Friday, June 28, 2013

Juvenile Offender Graduates Earn Diplomas, GEDs

Reading, math scores rival those in public schools

STOCKTON---Thirty-eight youth from the N.A. Chaderjian High School, located within the youth correctional facility of the same name, today received high school diplomas or GED’s, continuing a trend of increased graduation rates and strong reading and math scores for youth in the state’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). 

They join 51 youth from the Mary B. Perry High School, located inside the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility in Camarillo, who received diplomas and GEDs on June 14.

The graduations continue a trend of increasing academic achievement with data compiled for courts overseeing the education program showing math and reading scores similar to those of students in public school districts.

“These students show that youth can rebound from mistakes in their lives and take steps to build a more successful life. Education is a key part of that foundation,” said DJJ Director Michael Minor. “Over the last eight years, with guidance from court-appointed experts, we have strengthened our education program to ensure that when these youth return to the community they are more prepared to be constructive citizens.”

The DJJ operates high schools in each of its three correctional facilities that are accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools and with curriculum that meets all California Department of Education standards.  DJJ students attend the same full day of school as students in public high school.   In addition, students receive supplemental services, such as English Learner curriculum or individual special education plans. 

Data compiled for the court that oversees DJJ’s programs show a steady increase in the proportion of youth receiving diplomas or GED’s despite a significant decrease in the youthful offender population over the same amount of time. 

In the 2004/05 academic year, when a reform plan was developed in response to a lawsuit (Farrell) over substandard education, 250 youth earned diplomas or GED’s, out of a population of 3,133 (8%).  By comparison, in the 2011/12 school year, 205 youth out of 571 who were eligible to attend high school (36%) earned that level of academic achievement in a population that had dropped to approximately 800.

Youth housed in DJJ can be as old as 23 years of age and some of the remaining 249 may have finished their high school education in previous years. 
In addition, 131 youth were enrolled in college courses in the 2011/12 school year, the most recent year for which data has been verified, compared to 363 in 2004/05 when the DJJ population was more than three times larger.

That progress also is revealed in math and English scores for DJJ youth in the California High School Exit Exam.  Test scores show that DJJ youth passed the math and English portion of the exam at 32 percent and 24 percent, respectively.  By comparison, scores for students in the Fresno Unified School District were 19 percent in both subjects while students at Grant Union High School District near Sacramento passed at a rate of 30 and 33 percent, respectively.

Since the DJJ’s education reform plan was developed, approximately 2,500 youth have received high school diplomas or GED’s and another 2,063 have been enrolled in college classes.    

June 28, 2013
Contact: Bill Sessa
(916) 445-4950


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Six California Men’s Colony Correctional Officers Recovering After Battery From An Inmate

LOS ANGELES – Six correctional officers are recovering from injuries after being battered by a California Men’s Colony (CMC) inmate this morning.

At approximately 8:45 a.m., inmate Christopher McCoy, 34, was discovered by staff to be attempting to commit suicide. When prison staff intervened, inmate McCoy attacked them with a plastic cup and his fists. The injured officers were sent to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment. At least one of the officers sustained serious injuries; however, none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening. All officers have been released from the hospital.

The inmate was transported to a separate community hospital for evaluation and treatment of injuries incurred during the attack.

Inmate McCoy was committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from Mendocino County on June 10, 1999 to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder.

The matter will be referred to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

CMC opened in 1964 and houses approximately 5,100 minimum- and medium-custody inmates. The prison offers academic classes and vocational programs, as well as community programs and work crews. The prison employs approximately 1,800 people.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 27, 2013 Contact: Frank Perez (805)547-7948

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CDCR Dedicates New California Health Facility

Will Provide Mental Health, Medical Care to 1,722 Inmate-Patients

STOCKTON — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation today dedicated its new California Health Care Facility, an $839 million medical facility designed to care for the state’s sickest inmates.

“This new California Health Care Facility is just the latest example of the state’s dedication to providing inmates in California with mental health and medical treatment that rivals any prison health care in the country,” said Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation Jeff Beard.  The newly constructed medical and mental health facility, which sits on 200 acres in south Stockton on the site of the former Karl Holton Youth Correctional Facility, was completed on time and on budget. It will begin accepting inmate-patients in mid-July and is expected to provide intermediate level care for its full complement of 1,722 patients by the end of 2013.  Approximately 2,500 doctors, nurses, technicians, mental health and other custody and support staff will be employed at the facility.

Beard noted that, over the last decade, CDCR has spent nearly $2 billion on 68 projects to upgrade or construct new dental facilities, mental health treatment and medical facilities in its 33 prisons, in addition to building the new Stockton facility.  “We are serious about the health and well-being of the inmates entrusted to us,” he said. “When you factor in the dramatic drop in our prison population and the system-wide health care upgrades we’ve made, it’s clear we are providing a constitutional level of care.” 

The 54-building complex in south Stockton includes housing for patients who require acute and long-term care for medical or psychiatric needs.  The facility also includes a diagnostic center, dental clinic and dialysis units to treat diabetes, a common disease among elderly and ill inmates. Inmate-patients who require surgery or a higher level of care than can be provided in the new facility will be treated at San Joaquin General Hospital, where they will be housed in a secure, guarded ward constructed by the state at a cost of $2.2 million that will keep them separated from other hospital patients.

By providing acute care to the state’s most seriously ill inmates, the new Stockton facility increases the capacity of medical and mental health units to meet the daily and less serious health needs of inmates in each prison.  Approximately 34,252 inmates, 25.8 percent of the total inmate population, are currently receiving some level of mental health treatment.

In addition to the California Health Care Facility, CDCR will provide mental health treatment for 1,133 inmate patients at the DeWitt Correctional Annex currently under construction adjacent to the new facility.  Construction, at a cost of $173 million, is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2014.
Construction of the Stockton facility and other treatment upgrades in the state’s 33 prisons is in response to lawsuits (Plata and Coleman) alleging substandard medical and mental health treatment and improvements ordered by the  Northern and Eastern Federal District Courts, respectively .

For more information on CDCR:
For a list of CDCR medical and mental health projects under construction:

June 25, 2013
Contact: Bill Sessa
916) 445-4950


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

California State Prison, Los Angeles County Contract Psychologist Recovering from Inmate Assault

LOS ANGELES – A contract psychologist is recovering from injuries she suffered from an attack by a California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC) inmate this morning.

At approximately 8:30 a.m., the psychologist was conducting rounds in one of the institution’s housing facilities when inmate Jacob Marquez, 37, repeatedly punched the psychologist in her face.
Inmate Marquez was subdued and subsequently transported to the Administrative Segregation Unit.

The psychologist was taken to an area hospital for treatment for injuries to her head, a broken nose, and hemorrhaging behind her left eye. One responding officer sustained an injury to her leg and hand during the incident. Another responding officer sustained cuts and bruises to his right hand. 

Marquez was committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on September 3, 2004 from Los Angeles County to serve a 20-year sentence for second-degree robbery.

The matter will be referred to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

“LAC opened in 1993 and houses 3,724 minimum-, medium-, maximum-, and high-security custody inmates. The prison offers academic classes and vocational programs, as well as community programs and work crews. The prison employs approximately 1,473 people.



June 18, 2013
Contact: Jackie Galapon
(661) 729-6912

Monday, June 10, 2013

Condemned Inmate Timothy Rodriguez, 44, Dies of Natural Causes

CORCORAN -- Condemned inmate Timothy Rodriguez, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the fatal beating of a 90-year-old Bakersfield woman in 2007, died June 2 of natural causes at John D. Klarich Memorial Hospital at Corcoran State Prison. The cause of death was listed as “end-stage liver disease.”

Rodriguez, 44, did odd jobs and yard work for the 90-year-old Thelma Long.  One night, Rodriguez entered the house through an unlocked door and demanded money, ostensibly for yard work he had performed.  When Mrs. Long and her daughter Catherine Reeves told him to leave, he attacked them with an aluminum baseball bat.  Mrs. Long died at the scene, but Reeves survived and identified Rodriguez as the person who attacked her and her mother.  He was arrested later that day.

He was sentenced to death January 6, 2010.

CSP-Corcoran opened in 1988 and houses 4,395 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 2,300 people.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 60 condemned inmates (including Rodriguez) have died from natural causes, 22 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, six have died from other causes, and one cause is pending. There are 734 offenders on California’s death row.

Monday June 10, 2013
Contact: Lt. Anthony Baer
(559) 992-6104


Friday, June 7, 2013

Condemned Inmate Richard Ramirez Dies

SAN QUENTIN - Condemned inmate Richard Ramirez, 53, was pronounced dead early this morning, June 7, 2013. He died of natural causes at Marin General Hospital.

Ramirez, also widely known as the “Night Stalker,” was found guilty in 1989 of 13 counts of murder, and numerous other counts of attempted murder, sexual assault and burglary.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 59 condemned inmates (including Ramirez) have died from natural causes, 22 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri; and six have died from other causes. There are 735 offenders on California’s death row.

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June 7, 2013
Contact: Lt. Sam Robinson
(415) 445-5008

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Parole Denied for Inmate Leslie Van Houten

CORONA – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) today denied parole for Manson “family” member Leslie Van Houten, 63, during a hearing at the California Institution for Women. Today’s decision was the result of Van Houten’s 19th parole suitability hearing.

Van Houten was sentenced to death in 1971 for two counts of first-degree murder in the Aug. 10, 1969, homicides of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and conspiracy to commit murder in the Aug. 9, 1969, deaths of Sharon Tate-Polanski and four others at the Tate-Polanski home in Los Angeles.

Her original 1971 conviction and death sentence were reversed on appeal. She was re-tried in 1976, but the jury could not reach a verdict. Van Houten was released on bail from Dec. 27, 1977, to July 5, 1978, but was convicted in her 1978 trial and sentenced to life in prison.

The Board returned a five-year consideration period.

The BPH hearing transcript will serve as the official record and is expected to be transcribed in approximately 30 days.

June 5, 2013
Contact: Dana Simas
(916) 445-4950

Monday, June 3, 2013

Suspected Inmate Homicide at California State Prison-Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide at the California State Prison-Los Angeles County (LAC) after he was found unresponsive in a housing unit day room floor, on Friday, May 31, 2013.

Inmate Victor Jones, 48, was pronounced dead at the institution at approximately 5:14 pm.

Prison officials have named Inmate Andre Rutledge as a suspect in the case. Rutledge was placed in the Administrative Segregation Unit, pending completion of the investigation.

The victim was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on February 28, 1997, from Riverside County and was serving 30-years-to-Life for Robbery 1st Degree.

The suspect, Inmate Rutledge, 36, was received from Alameda County for Rape, with an estimated parole release date of September 17, 2020.

The preliminary information received by prison officials indicated that Jones died of natural causes. CDCR subsequently received information that indicated that he was a victim of a battery. The victim’s next of kin 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 (PPF) 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

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For immediate release
June 3, 2013
Contact: Lt. Jackie Galapon
(661) 729-6912

Inmate Riot at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center Under Investigation

One inmate dies, two others seriously injured

WASCO— On Monday, June 3, at 9:20 a.m., a riot involving approximately 40 inmates occurred inside the Facility “A” Exercise Yard at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP-RC).

Correctional officers fired one round from the Mini-14 Rifle to quell the disturbance.

Three inmates suffered serious injuries requiring them to be transported to an outside hospital for treatment; one of those inmates was pronounced deceased at approximately 10 a.m.  His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.  The cause of death is currently unknown.

There were no staff injuries as a result of the incident.

The WSP-RC Investigative Services Unit will investigate the cause of the riot. The Office of the Inspector General Bureau of Independent Review and the Office of Internal Affairs have been notified.

Facility “A” was placed on lockdown pending further investigation.

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 5,000 inmates, and employs approximately 1,700 people.


For Immediate Release
June 3, 2013
Contact: Lt. Floyd Harl
(661) 758-8400 ext. 5013