caution that CDCR worked to end the strike. We will now seek to stabilize operations for all inmates and continue our work to improve the safety and security of our prison system statewide.”

Inmates at Pelican Bay’s Security Housing Unit (SHU) initiated the hunger strike on July 1, 2011. They stopped the strike on July 20 after they better understood CDCR’s plans, developed since January, to review and change some policies regarding SHU housing and gang management. These changes, to date, include providing cold-weather caps, wall calendars and some educational opportunities for SHU inmates.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 21, 2011
CONTACT: TERRY THORNTON
(916) 445-4950

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

INMATE DEATH AT WASCO STATE PRISON – RECEPTION CENTER UNDER INVESTIGATION AS POSSIBLE HOMICIDE

WASCO – Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP-RC) officials and the Kern County District Attorney’s Office announced a homicide investigation into an inmate death. The victim, Lorenzo C. Paynes, was found on June 19, at approximately 7:05 p.m., unresponsive in his assigned cell. Inmate Paynes was transported to an outside hospital for treatment. He was pronounced dead on July 16 at approximately 9:00 p.m. The Kern County Coroner’s Office will perform an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.

Paynes, 48, was received at WSP-RC from Kern County on May 27, 2011, as a parole violator returned to custody to serve a four-year sentence for battery on a non-prisoner. The victim also had a non-controlling offense of assault with a deadly weapon.

The suspect in this case is identified as a 26-year old inmate who was received at WSP-RC from Kern County in April 2011, with a four-year sentence for battery on a non-prisoner. The suspect also has a non-controlling offense for possession of a firearm by an ex-felon.

The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified.

WSP-RC’s primary mission is to provide short-term housing necessary to process, classify, and evaluate new inmates physically and mentally, and determine their security level, program requirements and appropriate institutional placement. WSP-RC was opened February 1991, houses approximately 5,800 inmates and employs approximately 1,700 people.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2011 
Contact: Lt. R. Mazuka
(661) 758-8400 ext. 5013

Monday, July 18, 2011

California Institution for Women Announces First Graduating Class from Successful Behavioral Program

 
(Corona, CA) – The California Institution for Women (CIW) announced its first graduating class from an ongoing behavioral improvement program that has demonstrated a zero recidivism rate for those participating since its inception in November 2007. The Choice Theory® Connection Program began as a pilot with Loyola Marymount University and the William Glasser Institute to teach female offenders about self-reflection, tolerance, and relationships.

“This is a successful program at CIW, that helps inmates improve their daily decisions and choices,” Chief Deputy Warden Cynthia Y. Tampkins said. “Inmates who have participated in the program since 2007 have shown the ability to better acclimate to society and lead a crime-free life.”

The Choice Theory® Connection Program was founded by psychiatrist, author, and creator of Choice Theory® and Reality Therapy, Dr. William Glasser. The program takes over a year to complete, consisting of five phases with over 100 hours of classroom instruction. So far, 95 female inmates have paroled from CIW after participating in the program and none have returned to state prison.

CIW’s Choice Theory® Connection Program’s first graduation ceremony held Friday evening included 38 female inmates and special recognition of 19 inmates who received certificates in Choice Theory ® and Addiction Coaching. This certifies the individual understands the program and can assist their peers in making effective choices to eradicate negative addictions and improve their lives.

The program is the first of its kind to be offered at a female institution. It is a non-contracted program with CIW staff trained in Choice Theory® and certified to deliver the instruction.

CIW opened in 1952 in Southern California and houses primarily low-level female offenders and functions as a reception/processing center for incoming inmates. The institution is the selection and physical fitness training center for female firefighters selected for conservation camp placement. Specialized programs include academic and vocational programs, pre-release and substance abuse programming, an arts in corrections program and a wide variety of inmate self-help groups and community betterment projects.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2011 
Contact: Lt. Felix Figueroa
909-606-4921

Thursday, July 14, 2011

CDCR Helps Strike Serious Blow Against Prison Gangs Operating Organized Crime Rackets in Orange County

Intel from Security Housing Units (SHU) crucial in charging 99 with Mexican Mafia ties

Santa Ana – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Special Services Unit was instrumental in the recent arrests, new state charges, or federal indictments of 99 members or associates of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, or EME, during “Operation Black Flag.”

“One of the crucial elements of this operation was the intelligence that we received from the Secured Housing Units within California’s prisons,” said Senior Special Agent Dan Evanilla.

“That information led to known gang members who continue to operate from within prison by ordering their members on the outside to commit dangerous and often violent crimes in our communities. We are proud of our agents for taking part in the Santa Ana Gang Task Force and helping to disrupt the criminal activities of the Mexican Mafia (EME) prison gang.”

The 99 face various state felony charges and federal indictments, including murder, assault, extortion, racketeering, narcotics-trafficking and firearms charges. Some of the defendants were operating within Secured Housing Units (SHU) in California state prisons.

More than 500 law enforcement officers and agents executed arrest and search warrants during “Operation Black Flag” in the culmination of the multi-year investigation by the Santa Ana Gang Task Force.

“Working with our partners at the state and local level, we will bring gangsters to justice, whether they commit their crimes on our streets or in our prisons,” said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr.

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Steven Martinez praised the efforts of CDCR and the other partners. “The Santa Ana Gang Task Force put years of effort into this complex investigation to find those responsible for the gang violence plaguing Orange County communities, including two major criminal enterprises calling shots on the streets and from inside prison walls,” he said.

The Santa Ana Gang Task Force includes the CDCR Special Services Unit, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Santa Ana and Costa Mesa Police departments, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 14, 2011
CONTACT:  Luis PatiƱo 
(916) 445-4950

Nurse Assaulted in Folsom State Prison

SACRAMENTO – Folsom State Prison confirmed today that a nurse was assaulted on the prison premises at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, by an unknown assailant. The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment and evaluation.


The prison’s Investigative Services Unit, with the assistance of the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, is conducting an investigation of battery and sexual assault. The prison is on lockdown for the duration of the inquiry.

A post-trauma team responded to the prison and provided counseling for the staff in the unit. Prison officials said the incident has had an emotional impact on all the staff at the facility.

Additional details of the incident are being withheld pending completion of the investigation.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lt. Paul Baker (916) 985-2561 Ext. 3016

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

INMATE DEATH AT WASCO STATE PRISON – RECEPTION CENTER UNDER INVESTIGATION

WASCO – Wasco State Prison – Reception Center (WSP-RC) officials and the Kern County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide. The inmate, whose name is being withheld pending notification of his next-of-kin, was found on July 8 at approximately 10:30 p.m deceased in his assigned cell.

The deceased inmate, age 54, was received at WSP-RC from Los Angeles County on May 17, 2011, as a parole violator returned to custody for the commitment offense of possession of alcohol and assault with a deadly weapon. He was currently pending a hearing before the Board of Parole Hearings prior to this incident regarding his release date. He also received a 16 month sentence from Los Angeles County in April 2010, for resisting a peace officer with force and violence, assault with a deadly weapon and petty theft with priors.

The suspect in this case is identified as a 31-year old inmate who was received from Orange County on May 12, with an 11-year sentence for carjacking. The suspect also has non-controlling offenses for carjacking and vehicle theft.

The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified.

WSP-RC’s primary mission is to provide short-term housing necessary to process, classify and evaluate new inmates, physically and mentally, and determine their security level, program requirements and appropriate institutional placement. WSP-RC was opened in February 1991, houses approximately 5,800 inmates and employs approximately 1,700 people.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2011
Contact:  Lt. R. Mazuka
(661) 758-8400 ext 5013

Thursday, July 7, 2011

CDCR and Madera County Officials Break Ground On $34 million, 144-bed Expansion of Jail

Project to Receive $28 Million from Corrections Standards Authority

 

MADERA – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials joined Madera County officials and community members on Wednesday to break ground on a $34 million jail expansion that will add 144 beds to the county’s 419- bed facility. It is the tenth project funded, in part, with Assembly Bill 900 (AB 900) funds to break ground. The expansion will occupy portions of the grounds immediately surrounding the existing jail facility.

“I commend the Madera community and County officials for their hard work in making this jail expansion a reality,” said CDCR Secretary, Matthew Cate. “The partnership between Madera County and the State will continue to grow as we move toward realignment and achieving the mutual goal of ensuring community public safety. This project takes us one step further toward reducing overcrowding in California jails.”

The Corrections Standards Authority originally allocated $30 million for the project, but because bids came in lower than predicted, the state’s contribution will be $28 million. Completion is expected to be in summer 2013. The project will provide new beds to serve a growing jail population.

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 was awarded to 11 counties to add 5,489 local jail beds.

Two of the ten AB 900 jail projects are already underway. In December 2010, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a maximum-security 1,368-bed expansion of the Adelanto Detention Center in San Bernardino County, and a 160-bed Calaveras County Adult Detention Facility in San Andreas.

Other AB 900 projects include:
  • a 64-bed intermediate-care mental health facility at California Medical Facility in Vacaville (CMF) (June 2010);
  •  a 45-bed acute/intermediate-care mental health facility for female inmates at California Institution for Women in Chino (June 2010); 
  • treatment and office space to serve 192 inmates requiring mental health services at California State Prison – Sacramento, Enhanced Outpatient Program (Oct. 2010);
  • the California Health Care Facility (Stockton), a 1,722-bed inmate medical facility (Nov. 2010, with California Prison Health Care Services); 
  • a 50-bed mental health crisis unit at California Men’s Colony (Jan. 2011); 
  •  treatment and office space to serve 150 inmates requiring mental health services at California State Prison, Los Angeles County (Feb. 2011); and
  • a 44,000 square foot building at CMF for additional treatment space for mental health patients, and offices (Mar. 2011).

Click here and here for more information on AB 900 financing and awards through the Corrections Standards Authority.

Click here for photographs: http://www.flickr.com/photos/37381942@N04/sets/72157627134235754/



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 7, 2011
CONTACT:  Paul Verke (916) 445-4950