Friday, December 17, 2004

MEDIA ACCESS FOR SCHEDULED EXECUTION

The execution of Donald Beardslee, convicted of one count of first degree murder in the deaths of two women, is set by court order for January 19, 2005, at San Quentin State Prison.

Access Inquiries:

Direct all requests and inquiries regarding access to San Quentin State Prison to the California Department of Corrections Communications Office in Sacramento, which is responsible for all media credentials. Requests are due by Friday, January 7, 2005. (See “Credentials.”)

Reporters:

Up to 125 news media representatives may be admitted to the Media Center Building at San Quentin to attend news briefings and a news conference after the execution. To accommodate as many media firms as possible, each news media organization applying will be limited to one representative. Firms selected to send a news reporter to witness the execution will be allowed a separate representative at the media center.

Audio/Visual/Still Photographs:

In anticipation that interest may exceed space, pool arrangements may be necessary for audio/visual feeds and still photographs from inside the media center. The pool will be limited to two (2) television camera operators, two (2) still photographers, and one (1) audio engineer. The Northern California Radio Television News Directors Association and the Radio Television News Association in Southern California arrange the pool.

Live Broadcasts:

On-grounds parking is limited. Television and radio stations are limited to one (1) satellite or microwave vehicle.

Television Technicians:

Television technicians or microwave broadcast vehicles will be permitted three (3) support personnel: engineer, camera operator, and producer.

Radio Technicians:

Radio broadcast vehicles will be allowed two (2) support personnel: engineer and producer.

Credentials:

For media credentials, send a written request signed by the news department manager on company letterhead with the name(s) of the proposed representatives, their dates of birth, driver’s license number and expiration date, social security number, and size of vehicle for live broadcast purposes to:


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

All written requests must be received no later than Friday, January 7, 2005. Media witnesses will selected from the requests received by that time. Telephone requests will NOT be accepted.

Security clearances are required for each individual applying for access to San Quentin. The clearance process will begin after the application deadline. No assurances can be provided that security clearances for the requests, including personnel substitutions, received after the filing period closes January 7, 2005, will be completed in time to permit access to the prison on January 18, 2005.

Facilities:

The media center has 60-amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are several pay telephones. Media orders for private telephone hookups must be arranged with SBC. SBC will coordinate the actual installation with San Quentin. There is one soft drink vending machine at the media center. Media personnel should bring their own food. Only broadcast microwave and satellite vans and their support personnel providing “live feeds” will be permitted in a parking lot adjacent to the In-Service Training (IST) building.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

LOCAL PRISON, COLLEGE COLLABORATE TO ENHANCE EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR INMATES

College Credit, Certificate Program Offered in Landscape Maintenance

California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC) is collaborating with the Antelope Valley Fair & Alfalfa Festival and Antelope Valley College in offering a college-level program for inmates who participate in outside work crews at the fairgrounds. Crewmembers will be offered the opportunity to earn a certificate in Landscape Maintenance taught by an agricultural instructor from the college.

“Each inmate would receive 12 units of college credit and a certificate at the end of the course,” said Thomas Miguel, Supervisor of LAC’s Correctional Education Programs. “It is also possible that the curriculum could be expanded to include certificates and/or college units for welding, electrical, forklift operations, janitorial, tractor operations, plumbing, concrete, and event set-up.”

The 50th District Agricultural District (DAA) has contracted with the prison for several years for an outside work crew. The workforce has become an integral part of the organization, especially since a new facility is under construction.

“Several inmates have taken special pride in the work they have accomplished over the last eight months,” said Dan Jacobs, Fair District Manager. “They have taken part in a number of projects that have encompassed landscaping, fencing, and electrical, to name a few.”

Antelope Valley College will provide the instructor as well as college credits. The DAA will provide the facility, materials, equipment and staff to conduct classes and projects. The prison will provide the inmate work crews and correctional officers.

“This collaborative effort is a wonderful opportunity for these inmates,” said Warden Charles Harrison, “and I am sure that the training they receive will improve their successes once they are released back to their communities.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

CALIFORNIA MEDICAL FACILITY (CMF) HONORED IN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ADULT LITERACY AWARD

CMF, VACAVILLE ONE OF THREE PROGRAMS IN ENTIRE STATE TO PLACE FROM FIELD OF 246 NOMINEES

For many inmates with developmental disabilities the California Medical Facility (CMF) in Vacaville, is simply another stop in a very difficult life -- but thanks to the hard work of some very dedicated staff at that institution, it can also be the first real opportunity they have to turn their lives around.

In September, staff at CMF in Vacaville was awarded the prestigious “Programs of Excellence” designation as one of the best adult literacy programs in the state for an innovative system that assists developmentally disabled inmates in learning to read.

Called the Disabled Placement Program, the CMF curriculum provides individualized instruction and accommodation to inmates with physical disabilities by offering instruction in American Sign Language, Braille and the use of assistive technology to overcome barriers. To date hundreds of inmates have graduated from the program since it began in 1999.

“This recognition is a result of hard work, not only by the teacher who works with the inmates, but also for the inmates who work so hard to learn these essential life skills,” CMF Warden Theresa A. Schwartz said. “Specifically, I would like to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of instructor Dave Hudson, who literally put his heart and soul into making the program the success it has become.”

Hudson leads a team of five adjunct inmate teacher aides who work with the approximately 100 inmates currently enrolled in the program. According to CMF Education Administrator Carolyn Gueffroy, Hudson immersed himself in the subject matter – becoming conversant in both American Sign Language and Braille before initiating this program in March 1999.

Hudson said the program started small, but as the need was identified, he saw enrollment balloon to the present number. Instructors and students alike use computers, reading machines, and special software that can scan text and read it aloud via computer-generated voicing to assist in learning to read.

“This is the great thing about the program, we have seen inmates like Sam Windham learn to read Braille,” Hudson said. “His life was just changed massively by his participation in the program. He is now an instructor and he passes that on to the students he teaches. They (the inmates) really believe in this program and are passionate about it.”

“The designation of Programs of Excellence is a great honor,” said Mary Ann Corley, Director of the California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO). “It says that behind the designation, there stands an exemplary program that provides outstanding services to adult learners.”

CALPRO manages the Programs of Excellence review and award process, on behalf of the California Department of Education. CMF was one of three programs statewide out of 246 applicants who vied for the Programs of Excellence honor. The other recipients were Foothills Adult Education Center within the Grossmont Union High School District (El Cajon), and Santa Clara Adult Education Center.

Friday, October 15, 2004

INMATE FIREFIGHTERS DEPLOYED TO FIRE LINES

WORKING SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH OTHERS IN FIGHTING FIRES THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA

As fires rage throughout California, between 1,500 and 3,000 California Department of Corrections (CDC) inmate firefighters are out on fire lines, fighting side-by-side with firefighters from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (CDF) and Los Angeles County Fire Department. They are currently fighting fires in El Dorado, Yolo, Lassen, Lake, Nevada, Mariposa, Calaveras, Amador, Santa Cruz and Kern Counties—but that list grows daily as the month wears on.

“As they pay their debt to society, camp inmates provide a real economic benefit to the local communities and to the state,” said Camps Liaison Capt. John Peck. “In a typical year, they will work two million hours on firefighting and fire prevention. They will also spend about six million hours on conservation projects and community service activities.”

More than 4,000 men and women inmates live and work in conservation camps located in some of the state’s most secluded wilderness areas. They provide a large force of trained crews for wild land fire fighting, resource conservation, and emergency assignments.

CDC operates 38 conservation camps jointly with CDF or with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Assignment to a conservation camp is a hard-won privilege. Inmates are screened carefully using a sophisticated system to identify and weigh personal aspects of their background to determine potential for camp placement. To qualify, they must be minimum security risks, physically fit, and have no history of violent crime. The average sentence for inmates selected for camp is two years, and the average time they spend in camp is eight months.

After being accepted for camp, inmates undergo a vigorous two-week physical fitness-training program, and are then schooled for another two weeks in fire safety and suppression techniques.

“When fires ravaged southern California last year, CDC inmate firefighters were out there in force, saving lives, homes and other property,” said Peck. “They provide a strong, organized work force while developing or improving social habits and work ethics. They will continue to be a valuable part of California’s firefighting efforts, as they have for nearly 60 years.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

California Department of Corrections (CDC) Health Care Management System Online Pharmacy Project Implementation Celebration

WHAT:

California Department of Corrections (CDC) Health Care Management System Online Pharmacy Project Implementation Celebration

WHEN:

Thursday, October 14, 2004, 9 a.m. – noon

WHERE:

California Medical Facility, 1600 California Drive, Vacaville

WHO:

Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Rod Hickman and Undersecretary Kevin Carruth

BACKGROUND

CDC is replacing its pharmacy management system. Phase I is a “proof of concept” that updates its pharmacy system operations in real time, thus creating an online pharmacy. The celebration will acknowledge and thank CDC staff who have worked to get Phase I of this project up and running. It will provide clinical management tools for clinical staff and administrative managers. It will connect transitional case management tools in real time for Parole staff allowing for continuity of prescribed mental health-related medication for inmates as they parole.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

ASSEMBLYMAN MARK LENO TO HONOR INMATE FIREFIGHTERS FROM THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

WHAT:

The California State Assembly will honor inmate firefighters for their efforts in fighting fires in 2003, one of the worst fire sieges in California history

WHEN:

Monday, April 12, 2004, at 11 a.m.

WHERE:

California State Assembly chambers

WHO:

Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-SF) authored ACR 191, Department of Corrections Firefighters, that honors CDC firefighters for their efforts in the 2003 fire season

Representatives from the California Department of Corrections (CDC) and the California Department of Forestry (CDF)

BACKGROUND

More than 2,750 inmate firefighters, housed at one of 38 conservation camps in California, fought side-by-side with other firefighters during the fire season of 2003. CDC provides and supervises these inmates to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. These inmates worked more than 1.7 million hours on hundreds of fires, saving California taxpayers several million dollars on firefighting costs.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

CALIFORNIA STATE PRISON ESCAPEE, A FUGITIVE FOR 36 YEARS, ARRESTED

Three other escapees apprehended since Dec. 31.

(Sacramento) – On Jan. 9, Donald Johnson, who had escaped from Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown in 1967, was arrested in Texas, announced the California Department of Corrections (CDC). Johnson had only served a little more than six months of a one to 15 year sentence for second-degree burglary from Riverside County when he escaped on July 7, 1967.

CDC agents with the Law Enforcement and Investigations Unit (LEIU) developed leads showing that Johnson, who had been on the run more than 36 years, was living in Tomball, Texas. They contacted law enforcement authorities there, who confirmed not only Johnson’s address, but his place of employment in nearby Houston. Johnson was arrested at his place of employment on Jan. 9 by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department’s Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force.

Since Dec. 31, 2003, three other escaped state prison inmates were apprehended:

  • On Dec. 31, escapee Michael Dean Egger was arrested in Washington after escaping from a re-entry program on June 12, 1988. Egger, whose criminal history includes vehicle theft and narcotics violations, had lived in several states since his escape. He had been convicted in Santa Cruz County and had served only six months of his two-year sentence for vehicle theft. In 1992, Egger was arrested in Nebraska on charges including robbery, possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing an assault, and drugs. He was also arrested in Montana in 2000. LEIU agents found a probable address in Olympia, Washington, and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Warrants Division arrested Egger on Dec. 31, 2003.
  • On Jan. 6, escapee Brenda Sue Webb was arrested in North Carolina. She had escaped from a re-entry facility on Dec. 27, 1983. Webb’s criminal history includes welfare and food stamp fraud. She had served 15 months of a three-year sentence from Santa Clara County at the time of her escape. While a fugitive for the last 20 years, Webb had lived in other states and was using the alias of Brenda Webb Cruz. LEIU agents found out she had a Kentucky driver’s license and she was known to have received Social Security benefits in North Carolina. The Davie County Sheriff’s Department in North Carolina arrested Webb on Jan. 6.
  • On Jan. 6, escapee Susan Brounacker was arrested in Texas. She had escaped from the Malibu Conservation Camp on May 26, 1989 after serving only five months of a four year, four month sentence from Los Angeles County. Brounacker’s criminal history includes various drug charges, property crimes and vehicle theft. The LEIU developed information that Brounacker had earnings in San Antonio, Texas, as recent as 2002. The name and address of her probable employer was given to the San Antonio Police Department who apprehended Brounacker on Jan. 6.
Of all offenders that escaped from a state prison, conservation camp or community based program between 1945 and 2002, 99 percent have been apprehended.

MEDIA ACCESS FOR SCHEDULED EXECUTION

The execution of Kevin Cooper , convicted of four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances, is set by court order for Tuesday, February 10, 2004, at San Quentin State Prison.

Access Inquiries:

Direct all requests and inquiries regarding access to San Quentin State Prison to the California Department of Corrections Communications Office in Sacramento, which is responsible for all media credentials. Requests are due by 5 p.m., Friday, January 30, 2004. (See “Credentials”)

Reporters:

Up to 125 news media representatives will be admitted to the media center building at San Quentin to attend news briefings and a news conference with members of the media witness pool after the execution. To accommodate as many media firms as possible, each news media organization applying will be limited to one (1) representative. Firms selected to send a news reporter to witness the execution will be allowed a separate representative for the media center.

Audio/Visual/Still Photographs:

In anticipation that interest may exceed space, pool arrangements may be necessary for audio/video feeds and still photos from inside the media center. The pool will be limited to two (2) television camera operators, two (2) still photographers, and one (1) audio engineer. The Northern California Radio Television News Directors’ Association and the Radio Television News Association in Southern California arrange the pool.

Live Broadcasts:

On-grounds parking is limited. Television and radio stations are limited to one (1) satellite or microwave vehicle.

Television Technicians:

Television technicians or microwave broadcast vehicles will be permitted three (3) support personnel (engineer, camera operator, and producer).

Radio Technicians:

Radio broadcast vehicles will be allowed two (2) support personnel (engineer and producer).

Credentials:

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

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

All written requests must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, January 30, 2004. Media witnesses will be selected from the requests received by that time. Telephone requests will NOT be accepted.

Security clearances are required for each individual requesting access to San Quentin. The clearance process will begin after the application deadline. No assurances can be provided that security clearances for requests, including personnel substitutions, received after the filing period closes January 30, will be completed in time to permit access to the prison between 7 and 10 p.m. on Monday, February 9, 2004.

Facilities:

The media center has 60-amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are seven pay telephones. Media orders for private telephone hookups must be arranged with Pacific Bell. Pacific Bell will coordinate the actual installation with San Quentin. There is one soft drink vending machine at the media center. Media personnel should bring their own food. Media personnel are allowed to have a cellular telephone in the media center. Only broadcast microwave and satellite vans and their support personnel providing live feeds will be permitted in a parking lot near the In-Service Training (IST) building.