Tuesday, March 26, 2013

CDCR Officer and K-9 Killed in Car Crash

The officer and dog died this morning in San Diego County en route to an assignment

SACRAMENTO – Correctional Officer Gilbert Cortez and his K-9 Mattie died this morning when their car rolled off the road. They and four other K-9 teams in separate cars were driving south on State Highway 79 in San Diego County on their way to conduct a search of La Cima Fire Camp. The cause of the accident is under investigation. No other vehicles were involved; Cortez’s vehicle was ahead of the others.

“All of us at CDCR mourn the tragic death of Officer Gilbert Cortez,” said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary Jeff Beard. “He was a valued member of our department and his untimely passing, in the line of duty, is a huge loss to all who worked with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gil’s family, friends and colleagues. We are also deeply saddened by the death of Gil’s K-9 partner, Mattie.”

Cortez, 46, worked at California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) and was part of the Southern Regional K-9 Unit. He started his career at CDCR in 1990 at the California Institution for Men. The next year, he transferred to Calipatria State Prison where he was assigned to the Investigative Services Unit and promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In 2001, Cortez was transferred to CRC where he subsequently completed K-9 training.

Officer Cortez is survived by his wife, their two children and his parents.

His K-9 partner Mattie was a Belgian Malinois, donated by a private citizen in the San Diego area. She started service with Officer Cortez in August 2011 and was certified to search for contraband and narcotics. CDCR’s K-9 program uses dogs and skilled handlers to detect cell phones and drugs in prisons.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 25, 2013
Contact: Jeffrey Callison
(916) 445-4950


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Friday, March 22, 2013

Inmate Death at Kern Valley State Prison Under Investigation as a Homicide

DELANO – Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) investigators are working with the Kern County Coroner and District Attorney’s Office to investigate the death of an inmate, which has been classified as a homicide.

Prison staff found an inmate, whose name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification, unresponsive in his cell at 7:46 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2013. He was declared dead at 8:44 p.m. The cell and all its contents have been secured and processed as a crime scene.

The deceased inmate was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole from Los Angeles County for first-degree murder.  He was received by CDCR on July 1, 2004, and had been housed at KVSP since April 9, 2012.

The deceased inmate’s cellmate, Scott A. Mendez, has been identified as the suspect in the case. Mendez, 41, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole from Fresno County for first-degree murder.  He was received by CDCR on November 24, 1993, and has been housed at KVSP since September 2, 2010.

KVSP opened in 2005 and houses 3,782 minimum-, medium-, maximum-, and high-security custody inmates.  KVSP offers academic classes and vocational programs and employs approximately 1,800 people.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2013
Contact: Lt. Jeff Smith
(661) 721-6314

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kern Valley State Prison Officers Quickly Isolate and Control Large Incident

(Delano) – Custody staff at Kern Valley State Prison (KVS) quickly contained, isolated and controlled a large scale incident on the prison’s maximum-security yard today.

At 9:51 a.m., several fights broke out among groups of inmates on the B Facility yard. Correctional officers used less-than-lethal options including pepper spray, chemical agents, and direct impact rounds to quickly stop the fights and bring the incidents under control.

So far, 10 inmates have been taken by ambulance to outside hospitals for treatment of stab wounds. KVSP staff are assessing the involved inmates for injuries.

Investigators with KVSP’s Investigative Services Unit are investigating the incident.

This information is preliminary; updates will be provided later.

KVSP opened in 2005 and houses 3,782 minimum-, medium-, maximum- and high-security custody inmates.  KVSP offers academic classes and vocational programs and employs approximately 1,800 people.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 14, 2013
CONTACT:  JEFF SMITH
(661) 721-6314

CDCR's Response to Dr. Raymond Patterson:

“We adamantly reject this monitor’s suggestion that the state is indifferent to the issue of suicide prevention. Far from it. California has one of the most robust prison suicide prevention programs in the nation.

California’s prison suicide rate is half that of local jails, lower than many other state prison systems and in fact lower than the suicide rate of adult males outside of prison. While there will always be areas where we can improve, CDCR is identifying and implementing improvements on its own. We do not need further intrusive and costly federal court oversight.”

Once we have a chance to review this new report, we will file a full response identifying all of the flaws and inaccuracies it contains.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wanted Parolee Arrested by California Parole Apprehension Team Parole Agents After Being Wanted for over 32 years

SACRAMENTO-- On March 16, 2010, the Division of Adult Parole Operations, California Parole Apprehension Team (CPAT), in Region III began an investigation into the location and apprehension of Parolee At Large (PAL), Richard Bradford. Bradford has a commitment offense of Penal Code 187 first-degree murder and first-degree attempted robbery for which he received a life sentence on July 20, 1971.

Bradford was last released on parole on December 8, 1978, and had been absconding parole since September 15, 1980. In early 2011 Region III CPAT discovered that Bradford was possibly using the name, "James Edward Heard." Further investigation  revealed that Heard owned several properties in the Pasadena area including a high-end drug rehabilitation center called Eaton Canyon Treatment Center. Subsequently, a fingerprint comparison of Bradford’s prison fingerprint card and Heard’s Department of Motor Vehicles fingerprints by the Whitter Police Department confirmed that James Edward Heard was in fact, PAL Richard Bradford.

In February 2011, Region III CPAT was contacted by Bradford’s attorney in an effort to negotiate Bradford's surrender as he was now aware that CPAT  was actively looking for him.  Bradford's attorney requested that Bradford be given some time to turn himself in to DAPO.  He never turned himself in and Region III CPAT continued efforts to locate Bradford.  However, investigative efforts for approximately two years were met with negative results.  

Information was received off and on that Bradford was in the Pasadena area but keeping a very low profile in an effort to avoid apprehension, as he was aware that CPAT was continually checking for him. Bradford transferred the control of all of his businesses to a trust, all credit cards were in the name of the treatment center as well as all vehicles. All financial aspects of Bradford's alias, James Heard, were placed in a trust, and there was little activity under the name of "James Heard."

Finally on March 10, 2013, while conducting surveillance, CPAT agents observed Bradford and his wife leave their home. CPAT agents followed them to a Home Depot store in Monrovia. CPAT agents moved in and took them both into custody without incident as they exited their vehicle. Bradford’s wife was arrested for being a felon in possession of pepper spray, and was booked into the Monrovia City Jail.  A search of Bradford's residence produced documentation for James Heard and Richard Bradford.

James Edward Heard was created with a false birth certificate in Alameda County in 1977 and a social security card was issued to this individual in 1978 during the time that Bradford was still in state prison.  Bradford began using the name James Heard off and on beginning in the mid 1980’s, and by 1992 Richard Bradford disappeared on paper.

Fortunately Region III CPAT continued their efforts and was successful in bringing this PAL to justice after over 32 years of absconding parole supervision.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vendor Fair Set for California Health Care Facility in Stockton

Facility will spend millions of dollars per year on supplies


STOCKTON – Businesses who wish to sell their products or services to the new California Health Care Facility (CHCF) now under construction in Stockton are invited to attend a vendor fair in that city to learn how to become certified to do business with the State of California.

The event will be held March 18 at the Stockton Hilton, 2323 Grand Canal Boulevard, in downtown Stockton, from 1-3 pm.  The fair is co-sponsored by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California Correctional Health Care Services, Department of General Services (DGS), the Department of State Hospitals and the Stockton Hilton.  Advance registration information is available at Kim.Petersen@CDCR.ca.gov. 

“With more than 2,000 staff and 1,700 inmate-patients on the site every day, we will have many of the same needs as a small city as well as some specialized needs related to health care,” said Warden Ron Rackley.  “We expect to spend several millions of dollars a year to operate the California Health Care Facility and would like every local business that wants to do business with us to be prepared by attending our workshop in Stockton,” said Rackley.

Representatives from the sponsoring state agencies will be on hand to explain general contracting procedures and the process for being certified as a Small Business or Veteran-owned and the types of products and services that the 1.2 million square foot medical facility will need.

The first of 1,722 inmate-patients are expected in July 2013 in a facility that will employ approximately 2,400 people in up to 160 professional classifications, creating a $220 million payroll that will add an estimated $1 billion a year to the local economy.  More than half of the $1 billion in construction costs for the new facility has been awarded to businesses and contractors in Stockton and the surrounding area and more than half of the 5,500 construction jobs have been filled with local craftsmen.

More information about the California Health Care Facility is available at http://www.chcfstockton.com/ Information about CDCR is available at www.cdcr.ca.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2013
CONTACT: BILL SESSA
(916) 445-4950


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Inmate Walkaway Apprehended, Returned to Wasco State Prison

WASCO – On March 5, 2013, at approximately 7:00 pm, officials at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP-RC) received information that inmate Michael Howard Devlin, 42, who had walked away from the institution’s minimum support facility on March 2, was apprehended and in police custody.

Devlin was arrested by the Parlier Police Department along with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Services Unit Agents. He was later transferred to WSP-RC.

Devlin was received at WSP-RC from Riverside County on July 13, 2012 to serve a five-year sentence for possession of a controlled substance and carrying a concealed dirk or dagger.

WSP-RC’s primary mission is to provide short-term housing necessary to process, classify, and evaluate new inmates physically, mentally, and determine their security level, program requirements and appropriate institutional placement. WSP-RC was opened February 1991, houses approximately 5,000 inmates, and employs approximately 1,700 people.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2013
Contact: Lt. Robert Mazuka
(661) 758-8400 ext. 5013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Inmate Walkaway at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center

WASCO – On March 2, 2013, at approximately 8:30 a.m., officials at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP-RC) discovered that a state prison inmate identified as Howard Devlin walked away from the minimum support facility.

Howard Devlin, 42, was received at WSP-RC from Riverside County on July 13, 2012, for the commitment offense possession of a controlled substance, where he received a 4-year sentence.

He is described as a white male, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 140 pounds, medium build, with brown hair, brown eyes, and a moustache and goatee.

Prison officials have contacted local law enforcement agencies and are currently looking for the escapee.  Anyone with information is encouraged to call 911 immediately.

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



 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2013
Contact: Lt. Robert Mazuka
(661) 758-8400 ext. 5013