Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Suspected Inmate Homicide at California State Prison-Los Angeles County

LANCASTER-- Officials at California State Prison- Los Angeles County are investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide after he was found unresponsive in his cell Tuesday morning.

The inmate, whose name is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin, was pronounced dead at the institution at 1:18 a.m.

Prison officials have named his cellmate Aaron Alvarez, 42, as the suspect in the case. Alvarez has been placed in the administrative segregation unit pending the investigation.

The victim was received by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on November 30, 1999 from San Diego County. He was serving a life sentence for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Inmate Alvarez was received by CDCR on July 11, 2008 from Kern County. He was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.

The case is under investigation by the institution’s Investigative Services Unit and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has been notified.

LAC provides educational, vocational, re-entry and self-help programs that provide inmates life skills and work skills that can be used in support of their efforts at reintegration into society. The facility has a unique Progressive Programming Facility developed specifically to provide a program, free from disruptive behavior, in which personal and CDCR goals can be more readily achieved.

For more information about LAC, visit CDCR’s website at www.cdcr.ca.gov

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2012
Contact: Lt. Jackie Galapon
(661) 729-6912

Condemned Inmate James Crummel Dies of Suicide


SAN QUENTIN – Condemned inmate James Lee Crummel, 68, who was on death row for the 1979 murder of a 13-year-old boy, was found hanging in his cell at San Quentin State Prison.  Crummel was pronounced dead at 4:20 p.m. on Sunday, May 27. He was housed alone in his cell.

Crummel was received onto California’s death row on July 15, 2004.

He was sentenced to death on July 9, 2004, by a Riverside County jury for the April 13, 1979, kidnapping, sexual abuse and murder of 13-year-old James Wilfred Trotter, who disappeared on his way to school.  Trotter’s body was not found until 1990 and the identity of his body was not confirmed until 1996.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 57 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 20 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri; and six died from other causes.  There are 724 offenders on California’s death row.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2012
Contact: Lt. Sam Robinson
(415) 454-1460 ext. 5008 

INMATE DEATH BEING INVESTIGATED AS HOMICIDE AT HIGH DESERT STATE PRISON


Susanville – High Desert State Prison (HDSP) investigators are investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide.

The inmate was found unresponsive in his cell on May 26, 2012, at approximately 5 am.  He was pronounced deceased at 5:57 a.m.

The deceased inmate, 53, was serving his third term, and was committed from Los Angeles County on July 17, 1987.  He was received at HDSP on April 15, 2010, and was serving a 137-year, plus two life terms, sentences for numerous counts of sexual battery, kidnapping, rape, oral copulation with force and violence resulting in great bodily injury, and assault with a deadly weapon.  The inmate’s name is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

The deceased inmate’s cellmate has been identified as the primary suspect in the death, and has been placed in the Administrative Segregation Unit pending investigation into the incident.   The suspect, 38, is a first term inmate received from Sacramento County on February 2, 2011.  He was received at HDSP on May 2, 2012, and is serving a life without parole sentence for first-degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon.  The inmate’s name is being withheld at this time pending investigation.

The case is under investigation by the HDSP Investigative Services Unit. The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified.

HDSP houses 3,900 minimum-, medium- and maximum-custody inmates. Opened in 1995, the Lassen County institution provides academic classes and vocational instruction and employs more than 1,600 people.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2012
Contact: Lt. Charlie Hahn
(530) 251-5100 x5501

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Escaped Inmate Arrested After Nearly 30 Years




Carlos Campo as he appeared in 1983; in a recent DMV photo; and in custody Thursday after his arrest.

Escaped Inmate Arrested After Nearly 30 Years

Special agents developed new leads in cold case
 to arrest escapee who lived in Azusa using purchased identity

Special agents from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) arrested an inmate Thursday who escaped from custody nearly 30 years ago.

Special agents from the Rancho Cucamonga Special Service Unit arrested Carlos Campo, 50, at his residence in Azusa.

Campo, who was convicted of second-degree burglary in Los Angeles County, escaped from a work-furlough re-entry program on August 26, 1983.

Campo lived as “Carlos Herrera,” an identity he purchased in Los Angeles, according to John M. Santos, Senior Special Agent.

Special Agent Guillermo Moreno and Parole Agent II Scott Webb developed new leads in the case using several databases, cooperation with numerous agencies and surveillance.  Their investigation revealed that Campo had been arrested in 1993 for assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, and was placed on probation for 36 months, but that CDCR was not notified of the arrest.

Santos said at the time there was no system to compare fingerprints electronically, and the process was very time consuming.

Agents Moreno and Webb arrested Campo after a positive match with fingerprints provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Campo was taken to the California Institution for Men in Chino for processing. Escape charges are pending.

Of all offenders who have escaped from an adult institution, conservation camp or community-based program since 1977, 98.7 percent have been apprehended.




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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2012
Contact: Terry Thornton
(916) 445-4950

Media Access to Prisons and Prisoners

The following is general guidelines for media access currently permitted under California state law:

·         Reporters may interview inmates they encounter randomly or on their tours of a state prison facility or program.  Upon prior approval and background clearance, media representatives can conduct random face-to-face interviews with inmates on general population yards, sensitive needs yards, administrative segregation units, the Security Housing Unit, and units that provide mental health and medical treatment.

·         Media requests to tour a prison are granted if they are within California law and prison policies. CDCR endeavors to accommodate media requests consistent with the safe and secure operations of its institutions and California law.

·         State law prohibits CDCR from arranging one-on-one interviews with specific inmates. This law has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, media wanting to interview a specific inmate may do so in any of these three ways:

    • Media can write to a specific inmate via U.S. Mail;
    • Media can write to an inmate and provide a phone number so the inmate can call a journalist collect during an inmate’s telephone privileges;
    • Media can become an approved visitor, and meet with an inmate face-to-face during regular visiting hours.

  • CDCR requests that journalists who interview inmates during telephone calls to notify the inmate that the conversation is being recorded.

  • When reporters become approved visitors of inmates, they cannot bring recording devices or cameras into the inmate visiting room, but can bring paper, pens and pencils.  This is true for all visitors, not just journalists, and is intended to protect the privacy of other visitors in attendance in accordance with state law.


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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

California satisfying court obligations for basic dental care in prisons

The level of dental care in California prisons has risen to the point that 30 of 33 adult institutions have passed an official audit by outside experts. Audits of the remaining three institutions are expected by the end of next month.

CDCR is achieving obligations set forth by the federal court to bring dental care up to basic standards, as a settlement of the Perez v. Cate lawsuit.  Dental care at CDCR institutions is being evaluated by court-appointed experts. The audits involve the examination of the dental records of randomly chosen inmates and other processes.

“We have worked hard over the last six years to bring CDCR into compliance with the federal court’s order,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “The audits’ passing scores show that CDCR is now providing a constitutional level of dental care. We are hopeful that this progress brings us closer to ending federal oversight of our prison dental system.”

The named plaintiff in the Perez lawsuit is Carlos Perez, an inmate now at California State Prison, Centinela. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in 2005 alleging that California prison dental care violated the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. An agreement to settle the case was reached in 2006.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Medical care in state prisons is improving

On May 7, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) asked a federal judge to return medical care to state control. For more than six years, CDCR has worked with a federal Receiver to rebuild the state’s prison health-care system and bring it into compliance with constitutional requirements.
In a court filing, CDCR said the state prison system has the “will, capacity, and leadership to maintain a sustainable system of providing constitutionally adequate medical health care” and cited numerous examples of improvements to California’s prison health-care system. Of particular note was the favorable assessment of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which inspects and evaluates the quality of medical care in each state prison.
The OIG has completed its second round of comprehensive inspections at all state prisons to monitor compliance with CDCR’s medical policies and procedures and medical community standards. Preliminary results show that the average compliance at 28 prisons is 80.2 percent, up from 72 percent for the first round of inspections completed in June 2010.
A federal court and the receiver requested the OIG, an independent agency, to develop and conduct comprehensive inspections evaluating the quality of medical care in each prison. Noting that the federal court had yet to define what level of compliance meets constitutional standards, the OIG did not conclude whether a prison passed or failed an inspection, but quantified the percentage of compliance with CDCR medical policies and procedures. A 75 percent score is the minimum score for moderate adherence. Scores below 75 percent denote low adherence. Scores of 85 percent and higher show high adherence.
Between September 2008 and June 2010, the OIG completed its first round of medical inspections at the state’s 33 prisons. They found that 24 prisons had a score of less than 75 percent; nine prisons scored between 75 and 85 percent and no prison scored higher than 85 percent. CDCR’s overall score was 72 percent.
Last December, the OIG completed its second round of medical inspections at all 33 prisons and has reported its findings for 28 prisons.
From June 2010 through April 2012, only four prisons had a score of less than 75 percent; 25 prisons scored between 75 and 85 percent and four prisons scored above 85 percent. The lowest score – 73 percent – is higher than the department’s overall score from two years ago, which is now 80.2 percent.
The OIG expects to publish its evaluations of the remaining prisons soon and will issue its report comparing the results of the first round of medical inspections with the second round later this year.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CDCR Asks Federal Judge to Return Health Care to California Control


In court filing, CDCR says prison health system now satisfies the Constitution and calls for prompt end to Receivership

Sacramento – After six years of working with a federal Receiver to rebuild the state’s prison health care system, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) says it’s time to bring medical care back under State control.

In a court filing, CDCR says the state prison system has the “will, capacity, and leadership to maintain a sustainable system of providing constitutionally adequate medical health care.” The filing is a joint report by CDCR, the Receiver and Plaintiffs’ Counsel and it lays out their respective positions on when and how to end the Receivership.

CDCR cited numerous examples of improvements to California’s prison health care system: the re-design of primary care at all 33 adult institutions; significant improvement in the number and quality of health care staff; the establishment of quality control procedures; better use of technology, including electronic health records; and construction and renovation projects across the system, including a 1,722-bed facility being built in Stockton. 

In the court filing, CDCR also notes the favorable assessment of the Office of the Inspector General which reviews the state’s prison health care system.

CDCR asked Judge Thelton Henderson to order the end of the Receivership within 30 days. The Department suggested that the Receiver be replaced for one year by a Special Master who would monitor progress on projects underway.

A string of class-action lawsuits dating back to 1990 resulted in varying levels of federal oversight of health care in California prisons. The case involving medical health care is called Plata v. Brown. In 2006, Judge Henderson appointed a Receiver with full authority over prison medical care. The Receiver was empowered to spend whatever he deemed necessary to bring California prison health care up to a Constitutional level.

On January 17, citing “significant progress,” Judge Henderson ruled that “the end of the Receivership appears to be in sight.” He ordered the parties in the Plata case to start planning for the return of health care authority to CDCR and to report back by April 30 (later extended to May 7).

A copy of that report to Judge Henderson can be found at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/docs/PLATA-joint-report-file-endorsed.pdf. For more context on CDCR’s overall plans, read “The Future of California Corrections”, also at www.cdcr.ca.gov. Both documents include more information about the improvements already made to California’s prison health care system.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2012
Contact: Jeffrey Callison
(916) 445-4950

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Missing Inmate from California State Prison-Corcoran Apprehended


Corcoran – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) staff apprehended inmate Raul Antonio Gutierrez Sobalvarro on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 2:20 p.m., at a location in Corcoran, California.

Inmate Sobalvarro, 22, had walked away from a California State Prison-Corcoran minimum facility on Tuesday night, May 1. On May 2, he was seen by transportation correctional officers a few miles from the prison. The officers took him into custody without incident and transported him to California State Prison-Corcoran.

Inmate Sobalvarro was assigned to work in the prison’s dairy located outside the lethal electrified fence. He was found missing the night before shortly after 10 p.m. Institutional staff immediately notified local law enforcement and CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety. A search was initiated, and continued until his capture on Wednesday.

Of all offenders who have escaped from an adult institution, camp or community-based program since 1977, 98.7 percent have been apprehended.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2012
M. Theresa Cisneros
(559) 992-6104 
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Suspected Inmate Homicide at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison-Corcoran

CORCORAN-- Officials at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison-Corcoran (CSATF) are investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide after he was found unresponsive in his cell on Saturday, April 28, 2012.

Gary T. Boyd, 67, was pronounced dead at the institution at approximately 10 a.m. on April 28 from an apparent head injury.  

Prison officials and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office have named inmate Jack Edwin Denzer, 55, as a suspect in the case. The suspect has been placed in the administrative segregation unit pending the investigation.

Inmate Boyd was received on February 8, 2008 from Santa Barbara County to serve a 72-year sentence for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.  

Inmate Denzer was received from Los Angeles County on July 8, 1980 to serve a 25-year-to-life term for first-degree murder.

CSATF provides educational, vocational, re-entry and self-help programs that provide inmates life skills, and work skills that can be used in support of their efforts at reintegration into society. The facility has unique substance abuse treatment programs developed specifically for providing rehabilitation to inmates with long-term substance abuse issues.

For more information about CSATF, visit CDCR’s website at www.cdcr.ca.gov.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2012
Contact: Lupe Cartagena
(559) 992-7154

What They’re Saying About CDCR’s Plan “The Future of California Corrections”

Local and state opinion leaders talk about blueprint to save billions of dollars, end federal oversight and improve the prison system

“Reducing prison costs requires reducing the prison population in a way that ensures the worst of the worst are appropriately punished while lower-level offenders get the help needed to leave the system for good. (CDCR’s blueprint and other prison proposals) offer a good starting point to achieve those reforms.”
(Source: Bakersfield Californian editorial, May 1, 2012)

“This realistic, feasible blueprint provides the much-needed next steps beyond realignment…make no mistake, California finally seems on the right path to get its state prison population and management under control.”
(Source: Sacramento Bee Editorial, Pia Lopez, April 29, 2012)

"We know that as we implement Realignment there is still a great deal of uncertainty ahead. There's a lot we have to work through. Fortunately, Secretary Cate and Governor Brown have demonstrated a willingness to work through the challenges with frontline law enforcement, with Sheriffs statewide, with prosecutors and probation officers. The Blueprint clearly shows we are headed in the right direction."
Sheriff Bill Gore, San Diego County

“We appreciate the efforts of Governor Brown and Secretary Cate on establishing a blue print for the future of CDCR.  These efforts will help build a foundation for the future success of Realignment.  We have been, and will continue to be, a strong partner with the Governor in helping resolve these issues.“  
Sheriff Keith Royal, Nevada County and California State Sheriffs’ Association President

"It's one of the great achievements of the first year of the Brown administration."
State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg
(Source: Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2012)

“California's prison system may be headed in a remarkable direction … it could be a new era for the state prison system. Some $30 billion over the next decade could be saved. Crowding and poor medical and health care could be improved. Any of these improvements would be a major achievement.”
(Source: San Francisco Chronicle editorial, April 25, 2012)

“This is a game changer for the entire area. We’ve been planning this for a long time.”
Kevin Bash, Mayor of Norco, on the planned 2016 closure of the California Rehabilitation Center, announced in CDCR’s Blueprint
(Source: The (Riverside) Press Enterprise, April 25, 2012)

"California prisons used to be the model for the nation and the world in the '70s … I think what this administration is trying to do is bring us back to that."
Joan Petersilia, Law Professor at Stanford University
(Source: Sacramento Bee, April 24, 2012)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2012
(916) 445-4950