Friday, July 28, 2006

Notice of Public Hearings Placement and Supervision of High Risk Sex Offenders

The High Risk Sex Offender Task Force, established by Gov. Schwarzenegger earlier this year, will host three public hearings to discuss placement and supervision of High Risk Sex Offenders (HRSO) in California.

The public hearing schedule is as follows:

10 a.m.-1 p.m.          Sacramento
                                 Monday, Aug. 7
                                 Room 437, State Capitol

1:30-4 p.m.               Fresno
                                 Tuesday, Aug. 8
                                 Board of Supervisors, Hall of Records
                                 2281 Tulare Street, Room 301

1:30-4 p.m.               Santa Ana
                                 Wednesday, Aug. 9
                                 Rancho Santiago Community College District Board
                                 2323 N. Broadway

Participants include task force co-chairs Assemblymember Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk), Assemblymember Todd Spitzer (R-Orange), and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary (A) James E. Tilton as well as other members of the task force.

These public hearings are an opportunity for the public to provide input on issues of supervising and placing High Risk Sex Offenders in communities in California. Gov. Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-08-06 on May 15, 2006, establishing the task force. It is charged with reviewing the current statutory requirements and departmental policies on notification, placement, monitoring, and enforcement of parole policies with regard to high risk sex offenders and to provide recommendations to improve them by Aug. 15, 2006.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

After 15 Years, California Prisoner Who Escaped is Apprehended

Sacramento - Arlene Barrera Barragan, who escaped from a reentry facility on July 22, 1991, was arrested in Avenal on July 17, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced today.

Barragan, convicted in Kings County, was in her second year of a four-year sentence for selling controlled substances when she escaped 15 years ago. A Fugitive Apprehension Team agent with the CDCR's Office of Correctional Safety developed leads that linked Barragan to the city of Avenal and developed a possible address where Barragan may have lived as late as 2004.

The agent contacted the Kings County Sheriff's Department, Avenal Substation, about Barragan, supplied all known facts, and requested assistance in the case. A few hours after the contact, a Kings County Sheriff's Department commander, after making a few inquiries, located and arrested Barragan. She was booked in the Kings County Jail.

"As part of our commitment to public safety we never stop looking for offenders who escape our custody or supervision," said Rick Rimmer, Assistant Secretary of the CDCR Office of Correctional Safety.

Of all inmates who escaped from a state prison, conservation camp or community-based program between 1975 and 2005, 99 percent have been apprehended.

Click here for historical information on escapes.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Corrections to Release Requests for Proposals for Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Centers

Focus on reducing recidivism, supporting prison reform

Sacramento -The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will issue a request for proposal (RFP) for nearly 4,500 community-based beds in Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Centers (FCCRC).

"The RFP is part of our strategic plan to reduce recidivism and provide rehabilitation for female offenders, and it supports Governor Schwarzenegger's prison reform efforts, including the special legislative session he called last month," said Acting CDCR Secretary James Tilton.

"There are 11,600 female state prison inmates," Tilton said, "but only 867 of them are housed in community-based beds, such as the Leo Chesney Community Correctional Facility, though nearly 6,000 of them are eligible for community based placement."

As part of the female offender reform efforts, more than 4,300 minimum-security inmates serving time for non-serious, non-violent offenses would be moved from more expensive lock-ups into a Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Center. The centers, designed for 75, 100, and 200 inmates, would provide inmates with educational and vocational programs, substance abuse treatment and education, group and individual counseling, family counseling and reunification programs, sober living skills, wellness, recreational and religious programs, and links for community services.

"Women offenders would be placed in a center near her county of commitment," said Wendy Still, Associate Director for Female Offender Programs and Services. "Not only would she have access to structured rehabilitative programs, she would be living near her family and children. This should or will strengthen her ties with her children, enhance family reunification, and help break the intergenerational cycle of crime," she added.

CDCR has focused on female offender reform and strategic plans for improving outcomes for female offenders since a task force was created in January 2005. It established a Gender Responsive Strategies Commission to address the significant growth of the female inmate population, lower recidivism, and to address the differences in male and female incarceration, management and rehabilitation.

"Treatment and rehabilitative programs would be tailored for each woman from the time she arrives at the rehabilitative center to the time she completes her parole," Still said.

The Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Centers, secure facilities staffed by CDCR custody staff around the clock, would also be staffed by state and contract employees to provide rehabilitative programs, oversee operations, and provide medical, mental health and dental care. Dr. Barbara Bloom, a nationally recognized female offender expert, assisted CDCR with the program design. A contracted architectural firm has developed facility guidelines for the design of the centers.

The Request for Proposals for the Female Community Correctional Rehabilitation Centers is a major step forward in undertaking female offender reform and addressing the historic levels of overcrowding in all state prisons.