Friday, August 26, 2011

New Web Page Available For CDCR Employees

Site is dedicated to providing timely information about layoffs to department employees

Sacramento -- The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has launched a new page on its website to provide its employees with critical information as the department goes through the largest staff reduction in its history.

The “Layoff Resources” page, accessible from CDCR’s website at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/, provides current information about personnel policies, civil service rules and the layoff process, seniority scores, and other personnel-related issues. The page also provides links to programs that can help employees cope with the stress of change.

The multiple rounds of staff reductions at CDCR stem from the Governor’s order reducing 400 positions from headquarters office; the closing of some Division Juvenile Justice facilities; and the implementation of Assembly Bill 109, which realigns the responsibilities between state prisons and county jails for lower-level offenders.

The “Layoff Resources” page will include links to pages about AB 109, as well as the Three-Judge Court’s order to reduce the inmate population by 34,000 over the next two years.

For more information on CDCR or to visit the web pages mentioned above, visit the department’s website at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Incapacitated Inmate Granted Medical Parole

VACAVILLE – The California Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) on Tuesday granted medical parole to inmate Curtis D. Beauvais, the 6th inmate to be granted medical parole since the law took effect earlier this year.

The Board determined yesterday at a hearing at California Medical Facility, Vacaville, that the conditions under which Beauvais would be released on medical parole would not reasonably pose a threat to public safety.

Beauvais is serving a sentence of 7 years and 4 months for the sale of a controlled substance with consecutive factors for petty theft with a prior and forgery. He was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on February 18, 2009, from Tuolumne County.

Due to privacy laws regarding medical information, CDCR cannot release information related to Beauvais’ medical condition. Additionally, because there was no authorization for release of medical information, the board discussed the inmate’s medical condition in closed session.

The Board hearing transcript, which will serve as the official record, 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, which is expected to be ready in approximately 30 days.

The medical parole law, which became effective January 1, 2011, allows 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 BPH reviews cases referred by prison medical staff and determines who is suitable for release.

BPH has granted medical parole to six incapacitated inmates with one denial since the law became effective.


CONTACT: PAUL VERKE (916) 445-4950

Monday, August 22, 2011

CDCR Inmate Captured in Salida 36 Years After Walking Away from Fire Camp

Inmate returns to CDCR custody to find escapes are rare and captures are immediate

Jamestown, CA– William Walter Asher III is back in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) custody after 36 years on the run. FBI agents and task force officers assigned to the Sacramento FBI Safe Streets Violent Crime Task Force arrested him without incident Friday morning at his residence in Salida, California. The arrest team was composed of a CDCR parole agent, FBI agents and Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies.

Asher is now imprisoned at the Special Housing Unit of the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown. He fled from Growlersburg Conservation Camp #33 in 1975 while serving a 7-years-to-life conviction for robbing, shooting and fatally beating a bartender in a San Francisco bar in 1966.

Today, inmates with Asher’s serious and violent criminal background are not allowed placement in any of CDCR’s fire camp. In addition, nearly every inmate who walks away from a camp housing assignment is almost always caught within 48 hours.

Since the mid-1980s, CDCR has strengthened criteria for the types of inmates who are allowed to work in an inmate fire camps. Inmates convicted of sex offenses or arson, or certain levels of gang affiliation also are automatically ineligible for camp placement. Camp inmates must also have less than 10 years to serve and must not have a poor disciplinary record in prison.

CDCR’s success rate is high in apprehending inmates who walk away from a fire camp or escape from an institution. Of all offenders who have escaped from an adult institution, adult camp, or adult community-based program since 1977, 99.1 percent have been apprehended.

The success rate is due in large part to the creation of specialized units, such as the Office of Correctional Safety’s (OCS) Special Service Unit and the Division of Adult Parole Operation’s California Parolee-at-Large Apprehension Team (CPAT), which investigates and apprehends CDCR escapees or parolees-at-large.

OCS has a success rate of 95 percent in capturing escapees within 48 hours. OCS is an elite force of Special Investigators and Parole Agents who conduct complex investigations and surveillances involving escapees, inmates, and parolees suspected of major crime and/or gang activity.

CPAT has demonstrated similar success with direct involvement in clearing approximately 2,280 parolee-at-large cases since its inception in January 2010.

For photos of Inmate Asher, then and now, please contact Luis Patino.

Please contact steven.dupre@ic.fbi.gov for the FBI press release about the capture.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday 22, 2011
Contact: Luis Patino
(916) 445-4950

Thursday, August 18, 2011

CDCR Launches Website on 2011 Public Safety Realignment

New website provides public with up-to-date information about new law

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced it has launched a website dedicated to providing information and updates to the public, local officials, and CDCR employees about the 2011 Public Safety Realignment Legislation, Assembly Bill (AB) 109 and AB 117.  

CDCR’s Realignment website is designed to provide the public with easy access to information and news regarding the new law and implementation status statewide.  

Implementation of the 2011 Realignment will begin October 1, 2011. As of that date all individuals sentenced to non-serious, non-violent or non-sex offenses will serve their sentences in county jails instead of state prison. No inmates currently in state prison will be transferred to county jails or released early.

Information available on the website includes key provisions of the 2011 Realignment such as funding, the local planning process, post-release community supervision, parole revocations, and related legislation affecting California’s prison population.

In an effort to provide support to CDCR staff, the website also will include information about related staff reductions, including support services for affected staff, detailed information about the progress of layoffs and frequently asked questions. 

CDCR has also developed a website on news and information regarding the Three-Judge Court’s order to reduce inmate population over the next two years. The site has court filings and reports on population projections related to the court’s ongoing population benchmarks.

To find CDCR’s Realignment page, visit the department’s web site at  www.cdcr.ca.gov.

Friday, August 12, 2011

CDCR Seeks Clues In Santa Clara Cold Case

Sacramento…..The Santa Clara Police Department is asking for CDCR’s help in solving a 17-year-old murder. 

Matthew Flores, then 26, was shot about 8:15 a.m. March 24, 1994, in the parking lot of Applied Materials in Santa Clara.

According to the Santa Clara Police Department, Flores had driven to work in a rented white Chevrolet Corsica.  He was shot once in the back of his head, just outside the driver’s door, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The murder took place outside the range surveillance camera’s range, but there is fuzzy surveillance footage of an early 1990s Ford Explorer pulling into the parking lot before the shooting and leaving seconds after Flores was shot.  The two-door Ford Explorer Sport is light in color with distinctive black trim on the lower panels. 

Applied Materials is offering a $100,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the murderer.  Anyone with any information concerning this case should call any of the following contacts.  Flores, a new father, had just been discharged from the U.S. Army after serving  with honors during Operation Desert Storm.

“We’re confident that someone out there knows something, either directly or indirectly,” said Santa Clara Police Chief Kevin Kyle, “and we would very much like for them to come forward.”

Contact Information:
Santa Clara Police Department Flores tip line: (408) 615-4817
Investigator, Sgt. Steve Hoesing: (408) 615-4814
PIO, Lt. Matt Hogan (408) 615-4865

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

CDCR Returns to Custody Two Juvenile Offenders Who Walked-Away From Fire Camp Program

Sacramento –The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced the apprehension of two juvenile offenders who walked away from a fire crew that was clearing brush near Studio City last Friday. The apprehension culminates a five day, around the clock effort to locate them.

The two juvenile offenders were captured late Tuesday evening at a private residence in Jurupa, Riverside County by CDCR’s Fugitive Apprehension Team and the U.S. Marshall Service Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, which includes deputized officers from the Glendale and Pasadena police departments.

The juvenile offenders – identified as Pablo Ladislow Ontaneda, 18, and Christopher Ochoa, 19 – were part of a fire crew from the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility in Camarillo. They were apprehended after a brief chase, and were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries. They were booked into the Riverside County jail.

The two youths were noted as missing at approximately 2:35 p.m. on Friday, August 5, by CalFire officials who were supervising the crew near Mulholland Drive and Laurel Canyon Boulevard near Studio City, Los Angeles County.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 10, 2011

CONTACT:
BILL SESSA (916) 205-9193, (916) 445-4950

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against California Board of Parole Hearings

Board reduces “backlog” of Lifer parole cases from 3,200 to 25 in 7 years

Sacramento – A long-standing legal case alleging that the California Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) failed to hold timely parole hearings was dismissed this week by a Marin County Superior Court Judge who described BPH progress of reducing its backlog of cases as “extremely impressive.”

The court’s action followed BPH’s overhaul of the state’s system for tracking and scheduling parole hearings, reducing its backlog of cases from 3,200 to just 25.

“The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Board of Parole Hearings has undertaken extraordinary efforts over the past seven years to dramatically improve its systems and procedures for life parole eligibility hearings,” said Jennifer Shaffer, BPH’s executive officer . “The court’s decision to terminate this lawsuit means the Board has substantially complied with the court’s orders to improve the timeliness of these hearings. I am proud of the hard work by CDCR and BPH staff that made these critical reforms possible.”

Petitioner Jerry Rutherford filed his petition for a writ of habeas corpus on May 26, 2004, alleging the BPH had violated the petitioners’ due process rights by failing to conduct lifer parole hearings in a timely manner.

A year ago, August 20, 2010, the court denied, without prejudice, BPH's motion to terminate the Rutherford class action, and it set the next status hearing for July 15, 2011. The court indicated that before it dismissed this case, it wanted to see a sustained reduction of the backlog over a longer period of time.

In the order to dismiss the case, Judge Verna Adams wrote: “During the intervening seven plus years, a great deal of work has been done. The backlog, as of May 2011, has been reduced to 25 – an impressive accomplishment.”

For more on the Board of Parole Hearings, visit www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/index.html.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2011

CONTACT:  Oscar Hidalgo  (916) 445-4950
Paul Verke (916) 445-4950

Monday, August 8, 2011

CDCR Will Report Prohibited Inmate Accounts to Facebook

Facebook agrees to remove accounts managed by or on behalf of state inmates


SACRAMENTO- The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced it has begun reporting Facebook accounts set up and monitored by prison inmates to the Facebook Security Department.
Facebook accounts set up and/or monitored on behalf of an inmate will be removed, as it is a violation of Facebook’s user policies.

“Access to social media allows inmates to circumvent our monitoring process and continue to engage in criminal activity,” CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said. “This new cooperation between law enforcement and Facebook will help protect the community and potentially avoid future victims.”

The Federal Bureau of Prisons National Gang Intelligence Center has reported increasing instances of inmates with active Facebook accounts. These active accounts are either maintained illegally by inmates or are administered by an outside person on behalf of the inmate.

As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure public safety both inside and outside the state’s prisons, CDCR has been actively monitoring Facebook for accounts administered by inmates or on behalf of an inmate. The department has seen numerous instances in which inmates, using their Facebook accounts, have delivered threats to victims or have made unwanted sexual advances.

Last year, CDCR received a call from a mother of a victim of a child molester. The family had just returned from vacation to find several pieces of mail from the offender who was in state prison. The mail contained accurate drawings of the woman’s 17-year old daughter, even though it had been at least seven years since the offender had been convicted and sent to prison. Details of the victim, such as how she wore her hair and the brand of clothes she wore were accurate. An investigation revealed the inmate had used a cell phone to find and view the MySpace and Facebook web pages of the victim. With access to the pages, the offender was able to obtain current photos, which he used to draw his pictures.

Inmates are allowed to have Facebook profiles created prior to incarceration. If any evidence shows the account has been used while in the facility, Facebook Security will disable the account.

Over the past few years CDCR has seen a massive influx in the number of cell phones being used by prisoners. In 2006, correctional officers confiscated 261 devices, while in the first six months of this year, more than 7,284 were confiscated.

To report a Facebook account that you suspect is being administered by an inmate, or an outside party on behalf of the inmate, please contact CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights & Services, call toll free 1-877-256-OVSS (6877) or e-mail victimservices@cdcr.ca.gov

Law enforcement representatives and members of the public can notify Facebook security of accounts administered by registered sex offenders. To report a registered sex offender’s Facebook account visit: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=15160#!/help/contact.php?show_form=wos_sex_offender



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2011       
CONTACT:  Dana Toyama  (916) 445-4950

Friday, August 5, 2011

CDCR Searching LA County for Juveniles Who Walked-Away From Fire Camp Program

Sacramento -- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials are searching Los Angeles County for two juvenile offenders who walked away from brush clearing project near Studio City.

The pair were part of a crew from the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility that was clearing brush as a fire prevention project.

The two youth are identified as:

• Pablo Ladislow Ontaneda, 18, a Hispanic male, approximately 187 pounds, 6 ft. tall. He was committed from Los Angeles County in June, 2010 for Second Degree Robbery;

• Christopher Ochoa, 19, Hispanic male, approximately 126 pounds, 5’ 4 “ tall. He was committed from Los Angeles County in July, 2008, for Second Degree Robbery and personal use of a firearm.

The two youths were noted as missing at approximately 2:35 pm on Friday, August 5, by CalFire officials who were supervising the crew near Moholland Drive and Laurel Canyon Boulevard near Studio City, Los Angeles County.

Both were wearing dark blue trousers and plain white shirts, standard apparel in Division of Juvenile Justice facilities.

As of 5 pm, CDCR had dispatched five crews of correctional officers to search the area and were being assisted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 5, 2011
CONTACT: Bill Sessa (916) 445-4950