Tuesday, September 30, 2008

CDCR Launches First-of-its-Kind Substance Abuse Treatment Program for Female Offenders

The new Trauma Informed Substance Abuse Treatment Program addresses women’s root causes of substance abuse and helps meet the goals of prison reform legislation.

LIVE OAK –Today, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR) Secretary Matthew Cate joined staff, participants, and substance abuse treatment professionals at the opening ceremony for the new Trauma Informed Substance Abuse Treatment Program for women offenders at the Leo Chesney Community Correctional Facility in Live Oak. The program is one of the components of the Public Safety and Offender Services Act of 2007, also known as AB 900, landmark prison reform legislation signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in May 2007.

“This innovative program is a down payment on CDCR’s commitment to provide more rehabilitation programs to offenders and showcases the Department’s shift away from the one-size-fits-all approach to female incarceration,” said Secretary Cate. “Substance abuse has a negative effect on families and drives incarceration; however, research has shown that investing in substance abuse treatment has a real cost benefit to the public.”

The Trauma Informed Substance Abuse Treatment Program, or TI-SAT, is unique for CDCR in that it takes a multi-dimensional approach that acknowledges women’s pathways into the criminal justice system and targets the causes of substance abuse. The program, provided by Walden House, is geared for 200 inmates at the Leo Chesney Community Correctional Facility. Clinicians and counselors provide the 150 women currently in the program treatment in a safe environment. The program targets social and cultural factors including abuse, violence, family relationships and co-occurring disorders, and treats the trauma that may have lead the women to abuse drugs and alcohol.

“This program provides female offenders with gender-responsive treatment and services to help them successfully reintegrate in their communities,” said Thomas Powers, Director of CDCR’s Division of Addiction and Recovery Services. “Improving outcomes for these women will also translate into improved outcomes for their children and assist with CDCR’s important efforts to break the intergenerational cycle of incarceration.”

Powers said that gender-responsive means the housing, supervision, treatment programs, services, the staff who develop and deliver the programs, and every aspect related to the incarceration of women reflects an understanding of the realities and issues of women’s lives.

“For several years, CDCR has tackled the issue of female incarceration and developed policies and strategies to address that issue,” Powers said. “Research shows that more than 57 percent of incarcerated women have been physically or sexually abused at some time in their lives compared with 16 percent of male inmates. This program is specifically geared to help the women deal with the trauma that may have led to their addiction and subsequent imprisonment.”

AB 900 directed the CDCR to expand in-custody substance abuse treatment services as well as follow up treatment for offenders on parole. The TI-SAT program represents the first milestone in the goal to add 2,000 substance abuse treatment slots statewide by December 30, 2008.

It is also part of CDCR’s long-term strategic plan for female offenders which began in January 2005 when CDCR established the Gender-Responsive Strategies Commission to develop overall plans, policies, procedures and programs for improving outcomes for juvenile and adult females in prison or on parole.

During the first two weeks of the TI-SAT program, inmates go through an orientation and then progress to the main treatment phase where they are placed in classes and groups geared to address their needs identified in their assessments and interventions.

The Leo Chesney Community Correctional Facility in Live Oak opened in April 1989 and is operated by Cornell Companies, Inc. under contract with CDCR. Located 60 miles north of Sacramento, the facility houses up to 305 minimum-security female offenders. In addition to the TI-SAT program, the facility also offers academic educational programs, substance abuse and addiction support groups, a pre-release program, vocational training and other programs.

Click here to view AB 900 Benchmark Documents

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Out-of-State Transfers of Inmates Surpass 5,000; Allow CDCR to Reduce "Bad Beds" by 27%

Moves Clear Beds in Gymnasiums, Dayrooms and Make Room for Rehabilitation

SACRAMENTO - In response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Emergency Order on Prison Overcrowding, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has reduced "bad beds" by approximately 27 percent over the last year. This month, the number of California inmates transferred to out of state facilities has surpassed the 5,000 inmate mark which, combined with other elements of the comprehensive prison reform movement, has allowed CDCR to take down 5,386 non-traditional beds.

"The transfers have alleviated overcrowding and helped enhance safety and security for staff and inmates, while increasing space for rehabilitation programs," said Acting Undersecretary of Operations Scott Kernan. "We've been able to reduce the number of ‘bad beds' in gymnasiums, dayrooms and places not intended for housing."

CDCR is on schedule to reach its goal of housing 8,000 inmates in out-of-state correctional facilities by next summer as authorized by Assembly Bill 900, prison reform legislation signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in May 2007.

"Overcrowding affects all aspects of the state prison system and has a ripple effect on our communities and other components of the criminal justice system," Kernan added. "The transfers are enabling the Department to implement permanent reforms and beef up rehabilitation programs while creating a safer environment."

As of September 25, 2008, the out-of-state transfers reached 5,101 and coupled with other reform efforts have allowed CDCR to deactivate 5,386 non-traditional beds. CDCR anticipates the reduction of approximately 5,000 more non-traditional beds in the next calendar year if inmate population projections remain consistent.

CDCR has cleared inmate beds from 17 gymnasiums and six dayrooms since August 2007. Specifically, CDCR has deactivated:

  • four gyms at Salinas Valley State Prison;
  • three gyms at Correctional Training Facility;
  • one gym at California Correctional Center;
  • one gym at High Desert State Prison;
  • one gym at California State Prison-Solano;
  • one gym at Corcoran State Prison;
  • one gym at California Rehabilitation Center;
  • one gym at Kern Valley State Prison;
  • one gym at Ironwood State Prison;
  • one gym at California State Prison-Sacramento;
  • one gym at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison-Corcoran;
The out-of-state transfers have also allowed CDCR to deactivate dayrooms at:
  • California Correctional Institution;
  • California Men's Colony;
  • Ironwood State Prison;
  • Pleasant Valley State Prison;
  • Sierra Conservation Center;
  • Wasco State Prison.
The transfer of California inmates to facilities in other states began after Governor Schwarzenegger issued an Emergency Order in October 2006. At the time, California's state inmate population was at historic levels and had swelled to 173,479 inmates - an all time high - with 19,618 inmates in non-traditional beds in August 2007. CDCR was close to running out of space for inmates. Today the total non-traditional bed count stands at 14,232, which is 5,386 beds below the peak - a reduction of 27 percent.

California's 5,101 out of state inmates are housed in Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee in facilities operated by Correctional Corporation of America, based in Nashville, Tennessee.

The facilities are the West Tennessee Detention Facility in Tennessee, the Florence, Red Rock and La Palma Correctional Centers in Arizona; the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Mississippi and the North Fork Correctional Facility in Oklahoma.

For more information on the transfer program, visit "Out of State Transfers."

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Juvenile Offenders Raise Money for Cancer Awareness

N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility hosts Run/Walk for the American Cancer Society

STOCKTON - Today, wards and staff of N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facilty (NAC) supported those who have cancer and raised money and awareness for those community members affected by this disease. The facility accomplished this by hosting the Cancer Awareness Run/Walk on the NAC Facility Track.

Three wards all of whom have lost loved ones to cancer assisted staff for the first "Cancer Awareness Day." The idea for the event originated from a ward whose father died of brain cancer. He talked to his counselor and said he wanted to "give back" because he knows what an emotional toll it took on his family.

"This is another opportunity for these youth to reach out to the community and give back," said NAC Superintendent Michael Minor. "This is vital in their rehabilitation process, sharing their stories about the impact cancer has played in their lives or lives of loved ones shows a great deal of compassion. This compassion is evident by the number of youth participating in this activity."

82 wards participated and they presented a check for a $1,000 to The American Cancer Society.

All participants took part in a run/walk which lasted for one hour and approximately 6 miles. Wards raised funds for Cancer Awareness by gaining sponsors primarily from staff. A minimum of $1.00 per ward was paid in order to participate in the run/walk. A raffle was also conducted to raise more funds.

Several other activities of the day included:

  • A large group presentation that was given to each living unit by these three individuals in which they shared personal stories;
  • A video, provided from the American Cancer Society to the wards of the juvenile facility;
  • Youth expressed their feelings regarding Cancer Awareness through a writing competition;
  • Prizes were handed out to the best essay, song, rap or poem;
  • Wards and staff displayed a pin wheel in honor of a loved one they have lost to cancer which, will be displayed in front of the school area at a later date.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

CSA Board Moves Forward to Authorize County Jail Funds and Approve Local Reentry Sites

BERKELEY - Today the Board of the Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) moved forward with the process for distributing $750 million in state funds to relieve overcrowding in local jails, and to advance sites for the construction of secure community reentry facilities, as authorized by AB 900. The Board’s decisions as to which counties should move forward in the competitive process were primarily based on whether counties submitted viable reentry facility sites.

“The Board’s decisions today aim to further the intent of AB 900 by reducing overcrowding in county jails and ensuring that funds are directed toward counties who have identified sites for reentry facilities,” said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary and CSA Board Chair Matthew Cate. “There are some counties who have worked diligently with the state to identify reentry sites but were unable to do so. It is my hope that these counties will continue to work with the state so that they may be eligible to receive jail funds and reentry facilities in the second phase of AB 900 funding.”

Staff from CDCR’s Division of Facilities Planning, Construction, and Management provided testimony on the viability of the reentry facility sites presented by the first 12 counties who received the original tentative awards issued on May 8, 2008. In response, the CSA Board took the following actions to amend those original conditional awards based on CDCR’s reentry site evaluations:

Counties that received conditional awards will move on to the next phase of evaluation. This phase is a precursor to going to the State Public Works Board.

Counties that did not provide viable sites for reentry facilities within the timeframe specified by CSA had their conditional awards denied for Phase I AB 900 jail bond funding. After these were removed from consideration, the CSA Board voted to issue tentative conditional awards to the following counties using the newly available funds:

The remaining counties have up to 90 days to enter into a siting agreement and to obtain the necessary city and county resolutions to compete for any funds that may become available in the future.

Sept. 18 Meeting:
County & City Reentry Resolutions :
Resource Links:

Prison Escapee Apprehended After 13 Years

SACRAMENTO - Octavio Raso Quiroz, who escaped from a California Men’s Colony (CMC) inmate work crew in San Luis Obispo 13 years ago, was arrested this morning in Merced by Special Service Unit agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

“We can credit the attentiveness and diligence of a correctional case records manager at CMC with providing a lead in this case,” said Richard Rimmer, Assistant Secretary of the CDCR Office of Correctional Safety. “We aggressively seek fugitives who escape our custody. We never stop looking for them.”

A CDCR special agent in the Fresno office investigated the lead and learned that escapee Quiroz was living in Chowchilla in Madera County under an assumed name. Special Service Unit agents took Quiroz into custody without incident on Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 8:20 a.m. in Merced. Quiroz admitted to the agents he was the escapee.

Quiroz was four months into a six-year sentence from Los Angeles County when he ran away from an outside work crew on September 21, 1995. The crew was working at Camp San Luis Obispo.

Quiroz was sent to state prison in May 1995 for several counts of possession and sale of heroin and cocaine. In August 1995, he was transferred to the minimum-security facility at CMC.

CDCR special agents are transporting Quiroz to CMC 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 of 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.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Statement from CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate on Lack of Public Safety Trailer Bill in Budget Package

SACRAMENTO– Matthew Cate, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), issued the following statement today on the budget package passed by the Legislature, which did not contain a public safety trailer bill containing needed clean-up language to AB 900:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Legislature chose not to pass the public safety trailer bill as part of their budget proposal. There will be very negative and long-lasting public safety repercussions if this bill is not passed. For 16 months the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has worked with public safety and local stakeholders from across the state to implement the landmark corrections reforms contained in AB 900, which was passed on a bi-partisan basis. This clean up language would have provided funds to reduce overcrowding, and build much needed rehabilitation space in our prisons. It also would fund inmate reentry facilities designed to reduce recidivism. Finally, it would have provided local communities with funding to build much needed jail expansion projects. Without this trailer bill the state will be unable to pay for county jail, reentry, or infill bed construction projects, and will face a major setback in our strategy to reduce overcrowding. Local governments also lost important mentally ill offender crime reduction grants designed to provide treatment services for offenders. This administration will continue to work with the Legislature and local law enforcement to ensure that the initiatives authorized by AB 900 are funded, and that the prison reform movement continues.”

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Modular Building Construction Program Gets Industry Approval

ISO 9000 Certification Documents Management Qualit

FOLSOM - Construction of modular buildings is the most recent California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) enterprise to be certified as meeting a world-wide industrial standard for quality.

Certification to the ISO 9000 standard is an industry-wide stamp of approval, documenting the quality of the buildings manufactured by CALPIA as well as the business practices that support it, from accounting and marketing to inventory control of raw materials.

Companies such as Siemens, a world wide leader in designing and manufacturing transportation systems from light rail to airports, and chemical industry leader BASF, are among those who have received the ISO 9000 certification.

“The ISO certification documents that the modular buildings we make, as well as our business and manufacturing practices, meet the business world’s highest levels of professionalism,” explained Charles Pattillo, general manager and CEO of the CALPIA. “The ISO approval shows that our inmate labor force is as good as any in the marketplace and that CALPIA’s business practices insure that our customers get quality and cost-effective service.”

The certification is based on an independent audit from ABS Quality Evaluations of Houston, Tx., which reviewed each aspect of CALPIA’s manufacturing procedures and business practices. The certification reflects the auditor’s documentation that each step in the manufacturing process reinforces consistency so that the same level of quality product is produced over and over again.

The certification also documents that all of the business practices that support manufacturing, from inventory control of materials to accounting, marketing and sales, reflect the industry’s best practices by including systems to identify and eliminate problems and develop constant improvements.

CALPIA’s modular buildings are manufactured at Folsom Prison as part of the agency’s Career Technical Education Program, in which inmates are trained in carpentry and other construction skills by journeymen craftsmen. Graduates are eligible for placement in apprenticeships when they are released on parole, as part of a formal agreement between CALPIA and the Northern California Carpenters Local 146.

Approximately 70,000 sq. ft. of buildings have been constructed or are planned by the end of the year, most of which have been purchased by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for use as counseling centers for drug and alcohol treatment programs. The buildings, which feature steel and concrete foundations, offer a 30 year lifespan, far longer than traditional modular buildings.

In addition to its modular building construction program, CALPIA has also received ISO9000 certification for manufacture of office furniture and for its career technical education program in ironworking.
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CDCR Presents “Pathways to Rehabilitation” Project Roadmap to Rehabilitation Oversight Board

SACRAMENTO - As part of the comprehensive prison reforms underway in California, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has launched the “Pathways to Rehabilitation” project, which is designed to increase inmate access to programs and reduce recidivism rates.

Today, Carole Hood, CDCR Chief Deputy Secretary of Adult Programs, presented a video on the Pathways to Rehabilitation Project that highlights some of the progress to-date at one of the first demonstration sites, California State Prison Solano.

“The ‘Pathways to Rehabilitation’ project is a roadmap for implementing prison reforms that will result in a higher percentage of inmates leaving prison and never coming back,” said Hood. “This project is a key component of the broader prison reforms that started with AB 900, and will help equip our institutions with the tools they need to achieve the seismic shift in our corrections system that lawmakers envisioned.”

The “Pathways to Rehabilitation” project was recommended by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Strike Teams on prison reform, and is consistent with recommendations made by the Expert Panel that was convened to review rehabilitation in California. It is a means for implementing effective rehabilitation programs in a coordinated manner throughout CDCR.

“The ‘Pathways to Rehabilitation’ project will help ensure that inmates have access to education, vocational training and drug treatment programs, and that they return home from prison better off than when we received them,” said Kathy Jett, CDCR Undersecretary for Programs. “This project is the foundation upon which all of our programs will be built throughout our 33 institutions and parole.”

The program will ultimately follow an inmate from the day he is received at a reception center through his ultimate release onto parole. The “Pathways” project utilizes the California Logic Model, under which CDCR will conduct risk and needs assessments on inmates, develop tailored case management plans, deliver evidence-based rehabilitation programs, monitor inmates’ progress, and help prepare inmates to reintegrate back into their home communities.

Demonstration sites for the “Pathways to Rehabilitation” project were identified in a reception center, general population prison, secure community reentry facility, and parole region as follows:

  • Deuel Vocational Institute, Tracy - Reception Center;
  • CSP Solano, Vacaville – General Population Prison;
  • Northern California Reentry Facility (NCRF), Stockton – Secure Community Reentry Facility; and,
  • Parole Region 1, Central California from Bakersfield to the Oregon border – Amador, Calaveras, and San Joaquin Units Receiving Offenders Released from NCRF.
Solano Selected as Demonstration Site
California State Prison, Solano was selected as the demonstration site for a general population prison as part of the project. CDCR officials worked with staff at Solano to develop a plan to curb gang and disruptive influences leading to lockdowns, reduce overcrowding, and increase access to rehabilitation programs. To date, the program at Solano has been successful.

  • Operation “Changing Tides”: In March 2008, CDCR conducted a 10-day operation referred to as operation “Changing Tides.” This operation was designed to gather intelligence about the activities of the prison gangs and disruptive groups at Solano and to identify, validate and remove inmates aligning themselves with prison gangs or engaging in violent behavior. The goal of operation “Changing Tides” was to reduce the negative influences that hinder the rehabilitative process and the full integration of inmates in programming and housing assignments. The operation resulted in 21 prison gang validations. Many of these inmates were transferred to other facilities, or placed in segregated housing units. The operation has helped prison officials curtail activity that leads to lockdowns and can impede access to rehabilitation programs.
  • Reducing Overcrowding by Repurposing a Gymnasium: Solano was able to deactivate a gymnasium that had for years been used to house more than 225 inmates and reactivate it for its designed use – recreational and rehabilitation programs. In addition to providing much-needed space for rehabilitation-focused programs, the new gymnasium allows CDCR staff to provide incentives to inmates for good behavior. Out-of-state inmate transfers and other effective population reduction measures have allowed CDCR to deactivate a more than 13 gymnasiums in prisons across California.
  • Increased Access to Rehabilitation Programs: Inmates at Solano have increased access to rehabilitation programs due to the “Pathways to Rehabilitation” project, and the institution has already begun to implement many new initiatives as a result:
    • The inmate population has been assessed to determine their education levels, and classrooms and courses are being realigned to meet their needs;
    • There have been significant increases in participation in substance abuse programs, and select inmates who have successfully completed programs are being certified as peer tutors to help their fellow inmates;
    • Solano is in the process of making lifer inmates and other inmate peer counselors eligible for similar pay to those in Prison Industry Authority work assignments to incentivize their participation, and better utilize existing human resources;
    • The institution is in the process of implementing red “Privilege Cards” that inmates can use for things such as access to night-yard, priority access to canteen, etc. as a reward for good behavior;
    • New core programs and a new approach based on inmates individual needs will soon be implemented.

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