Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Homicide of Salinas Valley State Prison Inmate Under Investigation

SOLEDAD – Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) investigators are investigating an incident that left one inmate dead and another injured.

The incident occurred just after 2:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29, on one of the prison’s maximum security-yards when four inmates attacked two inmates with prisoner-made weapons. The assailants disregarded orders from correctional officers to stop their attack. Officers quickly intervened using chemical agents and non-lethal weapons to quell the attack. Both victims sustained multiple lacerations.

Inmate Barry Storey, 39, committed from Sacramento County, succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the prison. The second victim was taken by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment; his condition at this time is unknown. The second victim’s identity is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.

SVSP investigators identified James Perkuhn, 48, Todd Morgan, 47, Jeffery Bruggman, 30 and William McIntosh, 41, as the suspects in the attack.

Perkuhn is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence from Monterey County for first-degree murder. Morgan is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence from Santa Clara County for second-degree robbery and burglary. Bruggman is serving a term of 18-years from Sacramento County for second-degree robbery. McIntosh is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence from Tulare County for first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

Inmates Storey was being tried in Monterey County for the September 15, 2012, homicide of inmate Edgar Sultan.

SVSP administrators have limited inmate movement on the facility where the incident occurred to facilitate the investigation.


SVSP opened May 1996 on approximately 300 acres in Monterey County. The institution provides long-term housing for 3,530 minimum- and maximum-custody male inmates and employs 1,395 people.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Walk-Aways from Mountain Home Conservation Camp Apprehended

Springville — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) took inmates Albert Robiatti, 32, and Shawn Hance, both minimum-security inmates who walked away from the Mountain Home Conservation Camp #10 on December 23, 2014, into custody after they were apprehended by CDCR staff on December 23, 2014.

Hance was apprehended at approximately 7:20 a.m. near the camp and was transported to Sierra Conservation Center for placement into a higher custody level.

Robiatti was apprehended at approximately 2:47 p.m. just outside the Mountain Home Camp in Springville, California and transported to Sierra Conservation Center.

Hance was committed from Kern County in November 2012, to serve a five-year, four-month sentence for vehicle theft and evading the police.

Robiatti was committed from Orange County in August 2003, to serve a 16-year, four-month sentence for vehicle theft, possession of a controlled substance, and second-degree burglary.

This matter will be referred to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Of all offenders who have escaped from an adult institution, camp or community-based program since 1977, 98.7 percent have been apprehended.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 23, 2014
CONTACT:   R KELSEY
(209) 984-5291 EXTENSION 5499

Inmates Walk Away from Mountain Home Conservation Camp

SPRINGVILLE, CA – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are looking for two minimum-security inmates who walked away from the Mountain Home Conservation Camp, located near the community of Springville, in Tulare County. 

Inmate Albert J. Robiatti, 32, CDCR# V02730, was last seen in his assigned dorm at approximately 11:30 p.m. during an informal camp count. Camp staff searched the inmate dormitory area, surrounding buildings and the camp perimeter after he was discovered missing. At approximately 2:00 a.m. inmate Shawn K. Hance, 28, CDCR# AE2826, was also discovered to be missing during an informal count. All local law enforcement agencies have been notified and are assisting in the search for both inmates.  Apprehension efforts are continuing. 


Inmate Albert J. Robiatti is described as a Hispanic male, 6’0”, 165 pounds, with black hair - but currently shaved - and brown eyes.  Inmate Robiatti was committed to CDCR for possession of a firearm by a felon.  He was scheduled to be released on February 1, 2018.
 

Inmate Shawn K. Hance is described as a white male, 5’6”, 160 pounds, with blonde or strawberry hair and hazel eyes. Inmate Hance was committed to CDCR for vehicle theft and evading the police. He was scheduled to be released on June 5, 2016. 

Anyone knowing the location of either inmate Albert J. Robiatti, or Shawn K. Hance, or having other relevant information is asked to contact the Mountain Home Conservation Camp Commander at (559) 539-2334, or the Sierra Conservation Center Watch Commander at (209) 984-5291, extension 5439.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2014                           

Contact:  Lt. Bolls                                    
(559) 539-2334





Monday, December 15, 2014

CDCR, CAL FIRE to Staff Ventura Fire Camp


SACRAMENTO –To strengthen wildfire protection in a crucial stretch of coastal Southern California, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and CAL FIRE today jointly announced that they will return inmate fire crews full-time to a Ventura County camp that has been used sporadically in recent years.

The first of what is ultimately anticipated to be 100 inmate fire fighters are expected to arrive at Ventura Camp # 46 in Camarillo by December 17.

Formerly known as the S. Carraway Public Service and Fire Center, the conservation camp had been staffed with juvenile offender fire fighters between 1990 and 2011, when a declining number of incarcerated juveniles forced the camp to consolidate with another in Amador County.  Since then, CAL FIRE has staged inmate fire crews at the site temporarily when they were needed.

“Returning these crews permanently to Ventura will reinforce our ability to protect a highly populated region that is vulnerable to fire danger,” noted Jeffrey Beard, Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who noted that the inmate fire crews closest to the region are assigned to CALFIRE camps in San Luis Obispo and Palmdale, both more than 100 miles away.

“We are excited to be able to have the inmate staffing to increase not only the region’s fire protection, but also the brush clearance projects in which the crews will perform,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE Director.  “These inmates will go through a rigorous fire training program and become a key component to California’s fire response.” 

The state’s 4,300 inmate fire fighters are critical to controlling wildfires across the state. This year, inmate fire crews responded to well over 5,500 wildfires, which is 1,000 more wildfires than in a typical year.  When they are not working to contain wildfires, inmate crews perform community service projects year-round, including brush-clearing projects to reduce fire danger.

CDCR has supplied inmate fire fighters to CAL FIRE since 1946.  Only inmates convicted of low level felonies, with records of good behavior, who can meet the physical requirements of the rigorous work, and who are within two to five years of their release date are accepted as firefighters.  They are housed in 39 CAL FIRE camps across the state and five Los Angeles County camps and are closely supervised when they work on projects in the community.
     
The move to restore full time crews to Ventura was supported by local officials.  “I believe a fully functioning camp in Ventura County will provide vital resources that will benefit all of our residents,” said Geoff Dean, Ventura County Sheriff.

Kathy Long, Ventura County Supervisor, supported the recommendation of Sheriff Dean and Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen to revive the staffing at the camp.  “This local resource is critical to uphold our commitment to protect Ventura County residents and their property from the effects of natural disasters in this high risk community,” said Long.    

For more information, contact Bill Sessa, CDCR, at (916) 445-4950, or Dan Berlant, CAL FIRE, at (916) 651-3473.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Condemned inmate Michael Lee Elliot dies of unknown causes

SAN QUENTIN –Condemned inmate Michael Lee Elliot, 55, who was on California’s death row from Sacramento County, was pronounced dead yesterday, December 8, 2014, at 3:46 p.m., at a nearby hospital.  The cause of death is unknown pending the results of an autopsy.  Elliot was single-celled.

Elliot was sentenced to death on October 31, 1996, by a Sacramento County jury for the June 1, 1994, murder and attempted robbery of bartender Sherri Gandy, who was killed during the early morning hours at the Black Stallion bar in Orangevale. Elliot had been on death row since November 6, 1996.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 66 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 23 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, six have died from other causes and one is pending a cause of death. There are 749 people on California’s death row.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2014    

CONTACT: LT. SAM ROBINSON
(415) 455-5008

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Pleasant Valley State Prison Correctional Officer Dies While on Duty

COALINGA – Correctional Officer Donald Daniel, 47, was pronounced deceased this morning at Coalinga Regional Medical Center.

Officer Daniel reported for duty at Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) and informed his supervisor he was experiencing chest pains. An emergency medical response was initiated. He was transported to a local area hospital where he later died.

Officer Daniel, a 19-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), is survived by his wife and two children.

“On behalf of the entire CDCR family, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Officer Daniel as they mourn this tragic loss,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “We have lost a dedicated member of our team today who was committed to protecting and serving the people of California.”

Officer Daniel began his career with CDCR on Nov. 11, 1995. After graduating from the Basic Correctional Officer Academy, he was assigned to PVSP on Dec. 25, 1995.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2014   

CONTACT: Lt. Ryan Anderson
(559) 935-4972

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Monday, December 8, 2014

CDCR helps parolees find health coverage

SACRAMENTO — Emphasizing its commitment to offender rehabilitation and long-term success after incarceration, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has ramped up efforts to ensure that parolees obtain health coverage.
“The benefits of receiving health care services, including primary health care, dental care, mental health and substance abuse services, are immeasurable for our parolee population,” said Dan Stone, Director of CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO).

In July, DAPO and the Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP) began robust outreach efforts to assist female parolees in obtaining health insurance coverage under the expanded eligibility criteria in the Affordable Care Act. That effort included developing county-specific Resource Guides and community resource fairs to encourage enrollment and provide referrals and assistance.
“Staying healthy is an important part of rehabilitation,” said Millicent Tidwell, DRP Director. “That includes treating mental health and substance abuse issues. By assisting parolees in obtaining coverage, CDCR is helping keep communities safe.”
Following the successful outreach effort, nearly every female parolee in California now has health coverage or is on her way to obtaining it.

From Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, staff followed up with California’s 3,455 female parolees to determine who was already covered and who was eligible for Medi-Cal, and to provide continued assistance in getting coverage. Today, 93 percent of the female parolee population either has health coverage (77 percent) or is in the process of obtaining coverage (16 percent). These outcomes do not include female parolees who were in custody, at large or otherwise unreachable.
For more information, contact Krissi Khokhobashvili at (916) 445-4950.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Condemned inmate Charles Keith Richardson dies of natural causes

SAN QUENTIN – Condemned inmate Charles Keith Richardson, 52, died of natural causes today, December 2, 2014, at the Correctional Treatment Center at California State Prison-Corcoran.

Richardson was sentenced to death on October 7, 1992, by a Tulare County jury for the December 3, 1988, rape and murder of 11-year-old April Holley. Richardson had been on death row since October 13, 1992.

Richardson’s crime partner, condemned inmate Steven Allen Brown, 46, was also sentenced to death in Tulare County for Holley’s murder and has been on death row since March 1, 1996.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 66 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 23 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri and six have died from other causes. There are 749 people on California’s death row.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2014    
CONTACT: LT. SAM ROBINSON
(415) 455-5008

Friday, November 7, 2014

Twenty Juvenile Offenders Receive High School Diplomas

Pine Grove graduation ceremony’s theme is “Life is what you make it”

PINE GROVE – Twenty youth at the Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp in Pine Grove received a high school diploma or GED today in a major step toward their rehabilitation.

Fifteen students received high school diplomas and five earned a GED or a high school equivalency.

“What’s amazing is these young men accomplished all this while battling fires throughout California during one of the busiest fire seasons on record. Remember they work all day and then go to school from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.” Pine Grove Superintendent Mike Roots said, “Getting a high school diploma or GED is vital for them getting a job down the road. To be successful in life, you have to at least get through high school to be employable. They’ve worked hard and have come a long way.”

Most of these youth offenders were involved with the destructive King fire in El Dorado County that started on September 13, and wasn’t 100 percent contained until October 9. Nearly 100,000 acres were burned, and 12 homes were destroyed. 

“Many of these graduates worked extra hard to complete their high school requirements by taking school work with them on the fire lines,” Pine Grove High School Principal Troy Fennel said. “When the students were given “off duty” time on the fires, they would return to their crew trucks, retrieve their school work and begin completing their assignments.”

During the fire season the fire camp crews logged in approximately 55,000 man hours fighting wild land fires, according to Fennel. 

Jahmon “Jay” Gibbs, School Psychologist from N.A. Chaderjian High School and founder of the nonprofit, “The Extraordinary B.E.A.T.” was the guest speaker.

Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp in Amador County screens and accepts low-risk youth from the other Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities. They range in age from 18-24 and typically include between 50 and 80 males at any given time. Fire training is provided by CAL FIRE and youth are certified to engage in wild land firefighting operations. Fire crews from DJJ camps perform approximately 189,000 hours of fire suppression in a normal year for the people of California.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s DJJ operates an accredited school district, which provides youth offenders with the same high- school curriculum in each of its four institutions they would receive in their home community. Youth attend school Monday through Friday. DJJ considers a diploma or GED a minimum requirement for parole consideration. Over a three-year period beginning in 2010-2011, a total of 894 youth have earned a high school diploma or GED at DJJ’s four high schools. In addition, 441 students earned Career Technical Education (CTE) certificates for vocational programs.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 7, 2014

CONTACT: MIKE ROOTS 
(209) 296-7581
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Condemned inmate Steven Homick dies of natural causes

SAN QUENTIN – Condemned inmate Steven Michael Homick, 74, from Los Angeles County, was pronounced dead today, November 5, 2014. He died of natural causes at a nearby hospital at 11:26 a.m. 

Homick was sentenced to death on January 13, 1995, by a Los Angeles County jury for the September 25, 1985, murder-for-hire murders of Gerald Woodman, 67, and Vera Woodman, 63, in an underground garage at their Brentwood condominium after a family gathering celebrating the end of Yom Kippur. This case was referred to by the press as the “ninja murders” and the “Yom Kippur murders.” Homick had been on death row since January 25, 1995. He was single-celled.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 65 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 23 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri and six have died from other causes. There are 749 people on California’s death row.

Monday, November 3, 2014

CDCR Checks on 1,294 Sex-Offenders during Operation Boo

Sweep results in 62 arrests statewide; weapons, drugs and child porn confiscated

SACRAMENTO – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) parole agents arrested 62 of the 1,294 sex-offender parolees who were contacted during compliance checks or searches as part of the 21st annual Operation Boo Child Safety Project on Halloween night 2014. “The 62 arrests among sex-offender parolees – for possession of child pornography, narcotics, weapons, and other parole violations – prove that our statewide efforts with Operation Boo are well-founded,” said Dan Stone, Director of the Division of Adult Parole Operations.

New charges were filed against 10 of the sex-offender parolees contacted. Six parolees were also found to be out of compliance with their requirements to register as a sex-offender.  “Our thanks go out to the hundreds of parole agents and local law enforcement personnel, many of whom volunteer their time to help ensure that California’s children can enjoy a safer trick-or-treat experience free from sexual predators,” Stone added.

In addition to the traditional compliance checks, Operation Boo features two other components:

•    Parent Empowerment:  CDCR provided a free downloadable brochure with helpful information about ways to talk to children about dangerous behavior in adults, and Internet links to help parents check for sex offenders in their area. 

•    Transient Sex-Offender Curfew Centers:  Since a significant number of sex offenders are homeless, transient sex offenders in most regions were ordered to report to a center to spend the curfew under supervision. Statewide, several special transient sex-offender curfew centers were operated Halloween night.  

For more information about Operation Boo please visit: www.cdcr.ca.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 1, 2014
       
CONTACT:  LUIS PATINO
(916) 207-8085


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Walkaway Apprehended, Returned to Wasco State Prison-Reception Center

WASCO – Daniel Joseph Valdivieso, 22, was arrested on Nov. 2, 2014, at approximately 8:15 p.m. by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Special Services Unit in the Norwalk area.

On Oct. 31, 2014, at approximately 3:20 p.m., officials at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP-RC) received information that Valdivieso had walked away from the Minimum Support Facility.

Valdivieso was placed into police custody without any use of force. WSP-RC staff will return him to prison custody today.  

Valdivieso was received at WSP-RC from Los Angeles County on April 8, 2014, for the commitment offense Possession of Controlled Substance, for which he received a two-year, eight-month sentence. 


WSP-RC’s primary mission is to provide short-term housing necessary to process, classify and evaluate new inmates physically and mentally, and determine their security level, program requirements and appropriate institutional placement. WSP-RC was opened February 1991, houses approximately 5,000 inmates and employs approximately 1,700 people.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Inmate Walkaway at Wasco State Prison - Reception Center


WASCO – On Oct. 31, 2014, at approximately 3:20 p.m., officials at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP-RC) discovered that a state prison inmate identified as Daniel Joseph Valdivieso, #AK3598, walked away from the Minimum Support Facility. 


Valdivieso, 22, was received at WSP-RC from Los Angeles County on April 8, 2014, for the commitment offense Possession of Controlled Substance for which he received a two-year eight-month sentence.  

He is described as Hispanic, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 140 pounds, medium build, with brown hair, hazel eyes, and a moustache and goatee.

Prison officials have contacted local law enforcement agencies and are currently looking for Valdiviezo. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 911 immediately.


WSP-RC’s primary mission is to provide short-term housing necessary to process, classify, and evaluate new inmates physically and mentally, and determine their security level, program requirements and appropriate institutional placement.  WSP-RC was opened February 1991, houses approximately 5,000 inmates and employs approximately 1,700 people.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Salinas Valley State Prison Investigating Inmate Homicide

SOLEDAD – The Investigative Services Unit at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) is investigating a homicide of an inmate that occurred at 12:33 a.m. on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

The incident occurred inside a cell on Facility B, one of the institution’s maximum security yards. Staff approached the cell after observing movement late in the evening. As staff arrived and looked inside the cell, the victim was observed lying on his bunk bleeding from what appeared to be multiple stab wounds. Life-saving measures proved unsuccessful as the victim succumbed to his injuries. The victim’s next of kin have been notified.

The victim, inmate Luis Manuel Baladez, 23, was committed to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on September 18, 2013 from Los Angeles County to serve a two-year, eight-month term for carrying a concealed weapon.

SVSP investigators have identified Baladez’s cellmate, Horacio Gonzales, 25, as the primary suspect. Gonzales was committed to CDCR on February 19, 2014 to serve a life sentence for attempted murder with enhancements.

Gonzales has been rehoused to SVSP’s Administrative Segregation Unit pending the outcome of the investigation and possible criminal charges related to this incident.

SVSP administrators have limited inmate movement on the facility where the incident occurred to facilitate the investigation. The Office of the Inspector General was notified about the incident.

SVSP opened May 1996 on approximately 300 acres in Monterey County. The institution provides long-term housing for 3,493 minimum- and maximum-custody male inmates and employs 1,450 people.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 27, 2014


CONTACT: LT. DARREN CHAMBERLAIN,
(831) 678-5554
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

California State Prison-Solano and Solano Community College Partner to Provide Classroom-Based Education to Inmates

First agreement of its kind

SACRAMENTO—Last night, the Solano Community College District Governing Board approved an agreement with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to provide college credit courses to qualifying inmates at California State Prison-Solano. The inmates will receive instruction from faculty at Solano Community College.

This is the first agreement between CDCR and a California community college since Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1391 last month.

SB 1391 allows California Community Colleges to receive full funding for course instruction offered on-site in state prisons and will expand the courses offered to inmates.

“It’s an investment not only in the individual offender, but in public safety as a whole,” said Millicent Tidwell, Director of CDCR’s Division of Rehabilitative Programs. “The vast majority of inmates will eventually return to our communities, we have an obligation to society to return them better prepared to deal with life’s challenges than when they came in to prison.”

Previously, college courses at most California prisons were only available to inmates through digital recordings and distance learning. SB 1391 will now fund college courses to be taught directly inside the prisons.

To supplement the distance-learning model, CDCR’s Voluntary Education Program has been providing instructors to offer tutoring, test-proctoring, guidance, and access to used textbooks in prison libraries to help inmate-students with their course work.

Providing inmates with education, both academic and career technical education, is key to giving inmates the best shot of finding employment and being successful in their transition back into society.

“The District is excited to teach courses to Solano County prison inmates,” shared Dr. Jowel C. Laguerre, SCC Superintendent-President.  “Education is the key to unlocking one’s future, therefore, it is Solano Community College’s responsibility to respond and deliver services to those who want to improve their future opportunities. Being a part of the solution to reduce recidivism in individuals currently serving time, but will one day rejoin society- is our business!”

While state and local authorities are taking measures to prevent people from committing crimes and being sent to prison in the first place, CDCR is committed to doing what it can to prevent inmates from re-offending and returning to prison after their release.

Inmates enrolled in college courses pay for the tuition and supplies through either a Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver or friends and family. Tuition is not paid through the CDCR budget.

As of July 2014, CDCR had 6,855 inmates enrolled in college courses and approximately 41,000 enrolled in Adult Basic Education courses who are working to obtain their high school diploma or general education degree.

Some colleges, such as Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga and Patten University in Oakland, have been sending volunteer instructors to provide classroom-based college courses and assistance to inmates for years. Before the passage of SB 1391, these colleges were not compensated for providing the instruction.

CDCR currently partners with over 27 nationally recognized, accredited college programs statewide. CDCR will continue to work with California Community Colleges to bring similar agreements to prisons statewide.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2014
Contact: Dana Simas         
(916) 445-4950

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Agents Seek Information on Missing Medical Parolee

New Pictures of Robert Virgil Taylor Released

Eastern San Diego County- Agents from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Office of Correctional Safety are seeking the public’s help in locating Robert Virgil Taylor.  The former medical parolee is a fugitive from justice and anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to immediately call 911.


Taylor, 50, is missing from the convalescent home where he lived in Eastern San Diego County.  Taylor, who uses a wheelchair, was last seen on Wednesday afternoon, October 1, 2014.  He remains at large. 

It is believed that someone may have helped him leave the facility.  His wheelchair was found in a nearby lot.

Taylor is described as a 6-foot tall African-American man with brown eyes and black hair.  He weighs about 230 pounds.

Taylor, who requires constant medical attention, was released to medical parole in June. He may seek medical help so all healthcare personnel are asked to remain vigilant. 

Taylor’s criminal history includes several convictions for robbery, along with kidnapping, burglary, assault and bringing a weapon to prison. 


Medical parole, which became law January 1, 2011, allows CDCR to parole physically-incapacitated state prison inmates who require 24-hour medical care. Currently, California has 23 medical parolees living in skilled nursing units in California.

The following are photos of Taylor taken during the last three years.