Saturday, December 31, 2016

Walk Away from Ben Lomond Conservation Camp (CC #45) Apprehended in Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials today announced the apprehension of a minimum-security inmate who walked away from Ben Lomond Conservation Camp on Dec. 28, 2016.

At 4:35 p.m. this afternoon, inmate Russell Helton, 40, was apprehended by CDCR Special Service Unit agents in the Santa Cruz area. He was discovered missing by camp staff last Wednesday during a routine count.

Inmate Helton was assigned to an inmate firefighting crew at CC #45 near Santa Cruz. The camp houses approximately 100 minimum-custody inmates.

Helton will be transported back to the California Correctional Center in Susanville, and will no longer be eligible to be housed in a Conservation Camp. Helton was received by CDCR on Dec. 2015 from Sacramento County, with a four year sentence for grand theft.

Since 1977, 99 percent of all offenders who have left an adult institution, camp, or community-based program without permission have been apprehended.


Contact: Lt. Aaron Yderraga
(530) 257-2181


Thursday, December 29, 2016

CDCR Awards $14.5 Million to Expand Rehabilitative Programs

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has announced the recipients of $14.5 million in grants to boost innovative programs and increase volunteerism in prisons.

The Innovative Grant Program (IGP) began in 2015, when CDCR awarded $2.5 million in one-year grants to fund 38 programs at 17 prisons. Now in its third cycle, IGP will establish 43 programs at 20 adult institutions, with program offerings ranging from communication and de-escalation skills to service dog training, prison gardens, family reunification and computer coding.

“Positive programs help offenders learn important life skills, foster peaceful communication and self-reflection, and contribute to safer prison environments for inmates and staff,” said Jay Virbel, director of CDCR’s Division of Rehabilitative Programs. “Expanding programs to even more prisons, and focusing on our long-term offender population, will enable the state to see even more success in preparing offenders to return home.”

IGP provides $3 million in grants that will be awarded for a three-year period, for a total of $9 million. These grants are targeted to institutions underserved by volunteers and not-for-profit organizations.

For the first time ever, an additional $5.5 million will be awarded for a one-year period to provide programs that have proven successful in serving long-term or life-term inmates. Twenty-six individuals and organizations were awarded grants to establish 63 programs at 29 institutions. With the addition of these grants to IGP offerings, CDCR is proud to now fund 188 programs at institutions where they were not previously offered.

The grants are funded by CDCR’s general fund. The first half will be awarded initially, with the remaining 50 percent awarded at the halfway point of the grant period. For the three-year grants, recipients will receive half the year’s funds at the beginning of the year and the second at the halfway point, with the process repeated each year.

At the end of the grant period, it is expected the programs will have been implemented, additional volunteer resources developed, and the programs able to be sustained in the future through the normal prison budget.

For information, contact Krissi Khokhobashvili at (916) 445-4950 or kristina.khokhobashvili@cdcr.ca.gov.

Round 3 Grant Awards
Innovative Programming Grants and Long-Term Inmate (LTI) Programming Grants

Avenal State Prison
IGP: Insight Garden Program; Project Avary
LTI: Getting Out By Going In (GOG) (In-Cell Anger Management); Guiding Rage Into Power (GRIP)

California City Correctional Center
IGP: Center for Council; GOGI (Peer Mentor)

California Correctional Center
IGP: Root & Rebound; Get On The Bus

California Correctional Institution
IGP: Creating a Healing Society
LTI: GOGI (In-Cell Anger Management) 

California Health Care Facility
IGP: Catalyst Foundation
LTI: GOGI (In-Cell Anger Management); IMPACT/CARE

California Institution for Men
LTI: Catalyst Foundation; Moving Beyond Violence; The Place4Grace

California Institution for Women
LTI: The Last Mile; Moving Beyond Violence; Freedom to Choose Foundation; The Place4Grace

California Medical Facility
LTI: Self Awareness and Recovery; The Place4Grace; Yardtime Literacy Program

California Men's Colony
LTI: Center for Council; Prison of Peace

California State Prison-Corcoran
IGP: Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Moving Beyond Violence
LTI: Center for Council; GOGI (In-Cell Anger Management); Prison of Peace

California State Prison-Los Angeles County
IGP: Karma Rescue; Buddhist Pathways Prison Project
LTI: Youth Law Center

California State Prison-Sacramento
IGP: IMPACT/CARE; The Place4Grace; Buddhist Pathways Prison Project
LTI: GOGI (in-cell anger management); The Lionheart Foundation; Insight Prison Project (Apology Project)

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility
LTI: GOGI (In-Cell Anger Management); Get On The Bus

Calipatria State Prison
LTI: Anti-Recidivism Coalition; The Place4Grace; Giving Life Back to Lifers; Mothers with a Message; Prison Education Project

Centinela State Prison
LTI: The Old Globe-Reflecting Shakespeare; Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Giving Life Back to Lifers; Mothers with a Message

Central California Women's Facility
LTI: The Actors' Gang Prison Project; Healing Trauma; IMPACT/CARE; Insight Garden Program; Yardtime Literacy Program

Chuckawalla Valley State Prison
IGP: GOGI (Peer Mentor)
LTI: Prison of Peace; Community-Based Art Program

Correctional Training Facility
IGP: Defy Ventures, Inc.; GRIP; Project Avary; Insight Prison Project (Victim Offender Education Group)

Deuel Vocational Institution
IGP: Insight Prison Project (VOEG)
LTI: Center for Council

Folsom Women's Facility
IGP: Marin Shakespeare Company; Insight Garden Program; Yardtime Literacy Program

High Desert State Prison
IGP: The Place4Grace (Camp Grace); GOGI (Peer Mentor)
LTI: Center for Council; GOGI (Anger Management)

Ironwood State Prison
LTI: Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Prison of Peace; Community-Based Art Program; Youth Law Center

Kern Valley State Prison
IGP: Anti-Recidivism Coalition; The Actors' Gang Prison Project
LTI: Catalyst Foundation' GOGI (In-Cell Anger Management)

Mule Creek State Prison
IGP: Alternatives to Violence; Center for Council; Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs
LTI: IMPACT/CARE; Lionheart Foundation

North Kern State Prison
IGP: Alternatives to Violence; Marley's Mutts
LTI: GOGI (In-Cell Anger Management)

Pelican Bay State Prison
IGP: The Place4Grace
LTI: GOGI (In-Cell Anger Management)

Pleasant Valley State Prison
IGP: Defy Ventures, Inc.; Buddhist Pathways Prison Project
LTI: Prison of Peace

RJ Donovan Correctional Facility
LTI: Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs; Insight Prison Project (Spanish VOEG/Next Step); Prison Yoga Project

Salinas Valley State Prison
IGP: Project Avary; The Place4Grace (Camp Grace); The Place4Grace
LTI: GOGI (In-Cell Anger Management); Operation New Hope; Insight Prison Project (VOEG)

Valley State Prison
LTI: Center for Council; GOGI (In-Cell Anger Management); Insight Prison Project (VOEG)

Wasco State Prison
IGP: Alternatives to Violence; Prison of Peace; Marley's Mutts


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Inmate Death at RJ Donovan Correctional Facility Under Investigation

SAN DIEGO – Officials at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) are investigating the death of an inmate as a possible homicide.

Inmate Robert Charleston, 36, was found unresponsive in his cell just before 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 25. Staff immediately began lifesaving measures, and Charleston was transported to an outside hospital. He was pronounced dead at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Prison officials have named Charleston’s cellmate, Michael LaBrunda, 42, as a suspect. LaBrunda was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on April 19, 2012, from Los Angeles County to serve a sentence of 50 years to life with the possibility of parole for one count each of first- and second-degree murder.

LaBrunda has been placed in the prison’s Administrative Segregation Unit as the incident is being investigated by RJD’s Investigative Services Unit. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the San Diego County Coroner’s Office are assisting with the investigation. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

Charleston was received by CDCR from Los Angeles County on Aug. 20, 2009, to serve a 14-year sentence for resisting/deterring an officer with threats/violence. He was expected to parole in January 2020.


The primary mission of RJD is to provide housing and supervision for approximately 3,000 minimum- to high-security inmates. Designed as a training and work-oriented facility, RJDCF provides vocational, academic and industrial programs. The institution opened in 1987 and employs 1,850 people.

CONTACT: Lt. Jennifer Davies
(619) 661-7802

Walk Away from Ben Lomond Conservation Camp (CC#45)

SANTA CRUZ – A minimum-security inmate from California Correctional Center (CCC) walked away from Ben Lomond Conservation Camp (CC #45) on Dec. 28, 2016.

Inmate Helton was last seen at CC #45 by camp staff on Dec. 27, 2016, at 11:30 p.m. on his assigned bunk during a security check. He was discovered missing by camp staff on Dec. 28, 2016, at 12:30 a.m. during a routine count.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), CAL FIRE, law enforcement personnel, along with local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol were notified and are assisting in the search for Helton. All responding law enforcement agencies are continuing with the search and apprehension efforts.

Inmate Russell Helton, 40, is a white male, 5’ 11” tall, 159 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was committed to CDCR on Dec. 23, 2015, from Sacramento County for grand theft. He was scheduled to be released from CDCR custody on March 21, 2018.

Inmate Helton was assigned to an inmate firefighting crew at CC #45 near Santa Cruz. The camp houses approximately 100 minimum-custody inmates.

Anyone seeing Inmate Helton should contact 9-1-1 or law enforcement authorities immediately.

Anyone having information about or knowledge of the location of Russell Helton should contact the CCC Watch Commander at (530) 257-2181 ext. 4173.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 28, 2016

MEDIA INQUIRIES:  Lt. Aaron Yderraga 
(530) 257-2181 ext. 4110

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Riot at California Correctional Center Under Investigation

SUSANVILLE – Approximately 100 inmates were involved in a riot at California Correctional Center (CCC) on the medium-custody Facility C yard on Tuesday, Dec. 20, which resulted in four inmate injuries.

The incident began at 2:52 p.m. with correctional staff giving multiple orders to inmates to stop fighting. When they did not immediately comply, staff deployed non-lethal rounds, chemical agents and two mini-14 rounds as warnings. The inmates continued to riot and staff deployed a third mini-14 round striking an inmate in the buttocks. Four inmates sustained injuries (three were from other inmates and one was by use-of-force), and were transported to outside hospitals for treatment. Two of those inmates have since returned to the prison and two remain at the hospital in fair condition. No staff members were injured.

The incident is being investigated by the Investigative Services Unit at the prison, along with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Internal Affairs as part of the Deadly Force Review Team. Additionally, the Office of the Inspector General was notified. Inmate movement on Facility C is being limited to facilitate the investigation.

CCC opened in 1963 and houses 2,957 inmates at the institution and 1,908 at conservation camps. There are currently 901 staff members working at the institution and 173 working at conservation camps. The primary mission of CCC is to receive, house and train minimum-custody inmates for placement into one of the 18 Northern California conservation camps. Working in collaboration with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, these camps provide fire-suppression hand crews, as well as an organized labor force for public conservation projects and other emergency response needs of the State. The secondary mission of CCC is to provide meaningful work, training, and education programs for inmates who do not meet the criteria for assignment to a conservation camp. These alternative assignments include academic and vocational trade programs, facility maintenance jobs, food service positions, and other facility support assignments.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 22, 2016

CONTACT: Lt. Aaron Yderraga  
(530) 257-2181 ext. 4110 
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Inmate Back in Custody After Walking Away From Minimum Support Facility



COALINGA — California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials apprehended an inmate who walked away from the minimum-support facility at Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) on the same day he was reported missing. On Monday, Dec. 19 at approximately 7:30 p.m., someone meeting the description of Brian Dill was reported near the town of Avenal, which is 20 miles from PVSP. Avenal Police Department responded to the location, located and detained the suspect until the Crisis Response Team arrived and verified the suspect as Dill.

Dill was returned to the custody of CDCR shortly thereafter.

Dill, 33, was reported missing at noon yesterday during an institutional count. Notification was immediately made to local law enforcement agencies. Within minutes, agents from CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety were dispatched to locate and apprehend Dill. PVSP’s Investigative Services Unit, Crisis Response Team, local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol were notified to assist in the search for Dill.

PVSP would like to thank the Avenal Police Department, Coalinga Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Fresno and Kings County Sherriff agencies, and all the local residents who reported possible information which led to the apprehension of Dill.

Since 1977, 99 percent of all offenders who have left an adult institution, camp or community-based program without permission have been apprehended.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 20, 2016   



CONTACT:  Lt. Matt Martin 
 (559) 935-4972
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