Thursday, August 21, 2014

Inmates Returned from Hospital after Disturbance at Ironwood State Prison

Six inmates are now back in Ironwood State Prison after being treated at a local hospital for injuries they sustained during a large scale disturbance on August 19, which prompted a Code 3 response from officers.  In addition, a Correctional Officer who was injured while responding to the incident was subsequently sent to Palo Verde Hospital for treatment and later released.  The officer is at home resting and scheduled to return to work soon.  

The incident began when approximately 20 inmates started fighting in front of a housing unit during the morning meal. It escalated into the dining hall where up to 180 inmates joined the riot, including throwing food trays at one another. 

To contain the incident and keep inmate injuries to a minimum, officers used a variety of non-lethal weapons, including pepper spray, blast dispersion grenades and 40mm launchers that are designed to fire rubber projectiles. Officers controlled the incident within a few minutes. 

Chief Deputy Warden Neil McDowell praised the officers for their rapid response. “Custody staff used their training and experience to quell this incident quickly, minimizing injuries and ensuring the security of the institution. All staff, including non-custody personnel, should be commended for their professionalism and prompt actions.”

All inmates on Facility “C” were placed on modified program pending investigation into the cause of the riot and identification of participants.      

Contact: Lt. Michael Smith
(760) 921-3000 x5006


Monday, August 18, 2014

Eight California Prisons Accredited with the American Correctional Association

Nearly half of all California prisons are now accredited with worldwide authority 

SACRAMENTO – The Commission on Accreditation for Corrections has accredited eight additional California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prisons, bringing the total number of accredited California prisons to 16. The most recent round of accreditations was announced yesterday during the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) 144th Congress of Correction in Salt Lake City, Utah.

California Institution for Women, Centinela State Prison, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, Folsom State Prison, Ironwood State Prison, Kern Valley State Prison, Sierra Conservation Center and Wasco State Prison and Reception Center achieved near-perfect scores in the ACA evaluation.

“ACA accreditation is an important and highly respected indicator which demonstrates that our state prisons are being operated safely, professionally, humanely and in compliance with the U.S. Constitution,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “I commend all CDCR employees for their ongoing commitment to ensuring our facilities meet and exceed such strict standards.”

For more than 143 years, the ACA has been the recognized worldwide authority in corrections and its Commission on Accreditation for Corrections certifies correctional facilities. The ACA is responsible for conducting the audits; the Commission, comprised of corrections professionals from across the country, is responsible for granting or denying the accreditation.

ACA standards are the national benchmark for the effective operation of correctional facilities. The ACA’s Standards Committee continually revises standards based on changing practices, current case law, agency experiences and the expert opinions of corrections professionals, doctors, legal experts and architects. Adult and juvenile facilities, community-based programs, and parole and probation agencies all use ACA standards. Lawyers, judges, county administrators, academia and advocacy groups also use ACA standards as a tool to ensure the constitutional rights of offenders and to protect staff and the public.

Institutions seeking accreditation must undergo rigorous reviews and evaluations that culminate in the accreditation audit. CDCR’s Special Review Unit in the Office of Audits and Court Compliance provides departmental oversight and works with the Division of Health Care Services in the accreditation process.

The accreditation audit is a comprehensive review that encompasses every area of prison management including administrative and fiscal controls, staff training and development, the physical plant, safety and emergency procedures, conditions of confinement, rules and discipline, inmate programs, health care, food service, sanitation, and the provision of basic services that can affect the life, safety and health of inmates and staff.

Institutions seeking accreditation have to comply with 529 ACA standards and score 100 percent for 62 mandatory requirements and at least 90 percent on 467 non-mandatory requirements. Half of the mandatory standards address health care.

Since last fall, ACA audit teams visited the eight prisons and conducted comprehensive on-site audits of all aspects of prison operations. The teams found that all eight prisons met all of the mandatory requirements and all eight significantly exceeded the 90 percent mark for non-mandatory items.

California Institution for Women received a score of 98.9 percent, Centinela State Prison received 97.4 percent, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison received 99.1 percent, Folsom State Prison received 97.6 percent, Ironwood State Prison received 99.1 percent, Kern Valley State Prison received 98.8 percent, Sierra Conservation Center received 98.8 percent and Wasco State Prison and Reception Center received 97.9 percent.

Next year, Avenal State Prison, California Medical Facility, California Men’s Colony, California State Prison-Corcoran, California State Prison-Los Angeles County, Deuel Vocational Institution, Salinas Valley State Prison and San Quentin State Prison are scheduled to go through the accreditation process.

The accreditation process is intended to be continuous. Three prisons accredited in 2012 – California State Prison-Sacramento, California State Prison-Solano and Central California Women’s Facility – will be going through the re-accreditation process for 2015. Since standards are being revised to reflect changes in the profession, re-accreditation may involve compliance with some new or updated standards.

CDCR’s goal is to have all of its 34 institutions accredited by 2017.

CDCR began the process of seeking nationally recognized accreditation from the ACA in 2010. In addition to the eight prisons accredited today, the following state prisons have also been accredited by the ACA:

California State Prison-Sacramento, with a score of 98.6 percent
California State Prison-Solano, 99 percent
Central California Women’s Facility, 98.16 percent
Correctional Training Facility, 98.1 percent
High Desert State Prison, 98.8 percent
Mule Creek State Prison, 98.8 percent
North Kern State Prison, 97.66 percent
Pelican Bay State Prison, 97.4 percent

For more about CDCR:

For more about the American Correctional Association:

August 18, 2014   

(916) 445-4950
                                                               # # #

Monday, August 4, 2014

New Residential Reentry and Rehabilitation Program for Females to Open

SAN DIEGO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced it will open the Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Program (CCTRP) facility that will provide female offenders with rehabilitative and transitional services before their release.

“This reentry facility is yet another example of California’s commitment to rehabilitation and better preparing offenders for life after their release,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “Investing in rehabilitation pays dividends in the long run. For every offender who successfully transitions back into society, California’s taxpayers save thousands of dollars.”

The CDCR-owned facility will house 82 female participants, with the possibility of increasing to 118 in the future. Initially, the services will focus on women who have 24 months or less remaining to serve.

The CCTRP will be operated through a four-year contract with the WestCare Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides behavioral and mental health services in 17 states and two territories. Staff will comprise WestCare employees and several current CDCR peace officers. Participants are expected to start arriving at the beginning of August.

Programs will provide participants with gender-responsive supervision, treatment and services that increase opportunities for successful reintegration in their communities. Some of the evidence-based programs include employment guidance, family reunification services and a substance abuse program for women who require it.

The building comes at no cost to CDCR, which already owns the facility. The annual operating cost is $2.4 million.

Escapee apprehended, returned to Wasco State Prison

Jeffrey Scott Landers, 34, was arrested on Aug.3, 2014, at approximately 2:10 p.m. in an orchard by the Merced County Sheriff’s Office and placed into police custody without any use of force.

Inmate Landers had a 10- inch screwdriver in his possession. Wasco State Prison-Reception Center staff returned him to prison custody.

On Aug. 2, 2014, at approximately 5:39 p.m., officials at WSP received information that Landers had escaped while on a transport.

Landers was received at WSP from Riverside County on Nov. 19, 2013, for the commitment offense of first-degree murder and had an enhancement for personal use of a dangerous or deadly weapon, for which he received a life sentence.

WSP'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 was opened February 1991, houses approximately 5,000 inmates and employs approximately 1,700 people.