Monday, August 31, 2015

San Quentin State Prison Legionnaires’ Disease Case Update

SAN QUENTIN – Administrators at San Quentin State Prison (SQ) continue to restore services to inmates as the institution deals with a number of confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease. Out-of-cell time for inmates will resume; inmate movement has been limited since August 27 to help facilitate an investigation into an outbreak of the disease.

All inmate services such as the law library and dental appointments have resumed as well.

Inmates are still receiving boxed meals and taking showers in portable shower units to avoid exposure to steam or mist that could contain the Legionella bacteria.

Secondary water sources such as bottled water and water tanks will continue to be used for consumption until it is deemed safe to resume normal water use.

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia. It's caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila carried via aerosolized water, such as steam, mist and moisture. It is not transmitted from person to person and has a normal incubation period from two to 10 days after exposure.

As of Aug. 31, there are six confirmed cases of inmates with Legionnaires’ disease. Five inmates are in outside area hospitals being treated for pneumonia-like symptoms but none are confirmed to have Legionnaires’ disease.

There are 73 inmates under observation for respiratory illness but have not been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease and are being treated at SQ’s on-site medical unit.

Staff at SQ have been sent educational material to inform them of what they should do if they begin to display symptoms. There have not been any confirmed cases of staff with Legionnaires’ disease.

Officials have been in communication with the Men’s Advisory Council, a representative group of inmates who advise and communicate with the Warden and other staff on matters of interest and concern to the inmate general population.

SQ is a reception center for new inmates to the California prison system. Intake has been temporarily halted since Aug. 27 as the investigation continues.

All inmate visiting and volunteer programs have also been halted as the investigation is ongoing.

SQ houses approximately 3,700 inmates, including low-, medium-, and maximum-custody inmates as well as condemned inmates. The prison also has approximately 1,800 employees.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 31, 2015
CONTACT: DANA SIMAS
(916) 445-4950

Sunday, August 30, 2015

San Quentin State Prison Legionnaires’ Disease Case Update

SAN QUENTIN – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, along with the Marin County Public Health Department and California Correctional Health Care Services, are continuing the investigation of the source of Legionnaires’ disease at San Quentin State Prison (SQ).

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia. It's caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila found in both potable and non-potable water systems. The illness is carried via aerosolized water, such as steam, mist and moisture. It is not transmitted from person to person and has a normal incubation period from two to 10 days after exposure.

On Aug. 26, a SQ inmate was transported to an outside hospital where he was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

As of Sunday, there are six confirmed cases with five inmates currently at outside hospitals. The additional diagnoses are the result of tests conducted over the last few days after the exposure.

In addition, approximately 51 inmates are currently under observation for respiratory illness but have not been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. All unconfirmed cases are being treated at SQ’s on-site medical unit.

To eliminate the spread of the bacteria, SQ has limited water use at the prison.

After consulting with local, state and national public-health experts familiar with the transmission of Legionnaires’, the prison resumed the use of plumbed toilets inside the facility’s housing units. Secondary water sources such as bottled water and water tanks will continue to be used for consumption until it is deemed safe to resume normal water use.

SQ officials have been in communication with the Men’s Advisory Council, a representative group of inmates who advise and communicate with the Warden and other staff on matters of interest and concern to the inmate general population.

Inmates are currently being served boxed meals to avoid exposure to steam and mist during cooking operations.

Portable shower units arrived at the prison on Saturday. SQ administrators and custody staff are coordinating to provide all inmates with showers and hope to resume out-of-cell activity as soon as possible. 

SQ is a reception center for new inmates to the California prison system. Intake has been temporarily halted as the investigation continues.

All inmate visiting and volunteer programs have also been halted as the investigation is ongoing.

SQ receives its water supply from the Marin County Municipal Water District and stores the water in a three-million gallon tank on-site.

SQ houses approximately 3,700 inmates, including low-, medium-, and maximum-custody inmates as well as condemned inmates. The prison also has approximately 1,800 employees.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 30, 2015
CONTACT: DANA SIMAS
(916) 628-6033

Saturday, August 29, 2015

San Quentin State Prison Continuing Response to Confirmed Case Of Legionnaires’ Disease

SAN QUENTIN – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, along with the Marin County Public Health Department and California Correctional Health Care Services, are continuing the investigation of the source of a confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease at San Quentin State Prison.

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia. It's caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila found in both potable and non-potable water systems. The illness is carried via aerosolized water, such as steam, mist and moisture.

On Aug. 26, an inmate was transported to an outside hospital where he was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease and is being treated. He is currently in stable condition. There are three other inmates who have been hospitalized after displaying pneumonia-like symptoms but have not been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

In addition, approximately 45 inmates are under observation for respiratory illness but have not been diagnosed. All unconfirmed cases are being treated at San Quentin’s on-site medical unit.

To eliminate the spread of the bacteria, San Quentin has limited water use at the prison.

After consulting with local, state and national public-health experts familiar with the transmission of Legionnaires’, the prison resumed the use of plumbed toilets inside the facility’s housing units, and monitored use of water for cooking as of Friday afternoon. Secondary water sources such as bottled water and water tanks will continue to be used for consumption until it is deemed safe to resume normal water use.

Portable shower units arrived at the prison Saturday for inmate use.

San Quentin is a reception center for new inmates to the California prison system. Intake has been temporarily halted as the investigation continues.  

This weekend’s inmate visiting has also been halted as the investigation is ongoing.

San Quentin receives its water supply from the Marin County Municipal Water District and stores the water in a three-million gallon tank on-site.

San Quentin houses approximately 3,700 inmates, including low-, medium-, and maximum-custody inmates as well as condemned inmates. The prison also has approximately 1,800 employees.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 29, 2015
CONTACT: DANA SIMAS
(916) 628-6033

Friday, August 28, 2015

San Quentin State Prison Responding to Confirmed Case Of Legionnaires’ Disease

SAN QUENTIN – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, along with the Marin County Public Health Department and California Correctional Health Care Services, are investigating the source of a confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease at San Quentin State Prison.

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia. It's caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila found in both potable and non-potable water systems. The illness is carried via aerosolized water, such as steam, mist and moisture.

On Aug. 26, an inmate was transported to an outside hospital where he was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease and is being treated. He is currently in stable condition. There are two other inmates who have been hospitalized after displaying symptoms but have not officially been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

In addition, approximately 30 inmates are under observation for pneumonia-like symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. All unconfirmed cases are being treated at San Quentin’s on-site medical unit.

To eliminate the spread of the bacteria, San Quentin has limited water use at the prison.

After consulting with local, state and national public-health experts familiar with the transmission of Legionnaires’, the prison will resume the use of plumbed toilets inside the facility’s housing units, and monitored use of water for cooking. Secondary water sources such as bottled water and water tanks will continue to be used for consumption until it is deemed safe to resume normal water use.

San Quentin is a reception center for new inmates to the California prison system. Intake has been temporarily halted as the investigation continues.  

San Quentin receives its water supply from the Marin County Municipal Water District and stores the water in a three-million gallon tank on-site.

San Quentin houses approximately 3,700 inmates, including low-, medium-, and maximum-custody inmates as well as condemned inmates. The prison also has approximately 1,800 employees.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2015
Contact: Dana Simas (916) 445-4950
or Lt. Sam Robinson (415) 455-5008

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Salinas Valley State Prison Investigating Cause of Inmate Riot

SOLEDAD – Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) administrators are investigating the cause of a riot that occurred this morning involving approximately 90 inmates.

At 9:47 a.m. several inmates started fighting on one of the institution’s maximum-security general population yards. Numerous inmate-made weapons were used in the riot.

Correctional peace officers used pepper spray and less-than-lethal force options.

Two inmates with slash wounds were taken to an outside hospital for treatment. There are also inmates being treated at the prison’s on-site medical unit.

No staff were injured in the disturbance. 

Inmate movement and programming is limited to facilitate the investigation.

SVSP is a maximum-security prison housing approximately 3,700 general population inmates.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 27, 2015
CONTACT: E. MAZARIEGOS
(831) 678-5554
                                                               

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Seven California Prisons Accredited with the American Correctional Association

With two-thirds of California prisons now accredited, CDCR on track to have
all adult institutions accredited by 2017


SACRAMENTO – The Commission on Accreditation for Corrections has accredited seven more California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prisons, bringing the total number of accredited California prisons to 23. The most recent round of accreditations was announced during the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) 145th Congress of Correction in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Since last year, ACA audit teams conducted comprehensive on-site audits of Avenal State Prison, California Medical Facility, California Men’s Colony, California State Prison-Corcoran, California State Prison-Los Angeles County, San Quentin State Prison and Salinas Valley State Prison, and found that all seven prisons met all of the mandatory requirements and significantly exceeded the 90 percent mark for non-mandatory items.

In addition, California State Prison-Sacramento, California State Prison-Solano and Central California Women’s Facility – accredited in 2012 – were re-accredited for three more years.

“Earning accreditation for our institutions means much more than just meeting national compliance standards,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “It also shows how far the department has come in improving its operations and meeting the expectations of the public we serve.”

Founded in 1870, the ACA is the leading internationally recognized authority on corrections and its role in the criminal justice system. It develops standards based on valid, reliable research and the experiences and practices of corrections professionals. The ACA audits prisons and its Commission on Accreditation for Corrections certifies them.

Institutions seeking accreditation must undergo rigorous 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 assessment 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 525 ACA standards and score 100 percent for 60 mandatory requirements and at least 90 percent on 465 non-mandatory requirements. Half of the mandatory standards address health care.

All seven prisons accredited yesterday received a score of 100 percent on the mandatory items.

For the non-mandatory requirements, Avenal State Prison received a score of 98.8 percent, California Medical Facility received 98.8 percent, California Men’s Colony received 98.2 percent, California State Prison-Corcoran received 99.3 percent, California State Prison-Los Angeles County received 98.61 percent, Salinas Valley State Prison received 99.1 percent and San Quentin State Prison received 97.9 percent.

California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, Valley State Prison, Calipatria State Prison, California Institution for Men, California Correctional Center, Pleasant Valley State Prison and RJ Donovan Correctional Facility have started the process of seeking accreditation in 2016.

CDCR began the process of seeking nationally recognized accreditation from the ACA in 2010. Its goal is to have all of its 34 institutions accredited by 2017.

For more about CDCR: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/

For more about the American Correctional Association: http://www.aca.org/
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2015
Contact: Jeffrey Callison  
(916) 445-4950


 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

California Correctional Center Investigating Deadly Force Incident

SUSANVILLE— Officials at California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville are investigating the cause of a riot that occurred Sunday, August 16 in which one inmate was fatally shot.
   
At approximately 5:45 p.m. about 45 inmates started fighting in one of the prison’s Level III, medium-security dining halls.

Correctional peace officers used pepper spray, less-than-lethal force options, and at least four warning shots from the Ruger Mini-14 to quell the disturbance.

One inmate, who was attacking another with a weapon, was struck by a fifth round from the Mini-14. Inmate Jonathan Velarde was pronounced dead at the prison’s medical unit. The inmate’s next-of-kin has been notified.

Velarde, 23, was committed to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) from Los Angeles County on September 16, 2013 to serve a two-year, eight-month sentence for attempted second-degree robbery and possession of marijuana for sale by a second-striker.

No staff members were injured in the disturbance.

This incident is an on-going investigation by the prison Investigative Service Unit and will be referred to the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

CDCR also sent a Deadly Force Investigations Team (DFIT) to CCC to investigate the incident. DFIT is a team of trained CDCR investigators that conducts criminal and administrative investigations into every use of deadly force. A deadly force review board will conduct a full and complete review of the incident as well.
Inmate movement and programming is limited to facilitate the investigation.

CCC opened in 1963 and currently houses approximately 4800 conversation camp, minimum-medium custody inmates that work with CAL FIRE in wild land conservation and firefighting projects. CCC offers academic classes, vocational programs, and firefighter training.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 18, 2015

CONTACT: DANA SIMAS 
(916) 445-4950
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Attempted Homicide on a Peace Officer Under Investigation

VACAVILLE – Officials at California Medical Facility (CMF) in Vacaville are investigating the attempted homicide of a correctional officer early Tuesday morning.

At approximately 1:40 a.m., while working in CMF’s Psychiatric Administrative Segregation Unit, a correctional officer was attacked by an inmate with an unidentified weapon. The officer was able to fight off the attack and secure himself in a safe area.

Additional staff responded to the incident and secured the inmate. 

The officer was transported to the CMF Medical Clinic for initial treatment but was transported to an outside hospital for further medical evaluation and treatment. The officer was later released from the outside hospital and is recovering.

The inmate was medically evaluated and transferred to another institution.

At this time, the motive for the attack is unknown. The incident is being investigated by CMF’s Investigative Services Unit.

No other staff members were injured as a result of this incident.

The Psychiatric Administrative Segregation Unit is for inmates at the Enhanced Outpatient Program or Correctional Clinical Care Management System level of mental health care.

CMF was established in 1955 and houses minimum-, medium-, maximum-and high security inmates. CMF has a Correctional Treatment Center, in-patient and out-patient psychiatric facilities, a Hospice Unit for terminally ill inmates, and general population.  Additionally, the Department of State Hospitals operates a licensed, Acute Care Psychiatric Hospital and an Intermediate Care Facility within CMF.  The prison houses approximately 2,400 inmates and employs nearly 2,000 people.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2015
Contact: Lt. Andre Gonzales 
(707) 449-6509


Friday, August 14, 2015

Update: California State Prison-Sacramento Continues Investigation of Riot and Homicide of Hugo Pinell

FOLSOM – California State Prison-Sacramento investigators are continuing their probe of the homicide of inmate Hugo Pinell and the subsequent riot that involved approximately 70 inmates.

Two inmates allegedly stabbed Pinell at approximately 12:55 p.m. on August 12. The riot started immediately after the attack. Pinell succumbed to his wounds and was pronounced dead at 1:22 p.m.

Correctional peace officers used significant amounts of pepper spray, approximately 160 rounds from less-lethal munitions and three warning shots fired from the Mini-14 rifle to stop the disturbance that lasted for about 20 minutes.

So far, correctional officers have recovered at least 15 inmate-made weapons. The B Facility maximum-security general population yard is still being processed as a crime scene. Inmate movement and programming on B Facility is limited to facilitate the ongoing investigation.

A total of 29 inmates were injured. Eighteen were treated for their injuries at the institution. Eleven were transported to outside hospitals for treatment of stab and puncture wounds, broken bones, head trauma and other serious injuries. Five of the 11 inmates were admitted; one is in an intensive care unit in critical condition suffering from a severe head injury and multiple stab wounds.

No staff members were injured in the disturbance.

Two inmates have been identified as suspects in the alleged murder of Pinell.

Hugo Pinell, 71, was serving six life sentences for murder, rape, battery, aggravated assault and voluntary manslaughter.

Pinell, who was born in Nicaragua, was convicted of rape in 1965 in Marin County and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. Pinell began his sentence on March 19,

1965, at San Quentin State Prison, where he was convicted in 1968 of attacking a correctional officer and was transferred to Folsom State Prison. There, he attacked another correctional officer and was transferred to Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, where in March 1971 he stabbed and killed Correctional Officer R.J. McCarthy.

Pinell was involved in the August 1971 uprising at San Quentin State Prison that resulted in the murder of three correctional officers: Paul Krasenes, Jere Graham and Frank Deleon. Following his convictions and subsequent life sentences for the murders and assaults, Pinell was incarcerated at California State Prison-Corcoran and Pelican Bay State Prison.

Until his transfer to California State Prison-Sacramento on January 8, 2014, as a result of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s case-by-case reviews of gang-validated inmates, Pinell was the longest-serving Security Housing Unit inmate. He had been denied parole 10 times, most recently in May 2014.

California State Prison-Sacramento, opened in 1986, is a maximum-security prison that houses approximately 2,300 general population inmates and employs about 1,700 people. The institution houses inmates serving long sentences and those who have proven to be management problems at other institutions. California State Prison-Sacramento also houses inmates requiring specialized mental health treatment.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 13, 2015
CONTACT: TERRY THORNTON
(916) 445-4950

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

California State Prison-Sacramento Inmate Homicide Victim Identified as Hugo Pinell

Pinell was part of infamous “San Quentin Six” involved in deadly 1971 attack

FOLSOM – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has identified the inmate killed in this afternoon’s riot on a California State Prison, Sacramento maximum-security yard as Hugo Pinell.

Pinell, 71, was initially committed to CDCR on February 17, 1965 from San Francisco County to serve a life-with-parole sentence for rape with force.

Pinell killed Correctional Officer R.J. McCarthey on March 3, 1971 at Correctional Training Facility in Soledad. He was sentenced to serve life-with-parole on May 22, 1972.

He was involved in the August 21, 1971, escape attempt at San Quentin State Prison that left six people dead, including three correctional officers, three inmates and George Jackson, founder of the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang.

Pinell was convicted of violently assaulting two correctional officers during the escape attempt and sentenced to life-with-parole on September 1, 1976.

SAC is a maximum-security prison housing approximately 2,300 general population inmates.






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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 12, 2015
CONTACT: DANA SIMAS
(916) 445-4950

California State Prison-Sacramento Investigating Inmate Homicide During Riot

FOLSOM – California State Prison-Sacramento (SAC) administrators are investigating the cause of a riot that occurred this afternoon involving numerous inmates and in which one inmate was killed. The identity of the victim is being withheld until next of kin has been notified. 

At 12:55 p.m., approximately 70 inmates started fighting on one of the institution’s maximum-security general population yards. Inmate-made weapons were used in the riot.

Correctional peace officers used pepper spray, less-than-lethal force options, and at least two warning shots from the Mini-14.

Numerous inmates were injured and 11 inmates with stab wounds were taken to an outside hospital for treatment. There are also inmates being treated at the prison’s on-site medical unit.

No staff were injured in the disturbance. 

Inmate movement and programming is limited to facilitate the investigation. SAC is a maximum-security prison housing approximately 2,300 general population inmates.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 12, 2015
CONTACT: DANA SIMAS
(916) 445-4950