Thursday, January 28, 2010

Conservation Camp Inmates and Staff Recognized for Outstanding Work

Inmates Construct Interpretive Sign in Sequoia National Forest

Inmates and staff at Miramonte Conservation Camp under the jurisdiction of Sierra Conservation Camp, were recently recognized for their work building an interpretive sign for a popular Sequoia National Forest tourist stop.

On December 15, 2009, the United State’s Forest Service recognized the camp’s Inmate Crew #2 for their “outstanding work” on the Junction View Overlook Interpretive Sign Project. Jennifer White, Lands and Special Uses Administrator, Sequoia National Forest, made the presentation.

“The Miramonte inmates went above and beyond what was expected to complete this project before the season’s road closing snowfalls,” White said. The work project, located on Highway 180 approximately 70 miles east of Fresno, is in the Hume Lake Ranger District in the Sequoia National Forest.

During her presentation, White identified four crew members for their “dedication and professionalism” exhibited during the project as well as lauding both CalFIRE and CDCR staff for their role in supporting inmates to perform restoration activities such as this sign.

Inmates recognized included Byron Young, Patrick Ritchie, Tim Richardson and Eddie Haworth, who were awarded a “Certificate of Appreciation” from the United States Department of Agriculture, which included the statement, “Without your help this project could not have been completed.”

“I have worked with all of the inmate crews from the Miramonte Conservation Camp over the years on several different projects,” White added. “I have to admit this is by far the best project we have worked on together. I appreciated all of the hard work and dedication they put into this project.”

The project required the construction of a rock structure on which a plaque identifying the surrounding topography would eventually be mounted.

“It is encouraging to see inmates receiving recognition for their efforts from the project sponsors,” said Lt. Randy Rowland, Miramonte Camp Commander. “Many camp inmates work very hard completing worthwhile projects throughout the State. These actions result in saving California taxpayers millions of dollars annually.”

During this presentation, Lt. Rowland thanked White and the Hume Lake Ranger District for their on-going support and challenging work projects for Miramonte Conservation Camp.

The Miramonte Conservation Camp operates under the supervision of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Sierra Conservation Center. The Camp opened on September 15, 1949 and is jointly operated by CDCR and CAL FIRE. The primary mission of the Camp is to provide inmate fire crews for fire suppression principally in the Fresno County area, but crews may respond to emergencies anywhere in the State. In addition to fire suppression, inmate hand crews provide a work force for conservation projects. The Camp is located in Fresno County, four miles southwest of Miramonte off of Highway 65.

Conservation Camp Quick Facts:

The Inmate Fire Camp population is more than 4,400.

Only minimum security inmates are eligible to participate. Inmates typically earn $1 dollar per hour, and can earn up to two days off their sentence for every day they work fighting fires.

Conservation Camp Program inmates average 10 million work hours per year.

Parole Granted for Former Manson Family Member Bruce Davis

San Luis Obispo – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Board of Parole Hearings today issued a grant of parole for convicted killer and former Charles Manson associate Bruce Davis during a parole consideration hearing at California Men’s Colony. Davis was sent to state prison on April 21, 1972 with a life sentence from Los Angeles County for two counts of first-degree murder. Today’s decision was the result of Davis' 26th parole suitability hearing.

Davis, 67, appeared before the panel today. The suitability finding is subject to a 120-day decision review period. If the grant is finalized at the conclusion of decision review, the Governor may conduct an independent review of the decision. Under California law, the Governor may reverse, modify, affirm or decline to review the Board’s decision.

Under California law, several options are available to the Governor. He can allow the decision to stand by taking no action or choosing not to review it within the 30 days. He can actively approve the decision to parole or modify it. He can refer the decision back to the Board so that all of the commissioners can reconsider the panel’s decision. Or he can reverse it.

Davis was convicted for the July 25, 1969 murder of Gary Hinman and the murder of Donald Shea sometime between August 16 and September 1, 1969.

He is currently incarcerated at California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo. Davis has remained disciplinary-free since 1980 and has participated in all available education, vocation and self-help programs.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CDCR Opens Trauma Informed Substance Abuse Program for Women at Three Additional Prisons

To read this article Click Here.

Parole Denied for Inmate Gregory Powell

San Luis Obispo – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Board of Parole Hearings today denied parole for convicted killer Gregory Ulas Powell during a hearing at California Men’s Colony (CMC). Powell was sentenced in 1963 following a Los Angeles County conviction of first-degree murder.

Powell, 76, appeared before the panel and the Board returned a denial for parole with a 3-year consideration period. Today’s decision was the result of Powell’s eleventh parole suitability hearing.

Powell and a co-defendant, Jimmy Lee Smith, were convicted of kidnapping Los Angeles Police Officers Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger during a traffic stop in Hollywood and killing Campbell in an onion field near Bakersfield in March 1963. The case was made famous in the book and movie, "The Onion Field." Both Powell and Smith were initially sentenced to death; however, their death sentences were commuted to life in prison after the death penalty was briefly outlawed in the 1970s. In 2007, Smith died in a county jail where he was being held on a parole violation.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CDCR Implements Public Safety Reforms to Parole Supervision, Expanded Incentive Credits for Inmates

Legislative Changes, New Policies Intended to Improve Parole System While Reducing the Overall Inmate Population

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on Monday will launch, as required by a new law, public safety reforms to encourage inmates to complete rehabilitation programs, to improve supervision for high-risk parolees and to better partner with communities in managing minor parole violators.

By prioritizing supervision, creating incentives for inmates to complete programs that are proven to reduce recidivism, and with the addition of other reforms, California’s prison population is expected to be gradually reduced by about 6,500 inmates over the next year.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in October signed Senate Bill x3 18, authored by Sen. Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego), which also adjusts property crimes for inflation and requires CDCR to assess the risk of each parolee. The new law improves the current parole system by allowing parole agents to focus supervision on the more serious offenders, reducing parole agent caseloads, creating a new line of field supervision for field agents including field training officers, and implementing a new outcome-based case planning process that provides incentives for parolee success.

“I consider this reform to be a landmark achievement in improving public safety in California,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “This fundamentally changes how we view successful parole supervision from a system that focused mainly on revocation to one that measures both public safety and how well parolees reintegrate into society.”

Improving Parole Supervision

The new law and reforms will improve the parole system in several important ways, including:

Creates a system of “summary” or “non-revocable” parole for certain low-risk parolees. These low-risk parolees will be subject to standard parole search and seizure conditions but will not be subject to traditional parole supervision upon their release from prison. This creates a $100 million savings while allowing agents to focus their attention on higher-risk parolees deemed more of a risk to the public;

Establishes and expands drug and mental health reentry courts for parolees to receive highly-structured treatment rather than being returned to prison for violations that may be related to those needs;

Codifies the recently implemented “parole violation decision making instrument” which helps determine the most appropriate sanctions for parolees who violate their conditions of parole based on their risk to reoffend;

In addition to the reforms established in SB x3 18, CDCR will implement parole reform strategies to protect public safety, including:

Reducing agent caseloads to an average of 48 parolees for one agent from the previous ratio of 70 to one. This gives agents a better opportunity to supervise parolees more aggressively, and interact more frequently with local law enforcement, rehabilitative service providers and other community partners;

Placing 1,000 parolee gang members on active GPS supervision and will add 2,000 electronic tracking devices for parole violators as an alternative to incarceration;

Increases monitoring requirements for sex offenders on parole who are supervised using Global Positioning System;

Reclassifying some existing parole positions to create 190 parole supervisors to oversee line-level parole agents;

Adding 30 field training officers to maintain proper training standards for parole agents; and

Using measurement guidelines for supervision that focuses on a parolees successful transition into the community rather than how many times they are revoked.

“These new laws and policies will transform how California supervises parolees that are actively living in our communities today,” said Secretary Cate.

Inmates Can Earn Time Credits

The new law will allow offenders incarcerated in a California prison to earn up to six weeks per year off their sentences by completing certain rehabilitation programs such as earning a GED or obtaining a vocational certificate. These programs are proven to reduce crime and assist in a successful transition into society.

In addition to the six week incentive, the new law will:

Extend existing time credits to include day-for-day credit for time served in the county jail from the time of arrest for specified offenders;

Provide two days of sentence credit for every one day after an inmate completes firefighting training;

Provide two days of sentence credit for every one day an inmate works in an institution firehouse; and

Provide a consistent rule of one day of credit for every day served for all eligible inmates whether they are on a waiting list for a full-time assignment, participating in programs, or undergoing reception center processing, so long as the inmate is discipline-free during that time;

Continue policies that cause inmates to lose credits for criminal misconduct, rules violations and violence in prison.

Increases Monetary Limits of Theft Crimes

The minimum monetary value for some grand theft crimes, such as theft by an employee, access card theft, and theft of a dog, have increased to $950 from the previous $400 threshold. The threshold for basic grand theft will remain unchanged.

Improve Local Probation Supervision

The state will be authorized to annually allocate money into a State Corrections Performance Incentives Fund to be used to improve local probation supervision practices and capacities. Specifically, the money targets community corrections, keeping low-level probationers out of state prison, and shares any cost savings with local entities.

For additional information regarding non-Revocable Parole, please see our Parole Section.

Parole Denied for Inmate Elizabeth “Betty” Broderick

CORONA – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) today denied parole for convicted killer Elizabeth “Betty” Broderick during a hearing at the California Institution for Women (CIW). Broderick was sentenced in 1992 to a 32-years-to-life term for two convictions of Second-Degree Murder.

Broderick, 62, who was up for her initial BPH parole consideration, appeared before the panel and the Board returned a 15-year consideration period. She may petition the Board every three years for another life parole consideration hearing. Today’s decision was the result of Broderick’s initial parole board consideration hearing.

Broderick has been serving life in prison for her involvement in the 1989 murders in San Diego of her ex-husband, Dan Broderick and his wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick. Her former husband, a prominent San Diego attorney, had gained custody of their children during contentious divorce proceedings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

FBI Director Honors CDCR Parole Agents for Southland Gang Operation

A wide net was cast last October when Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) Region III agents joined more than 1,000 Los Angeles Police Department officers and Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crime Task Force members in a coordinated operation to take into custody violent street gang members who were involved in ongoing criminal activity.

The DAPO supervisors and agents were honored at a special ceremony in Los Angeles on January 8 by the FBI, where they received Letters of Recognition from FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

The CDCR agents were recognized by FBI Director Mueller “for outstanding assistance to the FBI in connection with its investigative efforts. Your cooperation was of immeasurable help to our representatives.”

Mueller shared his gratitude for DAPO’s support in his recognition, by saying that DAPO could “take pride in the role played in the success achieved. My associates and I congratulate you on a job well done.”

On Oct. 22, 2009, 12 DAPO unit supervisors and agents led by (Los Angeles) Mid-City District Administrator Joe Martinez partnered with LAPD and FBI SWAT/Tactical teams to serve about 70 arrest warrants to active parolees or felony probationers. In addition to substantial quantities of narcotics, task force members seized handguns, rifles, and a large quantity of money during the investigation.

“Operation 40 Ounces to Freedom” targeted The Rollin 40’s Crips,” a street gang charged in 23 federal indictments and 45 state warrants for their alleged roles in a narcotics trafficking conspiracy that operated in a three-square-mile area of Los Angeles. Seventy-four members of the gang were charged with conspiracy, possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine and methamphetamine, and firearms violations. Forty-five additional members were named in state charges for their roles in the illegal drug distribution operation.

The investigation began in 2008 to address gang-related and persistent violence fueled by narcotics trafficking. As a result of the investigation, a number of parolees assigned to the Los Angeles Mid-Town 2 Unit and Huntington Park 1 Unit were identified.

Roger Kemp, Parole Agent I, played a significant role in this effort to identify and make contact with these parolees in the Mid-Town 2 Unit and was singled out for praise by Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck in a letter to Parole Administrator Joe Martinez. Five of the seven originally targeted parolees were taken into custody, primarily for Sale of Controlled Substances. Additionally, prior to these charges, the investigation resulted in 51 felony arrests and 35 misdemeanor arrests, separate from the others arrested in this operation, including other members of the Rollin’ 40’s Crips gangs and members of other gangs.

Below is a list of all CDCR agents honored by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller:
Henrik Agasyan, Parole Agent I, Northeast 1 Unit
Irene Carrasco, Parole Agent I, Northeast 1 Unit
Roger Kemp, Parole Agent I, Midtown 2 Unit (Gang GPS)
Melanie Reyes, Parole Agent I, Midtown 2 Unit
Luis Robles, Parole Agent I, Midtown 2 Unit
Francisco Saldana, Parole Agent I, Midtown 2 Unit
Mike Williams, Parole Agent I, Huntington Park 1 Unit (Gang GPS)
Dan Ramirez, Parole Agent II, Region III GPS Coordinator
Steven Reinhart, Parole Agent II, Region III GPS Coordinator
Gabriel Rogers, Parole Agent II, Region III GPS Coordinator
John Bernal, Unit Supervisor, Midtown 2 Unit
Manya Washington, Unit Supervisor, Northeast 1 Unit
Joe Martinez, Parole Administrator, Mid-City District