Wednesday, December 24, 1997

Media Policies - Adult Institutions

California correctional facilities and programs are operated at public expense for the protection of society. The public has a right and a duty to know how such facilities and programs are being operated. It is the policy of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to make known to the public through the news media all relevant information pertaining to operations of the department and facilities.

Following is a summary of California regulations and department policies and procedures regarding media access and activities. The complete regulations are found in the California Code of Regulations Title 15, Sections 3260 through 3267, found at this link:

Authorized Release of Information

The following data that may be released about an inmate or parolee includes:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Birthplace
  • Place of previous residence
  • Commitment information
  • Facility assignments and behavior
  • General state of health
  • Cause of death
  • Nature of injury or critical illness (unless the condition is related to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
  • Sentencing and release actions.
CDCR employee data that may be released includes:

  • Name
  • Civil service classification
  • Age
  • Work assignment
  • Length of service with the department and/or current division or unit
  • Past work assignments
  • Role or function in a newsworthy event
Media Access to Facilities

Access to adult CDCR facilities or contract facilities - prisons, community correctional facilities, re-entry facilities, prisoner mother facilities, and camps - and other CDCR offices including parole offices, requires prior approval of the institution head and the press secretary of the CDCR Office of Public and Employee Communications.

Within a facility, media representatives shall be under the direct supervision of the public information officer or his/her designee.

Media representatives cannot enter security housing units (SHU), condemned units (death row), the execution chamber, Administrative Segregation Units (AdSeg or ASU) or any area currently affected by an emergency without approval of the CDCR Secretary, the Director of the Division of Adult Institutions, or designee.

There may be limited access to other areas. These may include control booths, guard towers, protective housing units, reception centers, and units housing mentally, seriously or terminally ill inmates.

Media representatives need to supply a full name, date of birth, social security number and driver's license number to process a security clearance for access to an institution. Media representatives from outside the United States need to supply a full name, date of birth and passport information. If it is a breaking story, media representatives may be allowed access to an area outside the secure perimeter of the facility.

Requests to attend life prisoner parole hearings are handled by the Board of Parole Hearings at (916) 323-2993.

Writing, Telephoning and Visiting an Inmate

Media representatives may contact any state prison inmate by mail. It is not necessary for media to notify CDCR before communicating with an inmate. Incoming letters are opened, inspected for contraband, subject to be read, and then forwarded to the inmate. To ensure prompt processing, mail the letter to the inmate using his/her full name and CDC number in care of the institution where he/she is incarcerated. To get an inmate's CDC number, call the Inmate Check Line at (916) 557-5933. You must have the correct date of birth to obtain the CDC number.

Most inmates have access to telephones and can make outgoing collect calls on designated telephones according to their privilege group. Limitations are placed on the frequency of such calls to allow equal access to telephones by all inmates. When corresponding with an inmate, media representatives may provide a telephone number where an inmate can call them collect. It is up to the inmate to initiate the call. No restriction is placed on the identity or relationship to the inmate of the person called providing the person agrees to accept all charges for the call. Telephone calls are limited to 15 minutes and may be recorded. Media representatives may also record the call with the inmate's permission. Messages will not be taken by staff to inmates.

All inmates are allowed visits with approved visitors. If a media representative wishes to visit an inmate, write to the inmate and ask him/her to send you a CDC Form 106, Visiting Questionnaire. Your completed questionnaire must be submitted and approved by the institution before your visit. The application process takes about 30 working days. All approved visitors - friend, relative, attorney, or member of the media - may visit; however, they may not bring in cameras or recording devices. The institution will provide, upon request, pencil and paper to an adult visitor as needed. For more information about visiting, call the toll-free CDCR Visiting Information number at 1-800-374-8474 or go to this link:

Media Interviews

Media representatives can interview inmates or parolees randomly and random or specific-person face-to-face interviews with staff. Such interviews may be restricted by time, place, duration, and the number of people in a media crew.

Random interviews of inmates involved in a specific activity or program, or encountered while covering a facility activity or event, shall be limited to the time, areas and segments of the facility population designated by the institution head.

Inmates may not participate in specific-person, face-to-face interviews. No inmate, parolee or staff shall be interviewed against their will.

Use of cameras or recording devices inside an institution or on state property requires prior approval.

A CDC Form 146, Inmate Declaration To News Media Contact, shall be completed whenever an inmate is the subject of a still, motion picture or other recording intended for use by a television or radio station, or newspaper, magazine or other publication.

Media interviews shall not be permitted with an inmate suffering from a mental illness when, in the opinion of a psychiatrist or psychologist, the inmate is not capable of giving informed consent.

Controlled access may be permitted to seriously or terminally ill patients and their housing areas.

Media representatives or their organization may be required to pay the security or escort costs provided for interviews.

Cameras and Other Audio or Visual Recording Devices

Possession of any camera, wireless microphone or other recording device within a CDCR facility is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the institution head. A location agreement and a film permit from the California Film Commission may be required for filming on state property.

An inmate's consent is not required in settings like an exercise yard or dining hall where individuals are not singled out or where an inmate's identity is not revealed. Before such shots are taken however, inmates shall be advised so those who do not want to be recognized may turn away or leave the area.

Unless there is a specified threat of imminent danger to an inmate or parolee by releasing their photograph, media representatives shall be permitted access to identification photographs (mug shots) without the inmate's or parolee's consent.

Staff cannot prohibit a person who is not on state property from photographing, filming, video taping or otherwise recording any department facilities, employees, inmates, parolees or equipment.

Non-News Access to CDC Facilities

All non-news motion picture, radio, or television programs produced at any CDCR facility must have prior approval. For definition purposes, non-news related productions include features, documentaries, news magazine programs, commercials, and pilots for proposed news, public information, religious and entertainment television programs.

The process for approval consideration begins with a written request to the CDCR Press Office. The request should include:

  • Details of the project and production location needs
  • Production schedule and duration
  • Crew size
  • Any access to inmates
  • Script sections that pertain to CDCR
  • Scenes to be filmed inside a CDCR facility
  • Type/quantity of production equipment on premises
  • Any satellite or microwave transmission from a CDCR facility
If project approval is given, a location agreement must be executed with the parent firm and a California Film Commission permit ( will be required along with evidence of financial responsibility and liability insurance in the amount of at least $1 million with the State of California, its offices, employees, and agents as the "additional insureds." Part of the agreement provides for defending and indemnifying the State against any lawsuits. Another part of the agreement also states that the parent firm is responsible for reasonable staffing costs, including benefits and overtime rates of pay, directly associated with its filming activities.

Editorial researchers, freelance writers, authors of books, independent filmmakers, and other unaccredited media must provide proof of employment by an accredited publication/production company, or have evidence that an accredited publication/production company has contracted to purchase the completed project.

Inmates may not participate in specific-person, face-to-face interviews. Random face-to-face interviews may be permitted with inmates as stipulated by the location agreement.

Please allow a minimum of 20 working days for the least complicated request. There are no assurances that access will be granted; however, CDCR does try to accommodate requests within available resources consistent with the safe and secure operations of its institutions and California law.

CDCR Press Office (916) 445-4950

The Press Office, located at CDCR headquarters in Sacramento, articulates the Department's position on issues, manages crisis communications, solicits media coverage of departmental activities, serves as a liaison to the media, and releases information to the public. The Press Office responds to media requests made under the California Public Records Act.

The Press Office also provides other services to media:

Inmate Check Line

Media representatives needing information about a convicted felon sent to state prison in California can call the Press Office's Inmate Check Line. To request whether an individual has been sent to state prison, call (916) 557-5933. Please provide the full name and either the date of birth or the CDC number. Sentencing and/or release information will be faxed within 24 hours.

Stock Video Footage and Still Photographs

The Office of Public and Employee Communications maintains a library of stock video footage and still photographs and makes these available to the media upon request. There is current and archived footage and photographs of correctional facilities and programs, including restricted or limited access areas such as control booths, guard towers, the execution chamber, death row, and Administrative Segregation and Security Housing Units.

Media Inquiries

The Press Office researches and responds to inquiries from the media. Facts are gathered as quickly as possible and provided to the inquirer. If the requested facts are not known or are otherwise unavailable, the inquirer shall be informed and the reasons therefore.

Frequently asked questions about CDCR can be found on the CDCR Website

Press advisories and releases are posted on the CDCR website at

Statistics and information about capital punishment are found at

The weekly population reports for adult prisoners and adult parolees are found at

There are other reports about adult inmates and parolees, including characteristics, recidivism rates, behavior, time served and historical trends. There are also reports about DNA sampling and inmates serving three-strikes sentences. These reports can be found on the Offender Information Reports page.

Media Access to Scheduled Executions

CDCR's Press Office processes all media requests for access to San Quentin State Prison to cover scheduled executions. The Press Office also coordinates media requests to witness executions.


In the event of an actual or suspected escape, the public information officer or designee shall notify radio and television stations and newspapers in the surrounding communities and the missing inmate's home community. The prison will provide the missing inmate's physical description, estimated time of disappearance, an identification photograph, the facility's search efforts and cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

Tuesday, December 23, 1997


At 2:00 pm on Wednesday, December 24, (Christmas Eve) Santa Claus and his helpers (staff from the Growlersburg Conservation Camp located just one mile west of Georgetown) will depart from the Camp to deliver newly refurbished bicycles in a red stake truck/sleigh to families in the Black Oak Mine School District. Children at each of the 30 or more stops will be able to pick out their own bicycle. Each child will also get a new helmet and another gift donated by state employees.

The media is invited to accompany Santa and his helpers as they distribute the shiny like-new bicycles to children who might otherwise not get their Christmas wish. The bikes were donated to the Conservation Camp where inmates rebuilt and painted them. This is the 24th year for the Growlersburg bicycle program.

Contact: Lt. Ken Casler
Growlersburg Conservation Camp
5440 Longview Lane
(530) 333-4244

NOTE TO TELEVISION ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: "B" roll of the inmates refurbishing the bicycles will be available from Lt. Casler at the Camp.

Wednesday, December 17, 1997


Every holiday season, correctional staff and inmates from prisons throughout California donate time and gifts to the needy in their local communities. Following is a summary of some of those events in the Sacramento/San Joaquin/Solano region:


To read this article Click Here.


To read this article Click Here.

Monday, December 15, 1997


They form a massive pile around the "mitten tree"--nearly 900 brightly wrapped gifts for needy Sacramento area kids. All were purchased by California Department of Corrections (CDC) employees as part of the Care for Our Children Holiday Campaign. Even the tree is filled with gifts of mittens, hats and socks to bring warmth to children’s holidays.

Employees select an "ornament" bearing the name, age, and Christmas wish of a needy child. Among the requests for toys or dolls are more urgent needs. Youngsters may only ask for a new coat or clothes. Mothers may request diapers for the new baby. Individuals choose which wish to grant. Office groups sometimes pool their resources if the need is great.

Corrections Victim Services staff organized the first event in 1994 in cooperation with the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Sacramento and Weinstocks. The effort grew from 150 participants that year to 882 this year. More than one-third of local Corrections staff members now participate.

Media are invited to visit Corrections’ "giving tree" Tuesday, December 16, at 9:30 a.m. The tree is located at CDC’s Victim Services Office, 1940 Alabama Road, Rancho Cordova, (the old Aerojet Offices). The coordinator of the Care for Our Children campaign will be available to answer questions about the program. For more information or directions, contact CDC Communications, (916) 445-4950.

Wednesday, November 26, 1997


A Special Investigations Team (SIT) assembled by the Department of Corrections (CDC) specifically to investigate allegations of a widespread staff conspiracy to abuse inmates at California State Prison, Corcoran has concluded its investigation.

SIT investigators found no evidence to support the allegations.

SIT investigators found there was no high speed chase involving CDC staff and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Investigators also concluded CDC staff never impeded the Federal investigation.

SIT investigators discovered isolated incidents of staff misconduct. Disciplinary action is pending against 13 staff concerning several incidents of excessive force. Two have been fired, four suspended, one demoted, and penalty levels are being reviewed for six others.

In addition, investigators substantiated claims that some Corcoran inmates inappropriately were directly involved in the preparation of sensitive and/or critical CDC documents. The practice of using inmates for clerical help in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) has since been prohibited.

SIT found a few current and/or former members of the Investigative Services Unit and Security Squad were involved inappropriately in investigating allegations of misconduct in incidents in which they were involved or personally witnessed.

"The misconduct by a few employees should not stain the professional reputation of the 1,700 men and women who work at Corcoran," said C.A. Terhune, Director of Corrections. "I want to commend the investigators for a comprehensive and thorough report that has helped identify those involved in wrongdoing."

SIT investigators interviewed 250 employees and inmates, analyzed inmate polygraph results and reviewed thousands of documents and records in examining allegations of staged fights, tier stacking, wagering on inmate fights, ghost writing of reports/altered reports, excessive force, and cover up of excessive force.

The 18-member team initiated its investigation in November 1996. The inquiry was ordered by Governor Wilson because the legal time limit was approaching on CDC’s ability to take administrative personnel action should staff misconduct be found. The allegations surfaced in mid-1994. CDC delayed its inquiry at the request of the United States Department of Justice that had assigned its staff from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney General’s Office to determine whether criminal conduct had occurred. Simultaneous investigations also were conducted by the California Department of Justice and the King’s County Grand Jury. CDC has cooperated fully with federal, state, and local inquiries providing access to staff, facilities, and documents. The King’s County Grand Jury has questioned staff as has a Federal Grand Jury in Fresno.

The California Department of Justice ended its investigation at Corcoran concluding there was insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges.

"I appreciate the cooperation and assistance provided by the FBI, and the California Department of Justice," said C.A. Terhune, Director of Corrections. "It is important that law enforcement agencies work together to investigate allegations of criminal and administrative misconduct."

The Corcoran SHU integrated exercise yards policy, and use of force previously were examined at the prison. CDC found confusion among staff concerning the classification committee process which determines inmate housing and exercise yard assignments at Corcoran SHU. Additional training was provided in December 1996 to Corcoran staff on the appropriate application of the integrated exercise yard policy, and the inmate classification process.

Over the last two and half years, four separate investigations of excessive force at Corcoran have been conducted. The earliest investigations were started by CDC in June 1995 and involved allegations of excessive force by Corcoran staff during a bus transportation incident and in an inmate housing unit weapons search by the Corcoran Special Emergency Response Team. These investigations found sufficient evidence of excessive force by Corcoran staff to warrant adverse actions against 15 staff. Personnel actions ranged from reprimand to dismissal. These investigations are closed.

California’s most violent and predatory prison inmates are housed in Security Housing Units. Segregating those nearly 3,000 predators has made the rest of the prison system safer for the remaining 153,000 inmates as well as for CDC staff and visitors.

Saturday, November 1, 1997

Corrections' Dedicated Food Service Team Plans Menus a Year in Advance - November 1997

Imagine you're the team of California Department of Corrections' (CDC) food managers, It's Thanksgiving Day and 150,000-plus inmates are wondering, "Where's the turkey?'

What do you do? For starters, you order 77,000 pounds of turkey. Then stuff the turkeys with 51,000 pounds of dressing, and start them baking. Next, whip up 38,000 pounds of salad, 51,000 pounds each of potatoes and yams, and top it off with 300,000 dinner rolls.

That’s a Traditional Thanksgiving CDC-style.

And that's pretty typical for a holiday meal in a California prison. While this is more sumptuous than on average days, inmates receive heart-healthy, well-balanced, tasty meals three times a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

"As your food service program goes, so goes your institutions said CDC Food Administrator Don Barker. "Feed them a wholesome diet, food that’s good for them, and food that tastes good."

Barker heads up CDC’s food service programs from headquarters. He oversees more than 1,000 food service employees, including 33 food managers, in institutions statewide.

Standardized menus for CDC meals are planned, reviewed and modified a year in advance by a team of food managers and dieticians. The final menus are then distributed to food service managers in each of CDC’s 33 institutions, who use them as the basis for their programs. The team uses American Dietetic Association Guidelines and the recommended daily allowances established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council.

All three meals are filling, well-balanced and reasonably priced. The meals add up to about 3,200 calories a day for men and 2,900 calories a day for women.

On a recent day at Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP), the prison served fresh fruit, dry cereal, boiled eggs, fried potatoes, biscuits with whipped butter and jelly, and milk for breakfast. The brown bag lunch included one bologna and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cookies, a package of shelled sunflower seeds, an apple and fruit punch. For dinner, the institution served coleslaw, turkey ala king steamed rice, seasoned peas, a dinner roll with whipped butter, a brownie and punch.

Food managers can modify the generic menus to meet local needs. The menus also can also be modified to support dietary needs of inmates with medical conditions or special religious requirements.

MCSP is one of the 21 CDC institutions that uses the "cook chill" process. In the cook chill process, food is prepared conventionally and then quickly chilled to 34 degrees, just above freezing, in large walk-in compartments. It is stored for up to three days, the temperature is checked and rechecked to make sure it stays at 34 degrees, and then it’s "rethermed" before it is served.

In cook chill prisons, food is cooked conventionally in a large main kitchen. Reheating takes place in satellite kitchens spaced near housing units in the institution. A separate kitchen provides food for the prison's infirmary. The satellite kitchens are staffed by minimum to maximum security inmates who work under the watchful guidance of custody and food service staff.

The cook chill process is safe too. According to Dan Duarte, a Supervising Correctional Cook at MCSP, the prison has had only one outbreak of a food-borne illness in the ten years he's worked at the prison. One reason is that food temperature is checked and checked again before, during and after it is cook chilled. The prison makes up sample trays of the prepared food which are kept refrigerated for 72 hours after the meal is served. Should any inmates come down will a food-borne illness, the samples are tested for contamination to isolate the cause of the illness.

Quality Control

Inmates have some input into the quality and selection of the foods they eat. They may file an inmate grievance form, if they disagree with what is served or how it is served. And their comments are taken seriously.

Two meal sample reports also are completed for each meal - one by an inmate and one by an officer - to ensure that quality meals are being served in CDC's prisons. The officer in charge asks for volunteers to taste the meal and fill out the form, which includes sections to comment on the cleanliness of food service workers, delays in serving, and whether there were sufficient dishes and silverware. There is room at bottom of the form for additional comments. Ultimately, the warden receives a copy of the sample report.

Recipes to feed from one to 10,000

CDC recipes are based on modified military recipes, and the items are not measured in cups or teaspoons like mom's recipes are.

>The recipes can be computed for any number of inmates, from 3,500 on up to 10,000 if necessary.

CDC purchases the vast amounts of food products it needs to feed its institution population from a variety of sources - among them, the Prison Industry Authority (PIA), a multitude of food contractors, and the USDA. MCSP is also home to PIA's meat cutting plant, which produces 40,000 pounds of meat a week for CDC institutions, camps, veterans hospitals, state hospitals and California Youth Authority facilities. PIA also runs a coffee grinding plant at MCSP and runs bakeries and dairies at several other CDC institutions.

Friday, October 17, 1997


State and local law enforcement officials arrested 16 parolees and parolees-at-large during a recent two-day operation in Yuba and Sutter counties.

The missing parolees, who had violated their parole by not reporting to their parole agents and were considered serious offenders, were targets of the successful sweep that included law enforcement officials from ten agencies.

Most of the targeted parolees were career criminals who had been convicted of serious felonies including violent assaults and weapons charges. Many of them were potential second and third strikers, parolees who could be sent back to prison for lengthy sentences if convicted of another crime. Some were considered "armed and dangerous" and posed a possible threat to the officers who sought them out.

The captured parolees were taken to the Department of Corrections Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy where they will remain until parole revocation hearings can be held. (Parolees who will be charged with new crimes were being held in local jails awaiting arraignment.)

In California, most convicted felons spend from one to three years on parole following their release from state prison. While on parole they are required to report regularly to a parole agent. If they fail to report, they are designated as parolees at large and can be returned to prison when they are caught.

During the two-day sweep, officers also arrested 10 non-parolees who will be charged with various crimes.

The Department of Corrections currently supervises more than 102,000 parolees.

Participating in the sweep were the following departments:

  • California Department of Corrections: Parole and Community Services, Special Services Unit and Fugitive Apprehension Team
  • California Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement/Violence Suppression Unit
  • Yuba County Sheriff’s Department
  • Sutter County Sheriff’s Department
  • Marysville Police Department
  • Yuba City Police Department
  • Yuba County Welfare Department
  • Yuba County Child Protective Services
  • Sutter County Child Protective Services
  • Sutter County District Attorney’s Office
For further details, contact Special Agent in Charge, Diana Machen, at (916) 464-2030.

Thursday, October 16, 1997


At 9:30 am Friday October 17 at the Correctional Training Center at 9850 Twin Cities Road, Galt, State Treasurer Matt Fong will address basic correctional officer academy class VI-97 as part of a ceremony honoring correctional staff killed in the line of duty.

Other speakers include Corrections Director C. A. Terhune, Youth Authority Director Frank Alarcon, Acting Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Thomas Maddock, and California Correctional Peace Officers Association Executive Vice President Mike Jimenez.

A wreath will be placed at the memorial for staff killed while on duty.

Contact K.M. Chastain or D. Scott at 209 333 6970 extension 110.

Tuesday, September 30, 1997

CDC Is Nation's Leader In Technology Evaluation, Testing and Review

A device that detects metal hidden deep within a person’s body...a razor blade that breaks apart when tampered with... a ground scanner that detects tunnels, contraband, utilities or human bodies as deep as 15 feet underground... see-through television sets. These may sound like something straight from a James Bond movie, but today the California Department of Corrections (CDC) is using several of these innovations. Others are being tested and evaluated, and there’s more to come.

CDC’s Technology Transfer Committee is in charge of this mission. Founded in 1982, the TTC evaluates new technology for potential use in CDC institutions. The TTC is made up of CDC wardens and administrators, with representatives from the Board of Corrections, Prison Industry Authority, California Youth Authority, Department of General Services, Federal Bureau of Prisons, California Highway Patrol, Department of Justice and Sandia National Laboratories.

The committee:

  • Serves as a forum for potential technology applications;
  • Recommends standards and specifications for purchasing equipment and systems;
  • Develops operational procedures and test criteria for new technology; and
  • Secures the director’s approval for a new technology’s use in the department.
The committee’s product testing process is rigorous. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, CDC "has one of the toughest prison product testing processes in the nation."

Staff from other state and county correctional agencies regularly sit in on the TTC meetings.

One of the committee’s primary goals is to introduce technology that makes CDC institutions safer for both staff and inmates alike. Developed specifically for CDC, the Rapid Scan X-Ray device is the first conveyorized x-ray machine that can be programmed to detect specific substances such as drugs. As the operator scans a specific drug, the machine reads its molecular structure. Thereafter, the device will detect that drug any time it passes through the scanner.

Among TTC’s most recently approved items are a toothbrush with a beaver-tail shaped handle too small to be turned into a shank, and a razor blade that breaks apart when tampered with — thus making it impossible for an inmate to use the blade for a weapon.

"These new technologies improve safety and save a lot of lives," said Technology Transfer Committee Executive Officer Larry Cothran. "That’s what it’s all about."

After a technology receives committee approval and the director’s approval for testing, it is piloted in a CDC institution.

The department is currently testing a monitoring device at Centinela State Prison that searches automobiles and trucks for human heartbeats and a new fingerprint identification system for entering and leaving an institution.

At the Academy in Galt, the department just finished testing a new state-of-the-art CDC identification card and is just now beginning to test an electronic laser device designed to improve officers’ shooting scores at the range by up to 70 percent.

During a two-day meeting in July, committee members saw presentations on ground penetration radar, protective apparel, cell phone surveillance, see-through televisions, a nonlethal water restraint system, and drug detection technology.

The flashiest of all the technologies the committee looked at was the nonlethal water restraint system, used for riot control in Europe, Africa, South and Central America and the Far and Middle East.

The vehicle designed for correctional use looks something like a golf cart with a huge squirt gun mounted on top.

The see-through televisions also were a hit. See-through televisions would eliminate hiding spaces for contraband and save CDC the man-hours that it now takes an officer to disassemble and search a conventional television for hidden weapons or drugs.

Monday, September 29, 1997


More than 1,000 orange-suited California prison inmates are working side-by-side with other fire crews battling the numerous fires raging throughout the state.

Thirty-four crews, with more than 500 inmates, are battling the Williams fire in Yuba County, while another twenty-four crews are involved in the Tehama County Ponderosa fire.

Inmates from 26 of the state’s 38 conservation camps are cutting fire lines, clearing debris from the fire’s path, setting back-fires and extinguishing smaller fires they encounter.

The 1,131 inmates and 97 staff from the California Department of Corrections (CDC) are assigned to fires in nine counties including Mariposa, Calaveras, Tulare, Tehama, San Luis Obispo, Humboldt, Shasta, Solano and Yuba counties. They will remain on the fires until they are fully contained and will then be deployed to another fire if needed.

The inmates are normally assigned to the conservation camps, or minimum security prisons, located in rural areas throughout the state. The camps house almost 4,000 inmates and are operated jointly by CDC and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF).

CDC oversees camp security and operations; its staff provides the necessary security while inmates are on the fire line. CDF provides firefighting training and supervises inmate firefighting efforts.

Hundreds of inmate crews joined in the state’s flood fighting during this year’s heavy flooding. Inmate crews built the widely publicized berm that protected the Northern California town of Meridien from inundation by the raging flood waters.

Inmates serve their sentences at conservation camps after passing a highly selective screening process and a rigorous firefighting training regime. A typical firefighting inmate is convicted of a nonviolent offense, has an average sentence of two years and will spend about eight months in camp before parole.

When not fighting fires, inmates are dispatched to other emergencies and non-emergency work including earthquakes, wildlife habitat preservation and graffiti removal. In the average fire season, inmates work up to two million hours. They are paid $1.00 an hour on the fire lines.

It is estimated that state and local governments save more than $70 million that otherwise would be paid to accomplish the work inmates perform.

Wednesday, August 20, 1997


After reviewing the Bureau of State Audit’s (BSA) second audit of the Prison Industry Authority (PIA) in as many years, Corrections Interim Director Tom Maddock said he was encouraged.

"PIA has made significant progress," said Maddock, who also chairs the Prison Industry Board, the eleven-member advisory body that oversees PIA operations. "It is gratifying that BSA acknowledged the many improvements PIA has made."

Maddock specifically noted PIA’s Prompt Delivery Program and surveys that showed customer satisfaction has increased by 50 percent. PIA also has closed or consolidated five industries to streamline operations and reduce costs. "They’ve done all this while keeping a lid on prices for the fourth straight year," said Maddock.

Inmate jobs with PIA are some of the most highly skilled and highly paid in the prison system. The roughly 6,600 inmates currently employed produce goods and services used by the state’s 33 prisons. PIA also sells inmate-manufactured goods to other state and local governments.

While PIA has not fully implemented all BSA’s recommendations, Maddock indicated he was satisfied with their progress to date. "Many BSA recommendations address complex areas which require long-term efforts," he said.

To date, PIA has completed the planning phase of a major cost accounting system. They have added more tracking capabilities to their information systems and initiated a centralized procurement project for inmate clothing. When 1996-97 figures are finalized, PIA also expects to show a reduction in their physical inventory--a longtime goal for PIA and an issue raised by BSA.

"BSA continues to compare PIA with private industry," said Maddock. "While such comparisons are useful in trying to achieve greater governmental efficiencies, they also must factor in the unskilled, uneducated and undisciplined labor force available to PIA.

"I am confident that PIA is moving in the right direction to be able to meet the challenges of the future," said Maddock.

Thursday, August 7, 1997


More than 1,500 orange-suited California prison inmates are working side-by-side with other fire crews battling the numerous fires raging throughout the state.

Inmates from all of the state’s 38 conservation camps are cutting fire lines, clearing debris from the fire’s path, setting back fires and extinguishing smaller fires they encounter.

The 1,583 inmates and 133 staff from the California Department of Corrections (CDC) are assigned to fires in ten counties, from Lassen County in the north to San Bernardino in the south. They will remain on the fires until they are fully contained and will then be deployed to another fire if needed.

The inmates are normally assigned to the conservation camps, or minimum security prisons, located in rural areas throughout the state. The camps house almost 4,000 inmates and are operated jointly by CDC and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF).

CDC oversees camp security and operations; its staff provide the necessary security while inmates are on the fire line. CDF provides firefighting training and supervises inmate firefighting efforts.

Hundreds of inmate crews joined in the state’s flood fighting during this year’s heavy flooding. Inmate crews built the widely-publicized berm that protected the Northern California town of Meridien from inundation by the raging flood waters.

Inmates serve their sentences at conservation camps after passing a highly selective screening process and a rigorous firefighting training regime. A typical firefighting inmate was convicted of a nonviolent offense, has an average sentence of two years and will spend about eight months in camp before parole.

When not fighting fires, inmates are dispatched to other emergencies and non-emergency work including earthquakes, wildlife habitat preservation and graffiti removal.

In the average fire season, inmates work up to two million hours. They are paid $1.00 an hour on the fire lines.

It is estimated that state and local governments save more than $70 million that otherwise would be paid to accomplish the work inmates perform.

Wednesday, July 30, 1997


The California Department of Corrections has completed processing security clearances for media firms requesting to send representatives to San Quentin State Prison for the August 5 execution of Thomas M. Thompson.

Firms have been contacted by telephone with the information on clearances for their staff members.

The following information should be distributed to all media representatives that will be involved as witnesses or participants of the news conference at San Quentin State Prison.

On August 4, 1997, media may enter the West Gate of San Quentin between 7 AM and 2 PM. For security purposes, two forms of identification will be required. One must be an official photo ID such as driver's license, passport, or state-issued identification card. Only those credentialed for the news conference will be permitted. Any media representative that leaves the prison after 2 PM will not be permitted to return at a later time that day.

Media witnesses to the execution may enter as late as 5 PM through the West Gate of the prison.

Do not wear blue, black, or gray denim clothing or yellow raincoats. It is illegal to bring alcohol, drugs, or weapons into a California State Prison. Vehicles and individuals entering a California State Prison are subject to search.

Private vehicles, except for designated microwave or satellite broadcast trucks, will be parked near the West Gate. After credentials are confirmed, reporters will be transported by prison shuttle to the Media Center.

A video/audio feed for broadcasters of the media witness news conference is limited to two camera operators and two audio technicians. The broadcast vans facilitating distribution of the feed will be parked closest to the building.

Media movement will be restricted to the Media Center (In-Service Training (IST) building) and broadcast support area. No access will be permitted to the East Gate.

Still photos of the news conference will be provided by an Associated Press pool photographer.

Media witnesses to the execution will be escorted to the IST building immediately after leaving the witness observation area. Media witnesses must agree to make themselves available to members of the pool for interviews after the initial press conference.

The IST building has 60 amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are 7 pay telephones.

Thursday, July 3, 1997


The execution of Thomas M. Thompson, convicted of murder in Orange County, has been set by court order for August 5, 1997 at San Quentin State Prison.

Direct all requests and inquiries regarding access to San Quentin to the California Department of Corrections Communications Office in Sacramento which is responsible for all media credentials.

Up to seventeen (17) news media representatives may be selected to witness the execution as a pool for all media. Positions are designated for Associated Press, United Press International, the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sacramento Bee. Two newspaper positions will be chosen at random from California newspapers with daily circulation of 100,000 and above who apply. Eight broadcast news positions will be selected at random from California radio and television stations holding a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license to broadcast who apply.

Up to one hundred twenty five (125) news media representatives will be admitted to the media center at San Quentin to attend news briefings and a news conference with members of the media witness pool after the execution. To accommodate as many media firms as possible, each news media organization applying will be limited to one representative. Firms selected to send a news reporter to witness the execution will be allowed a separate representative for the media center.

In anticipation that interest may exceed space, pool arrangements will be necessary for video/audio feeds, and still photos. The pool will be limited to two television camera operators, two still photographers, and one audio engineer.

Broadcast microwave and satellite vans and their support personnel will be permitted in a parking lot adjacent to the In-Service Training (IST) building. Space is limited to about 30 vehicles, including an electrical power generator and a catering truck. Priority will be given to broadcast media sending "live" reports serving viewers in the Orange County area and multiple stations statewide. Television vans will be allowed up to four (4) support personnel (engineer, producer, talent, and camera operator) in addition to the reporter for the media center. Radio broadcast vans will be allowed three (3) support personnel (engineer, producer, and talent) in addition to the media center reporter.

For media credentials, send a written request signed by the news department manager on company letterhead with the names of the proposed representatives, their dates of birth, driver's license numbers, social security numbers, and size of vehicle (for broadcast van access) to:

CDC Communications
1515 S Street, Room 113S
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001

Please specify if the request also is to be included in the media witness pool selection process.

Fax or telephone requests will not be accepted. All requests must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29, 1997. Security clearances are required for each individual applying for access to San Quentin. The clearance process will begin after the application deadline. No assurances can be provided that security clearances for applications received after the July 29 deadline, including for personnel substitutions, will be completed in time to permit access to the prison August 4.

The building being used for the media center has 60 amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are 7 pay telephones. The media pool will be responsible for providing a generator for electrical power and a catering service. Media orders for private telephone hookups must be arranged with Pacific Telephone which will coordinate the actual installation with San Quentin.

Tuesday, June 17, 1997


An unconscious inmate is dragged from his smoke-filled cell...officers fight off weapon-wielding inmates...and officers save a colleague from being mauled by her dog. The Department of Corrections (CDC) recognized these and other employee heroics at the annual Medal of Valor Ceremony, Friday, June 13 at the State Capitol.

CDC honored 28 of its employees for acts of heroism and outstanding service while on duty and in the community. The employees--male and female, peace officer and civilian--were selected out of a group of more than 75 nominees from CDC facilities throughout the state.

Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Joe Sandoval and CDC Interim Director Thomas M. Maddock presented the heroism medals and also awards for Correctional Officer and Correctional Supervisor of the Year.

During the ceremony, Sacramento television news anchors Lisa Breckenridge, KCRA-TV; Amy Carlisle, KXTV-TV; and Marcy Valenzuela, KOVR-TV; narrated details of the acts that earned the medals.

Corrections Honors its Heros -- 1997 Medal of Valor Award Winners

Medal of Valor

The Medal of Valor is the Department’s highest award, earned by employees who distinguish themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show how professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.

Correctional Officer Marco Guilin--Calipatria State Prison

Several inmates, armed with inmate-manufactured weapons, entered the program office at Calipatria State Prison and began assaulting staff. When Officer Guilin responded to the alarm, he found two officers defending themselves against attacks by two inmates. He used his side-handle baton to try to control the inmates. As other inmates continued to enter the office, Guilin helped his fellow officers by controlling and handcuffing the inmates. Once the disturbance was under control, Officer Guilin helped a fellow officer, who had been stabbed repeatedly, until medical help arrived.

Officer Guilin risked his own life to save the lives of his fellow officers. I am proud to present Officer Marco Guilin with the Medal of Valor.

Correctional Officer Mauro Espino--Centinela State Prison

After announcing a general alarm to the housing unit by institutional radio, Correctional Officer Mauro Espino responded to the aid of a Correctional Sergeant being stabbed by an inmate. When he arrived, the inmate attempted to stab him as well. Using his side-handle baton, Officer Espino tried to subdue and control the inmate. He forced the stabbing weapon from the inmate’s hand and brought the inmate under control. In addition to the inmate’s weapon, officers found two more makeshift stabbing weapons, one that had been discarded prior to the attack and another in his pants pocket. The wounded sergeant was hospitalized for emergency treatment of his wounds.

Officer Espino’s quick and effective response clearly saved the life of his fellow officer while risking his own and is commended for his bravery and heroism. He justly deserves the Medal of Valor.

Gold Medal

The Corrections Star Gold Medal is the Department’s second highest award for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.

Correctional Officer Barry Ries--Calipatria State Prison

When inmates attacked staff during the release from the Dining Hall, one inmate stabbed an officer twice in the chest and two other inmates began assaulting the injured officer. Officer Ries quickly intervened to protect his fellow officer. He used his side-handle baton to disable one of the inmates. When the other inmate threatened Ries and pointed his weapon at him, Officer Ries ordered the inmate to the ground and handcuffed him.

Had it not been for Officer Ries’ quick action and disregard for his own personal safety, his fellow officer could have sustained much more serious injuries from the inmates’ attacks.

Silver Medal

The Corrections Star Silver Medal is the Department’s third highest award for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish his/herself by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics or judgment.

Correctional Officer Craig Vaughn--California Correctional Center

Correctional Officers Craig Vaughn and Dye were visiting a fellow officer at her home when they heard her screaming for help. Both officers ran to their friend’s location and found her large dog biting and tearing at her and she was no longer able to defend herself. Office Vaughn overpowered the dog and pulled it away from its victim. In the process, Officer Vaughn sustained a deep bite on his arm which led to a significant loss of blood.

Officer Vaughn’s immediate action prevented further injury and possibly even the death of his friend. He responded with disregard for his own safety and is to be commended for his bravery.

Correctional Officer Tony Biggs, Correctional Officer Laurence Moll, Correctional Officer Damon Reynoso, and Correctional Sergeant Robert Quinlan--California State Prison, Sacramento

When Sergeant Quinlan and Officers Biggs, Moll and Reynoso responded to a cell fire, they found smoke pouring out from under the cell door. They were unable to get any response from the inmate inside. When they got the door open, they found a flaming torn apart mattress blocking their entrance to the cell and an inmate unconscious at the back of the cell. When attempts to put out the fire with an extinguisher were partially successful, the officers cleared the cell by pulling the remains of the burning mattress out. They then dragged the unconscious inmate out to safety. He was hospitalized in the intensive care unit while the officers were treated for smoke inhalation and released.

The unselfish and cooperative effort of these four staff saved the life of the inmate and exemplifies their spirit and dedication to the preservation of life.

Correctional Officer Richard Salgado--Calipatria State Prison

Responding to an alarm in the Program Office, Officer Salgado entered the office and was immediately confronted by an inmate who took a fighting stance. Officer Salgado used his side-handle baton to strike the inmate a number of times. Salgado was slammed against the wall and fell to his knees but he continued to ward off the inmate until he was restrained. Despite serious injuries to his knee and back, Salgado managed to maintain coverage of the other inmates until additional staff responded to control the situation. Salgado received a puncture wound to his knee as well as back injuries.

Officer Salgado’s action prevented grievous bodily injury and helped to control the incident. His bravery epitomizes the highest standards of a correctional officer.

Correctional Officer Barry Young--Wasco State Prison

While driving home late one evening, Officer Young observed a car smash into the rear of a van. After slamming into an embankment, the van plunged into the Lerdo Canal, and came to rest submerged upside down with only the wheels above water. With the help of two other passing motorists, Officer Young jumped into the swift-moving water, pulled the two victims from the van and brought them to shore. Although neither victim survived, Officer Young’s heroism displayed a great respect for human life and a willingness to put others’ safety ahead of his own.

Bronze Medal

The Corrections Star Bronze Medal is the Department’s award for saving a life without placing oneself in peril. The employee shall have used proper training and tactics in a professional manner to save, or clearly contribute to saving the life of another person.

Correctional Officer Ricia Dye--California Correctional Center

While visiting a fellow officer at her home, Officers Dye and Vaughn saw their friend’s dog viciously attack her. After Officer Vaughn had freed the woman from the dog’s attack, Officer Dye immediately began applying emergency first aid to control the victim’s severe bleeding, helping to prevent serious blood loss.

Officer Dye’s immediate action clearly prevented much greater injury and she is to be commended for her selfless act.

Rejinther Dosange, Medical Technical Assistant--California Medical Facility

MTA Dosange was driving to work when she came upon CHP flashing lights and a car that had flipped over on the shoulder of the freeway. Dosange spoke to the CHP Officer who directed her to an injured passenger lying in the bushes nearby. Checking the man for injuries Dosange discovered he was a correctional officer and was bleeding from a severe leg wound. She made a tourniquet out of a sweatshirt and tied off the area above the wound. She then kept the injured man calm until medical help arrived. Once the injured man was taken by ambulance to the hospital, Dosange continued on to work where she completed a full shift.

MTA Dosange is to be commended for her willingness to stop and help, ministering to a severely injured person and possibly saving his life.

Correctional Officer Sandra St. Aubin--California Rehabilitation Center

As she was driving home from the range, Officer St. Aubin heard a loud noise and turning the corner she saw that a pick-up truck had run head-on into a high voltage power pole. She immediately jumped out of her car to help the driver. Officer St. Aubin tried to help the person out of the truck, even though the power lines were arcing. Despite the electrical flashing, she reached in and pulled the man out the driver-side window to safety. She flagged down a passing motorist to call for help.

As a result of Officer St. Aubin’s heroism, the driver escaped serious injuries and a possible fatal accident.

Correctional Officer Glen Brazeal--California State Prison, Los Angeles County

While supervising the morning meal release, Officer Brazeal and another officer were viciously attacked by an inmate. The inmate punched Brazeal twice in the face and upper torso knocking him backwards. The inmate then grabbed the other officer by the shirt and repeatedly struck him in the face with his fists. Brazeal regained his footing and sprayed his OC pepper spray in the inmate’s face, which had no effect. Brazeal then struck the inmate several times with his side-handle baton as the inmate continued to attack the other officer. With his colleague bleeding and unconscious, Brazeal continued to try to protect him against the inmate’s attack. The Control Booth Officer finally disabled the inmate and handcuffed him. With the inmate down, Brazeal ignored his own wounds to tend to his seriously injured partner. Throughout the ordeal Officer Brazeal defended his partner with disregard for his own safety.

Officer Brazeal’s willingness to help his partner attests to his personal courage, dedication, honor and commitment.

Correctional Officer David A. Barzelay--California State Prison, Sacramento

During a disturbance on the main exercise yard involving approximately 200 Black and Hispanic inmates, Officer Barzelay saw an inmate attack an officer, striking the officer on the side of his head. The officer fell to the ground in a semi-conscious state and was unable to defend himself. Officer Barzelay responded immediately, pulled the inmate away from the injured officer and forced him to the ground. Barzelay handcuffed the inmate and took him away from the area.

Despite the intensity of the on-going violence and numerous rifle rounds being fired, Officer Barzelay disregarded his own safety in order to render aid to an officer down, preventing further serious injury.

Correctional Officer Michael K. Gregory--California State Prison, Sacramento

During a disturbance involving 200 Black and Hispanic inmates on the main exercise yard, Officer Gregory responded to the yard when he heard shots being fired. Once in the yard, Officer Gregory saw an inmate who had been shot in the face and was bleeding profusely from a neck wound. He saw Officer Key grab a shirt from another inmate and place it over the wound in an effort to stop the bleeding. It was clear to Officer Gregory that the inmate would bleed to death without immediate medical attention. Due to the magnitude of the disturbance and chaotic state of the yard, there were no stretchers or gurneys available, so Officers Key and Gregory carried the inmate to the clinic.

Officer Gregory acted without regard for his own personal safety in order to save the life of another.

Correctional Officer Michael J. Key--California State Prison, Sacramento

During a disturbance involving 200 Black and Hispanic inmates on the main exercise yard, Officer Key responded to the yard when he heard shots being fired. Once in the yard, Officer Key saw an inmate who had been shot in the face and was bleeding profusely from a neck wound. Officer Key grabbed a shirt from another inmate and placed it over the wound in an effort to stop the bleeding. It was clear to Officer Key that the inmate would bleed to death without immediate medical attention. Due to the magnitude of the disturbance and chaotic state of the yard, there were no stretchers or gurneys available, so Officer Key and another officer carried the inmate to the clinic, saving the inmate’s life.

Without Officer Key’s quick and decisive action, the inmate would have surely bled to death. Officer Key is commended for his efforts to save the life of another.

Correctional Officer Tim M. Potter, California State Prison, Sacramento

When a large scale racial disturbance erupted on the main exercise yard involving 200 Black and Hispanic inmates, Officer Potter responded. He saw an inmate who was critically wounded and bleeding profusely from the neck and mouth. Realizing there were no stretchers or gurneys available, Officer Potter put the wounded inmate’s arm across his own shoulders and helped him walk to the clinic.

Officer Potter’s compassionate and selfless response undoubtedly contributed to saving the life of the wounded inmate. Officer Potter is commended for his quick and decisive response to a critical situation.

Correctional Officer Steven C. Bates--California State Prison, San Quentin

Officer Bates had just left a doctor’s office on a houseboat moored at the Sausilito dock when he discovered that the office building was on fire. Knowing the doctor was hearing impaired, Bates quickly returned to the doctor’s office and warned him in writing and body language about the fire. To escape the flames Officer Bates and the doctor went to the rear of the building where they found six other people and a dog fleeing the flames. When they were certain there were no other victims, Bates and the doctor jumped into the water where they were later rescued by local boaters.

Officer Bates’ timely action and deep concern for others contributed to saving the doctor’s life and the lives of others.

Gerald T. Fountain, Supervisor of Vocational Instruction--Calipatria State Prison

After a day of swimming and water skiing, Mr. Fountain returned to the boat launch when he noticed a boat tied up to the dock nearby. A woman holding a baby lost her balance as she stepped from the boat to the dock and she fell into the water with the baby. The infant was wearing a lifejacket and popped immediately to the surface, but the woman did not surface. Fountain dove into the water, located the woman while she was still submerged, and brought her to the surface. She was given a flotation device and Fountain helped her to shore.

Mr. Fountain demonstrated the highest qualities of a correctional employee in coming to the aid of a person in need.

Correctional Officer Kelvin C. Garcia--Centinela State Prison

While driving to work early one morning, Officer Garcia saw a delivery truck slam into the back of a van. The van, driven by a handicapped gentleman, went over an embankment into a canal with water about six feet deep. Officer Garcia tried to open the doors of the van, but they were all jammed. The driver was not alert, so Officer Garcia could not communicate with him. As the van began to fill with water, Officer Garcia climbed onto the roof of the van and pulled the driver out through the window and up over the embankment.

Officer Garcia’s quick and effective response clearly saved the victim’s life. Officer Garcia is to be commended for his heroic actions.

Correctional Lieutenant Richard E. Riddle--Chuckawalla Valley State Prison

As Lt. Riddle and his wife were walking in Blythe, they a saw a car start to cross an irrigation canal bridge. The car veered to the right, ran off the bridge, and came to rest upside down in the canal. Lt. Riddle immediately ran to the accident, dove into the canal, and tried to help the driver who was trapped inside. When he could not open the doors, he smashed the window and pulled the driver from the car. Lt. Riddle cut his arm on the broken glass as he pulled out the driver.

Although the driver of the vehicle did not survive the crash, Lt. Riddle’s actions were clearly heroic. He acted quickly and without regard for his own safety and is to be thanked for his unselfish and valiant actions.

Correctional Officer Russell G. Clayton--Folsom State Prison

Driving home one afternoon, Officer Clayton saw a car run off the road and into a creek that was running fast and was deep due to recent rains. When he got to the edge of the creek, he saw the car floating downstream. It became lodged against a tree and began to fill with water. Officer Clayton climbed the tree and talked to the driver who was struggling to get out of her seat. He told her to give him the car keys and climb to the rear of the car. Officer Clayton then opened the rear hatch and, along with a CHP Officer who had arrived on the scene, pulled the driver from the car. She told them there was another passenger in the car. The passenger was an elderly woman who was mumbling incoherently, clinging to the dashboard and then grabbing the steering wheel. Officer Clayton had to forcibly remove her by pulling her over the front seat and out the back of the car while it was filling with water.

Officer Clayton’s quick thinking and actions saved the lives of two women who most probably would have otherwise perished.

Correctional Officer Stephen D. Rader--R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility

One day last November, a washer extractor in the Prison Industry Authority Laundry explored, contaminating the entire area with noxious chemical fumes. The explosion severely injured one inmate’s eye and right arm. Officer Rader responded immediately and saw that the inmate’s arm was bleeding profusely. He used a belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding and talked to the inmate to keep him alert until medical help arrived. The inmate was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery.

Officer Rader’s quick thinking and actions were instrumental in saving the inmate’s life. His efforts represent the highest caliber of correctional employee who in the face of danger maintains calm judgment.

Parole Agent I Ronald I. Johnstad--Parole Region I

Parole Agent Johnstad saw a pickup truck cross the freeway center divider and overturn. He immediately went to the overturned truck and found the driver unconscious and not breathing. Agent Johnstad administered CPR until the victim began breathing on his own. Because the victim was pinned inside the vehicle Agent Johnstad continued to hold the victim’s head upright to help him breathe until emergency help arrived.

We join the Highway Patrol in commending Agent Johnstad’s lifesaving efforts. His concern for others reflects well on him and on the Department of Corrections.

Parole Agent I Jon L. Ashley--Parole Region IV

Parole Agent Ashley and members of the Pomona Police Department were looking for a parolee-at-large when they spotted smoke coming from a house. When they arrived, the fire was contained near the rear of the house. Agent Ashley knocked on the front door repeatedly but no one came to the door. He opened the door and found an elderly man standing in the living room. Although the man said there was no one else in the house, Agent Ashley saw a young man run from the rear of the house. Agent Ashley and a police officer searched the house room-by-room and found a young girl on the first floor who was unaware of the fire. They sent the girl out of the house and continued their search but found no one else in the home. When they had completed their search, they helped the elderly man out to safety. Just as they got everyone out of the house, the fire spread rapidly throughout the structure and ultimately destroyed the home.<

Were it not for the quick and decisive action by Parole Agent Ashley, the occupants of the house could very well have suffered injury or even death.

Correctional Officer & Supervisor of the Year Awards

The employee shall exemplify the high quality of service the nation receives from its detentiona dn correctional officers.

Correctional Officer of the Year

Correctional Officer Bryan Kingston--High Desert State Prison

Officer Bryan Kingston joined the Department of Corrections in 1986 and worked at the California Correctional Center in Susanville until transferring in 1995 to the neighboring High Desert State Prison. He played a key role in establishing High Desert’s Investigative Services Unit, its evidence laboratory and various procedures for the Unit.

In 1995, Kingston was part of a negotiations team that persuaded a killer in a nearby community into surrendering, preventing further injuries or death. On two occasions, Kingston has also helped capture and return escapees. In one case, he carefully studied the escapee’s records and deduced where the man might be headed. He contacted the escapee’s girlfriend and with her help was able to locate the man and return him to the institution.

Kingston has demonstrated superior leadership both at work and in the community, where he is an active volunteer for youth sporting events.

Bryan Kingston has been chosen by not only the California Department of Corrections but by the International Association of Corrections Officers as their Correctional Officer of the Year. We recognize him here today for his significant contributions to the Department of Correctios and the community in which he lives. He is an outstanding example of a correctional officer professional.

Correctional Supervisor of the Year

Correctional Lieutenant C. L. "Tony" Duncan--Devil’s Garden Conservation Camp

Lieutenant Tony Duncan, this year’s Correctional Supervisor of the Year, is a 30-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections. Duncan first served at the California Correctional Institution and later transferred to the California Correctional Center where he promoted to Sergeant in 1982 and Lieutenant in 1986. He has served as Camp Commander at Devil’s Garden Conservation Camp since 1988.

As Camp Commander, Lt. Duncan has demonstrated outstanding organizational and leadership skills. His work requires a good working relationship with the staff and the local community where the inmate crews undertake projects such as fire suppression and flood control.

During the recent safe housing at Devil’s Garden of a nigh notoriety parolee, Lt. Duncan established an open communication with the community which greatly improved the public’s attitude toward the Camp. During the Ambrose Complex Fire, Duncan oversaw more than 540 inmates and others while they fought the 11-day fire that eventually consumed 15,000 acres. And during the floods earlier this year, Lt. Duncan was responsible for the welfare of 560 inmates fighting the flood.

Thursday, June 5, 1997


Corrections interim Director Thomas M. Maddock today notified U.S. Department of Education Secretary Richard W. Riley that convicted felons in California state prisons will not be provided special education Services.

"It is astonishing the federal government wants California to spend millions of tax dollars for special education services to murderers, rapists, and child molesters. The money should go to serve lawabiding children," said Maddock. "We are going to ask Congress to exempt states from this requirement."

The letter to Secretary Riley requests cancellation of a compliance hearing June 26 and 27 pending efforts to have Congress exempt states from any obligation to provide, special education services to convicted adult Felons in state correctional facilities.

Tuesday, May 13, 1997


California Department of Corrections Interim Director Tom Maddock will accept the "Solution Showcase Award" for the department’s innovative Parole LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System) program at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Corrections is one of only six agencies statewide to be recognized at the Government Technology Conference (GTC) for developing a solution-oriented technology.

"This new tool will allow law enforcement to identify and cross-reference potential suspects using our extensive parolee database," said Maddock.

Maddock will receive the award from John Flynn, Chief Information Officer, California Department of Information Technology, and Don Pearson, Director of Government Technology, the conference sponsor.

Parole LEADS contains the full names, aliases, monikers, physical descriptors, tattoos, addresses, vehicles, commitment offenses and registration status of all current parolees. The program is currently operating as a pilot in five agencies:

  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • Sacramento Police Department
  • Redding Police Department
  • Sacramento County Sheriff
  • San Bernardino County Sheriff
A Parole LEADS workstation will be set up at the conference and representatives from the California Department of Corrections will be available to demonstrate the system.

Monday, May 5, 1997


Thirty Six Year Old David Anderson is back behind bars.

Anderson was captured by San Diego Police early today. Anderson escaped from the California Medical Facility at Vacaville April 10, 1997.

"I want to thank law enforcement agencies throughout California, the FBI, and CDC investigative staff for their hard work in searching for Anderson" said Corrections Interim Director Thomas Maddock.

San Diego Police took Anderson into custody about 1 a.m. in connection with an armed robbery of a restaurant. Police report Anderson was armed with a sawed off shotgun.

Anderson had been sent to prison in 1981 for killing a man during a robbery in San Diego. He was convicted of Murder and sent to prison for 16 years to Life.

Thursday, May 1, 1997

Winters’ Boy Continues Education On CDC-Donated Computer - May 1997

By Debra Ramos, Winters Express Editor

Reprinted by permission

C.J. Russell’s left arm might still be weak, but his smile muscles were working just fine last week when he sat down for the first time behind his new computer.

Thanks to the efforts of the State of California Department of Corrections and the Winters School District, C. J. will be able to do his homestudy schooling at home while he recovers from a rare condition known as Moyamoya Disease.

C. J. underwent surgery for the disease in December, which involved drilling four dime-sized holes in his skull along with medication treatment. It is hoped that the procedure will encourage the growth of new blood vessels in C. J.’s brain to replace the abnormal cluster of blood vessels that are gradually collapsing and causing C. J. to suffer strokes.

Doctors will determine next month whether the procedure worked. If it didn’t, C. J. may face more extensive brain surgery.

Judy Thompson, budgets and special programs coordinator for the Department of Corrections, was the person who brought C. J. and the computer together.

Thompson, a Winters resident, read about C. J.’s plight in the Express in December, and then read a report about the Department of Correction’s recent donation of 40 refurbished computers to the Winters School District.

The computers were refurbished by prisoners at the California State Prison in Solano County as part of a Detweiler Foundation program which locates computers, has them refurbished by prisoners and then distributes the computers to school districts.

In the Express article about the computers, Thompson noted that the donated computers were put in storage because the Winters school buildings do not have the electrical capacity to run the computers.

Thompson arranged for the school district to take one of the computers out of storage to give to C. J., who is continuing his education in home school.

Although C. J.’s hair has grown back, he still has holes in his skull and cannot risk the chance of injuring his brain by attending school.

In addition, because the blood vessels in his brain are very fragile, he cannot exert himself or become upset because he could suffer another stroke. At 7 years of age, he has already had several strokes.

C. J.’s parents have been faced with the task of trying to keep a very active 7-year-old still and quiet for months, and having the computer will help with this effort as well as assist him with his schoolwork.

C. J. was waiting on his front porch with a big grin on the morning of March 6 as Thompson and her coworker, Jim Bruce, pulled into the driveway with the refurbished computer as well as an added surprise.

Bruce, who supervises vocational instruction, education and the inmate programs unit for the Department of Corrections, had secured a laptop computer for C. J. and loaded it with educational programs and games. C. J. can use the laptop while in the car or resting in bed.

It didn’t take long for Thompson and Bruce to orient C. J. to his new technology. His home-school teacher visited C. J. the next day to show him how to use the computers to continue with his homework.

C. J.’s mother, Julia, says the doctors remain skeptical about whether C. J. will ever be able to return to school, but she and her husband, Ray, are still hoping that will happen someday.

In the meantime, Julia says C. J. would really appreciate some playmates. C. J., who does not have any brothers or sisters and lives out in the country, is getting a bit lonesome. He can play quietly, doing activities such as video games, watching movies, drawing or reading, and his condition is not contagious.

Anyone who has a child about C. J.’s age who might like to be his playmate for an afternoon or two can call Julia, 795-0704, to talk about it.

While C. J. is waiting for someone to play with, he is content sitting behind his new computer. Before Thompson and Bruce left his house, C. J. motioned them over to look at what he had typed on his computer screen.

It said, "thankyouverymuch."

Wednesday, April 30, 1997


Bryan Kingston, a Correctional Officer from California’s High Desert State Prison, has been named Correctional Officer of the Year by the International Association of Correctional Officers (IACO).

Kingston, 35, was nominated for the award by the California Department of Corrections after he was chosen as the Department’s Correctional Officer of the Year earlier this month. He was cited for his "tireless efforts and contributions to the Department" and for being "greatly admired, respected, and appreciated" for his work.

Kingston was picked for the international honor from 120 other officers nominated from throughout the United States and several foreign countries. He will be honored by the IACO at ceremonies in the nation’s capital in early May.

Kingston joined the Department of Corrections in 1986 and worked at the California Correctional Center in Susanville until transferring in 1995 to the neighboring High Desert State Prison. He played a key role in establishing the prison’s Investigative Services Unit, its evidence laboratory and various procedures for the Unit.

Kingston was part of a negotiations team that in 1995 persuaded a killer in a nearby community into surrendering, preventing further injuries or death.
"Bryan Kingston represents everything fine and good in a correctional officer," said Joe Sandoval, Secretary of California’s Youth and Adult Correctional Agency which oversees the Corrections Department. "His work is superior and his personal involvement in the community illustrates our commitment to serving the public in many ways."

In addition to his consistently outstanding work on the job, Kingston was praised for his active involvement with Susanville’s youth. Over the years he has volunteered with the Lassen High School baseball, Little League, Bobby Sox, Pop Warner football and other sporting events. He has also refereed high school football games for 16 years.

Thursday, April 10, 1997


David Anderson, an inmate convicted of second degree murder, escaped from his cell in the California Medical Facility at Vacaville in the early morning hours of April 10, 1997.

Anderson, 36, is a white male, 5'10 ", 150 pounds, with red hair and blue eyes. He has two tear drop tattoos beneath his right eye.

Anderson was convicted of 2nd degree murder, grand theft, receiving stolen property and robbery from San Diego County in 1981. He was sentenced to 16 years, 4 months to life in state prison.

He was discovered missing by correctional staff at 7:15 a.m. Thursday morning during the early morning meal release.

All local law enforcement, the California Highway Patrol, and the FBI are joining correctional staff in the search for Anderson who is considered to be dangerous. Anyone seeing Anderson should not approach him but should contact law enforcement immediately.

For more information please contact the California Medical Facility, Investigative Services Unit (707) 449-6561

Thursday, April 3, 1997


Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Joe Sandoval today announced that California Department of Corrections officials, working with the FBI, captured state prison escapee David Finney Wednesday night in Nashville, Tennessee.

"I want to commend the Department of Correction's investigators for their outstanding work in tracking down this dangerous and elusive criminal," said Sandoval.

CDC's Special Services Unit (SSU) had been tracking him ever since. When leads indicated Finney was at a hotel in Nashville, SSU asked for help from the FBI's local Violent Crimes Task Force. The FBI went to the hotel where Finney showed identification under a different name.

During his interview with the FBI, Finney bolted from the hotel room but the agents were able to pursue and capture him. During a search of the hotel room, agents found the identification Finney used to escape from the California prison. The FBI also found a police scanner, walkie-talkie and pepper spray disguised as a pager.

Finney is being held in Nashville pending extradition to California where he will face new felony prosecution. The FBI also is investigating Finney for possible involvement in other crimes.

Finney's escape history includes:

Escape from county jail after arrest in mid-70s

  • 1978 escape from Correctional Training Facility at Soledad, dressed as a Correctional Officer
  • 1979 escape from agents returning him to California after the 1978 escape
  • 1997 escape from R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego.

Tuesday, April 1, 1997

CCC Makes One Little Cowboy’s Wish Come True - April 1997

Only in Susanville can you adopt a wild horse gentled by prison inmates.

Imagine being four years old and Grandpa and Grandma have promised you a pony for your very own. That is what happened to Jeff Bowers, the little cowboy from Klamath Falls, Oregon. Dressed in a new cowboy hat, boots, jeans and western shirt, Jeff and his grandparents left Klamath Falls at 3 a.m., Friday, March 7, headed for Susanville. They were at the prison corrals when the gates opened at 9 a.m.

Like other potential owners, they would have just two hours to preview 19 wild horses up for adoption.

A joint venture between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the California Correctional Center (CCC), this unique vocational program is in its tenth year. The brain child of then-Warden Bill Merkle and Correctional Administrator Bill Flatter, the program began in May 1987 and the first horse was adopted in August.

This is the first year adoptions took place at the prison. Previously, the newly gentled horses had to be trucked several miles from the prison to the BLM corrals near Wendel, California. By holding the adoption at the prison, the horses were less nervous and the new owners were responsible for transporting them.

On March 7, each inmate proudly put his charge through its paces. One inmate, using the round corral, demonstrated what his horse could do. The crowd included an excited four- year- old. Using only voice commands, the inmate stood in the center of the corral and verbally directed his steed to trot, walk, stop and back up. Then, to everyone’s surprise, he called the horse to him with a simple, quiet, "Come here."

Inmates are randomly assigned to the program. Most have absolutely no previous experience with horses.

The hands-on operation appears to teach the inmates patience and the importance of staying with a job until it’s completed. Pride and self-worth are evident.

The BLM uses a lottery-type system to determine the order of selection.

By early afternoon, the choices were made. Six horses were loaded into horse trailers and left the Center’s training corrals for their new homes. Six inmates knew their efforts had paid off as they watched their "project" leave prison grounds. One little four- year -old was a very happy cowboy.

About 500 horses have gone through the Adopt-A-Horse project since 1987. Almost all have been adopted, many by folks outside of California, according to BLM spokesman Jeff Fontana. Many of these horses have been gentled to the point they can be ridden.

CCC’s wild horse training instructor Tom Chenoweth is quick to tell you these horses are not "broken," they are "gentled." An educator by trade, Chenoweth is a cowboy at heart. He teaches a process called "limited resistance" or "resistance-free" training. The animals learn to be comfortable and relaxed around people. "It’s all based on trust," Chenoweth said. "The horse sets the pace. Patience is crucial. The idea is make the horse want to cooperate, not have to cooperate," he said.

It can take as long as three weeks before a wild horse will allow the handler to approach and touch it. An inmate must spend hours just talking softly, moving slowly around the animal and allowing the horse to get used to him. The inmate must prove to the horse he is not going to harm it in any way.

Every four months about 20 gentled horses are put up for adoption and 20 more wild horses are brought to the Correctional Center for gentling. That’s 60 horses per year available for little cowboys like Jeff Bowers.

Saturday, March 1, 1997


Governor Pete Wilson joined CDC Parole staff, the LA Police Department, and other law enforcement officials last month to highlight Parole LEADS, program that links police agencies with parolee data. Parole LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System) is an innovative, state-of-the-art computer system designed to provide local law enforcement agencies with current information about parolees being supervised by the California Department of Corrections (CDC). A Parole LEADS pilot program is currently operating in four agencies: Los Angeles Police Department, Sacramento Police Department, Redding Police Department, Sacramento County Sheriff.

Parole LEADS is designed to help local law enforcement in criminal analysis and is not intended for tactical or street-level use. Parole LEADS contains the following parolee information: full names, aliases, monikers, physical descriptors, tattoos, addresses, vehicles, commitment offenses and registration status. The program includes all active, suspended, pre-parole and revoked cases as well as cases discharged within the past year. A user can search for a parolee by any defined category such as a sex offender who has a tattoo.

The program creates a list in seconds of parolees who match the request. Parole LEADS also includes the parole status and parole date, agent of record, parole unit and the unit+s address and phone number. Parole LEADS is protected from unauthorized access by data encryption, legal agreements, training, written policy and procedures and other strict access controls. Its security features are similar to those of banks and other agencies and companies that must maintain tight control of access to data. Parole LEADS began with a 1995 law by Assemblyman Baca. A CDC report to the Legislature recommended expanding the program statewide.

Friday, February 21, 1997

Psychological Screening for New Correctional Officer Candidate

All new Correctional Officer candidates for the California Department of Corrections (CDC) will undergo psychological screening prior to being accepted for training. It is expected the testing and evaluation will begin during the summer of 1997. "We believe this will improve the quality of our new recruits," said Thomas Maddock, Corrections interim Director. "It is a good tool other law enforcement agencies use, and we feel it is time Corrections uses it as well."

The proposal was approved by Youth and Adult Corrections Secretary Joe Sandoval. Negotiations have been underway for several months with another state agency which would conduct the psychological testing and provide candidate evaluations to CDC.

Thursday, February 20, 1997

Corrections Organizing Independent Internal Affairs Unit

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) is in the process of forming an independent Internal Affairs unit to investigate allegations of employee misconduct. The process has been underway for about six months at the direction of Youth and Adult Corrections Secretary Joe Sandoval who recently approved the proposed change. The unit is expected to be operational by July 1, 1997.

"We believe this model is consistent with other law enforcement agencies," said Thomas Maddock, Corrections interim Director. "We believe this will improve the quality and increase the credibility of CDC internal investigations."

The Assistant Director/Internal Affairs will report to the Director. Internal Affairs units in other law enforcement organizations report directly to the top leadership of the agency. Recruitment is underway for a person with extensive investigations background to lead the unit.

The current Law Enforcement Liaison unit, commonly referred to as Special Services Unit (SSU), will conduct investigations concerning inmate related issues such as prison gang operations.

Tuesday, January 21, 1997

Thomas M. Maddock Designated Interim Director of Corrections

Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Joe Sandoval today announced that the governor has, effective immediately, designated Thomas M. Maddock interim Director of the Department of Corrections. Maddock also will continue as undersecretary at YACA as he serves in the interim position.

"Tom has shown outstanding leadership and management skills in his position as undersecretary for the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, and I am confident that he will do a fine job in this extremely sensitive and important position," Sandoval said.

"It is the intent of the Wilson Administration to fill this critical position as quickly as a suitable permanent replacement can be found," said Sandoval. When appointed, the new director will replace former Director James Gomez who resigned to take a job as Deputy Executive Officer at the Public Employees Retiremen System.

Maddock was appointed undersecretary of YACA in September 1995 by Governor Wilson. Since 1986, he has held a variety of management roles in state government, including Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Deputy Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Public Advisor for the California Energy Commission and Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Automotive Repair at the Department of Consumer Affairs. Prior to his state service he was a prosecutor for Contra Costa and El Dorado Counties and a private practice litigation attorney.

He is a veteran and retired from the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve with the rank of Captain. His designation does not require Senate confirmation.


When flood waters erupted over large parts of Northern and Central California on January 2, 1997, inmates and staff with the California Department of Corrections (CDC) formed the backbone of Californiaís flood-fighting forces. Between January 2 and January 10, more than 2,000 inmates and 164 staff lent their labor to flooded communities throughout the State.

Inmates provided an estimated 251,856 hours of assistance during the height of the floods and continue to labor in those areas where flood waters are still high or debris clogs and litters the landscape. CDC staff worked more than 17,250 hours supervising the inmates.

  • 129 inmate crews filled and stacked millions of sandbags in at least 20 counties.
  • Inmates from Wasco State Prison filled and stacked sandbags to shore up Poso Creek, while other crews were on alert to protect the town of Wasco.
  • Eight crews from Deuel Vocational Institution laid sandbags around the perimeter of the institution while others worked shoring up nearby levees.
  • As flooding receded in some areas, crumbling and weakened levees further south gave way and the
  • San Joaquin River and its tributaries covered new ground. Inmates dropped sandbags around the levee boils (where water was leaking through the levee) to protect walnut groves and subdivisions.
  • Two inmates crews from California Rehabilitation Center traveled to San Joaquin County to lend their help to sandbagging efforts.
  • Eighteen crews--274 inmates--worked throughout the Delta sandbagging and shoring up hundreds of miles of levees protecting the five different counties. Millions of sandbags were filled and distributed throughout the area.
  • In Sutter County, 31 crews--453 inmates and 36 staff--worked around the clock for days building a 4,700 foot make-shift berm to protect the small community of Meridian. Their work contributed significantly to the success of the protection effort as the levee held. Their hard work also won praise from Vice President Al Gore and U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein who visited the area and took a turn on the inmate sandbag line.
  • Community inmate crews from the California Correctional Center worked under the direction of the Lassen County Office of Emergency Services filling sandbags to protect Susanville homes andbusinesses.
  • Throughout Sutter County, inmate crews staffed mobile kitchens which fed over 100,000 meals to evacuees and rescue workers. Another dozen crews staffed mobile kitchens in Humboldt, Colusa, Yuba, Solano, and San Joaquin counties.
  • When a fish hatchery along the San Joaquin River was inundated with flood waters, many vehicles were submerged. When the waters receded, Fish and Games officials delivered the vehicles to Central California Women's Facility where inmates checked them for damage.
  • In the Butte County community of Orland, crews helped set up 300 beds at an evacuation center.
  • When the banks of Sutter Creek threatened to overflow its banks, 68 inmates were deployed to help contain flooding and evacuate residents. Another crew of 20 inmates helped to clean out the flooded basement of the Sutter Creek auditorium.
  • Inmates from Mule Creek State Prison assisted in evacuating a mobile home park and helping with flood-related problems in Ione.
  • As flood waters receded, inmate crews cleared out debris left behind by the raging waters.
In addition to the work performed by inmate crews and correctional staff, other CDC employees participated in life-saving efforts. Correctional officers from Folsom State Prison, California State Prison-Sacramento, and other institutions were activated by the California National Guard. Two of the officers performed courageous life-saving acts piloting a rescue helicopter and snatching victims from the raging flood waters. Others are still volunteering with the Red Cross and other emergency response agencies.

All told, flood fighting efforts by CDC staff and inmates contributed significantly to life and property saving measures throughout the state. CDC officials estimate that staff and inmate labor amounted to over $2 million in value.

Tuesday, January 14, 1997


McClatchy High School students are learning advanced computer skills at four computer labs recently donated by the California Department of Corrections through the Computers for Schools Program.

Media are invited to tour the labs with CDC Director James H. Gomez tomorrow, January 15 at 1:30 p.m. at C. K. McClatchy High School, 3066 Freeport Blvd. Gomez will meet McClatchy Principal Kathleen Whalen, talk with computer instructors, and look over the shoulder of students using the state-of-the-art computer equipment.

Corrections uses inmate labor to refurbish computers donated to the Detwiler Foundationís Computers For Schools Program. The department gives away 20 percent of the upgraded computers to its prison neighbors. The balance are distributed statewide by the Foundation.

CDC's contributions to McClatchy included:

  • 29 Pentium 133 MHz computers (chips donated by Intel)
  • 62 486 DX/33 systems with new monitor, LAN card, keyboard and mouse
  • Added memory and multimedia capacity for 24 existing Pentium computers
Volunteer help by four CDC staff to install the computers over a weekend

Corrections used $40,000 from a $10 million Legislative authorization (AB 835) which allows the department to buy parts to augment the donated computer equipment.

To date, Corrections has refurbished about 20,500 computer systems. With 14 institutions now involved in the program, CDC is turning out about 3,000 refurbished systems per month.