Monday, December 28, 2009

Attempted Murder of Peace Officer at California State Prison-Sacramento

Folsom – Law enforcement officials are investigating the attempted murder of a correctional officer that occurred in one of the maximum-security units at California State Prison-Sacramento (CSP-SAC).

On December 27, 2009, at approximately 7 p.m., inmate Jonathan McClaurin, 39, tried to murder a 33-year-old correctional officer by slashing the officer with an inmate-made weapon. McClaurin, who has been in prison since June 2, 1997, is serving a 135-year-to-life sentence from Los Angeles County for three counts of first-degree robbery, vehicle theft and disregard for safety.

The officer, a 3 ½ year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, was slashed on his neck, jaw and ear. He was taken to an outside hospital by ambulance for treatment. The officer was released later in the evening after receiving approximately 68 stitches.

CSP-SAC’s Investigative Services Unit is investigating the incident as an attempted murder. The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified of the incident.

California State Prison-Sacramento is a multi-mission institution that houses more than 3,100 inmates and employs nearly 1,700 people. Opened in 1986, the institution houses maximum-security inmates serving long sentences and those who have proved to be management problems at other institutions. The institution also serves as a medical hub for Northern California.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Corrections Standards Authority Awards $1.7 Million to Promote Local Evidence-Based Practices that Reduce Juvenile Recidivism

SACRAMENTO – The Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has released $1.7 million in federal Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Funding for the Best Practices Approach Initiative to help the state’s juvenile justice system become more effective and efficient. The goal of the initiative is to assist probation departments, local juvenile judicial systems and other stakeholders in the use of best practices, including implementation of evidence based programs (EBP) that reduce recidivism in youthful offenders.

“By the conclusion of this three-year project, I believe that California will serve as a model state for the successful implementation of evidence-based programs in the juvenile justice system,” said Kurt Wilson, Executive Director of CSA. “That means turning young lives around, reducing juvenile recidivism and strengthening public safety while saving taxpayer dollars, during this time of serious budget constraints.”

Assessments.com (ADC), a Utah-based company focused on evidence based solutions in criminal justice systems, was chosen through a competitive bid process to direct this project. Assessments.com will partner with Dr. Ed Latessa, a recognized international expert in the field of criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati Center for Criminal Justice Research.

The Best Practices Approach Initiative has four primary objectives:


1. Determine the juvenile justice system’s state of progress in implementing evidence-based practices, develop web based resources to help counties share information about best practices and track their progress in achieving key EBP performance outcome measures.


2. Provide statewide regional trainings on evidence based practices and best practices to Juvenile Probation Departments, judges and other stakeholders in the juvenile justice system.


3. Direct approximately three quarters of the funding to provide organizational development services to a minimum of three probation departments and their community stakeholders. This intensive on-the-ground technical assistance and training will support each probation department and judicial community selected in implementing the systems changes needed to ensure a successful transition to evidence based approaches.


4. Develop a plan to help juvenile probation in California sustain these advances. To further support the Best Practices Approach Initiative, the CSA and the Administrative Office of the Courts, working as collaborative partners, will assist in the delivery of regional training for judicial personnel on the use of best practices and support local judicial teams in integrating services with the county probation departments that are transitioning to the use of evidence based practices.

About Assessments.com: Based in Bountiful, Utah, Assessments.com was formed in 1998 when it created a public/private partnership with the Washington Association of Juvenile Court Services and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to change the way the state’s justice system worked with juveniles. ADC provides validated risk assessment and case management software, staff training and consulting for many of the largest criminal justice agencies in the United States involving juvenile and adult offenders. ADC, with experience working with more than 75 criminal justice systems, including those in California, Florida, Texas and Washington, is producing positive outcomes and cost-savings through innovative changes in business rules, more effective assessment and targeted case planning and needs management

About the Corrections Standards Authority: The Corrections Standards Authority through its Corrections Planning and Programs Division (CPPD) develops, administers and evaluates programs designed to improve the effectiveness of state and local correctional systems and enhance public safety. In carrying out its responsibilities, the CPPD works closely with federal, state and local government agencies, as well as the private sector and nonprofit service providers, to foster collaborative approaches for addressing crime and delinquency. The CPPD provides extensive technical assistance and training to state and local agencies as well as grantees.

About the Administrative Office of the Courts: The Administrative Office of the Courts is the staff agency of the Judicial Council, which has policy-making authority over the state court system. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George serves as chair of the Judicial Council. The agency is organized into nine divisions in San Francisco, one division in Sacramento, and three regional offices, with a staff of more than 750 serving the courts for the benefit of all Californians.

Update: California Institution for Men Returns to Normal Operation Following August 8 Riot

Ongoing Investigation Reveals Cause; Prison Issues 222 Rules Violations

Chino — The California Institution for Men (CIM) returned to normal program operation last week following the August 8 riot that left more than 240 inmates injured and destroyed two housing units at the prison.

Although the investigation is still ongoing, investigators with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Investigative Services Unit at CIM have determined that the incident was sparked by an ongoing feud between rival gangs.

CDCR officials have 25 cases pending referral to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution on charges that include attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and battery on an inmate with a deadly weapon. A total of 222 rules violations also have been issued on inmates by prison officials. One inmate was cited for arson for starting the fire that burned down the Joshua Hall dormitory.

There were no fatalities, no staff injuries, no escapes and no hostage situations during the incident. A total of 55 inmates were transported to area hospitals for treatment with 185 treated at CIM. Numerous other inmates were treated for minor injuries.

Following the riot, CDCR officials moved nearly 1,300 inmates to nearby Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility in Chino and four other state prisons. As of December 4, there were 792 CIM inmates housed at the Stark facility.

CIM was placed under modified program to limit inmate movement inside the prison to avoid future incidents. The prison was operating under a state of emergency until October 26. Normal operations began on Friday, December 4.

CIM plant operations staff began rebuilding destroyed dorms in the reception center west facility in early November. Construction to replace the nearly 1,800 beds damaged or destroyed in the riot is expected to be completed in September 2010 at a cost of $5.2 million. The Inmate Ward Labor Program is providing labor to limit costs.

CIM, which opened in 1941, serves as a reception center for parolees returning to custody and newly committed male felons from several Southern California counties. The reception center completes diagnostic tests, medical and mental health screening, and literacy assessments for classification to determine inmates’ appropriate institutional placement. The prison houses 5,507 inmates and employs approximately 2,100 people.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

California Men’s Colony Escapee Apprehended

San Luis Obispo — Bryan Charles Sims, who escaped from his job assignment at the California Men’s Colony (CMC) Waste Water Treatment Plant in San Luis Obispo on November 30 was arrested on December 3 in Fresno by Special Service Unit agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

A CDCR special agent in the Fresno office investigated leads provided by Investigative Services Unit staff at CMC and learned that escapee Sims was hiding out at a residence in Northwest Fresno. As Special Service Unit agents approached the residence, they saw Sims riding as a passenger in a vehicle that was departing the residence. The agents followed and initiated a vehicle stop. The driver attempted to evade the agents. When the vehicle came to a stop, Sims exited the vehicle and tried to evade the agents by running to a nearby residence. The agents took Sims into custody without further incident on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:55 p.m.

Sims was 13 months into an eight-year sentence from Ventura County when he walked away from his job assignment on November 30, 2009.

Sims was sent to state prison in October 2008 for receiving stolen property. In March 2009, he was transferred to the minimum-security facility at CMC.

CDCR Special Service Unit agents are transporting Sims to North Kern State Prison where he will be housed in the prison’s Administrative Segregation Unit pending transfer to a higher security prison. He could face new felony charges for escape.

Of all inmates who escaped from a state prison, conservation camp or community-based program between 1977 and 2007, 99.1 percent have been apprehended.

Ventura Youth Correctional Facility Released From Health Care List

Will Continue as a Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility

Sacramento — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced that the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility is no longer being considered for a possible medical facility for adult inmates. The facility will continue to be used for the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

After months of considering many potential sites, the federal court-appointed health care receiver and CDCR announced recently that facilities to provide mental health and medical care to upwards of 2,800 inmates would be constructed in Stockton, San Joaquin County.

“The Ventura Youth Correctional Facility is playing an increasingly important role in providing treatment to youthful offenders in Southern California,” said Bernard Warner, Chief Deputy Secretary for Juvenile Justice. “It is our only facility that provides treatment for females. As we shift our population resulting from closures in the next few months, we will be moving more male offenders to Ventura so that they can remain close to their families who live in the region.”

Currently, 78 females are provided a high school education and treatment services in Ventura. In the last year, approximately 136 males have also been moved to Ventura.

With the closure of the facility in Chino expected by March 2010, approximately 148 additional males will be housed in Ventura where they will receive treatment services in addition to a high school educational curriculum.

Approximately 1,600 youthful offenders are housed in six Division of Juvenile Justice facilities and two fire camps. They represent less than one percent of all juvenile arrests in the state.

Inmate Escapes from Taft Community Correctional Facility

Taft - Special agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Office of Correctional Safety are searching for an inmate who escaped from the Taft Community Correctional Facility in Taft. Inmate Rogelio Pedraza Sosa was found missing during the 9:15 p.m. count on December 2 from the Kern County facility.

Sosa, 37, is a male Hispanic, 6 feet tall, black hair and brown eyes, and weighs 170 pounds. He has a medium build, a dark complexion and a tattoo on the back of his neck that reads “Y-QUE.”

Sosa began serving a four-year, eight-month sentence from Kern County on August 7, 2009 for transporting and importing controlled substances for sale. He was scheduled to be released to parole in November 2011.

Sosa had a prior conviction for drug offenses from Orange County in 1993 under the name Martin Campos Rivas. He was paroled to federal immigration authorities in 1995 and 1996. Sosa has used several aliases in the past and is Spanish-speaking.

CDCR agents are working with the Taft Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department to apprehend Sosa. Anyone who sees him or knows of his whereabouts should call 9-1-1 immediately.

The Taft Community Correctional Facility is operated by the City of Taft, which contracts with the CDCR to house low-custody inmates.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

California Men's Colony Inmate Walks-Away from Work Assignment

San Luis Obispo – On November 30, 2009, at approximately 10:20 p.m., inmate Bryan Sims was discovered to be missing from his assigned job at the California Men’s Colony Waste Water Treatment Plant. Sims was last seen at approximately 9:40 p.m. by the Plant Supervisor and is now considered a walk-away. He was last seen wearing a lime green prison jumpsuit, a state issued blue denim jacket, and brown work boots, but he may have discarded them.

Inmate Sims is a 34-year-old White male, 6’ tall, and weighs 276 pounds. He has blonde hair and hazel eyes, but currently has a shaven head and a goatee. He has the following tattoos: one that says “SHANNON” on his chest; one that says “SHANNONS PLAY GROUND” on his stomach; a tribal symbol on his upper back; a tribal band on his upper right arm; and a tribal symbol on his upper right leg.

Sims was received by CMC on March 9, 2009. He was committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on October 22, 2008 from Ventura County with an eight-year sentence for receiving stolen property. A review of his records has revealed a non-violent history. He was housed at CMC’s Minimum Support Facility, and was scheduled for release in August 5, 2014.

Anyone seeing Sims should contact local law enforcement immediately.

California Men’s Colony employs 1,850 people and provides secure housing for approximately 6,500 minimum- and medium-security inmates. The prison provides offenders academic and vocational education programs, work skills in prison industries and inmate self-help group activities. In addition, CMC contains a minimum-security camp program for fire suppression, conservation and other community service work.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Corrections Standards Authority Funds Proud Parenting Program

$835,000 in grants awarded to 10 projects to improve parenting skills

SACRAMENTO - The Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation today announced the release of $835,000 in 10 Proud Parenting Program grant awards to nine community-based organizations and one county probation department to help break the cycle of intergenerational delinquency by strengthening parenting knowledge and skills.

"By focusing on responsible parenthood and stronger relationships between parents and their children, we can break cycle of violence from one generation to another that is threatening the safety of our communities," said Kurt Wilson, Executive Director of CSA. "These grants help young parents understand the positive impact they can have on their children and provide them with the skills necessary to raise healthy, well-adjusted children."

Grant funds of approximately $83,500 for each organization were awarded for one year to serve parents between the ages of 14 and 25. Funding may continue for up to three subsequent years depending on grantee performance and the annual state appropriation process.

The Proud Parenting Program builds upon the fundamental components of the original Young Men as Fathers (YMAF) Program, including classroom instruction on parenting skills, structured family activities that reinforce lessons learned in the classroom and provides them with positive role models as mentors.

CSA's Corrections Planning and Programs (CPP) Division develops, administers and evaluates programs designed to improve the effectiveness of state and local correctional systems and enhance public safety. In carrying out its responsibilities, CPP works closely with federal, state and local government agencies, as well as the private sector and nonprofit service providers, to foster collaborative approaches for addressing crime and delinquency. The CPP division provides extensive technical assistance and training to state and local agencies as well as to grantees.

The Pound Parenting Program grantees for 2009/10 are listed below:

Proud Parenting Program - 2009/10 Funding Awards
Corrections Standards Authority

1) Children's Institute, Inc. (Los Angeles)   $83,500

2) MELA Counseling Services Center, Inc. (Los Angeles)    $83,500

3) Christian Counseling Service of the East Valley, Inc. (Redlands)   $83,500

4) Family Stress Center (Concord)   $83,500

5) Breakout Prison Outreach (San Jose)   $83,500

6) Stop the Violence and Increase the Peace Foundation (Inglewood)   $83,500

7) National Family Life and Education Center (Culver City)   $82,549

8) Madera County Probation Department (Madera)   $83,500

9) Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents (Pasadena)   $82,802

10) San Diego Youth Services, Inc. (San Diego)   $83,500

Total $833,351

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Board of Parole Hearings Launches Web Page for Crime Victims

Victims Can Now Access Parole Suitability Hearing Transcripts

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's (CDCR) Board of Parole Hearings has launched a web page that allows crime victims to request transcripts for Parole Suitability Hearings of inmates sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

"Continuing to protect the rights of victims through our criminal justice system is a top priority of my department," said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. "This new web page will make important information more readily available to victims of crime and their families and help to keep them safe."

Within approximately 30 days upon completion of a prisoner's hearing before the Board, a transcript of the hearing will be available upon request. Transcripts may be requested by email at no cost by accessing the web page. Alternatively, a copy of the transcript will be mailed for a fee of $25.00. Previously victims were charged per page, which could be costly for transcripts running hundreds of pages, and an electronic version was not available.

If a transcript requested by e-mail is not available in the database -- for example, transcripts of hearings that took place in the past and are archived - a fee of $25 will be charged for those as well. The requestor will be contacted if the Board does not have an electronic copy of the transcript and request the fee.

Any persons requesting a hearing transcript must be registered and meet the criteria of a victim as identified through the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services. The registration form is available by accessing the new web page.

In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 9, the "Victim's Bill of Rights Act of 2008," often called "Marsy's Law," which expands victims' rights in parole proceedings for prisoners sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The law applies to all hearings for the purpose of setting, postponing, or rescinding of life prisoner parole dates. Marsy's Law, Penal Code section 3041.5 (a) (4) permits the victim, next of kin, members of the victim's family, and two representatives designated by the victim to request and receive a stenographic record of all proceedings.

Marsy's Law was named after Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas, a University of California Santa Barbara student, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only a week after Marsy was murdered, her mother walked into a grocery store after visiting her daughter's grave and was confronted by the accused murderer. She did not know that he had been released on bail.

Victims can request transcripts of Parole Suitability Hearings by accessing the new web page at: www.cdcr.ca.gov/Divisions_Boards/BOPH/psh_transcript.html.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CDCR Files Response to Federal Three Judge Panel on Prison Management Plan

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today filed a revised plan with the federal three judge panel that addresses the panel’s concerns about the department’s previous filing submitted on September 18, 2009. The panel ordered the department to produce a population plan to meet the court’s operational capacity level of 137.5 percent by the end of 2011.

“We have thoroughly examined the court’s concerns and believe that this plan represents the best option to meet the court’s order,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate.

“Although this plan meets the court mandate, we continue to believe our best option is the original plan already being implemented by the state that reduces the prison population over time without compromising public safety.”

The revised plan includes the proposals from the September 18, 2009 plan as well as additional options the court may consider. The department can only reach the court’s population goals with changes in state laws or federal court orders.

The department has implemented or plans to implement measures directly available to it through the Administration’s executive powers, including:

  • developing and deploying the Parole Violation Decision Making Instrument statewide;
  • maximizing the use of the currently authorized California Out-of-State Correctional Facility program;
  • considering eligible undocumented inmates for commutation and deportation;
  • discharging from parole illegal aliens who have been deported by the federal government; and
  • utilizing electronic monitoring systems, such as global positioning systems (GPS), for eligible parole violators as an alternative to incarceration.
Other measures require changes in state law. In September 2009, the Administration was able to obtain legislative enactment of the following:

  • summary parole - low-level, lower-risk offenders will no longer be placed on active parole, which will reduce the number of offenders returning to prison for parole violations; and
  • credit earning enhancements – reduces time served for qualified inmates.
The Legislature declined to enact three of the Administration’s other proposed measures, including:

  • increasing the monetary threshold for grand theft;
  • providing alternative housing options for low-level offenders (alternative custody); and
  • limiting sentencing options to county jail for certain criminal offenses.
The Administration is seeking a change in state law through the legislative process early next year to:

  • increase the monetary threshold for grand theft;
  • provide alternative custody housing options;
  • seek authorization to continue the California Correctional Out-of-State Facility (COCF) program and to expand the number of inmates that can be held in custody out-of-state;
  • seek legislative enactment of a law that would enable CDCR to accelerate construction of in-state capacity authorized by AB 900; and
  • seek legislative enactment of a law that would expedite leasing, building and/or operating new beds through establishment of private vendor contracts to house inmates and operate private facilities in the state.
Today’s court filing does not derail the Department’s appeal of the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. CDCR filed its appeal in September and submitted a jurisdictional statement to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 5, 2009.

The November 12, 2009 Population Reduction Plan submitted to the court today will be posted to CDCR’s web site at www.cdcr.ca.gov once it is filed with the court.

Click here for CDCR's Population Management Plan Filing
Click here for Three Judge Court Ordered Plan: Table A

Friday, November 6, 2009

CDCR Files Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Medical and Mental Health Beds in Response to Coleman Lawsuit

Plan Includes Sites Statewide to Satisfy Lawsuits Ordering Increases in Medical/Mental Health Beds

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today filed a detailed long-range plan, including activation schedules, to provide medical and mental health treatment beds in response to the federal court order in Coleman v Schwarzenegger. The plan was filed electronically with the United States District Court, Eastern District of California.

“With the filing of this plan, California is moving forward to meet court orders to provide space for mental health and medical services for inmates,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “We have reviewed all our options carefully and believe that this plan represents a wise and efficient use of state resources.”

CDCR, working collaboratively with the Federal Receiver in the Plata v Schwarzenegger case and the Coleman Special Master, submitted the plan as part of its overall effort to increase inmate medical and mental health services.

The plan includes the construction of the Northern California Consolidated Care Facility in Stockton, converting three former juvenile facilities to include medical and mental health beds for adult inmates, adding additional beds to other facilities and other projects.

Funding for the construction was made possible through AB 900. For each new construction project, CDCR is required to submit an Environmental Impact Report, which will afford the public and stakeholders an opportunity to review and comment on the planned projects. CDCR anticipates hosting a number of community forums to allow interested community members to participate in the planning process.

CDCR is required to provide new beds and treatment space for over 1,400 inmates requiring mental health services enrolled in CDCR’s Enhanced Outpatient Program pursuant to an order of the Coleman Court. The Receiver has identified the need for CDCR to provide new beds and treatment space for over 1,400 inmates requiring medical services in an outpatient setting. The plan includes some projects already started by the Receiver.

Click here for a list of proposed projects that are part of the Coleman filing and the department’s AB 900 Integrated Strategy Plan.

Additional Related Information:

Coleman Filing (PDF)
Prison Plans for Chino Include Converting Former Juvenile Facility to House Adult Males
CDCR Finalizes Plan to Convert Former Juvenile Facility

Prison Plans for Chino Include Converting Former Juvenile Facility to House Adult Males

Conversion is Part of Effort to Satisfy Lawsuits Ordering Increases in Medical/Mental Health Beds

SACRAMENTO –The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), working collaboratively with the federal receiver's office, announced plans today to convert the former Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility (Stark) to house 1,802 adult male inmates. In addition, the department plans a 943-bed reception center facility for the housing of adult male inmates.

"In light of the significant pressure from the courts to build capacity for mental health and medical services for inmates, the department has reviewed all of its options carefully," said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. "Working in collaboration with the federal receiver and the special master on mental health, we have selected the Chino site to provide mental health services. The construction of a new 943-bed facility will help the department in its need for reception center beds for newly arriving inmates to be assessed, processed and assigned to another facility."

The last juveniles at Stark are scheduled to leave by March 2010. Stark will be used as a reception center for adult males until 2013, at which time it is planned to house general population males with a low/medium security level. Those inmates will include many requiring outpatient services for medical and mental health.

The revamped facility will include a central treatment clinic that will provide 60 high-acuity medical and mental health beds. CDCR is working closely with the federal receiver in the Plata v Schwarzenegger court case and the special master in the Coleman v Schwarzenegger case to provide housing and treatment space for its population.

Several factors were considered in the decision to repurpose Stark for use by adult males. Stark can be adapted for adult offenders with minimal modification and the property has been historically used for correctional programs. The site also will be less costly than constructing a new correctional facility. The proposed project is planned to be funded with lease revenue bonds authorized by Assembly Bill (AB) 900. The revamped facility is scheduled to be completed in Fiscal Year 2013-14.

Included in this plan is also a proposed 45-bed acute/intermediate care facility at the California Institution for Women (CIW) to serve female inmates with mental health needs. This project is estimated to start construction in early spring 2010, with occupancy expected to begin in the winter of 2011.

The department will submit the projects as part of a comprehensive statewide plan to be filed on November 6 in response to the Coleman lawsuit. CDCR is required to provide new beds and treatment space for more than 1,400 inmates requiring mental health services enrolled in CDCR's Enhanced Outpatient Program (EOP), pursuant to an order of the Coleman court. The federal receiver requires that CDCR also provide new beds and treatment space for more than 1,400 inmates requiring medical services in an outpatient setting.

The second project calls for construction of the 943-bed reception center. The reception center facility will add nearly 275,000 gross square feet and will include housing units, a warehouse, medical services and administrative support buildings. This project also will be funded with lease-revenue bonds authorized under AB 900. Once built, the Reception center will help reduce overcrowded conditions in local jails and in the California Institution for Men.

It is anticipated that the total population of adult male offenders in Chino between the repurposed Stark facility, the planned Reception Center and CIM will not exceed 9,800 inmates.

CDCR is required to submit an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which will afford the public and stakeholders an opportunity to review and comment on the planned projects. CDCR anticipates hosting a number of community forums to allow interested community members to participate in the planning process.

Stark opened in 1960 to serve juvenile offenders ages under 18 through 24 in the California Youth Authority, now the Division of Juvenile Justice. At its peak in April 1996, Stark housed 2,042 juvenile offenders. Due to a declining statewide juvenile population, it was announced in August 2009 that the facility would be closed in 2010 and repurposed for adult inmates. The current population is fewer than 400 youths. The peak population at CIM was 6,665 in October 2003.

To reduce overcrowding in California's prisons, Assembly Bill (AB) 900 authorized CDCR to construct up to 16,000 beds at existing prisons and build an additional 16,000 beds in secure reentry facilities, either through the acquisition of land and buildings or through renovation and construction on existing state-owned land. The Three Judge Panel of the U.S. District Court recently directed CDCR to develop a plan to ease overcrowding in the state's prison system. CDCR's building plans are even more urgently needed given the recent rulings by this panel of federal judges.

Additional Related Information:

Coleman Filing (PDF)
CDCR Files Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Medical and Mental Health Beds in Response to Coleman Lawsuit
CDCR Finalizes Plan to Convert Former Juvenile Facility

CDCR Finalizes Plan to Convert Former Juvenile Facility

DeWitt site is one of Several Planned to Satisfy Lawsuits Ordering Increases in Medical/Mental Health Beds

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), working collaboratively with the federal receiver's office, announced that it plans to convert the former DeWitt Nelson Youth Correctional Facility (DeWitt) in Stockton to satisfy court mandates to provide medical and mental health facility for adult males. The decision was made after CDCR and the receiver's office met with Stockton leaders last week to seek their input on the plan.

"Our department will continue to keep an open dialogue with community leaders and elected officials in Stockton as this important project to address inmate medical and mental health needs and reduce overcrowding in our prisons moves forward," said CDCR Secretary Matt Cate.

The conversion of DeWitt is part of the state's overall efforts to increase bed capacity for medical services as required under the court order in the Coleman v Schwarzenegger lawsuit. The detailed plan will be included in a comprehensive statewide plan to be filed by CDCR on November 6, as required by the court. This project is one of several being planned for construction statewide to provide additional capacity for the state's prison population.

The DeWitt facility will be converted into a 1,133-bed complex for housing Level II adult males with medical and mental health needs. Level II inmates are considered inmates requiring low-to-medium security custody. DeWitt, which opened in 1971, is located on 40 acres near Stockton and housed as many as 638 youth offenders, closed in July 2008 due to downward trend in the juvenile offender population. Working with the Receiver and a Special Master in the Coleman court, the department determined that DeWitt could be renovated and expanded to meet the mental health beds mandated by the Court and the required medical beds identified by the Receiver.

DeWitt, a 138,000 gross square feet facility, includes four dormitory housing units, a kitchen/dining facility, a warehouse, a central plant, a laundry, medical services, a chapel program services buildings and administrative support buildings. The proposed scope of the plan would renovate any structures necessary to house the new population as well as construct additional secure housing for inmates requiring mental health services. The project also includes strengthening security measures.

CDCR is required to submit an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which will afford the public and stakeholders an opportunity to review and comment on the specific elements of the planned projects. CDCR anticipates hosting a number of community forums to allow interested community members to participate in the planning process.

The DeWitt project - estimated to cost approximately $120 to $150 million - would provide an estimated 1,110 to 1,300 construction jobs. Once the complex is activities, it could employ between 500 to 600 staff.

Two weeks ago, the receiver and CDCR signed a Statement of Decision and Resolution of Approval to construct the Northern California Consolidated Care Facility on the site of the currently vacant Karl Holton Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton. This project is expected to begin in 2010 and provide health care services to accommodate up to 1,754 inmates. This facility alone will provide more than 9,000 construction jobs, up to 3,000 staff jobs and have an economic impact of over $1 billion annually.

CDCR also is in the process of converting the former Northern California Women's Facility to a proposed 500-inmate Northern California Reentry Facility in Stockton. This planned facility, which is in the early stages of the environmental review process, is expected to provide intense rehabilitative services for soon-to-be released inmates from San Joaquin, Calaveras and Amador counties. Those three counties, which supported the project along with the state Legislature in 2007, will receive a combined $128 million to expand their local jail capacity.

CDCR is required to provide new beds and treatment space for over 1,400 inmates requiring mental health services enrolled in CDCR's Enhanced Outpatient Program pursuant to an order of the Coleman Court. The federal Receiver requires that CDCR also provide new beds and treatment space for over 1,400 inmates requiring medical services in an outpatient setting.


Additional Related Information:


Coleman Filing (PDF)
CDCR Files Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Medical and Mental Health Beds in Response to Coleman Lawsuit
Prison Plans for Chino Include Converting Former Juvenile Facility to House Adult Males

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

CDCR Amends Contract to House More Inmates Outside of California

Contract adds much needed cell-capacity for 2,336 inmates

SACRAMENTO – In its continuing effort to reduce prison overcrowding and increase access to health care and rehabilitation programs, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced today that it has amended its agreement with the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) to temporarily house additional inmates out of state. This addendum will allow an additional 2,336 out-of-state beds to house California offenders, for a total of 10,468 beds.

“California is continuing to move aggressively to reduce overcrowding in our prisons,” said Scott Kernan, CDCR Undersecretary for Operations. “Our ability to place offenders out-of-state offers us much needed flexibility in placement of offenders that ultimately creates a safer environment for inmates, our staff and for the public.”

These out-of-state facilities also offers CDCR placement of higher-custody level inmates that normally require housing in a celled environment. CDCR prisons are overcrowded with inmates requiring celled housing. Due to public safety risks, these inmates are not eligible for low-security housing.

A 2006 Emergency Proclamation and subsequent passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 900, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, provides authority for CDCR to transfer inmates to private facilities in other states.

Since the department began the out-of-state transfers, it had reduced the number of non-traditional housing – such as in gymnasiums, dayrooms and other areas of the prison not intended for housing – from a high of 19,618 in August 2007 to the current total of 10,526.

CDCR began regular movements of inmates to these facilities in October 2006, and anticipates that by January 2011, CDCR will have a population of 10,468 inmates out of state. Inmates transferred to out-of-state facilities undergo a comprehensive medical, dental and, if required, mental health screening.

The Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) currently houses 7,911 California inmates in the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility (Mississippi), North Fork Correctional Facility (Oklahoma), Florence Correctional Center (Arizona), Red Rock Correctional Center (Arizona), and the La Palma Correctional Center (Arizona).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

CDCR to Close Three Community Correctional Facilities Due to Downward Trend in Low-Security Inmates

Move would save $15.2 million

Sacramento — Due to a significant decrease and anticipated decline in low-security inmates, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is closing three privately run Community Correctional Facilities (CCFs).

“There are a number of factors for the downward trend in lower-level inmates entering the system, including recent parole reforms that authorize minor parole violators to be diverted to community programs instead of prison,” said Undersecretary of Operations Scott Kernan. “Meanwhile, CDCR prisons continue to face overcrowding for medium and maximum security inmates, who serve longer sentences, and due to public safety risks, are not eligible for low-security housing provided by these facilities.”

This past year, the state prison population has dropped by nearly 5,000 inmates, from approximately 172,200 to about 167,350. Approximately half of the drop in population were low-security level inmates.

“In the prison system, population management is extremely complicated with a number of factors that go into determining where inmates can be placed,” added Kernan. “The reality is there is a segment of the inmate population which requires housing in a celled environment and cannot be placed in a lower-level facility due to their time to serve, conviction history or institutional behavior.”

CDCR today issued 60-day notices to Cornell Corrections, which operates the Baker Community Correctional Facility in Baker and the Mesa Verde Correctional Facility in Bakersfield, and to the GEO Group, which operates the McFarland Community Correctional Facility in McFarland. The contracts for the three facilities was set to expire on June 30, 2010 and provided a combined 822 low-custody beds.

The department will issue an Invitation for Bid in early November to use private facilities for an alternative population, such as female inmates.

California law authorizes CDCR to contract with public and private entities to house low-custody inmates in community correctional facilities. There are 5,913 beds in 13 community correctional facilities statewide; however, 1,200 of them are empty. Earlier this year, the department sent a team of inmate classification and custody experts on a statewide evaluation of inmates who may be safely housed in CCF beds. That search confirmed there was not enough who qualified for CCF placement. The department also deactivated more than 1,000 lower-level beds in CDCR’s system to address the changing demographics of the inmate population.

Closing the Baker, Mesa Verde and McFarland community correctional facilities will save $12.7 million in contract dollars and an additional $2.5 million by eliminating 22 state positions by redirection or layoffs of staff assigned to monitor those facilities.

These Community Correctional Facilities cannot house inmates who are sex offenders, inmates serving a life sentence, or inmates who are disabled, need mental health treatment or have a chronic illness.

CDCR houses minimum-security inmates in minimum support facilities at state prisons and conservation camps.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CDCR Sends Strike Team in Response to Serious Staff Assault in Mississippi Facility

Sacramento — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is sending a strike team made up of Office of Correctional Safety agents and gang investigators to the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, Mississippi, after a staff assault sent two correctional officers to the hospital.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. EDT in the facility’s dining hall, several inmates attacked staff. The inmates, transferred to the facility from California, did not respond to lawful orders to stop their attack. Staff used pepper spray and chemical agents to gain compliance. There were 137 inmates in the dining hall at the time of the incident.

Two employees were taken to the hospital for treatment. One was treated for injuries to his eye and jaw and released. The other is still hospitalized and is being treated for 22 puncture wounds and a collapsed lung.

No inmates were injured. The facility is on lockdown.

The incident is under investigation. CDCR’s strike team will support Corrections Corporation of America staff in its investigation and review, help identify inmates who participated in the incident, conduct threat assessments and interviews, and evaluate housing placement.

To relieve prison overcrowding, California’s Legislature adopted AB 900, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007. Among its provisions is approval to house up to 8,000 inmates in private correctional facilities outside California.

California's 7,837 out-of-state inmates are housed in Arizona, Mississippi, and Oklahoma in facilities operated by Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), based in Nashville, Tennessee. The Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility is a 2,592-bed multi-security prison owned and operated by CCA and houses 2,565 CDCR inmates.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CDCR Asks Crime Victims to Register for New Automated Database to Keep them Better Informed about their Offenders

SACRAMENTO – In its effort to keep crime victims informed, the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is asking crime victims to register for a new automated system that will soon provide real-time information about the custody status of their offenders. The new system was made possible by a federal grant.

“This is a significant step forward in helping victims, and making sure their questions and concerns are addressed,” CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said. “The VINE system will allow victims to be notified with accurate information so that they can protect themselves and participate in the criminal justice process.”

The new statewide automated Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system will provide a 24-hour service and will give registered victims an instant notice by phone or email about their offender’s whereabouts.

“We are hoping to have the VINE system up and running by next year, but we are putting the call out to the victims of this state so they can register before it’s launched,” said Assistant Secretary Sandi Menefee from the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Service.

The state was awarded federal grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) within the United States Department of Justice. The state was awarded $500,000 in federal grant money with a $500,000 in-kind match provided in the form of redirected CDCR staff resources to manage the system. The grant award will be in effect for two years.

The automated system will also inform victims and next-of-kin of when their offender is scheduled for a parole board hearing if they are serving a life term.

Currently, the state does not have a unified statewide victim notification system.

CDCR is using a paper-based system for victim notification and the process varies among the 33 institutions.

California Penal Code and the addition of Marsy’s Law requires CDCR to notify witnesses, victims and next of kin if a violent offender is released, escapes, dies, or is up for parole.

The Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Service database documents that more than 20,000 victim notifications are made annually to victims of offenders in CDCR custody.

“The VINE system will be a more cost effective way to keep tabs on the thousands of offenders our office deals with on a daily basis,” said Menefee. “Crime victims have been through enough already, this system will make it easier for them to get the information they need.”

CDCR and the California State Sheriff’s Association (CSSA) manage victim notification systems independent of each other. This federal grant allows for an interface for both systems to come together – a seamless transition of an offender going from county jail to state prison.

CDCR operates and manages California’s 33 institutions, oversees a variety of community correctional facilities, and supervises parolees during their re-entry into society. As part of its responsibilities, CDCR also adheres to the following legislative mandates in support of its vision to protect the public from crime and victimization.

If you are a victim of an offender that is serving time in the California state prison system, please call Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services at (877) 256-6877 to register for the upcoming VINE service.

CDCR Makes 35 Arrests from Sex Offender Compliance Checks at various summer fairs in California

GPS Monitoring Helps to Make Operation a Success

SACRAMENTO - With the use of state-of-the-art technology, parole agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) arrested 35 sex offenders during compliance checks at six fairs this summer.

Those compliance checks resulted in the arrest of 14 sex offenders at the Los Angeles County Fair, eight at the Orange County Fair, five at the California State Fair in Sacramento, two each at the Del Mar Fair, San Joaquin County Fair and Strawberry Festival in Garden Grove, and one each at the Placer and Tehama county fairs.

Using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, agents created an exclusion zone around the perimeter of the fairgrounds to alert agents of any parolee sex offender entering the zone.

“We are very pleased with the results and plan to continue such efforts to promote and ensure public safety at these types of venues in the future,” said Robert Ambroselli, the Acting Director for CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations.

California’s parole division utilizes GPS technology to track and monitor sex offenders on parole. California is the nation's leader in using GPS technology to track sex offenders with approximately 7,000 individuals under the direct supervision of CDCR parole agents. In addition, the system is used to ensure parole compliance at events like fair, conventions, and other locations where adults and children congregate.

This year, any sex offender parolee on GPS monitoring who entered the fair, set off an alert notifying agents of their presence. Once the notification was received, on-site agents would track offender movements to determine if any parole conditions specific to that parolee were being violated.

“It’s important for sex offenders on parole to understand that we are intent on keeping close supervision on their movement and actions in the interest of protecting public safety,” added Ambroselli. “It would be in their best interest to stay away from events where families with children may congregate.”

CDCR’s use of current technology such as GPS and working in partnership with local law enforcement is helping improve public safety throughout the state.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CDCR Agents Assist In Search For Escaped Inmate From Arizona State Hospital


**Special Note** This indivdual has been apprehended by US Customs Border Patrol agents. On October 27th, 2009, Murillo was taken into the custody of CDCR by Office of Correctional Safety agents. For more information on the capture, please contact the US Customs Border Patrol @ (619) 216-4052.

SACRAMENTO - California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) agents are working with the United States Marshal Service and the Arizona Department of Corrections in their search for missing inmate Jorge Murillo.

Murillo, who had completed a 10-year sentence in Arizona for sexual assault, escaped from the Arizona State Hospital in Phoenix on October 17 at about 11 p.m. Murillo was to begin serving a 16-year consecutive sentence from Los Angeles County in California for forcible oral copulation, rape and attempted sodomy. He was going to be transferred to CDCR's custody after the completion of a psychological evaluation; however, Murillo escaped before the evaluation was completed. The Superior Court in Arizona had found probable cause that Murillo is a sexually violent person.

Murillo, 40, is a Hispanic male, 160 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. He was scheduled to be paroled in 2025.

Escape apprehension efforts are continuing. Anyone seeing Murillo should contact law enforcement authorities immediately.

CDCR's Sacramento Control Office/Western Interstate Corrections Compact supervises the housing of 625 inmates in 21 states.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Substance Abuse Programs Reduce Recidivism – New Report Finds

Strong gains for offenders completing both in-prison and community treatment programs

SACRAMENTO - A newly released report from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) shows a substantial reduction in recidivism for offenders completing in-prison substance abuse programs followed by community-based substance abuse treatment.

“Effective treatment for alcohol and drug addiction is crucial for successful reintegration into the community when inmates are released,” said Matthew Cate, CDCR Secretary. “Our emphasis on encouraging inmates who complete substance abuse programs in prison to continue in community aftercare treatment has proven to be successful,” he said.

“During this time of fiscal crisis and significant budget reductions, our department remains focused on core substance abuse programs that reduce recidivism,” said Elizabeth Siggins, Acting Chief Deputy Secretary of Adult Programs.

The 2009 Annual Report of the Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (OSATS), formerly the Division of Addiction and Recovery Services, includes return-to-custody data on offenders who paroled in Fiscal Year 2005-06 for a one-year and a two-year period. The return to custody rate after one year for offenders completing both in-prison and community-based treatment in FY 2005-06 was 21.9 percent compared to 39.9 percent for all offenders. The return to custody rate after two years for offenders completing both in-prison and community-based treatment in FY 2005-06 was 35.3 percent compared to 54.2 percent for all offenders.

For male offenders, the return-to-custody rate after one year for those who completed both in-prison and community-based substance abuse treatment in FY 2005-06 was 25.4 percent compared to 41.2 percent of all male offenders. The return-to-prison rate after two years for male offenders who completed both in-prison and community-based substance abuse treatment in FY 2005-06 was 40.4 percent compared to 55.6 percent of all male offenders.

Female offenders were especially responsive to substance abuse treatment. After one year, only 8.8 percent of female offenders who completed both in-prison and community-based substance abuse treatment in FY 2005-06 were returned to custody compared to 30.1 percent of all female offenders. The return-to-prison rate after two years for female offenders who completed both in-prison and community-based substance abuse treatment in FY 2005-06 was 16.5 percent compared to 43.7 percent of all female offenders.

Because of the importance of combining in-prison programs with community substance abuse treatment in reducing recidivism, OSATS has worked to encourage offenders who complete in-prison substance abuse programs to continue in community aftercare treatment. As of June 2008, more than half (54.6 percent) of offenders who completed in-prison programs continued on to aftercare. The average daily population of parolees receiving community treatment has more than doubled – from more than 2,600 at the end of June 2007 to over 5,800 in July 2009.

In 2008, 28.4 percent of CDCR commitments were for a substance abuse offense. Substance abuse offenses include Possession, Possession for Sale, and Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance; Hashish Possession; and Possession for Sale or Sales of Marijuana, and other Marijuana Offenses.

Despite recent budget reductions, including $250 million for adult offender rehabilitation programs, CDCR remains committed to evidence-based programs that reduce recidivism. To meet the new State budget realities, the department is currently developing a streamlined in-prison substance abuse program that shortens the length of time an offender participates from the current 6-36 months to 3 months, with a strong emphasis on aftercare in the community. Evidence-based practices will be used to target services to inmates who have been assessed as most likely to recidivate and most likely to need substance abuse treatment.

Note: The above data is based on offenders who completed both in-prison and community care treatment. CDCR recognizes that there may be some selection problems by focusing only on offenders that completed the program. Future analyses will attempt to assess all offenders assigned to a substance abuse treatment program, including those who do not complete the program.

The report is available at CDCR’s web site at www.cdcr.ca.gov/DARS

Monday, October 5, 2009

National Group Honors CDCR's Director of Juvenile Justice

Warner Named "Outstanding Administrator of the Year"

SACRAMENTO - A nationwide organization dedicated to correctional programs for incarcerated youth has named the Chief Deputy Secretary of California's Division of Juvenile Justice as its "Outstanding Administrator of the Year."

Bernard Warner, Chief Deputy Secretary for Juvenile Justice within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), received the award on October 3, during the annual conference for the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) in Chicago.

"This award provides national recognition of California's excellent progress in reforming its juvenile justice program, which now emphasizes rehabilitation through evidence-based treatment and counseling," said Matthew Cate, Secretary for Corrections and Rehabilitation. "This is an acknowledgement of Mr. Warner's steadfast commitment to reforming the DJJ system in a lasting way."

Warner was presented the award "in recognition of his commitment to the council and his leadership of the organization as its president over the last year," said Kim Godfrey, Deputy Director of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators.

"He engaged all of the members and improved our agenda for working with troubled youth," said Godfrey, "and there is nothing better than recognition from your peers for that work."

"In addition to his duties with the council, Mr. Warner has made extraordinary progress in reforming California's juvenile justice system, which has become more humane in addressing the individual needs of these troubled youths," said Edward Loughran, Executive Director of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators and former Commissioner of the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts. "There is a collective effort by staff under Mr. Warner's leadership to address those needs first and foremost and on a day-to-day basis."

Warner, a 27-year veteran of administering juvenile justice programs in Florida, Arizona and Washington, was appointed Chief Deputy Secretary of CDCR's Division of Juvenile Justice in 2005. Since that time, he had led a reformation of the state's juvenile justice program, including the development of remedial plans covering safety and welfare, education, mental health services, health care and sexual behavior treatment and accommodating offenders with disabilities. According to the most recent progress report filed with the Alameda Superior Court, which supervises the state's efforts, the Division of Juvenile Justice has completed 79 percent of more than 6,000 mandated policy and program changes and is in partial compliance with another six percent.

Youth committed to the DJJ represent less than one percent of the 225,000 young offenders arrested in California each year, but have the most violent criminal backgrounds and severe treatment needs that cannot be addressed by county programs. Forty percent of DJJ's youth require mental health treatment, 58 percent are in need of substance abuse treatment, 22 percent require treatment for sexual behavior offenses and 28 percent have special education needs. Nonetheless, over the last four years, there has been a 300 percent increase in the number of DJJ youth who have reached some form of educational achievement, including high school diplomas or GED's or vocational and continuing education certificates and enrollment in college courses.

The Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators is a national, non-profit organization formed in 1994 to improve state and local correctional services for youth, and promoting practices that will help them succeed when they return to the community. Based in Braintree, Mass., the organization provides education and research to administrators and policy makers of juvenile justice programs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and in major metropolitan counties.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Education Superintendent Named For DJJ Schools

Will Build Upon Recent Success in Educating Juvenile Offenders

Sacramento -- Furthering a critical priority in reforming the state’s juvenile justice system, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has named veteran educator David Murphy as Superintendent of Education for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

Murphy, who has been an education administrator for the last 20 years and is a former remedial English and mathematics teacher, will be responsible for directing staff and developing policies for the DJJ’s network of accredited high schools.

Murphy began his teaching career in Torrance and later was a high school principal before guiding school districts in El Dorado County and Davis, where he significantly increased the number of students meeting University of California admission requirements and steadily decreased the number of students who required remedial classes in math, science, history and English.

“This is a significant step forward for the Division of Juvenile Justice in not only fulfilling an accreditation requirement as a school district but also meeting the education parameters outlined in the Farrell litigation,” said Matthew Cate, Secretary for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. “It’s critical that we provide the best education possible for youthful offenders to help them avoid an endless cycle of crime.”

“Mr. Murphy will bring the stable executive leadership that is much needed,” said Bernard Warner, DJJ Chief Deputy Secretary, of the position that has been filled by various staff in acting capacities for six years. “His character and expertise will set the tone and the direction to meet our goals that are much like those of any other public school district.

Murphy, who has led the creation of magnet and charter schools as well as reading programs for students who speak little English or who are in the bottom third of the nation’s reading scores, sees no difference in the challenge posed by DJJ youth, despite their violent backgrounds or need for treatment.

“People learn in many different ways and we need to understand how our kids learn,” said Murphy. “We have the responsibility to change how we teach to how they learn.”

Since March, 2005 when DJJ adopted a remedial plan for education, a 300 percent increase in the number of youth who have achieved some level of academic performance, from earning high school diplomas or GEDs to enrollment in vocational or continuing education classes or college courses, despite a 48 percent decrease in population during that time, as youth were diverted to county facilities.

DJJ has completed 77 percent of the policy and program reforms required in the education portion of the Farrell settlement. Murphy’s goals are to sustain that progress and to strengthen vocational education so that youth learn employable job skills to compliment their academic achievement, giving them a foundation for living productively.

Murphy’s approach looks at DJJ students as a whole person and it requires engaging every DJJ staff person who comes in contact with them, including counselors, medical and psychological staff in addition to teachers, he noted.

Murphy earned a Master of Arts degree in educational policy and administration from Stanford University; a Master of Arts degree in education administration from San Jose State University, a teaching credential from Loyola-Marymount University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Santa Clara University.

CDCR Annual Report Now Available Online

“Corrections – Moving Forward” Contains 20 Years of Data, Recidivism Rates,
Summaries of Key Demographics for CDCR Population

SACRAMENTO – Did you know that the three-year recidivism rate in California for adult inmates is about 60 percent? How about the fact that adult and youth offender fire crews save the State of California more than $80 million annually by fighting wildfires? Or that the number of juveniles in state’s Division of Juvenile Justice has declined by nearly 6,500 over the past decade?

A new publication, Corrections – Moving Forward, contains these facts and more as part of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) efforts to provide a consistent and comprehensive understanding of today’s corrections challenges. This publication includes a statistical update on everything from inmate population trends to return-to-custody statistics; from the impact of the three strikes inmates to a look at CDCR’s entire budget and a summary of the department’s 2008-09 accomplishments.

“Transparency in government begins with making information available to as many people as possible,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “Through the Internet, our collection of data bases and Office of Research, we have worked hard to keep statistics on offender population and programs current and accessible.

Corrections – Moving Forward collects key facts from our expansive correctional system into one comprehensive report. As we face the challenges ahead, using current data to reflect on our population demographics will be crucial. We hope you find this new resource helpful in learning more about our agency.”

The publicationutilizes 20 years of data in some areas and includes graphic charts to illustrate trends over the years. Information was taken from the expanse of data already available on the CDCR website, www.cdcr.ca.gov, and condensed according to categories, including:

  • Budget – a two-year comparison of CDCR’s allocations;
  • Adult Offenders – 20 years of demographics including age, offenses, releases and admissions;
  • Conservation Camps;
  • Felon New Admissions – 20-year comparison of commitment rate versus population and commitment rates by gender;
  • Three Strikes Population – breakdown by age, types of crimes committed by both second and third strike populations;
  • Adult Parole Population – a comprehensive look at the adult parole population, both male and female, including population rates, when they were first released to parole and parole violator rates;
  • Adult Programs;
  • Division of Juvenile Justice – An overview of the DJJ population demographics and trends; and
  • Recidivism – One, two and three-year follow-up recidivism rates.
The booklet was designed to provide a general overview CDCR statistics and significant trends facing California’s largest state agency. Information is broken down by gender, and age in some cases, so that trends facing specific inmate populations can be examined. Information was provided by the Office of Research, CDCR Budget Office, the Division of Juvenile Justice Research branch, Division of Adult Institutions, and Division of Adult Programs.

To view an electronic (PDF) copy of Corrections – Moving Forward

To download an electronic (PDF) copy of Corrections- Moving Forward

Friday, September 25, 2009

Inmate Susan Atkins Dies of Natural Causes

Chowchilla - Central California Women's Facility (CCWF) inmate Susan Denise Atkins, 61, who had been serving a life term for seven counts of first-degree murder, died of natural causes at 11:46 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2009 at the prison's skilled nursing facility. She had been on hospice status.

Atkins participated in five murders on August 9, 1969 when she, Patricia Krenwinkel, Linda Kasabian and Charles Watson murdered Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Sharon Tate Polanski who was eight months pregnant, and Thomas Jay Sebring. Atkins was also convicted for the August 10, 1969 slayings of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca along with crime partners Charles Manson, Watson, Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten. Atkins was also involved in the murder of Gary Hinman on July 25, 1969 along with crime partners Manson, Bruce Davis, Robert Beausoleil and Steven Grogan.

On April 19, 1971, Atkins was sentenced to death by a Los Angeles County jury and received onto California's death row on April 23, 1971 for seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. She was resentenced to life on December 18, 1972 when in that year, the California Supreme Court found that the death penalty constituted cruel and unusual punishment under the state constitution.

California did not have the life without parole sentence at the time.

California inmates who receive a sentence of life with the possibility of parole are entitled to parole consideration hearings after serving the legally required minimum term. Atkins' minimum eligible parole date was October 6, 1976. Her initial parole consideration hearing was on September 14, 1976 at which time she was denied parole. Between 1976 and September 2, 2009, she had been denied parole a total of 13 times. On July 15, 2008, the Board of Parole Hearings denied a recommendation for recall of commitment (compassionate release) for Atkins.

Atkins had been incarcerated at California Institution for Women for 37 years. She was transferred to a community hospital on March 18, 2008 until her transfer to CCWF on September 24, 2008 for housing in that prison's skilled nursing facility.

At the time of her death, of all women currently incarcerated in California, Atkins had been in prison the longest.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

CDCR Adult Parole's "Operation Eagle Eye" Identifies Parolees, Sex Offenders at State, Local Fairs to Ensure Compliance


SACRAMENTO - After wrapping up its first successful "Operation Eagle Eye" at the California State Fair and at the Gold Country Fair, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Division of Adult Parole Operations will next focus on identifying sex offenders and parolees at the Tehama County Fair.

The fair runs Sept. 24-27. Operation Eagle Eye was designed to enhance public safety at such large attractions by using existing GPS technology to ensure sex offender parolees were complying with the terms and conditions of their parole. Parole agents from the Sierra GPS Unit monitored the Gold Country Fair in Auburn and Redding GPS agents will monitor the Tehama County Fair.

"We are the nation's leader in using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to track sex offenders," said Robert Ambroselli, Director (A), Division of Adult Parole Operations. "Using GPS in this manner is one of the many ways the Parole Division can enhance public safety."

Every sex offender on active parole has GPS monitoring as part of their supervision requirements. Any sex offender parolee who entered the fair zone set off an alarm notifying parole agents of their whereabouts. Once a notification was received, on-site CDCR parole agents tracked an offender's movement and investigated if any law, parole violation or any public safety issue existed. During the various runs of the fairs, CDCR parole agents received numerous zone alerts, which culminated in parolee arrests for violations of special conditions of parole.

"When it comes to the supervision of sex offenders, we cannot and will not compromise public safety," said Marvin Speed, District Parole Administrator. "Operation Eagle Eye was so beneficial to enhancing public safety that we will replicate the operation at other venues."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CDCR Sends Layoff Letters to 1,443 Employees

Follows last week’s announcement to Reduce Rehabilitation Budget

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today sent State Restriction of Appointments (SROA) letters to employees affected by a $250 million budget reduction in adult offender rehabilitation and other programs for inmates and parolees that were announced last week.

This is the first step in the layoff process due to reductions in response to the department’s plan to achieve a $1.2 billion budget reduction.

The rehabilitation program reductions will impact education, vocational, substance abuse, and other programs for inmates and parolees. This reduction represents over a third of the adult programs budget, and leaves approximately $350 million in the adult programs budget.

Overall, program-related reductions are anticipated to eliminate more than 1,000 positions, but because of existing vacancies, the number of actual layoffs is expected to be somewhere between 600 and 900, depending upon final labor negotiations. More SROA letters must be sent than the actual number of anticipated layoffs due to the complexities of the civil service layoff process.

Last week, termination letters were sent to eight contractors who provide substance abuse services inside the state’s prisons. These terminations affect 24 individual contracts.

CDCR is developing a streamlined rehabilitation model that is designed to reach as many offenders as possible with less funding. The department is working on strategies to shorten the length of in-prison substance abuse treatment, utilize long-term offenders as counselors and literacy tutors, develop alternative methods of delivering education, and increase community volunteer activities. The department is committed to attempt to minimize layoffs to the extent possible by reducing vacancies first.

Over the next few months, CDCR will be working with affected labor organizations to implement these changes. Final decisions regarding new program models will be pending those negotiations.

To see last week’s announcement and for more information on program reductions, visit:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/2009_Press_Releases/Sept_17_Programs.html

Monday, September 21, 2009

CIM Dedicates Officer Manuel Gonzalez JR. Memorial Highway With Ceremony


SACRAMENTO - The memory of California Institution for Men (CIM) Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez Jr., who died in the line of duty on Jan. 10, 2005, was invoked at a ceremony on Friday at CIM when a portion of a state highway was renamed in his honor.

CDCR Secretary Matt Cate joined CIM Warden (A) Aref Fakhoury, Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-32), and other local elected officials as State Highway Route 71 between State Highway 60 and Central Avenue in San Bernardino County was renamed the Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez Jr. Memorial Highway on Sept. 18. The dedication ceremony was postponed due the Aug. 8-9 riot that involved more than 1,200 inmates and required relocating them to other local adult and juvenile facilities.

"We are grateful to Sen. McLeod and others in the Legislature who stepped up to honor Officer Gonzalez, who will always be remembered in the hearts and minds of his family and his fellow employees," said Cate. "The naming of this highway in his memory will serve as a constant reminder of the dedication of our correctional employees and the dangers they encounter daily."

Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 11 at the request of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. The resolution was co-sponsored by former Sen. Bob Margett (R-29) and Asm. Nell Soto (D-61). The resolution read in part: "Whereas, Considered a consummate professional, Officer Gonzalez was a well-respected and reliable employee who went beyond his duties in order to assist other staff members and worked diligently to make prison facilities more safe... therefore, let it be Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby dedicates the portion of State Highway Route 71...as the Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez, Jr., Memorial Highway."

Officer Gonzalez joined the CDCR in 1988, serving the people of California at California State Prison, Corcoran, California State Prison Los Angeles County, and at CIM.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

CDCR Reduces Offender Rehabilitation Programs

Headquarters Staff Reduced to Contain Costs and Increase Efficiencies

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is cutting adult offender rehabilitation programs, reducing headquarters staff and creating new efficiencies to save over $280 million in response to the department’s plan to achieve a $1.2 billion budget reduction.

CDCR will cut $250 million in rehabilitation programs for adult offenders, including estimated layoffs of between 600-900 employees. These reductions will impact education, vocational, substance abuse, and other programs for inmates and parolees. This reduction represents over a third of the adult programs budget, and leaves approximately $350 million in the adult programs budget. Spending related to rehabilitation programs at CDCR headquarters also will be cut by almost 70 percent, from over $54 million to approximately $17 million.

In addition to cutting rehabilitation programs, CDCR has reduced its overall headquarters budget by abolishing nearly 400 positions at a savings of approximately $30 million annually. The department has also incorporated new policies to reduce costs related to overtime, office leases and vehicle usage.

Last month, CDCR announced a new staffing model for its Division of Juvenile Justice division that reduces its workforce by 14 percent – or 400 positions – and saves about $30-$40 million annually.

“The new budget reality has forced us to make tough choices as we weigh population reductions, staff layoffs, and a significant cut to our budget,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “We must increase our efficiency and target our limited resources for programs most likely to reduce recidivism and keep our communities and our prisons safe.”

“We will be changing the way we do business to reach as many offenders as possible with less funding,” said Elizabeth Siggins, Acting Chief Deputy Secretary for Adult Programs. “We are working on strategies to shorten the length of in-prison substance abuse treatment, utilizing long-term offenders as counselors and literacy tutors, developing alternative methods of delivering education, and increasing volunteer activities.”

Within the next few weeks, pending Department of Personnel Administration approval, CDCR will notify affected employees with State Restriction of Appointments (SROA) letters, which is the first step in the layoff process. Today, termination letters will be sent to eight contractors who provide substance abuse services inside the state’s prisons. These terminations will affect 24 individual contracts. By next month, CDCR will be issuing Invitations for Bids for the remaining in-prison substance abuse programs and working with Substance Abuse Services Coordinating Agencies to amend and reduce the aftercare and Female Offender Treatment and Employment Program contracts.

Overall, program-related reductions are anticipated to eliminate more than 1,000 positions, but because of existing vacancies, the number of actual layoffs is expected to be somewhere between 600 and 900, depending upon final negotiations. These include:

  • Reduction of education-related positions, including teachers, librarians, supervisory and support positions, by approximately 30-50 percent, resulting in 600 -800 layoffs;
  • Reduction in substance-abuse related positions by approximately 30-60 percent, resulting in 50-100 layoffs. (These layoffs do not include contract employees who will be affected due to contract terminations and reductions.);
  • Reduction or delay in contracts for programs in the Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) totaling almost $50 million; and
  • Savings in the Female Offender Programs and Services (FOPS), including delays in contracts and an associated reduction in staffing, totaling over $90 million.
CDCR is developing a streamlined rehabilitation model that targets limited resources on programs most effective in reducing recidivism, uses evidence-based principles in inmate assessment and program delivery, captures the skills of inmates and community volunteers to augment the capacity of rehabilitation programs, and attempts to minimize layoffs to the extent possible by reducing vacancies first.

The new model will (1) Promote General Education Development (GED) preparation of inmates and maximize the number of inmates anticipated to attain a GED; (2) Increase access to literacy programs so that inmates leave prison able to function on a job and in society; (3) Utilize trained long-term offenders as literacy tutors and as Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors; and (4) Increase space and nominal funding to support programs provided by community volunteers, including Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, victims’ awareness groups and other programs.

In-prison substance abuse treatment will be streamlined to provide three months (compared the current six-36 months) of treatment with an emphasis on aftercare in the community. The return to prison rate after two years for offenders who complete both in-prison and community-based substance abuse programs is 35 percent compared to 54 percent for all offenders.

CDCR is also in the process of developing non-traditional methods of delivering education that rely on the best practices in adult education which use a combination of classroom instruction and independent study. Additionally, we will be using more civil service Teaching Assistants and training long-term offenders with a GED or above to provide one-on-one literacy tutoring.

Over the next few months, CDCR will be working with affected labor organizations to implement these changes. Final decisions regarding new program models will be pending those negotiations.

New Adult Rehabilitation Model
Fact Sheet