Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Parole Denied for Convicted Chowchilla School Bus Kidnapper Fred Woods

San Luis Obispo – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) denied parole today for convicted kidnapper Fred Woods, 61, during his 13th subsequent parole consideration hearing at the California Men’s Colony (CMC). Woods was one of three crime partners involved in the Chowchilla School Bus Kidnapping case in July 1976.

Woods appeared and spoke before the panel today.

Woods was sent to state prison on February 17, 1978, with a 7-years-to-life sentence from Alameda County with 27 concurrent convictions for kidnapping. The minimum parole date set by the court for Woods was August 21, 1980. Accordingly, his initial parole hearing was in 1982.

The youngest of the kidnapping crime partners, Richard Schoenfeld, was released to parole June 20, 2012 after an appeals court ordered his release.

His brother, James Schoenfeld, who is also serving time for this crime at CMC, is due for his next parole consideration hearing in March 2013.

The BPH hearing transcript will serve as the official record and is expected to be transcribed in approximately 30 days.

November 28, 2012
Contact: Luis Patino
(916) 445-4950

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

California State Prison-Sacramento Correctional Officer Survives Attack by Inmate

REPRESA – A correctional officer was spared serious injury by his stab-resistant vest when an inmate at California State Prison-Sacramento attacked him with an inmate-made weapon on Saturday, November 10. 

At approximately 6 p.m., staff responded to the cell of Elrader Ray Browning, 32, after smoke was detected coming from his cell. While staff was removing Browning from his cell, he grabbed an inmate-manufactured weapon and ran toward staff. An officer deployed pepper spray, but Browning attacked him, stabbing the officer in the upper chest. Due to the protective vest all custody staff are required to wear when on duty, the weapon did not puncture his skin.

Officers subdued Browning. 

One officer sustained three lacerations to his left bicep area and was treated at an area hospital. The officer who was stabbed did not sustain any injuries due to his protective vest.

Browning was committed to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on November 9, 2001, from Los Angeles County to serve a 62-year, eight-month sentence for second-degree murder.

The matter has been referred to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution.

California State Prison-Sacramento is a multi-mission institution that houses more than 2,500 inmates and employs more than 1,700 staff.  Opened in 1986, the institution primarily houses maximum-security inmates serving long sentences and those who have proved to be management problems at other institutions.


November 14, 2012
Contact: Sergeant Tony Quinn
(916) 985-8610 ext. 3012

Friday, November 9, 2012

CDCR Investigating Deadly Force Incident at High Desert State Prison

SUSANVILLE – A 23-year-old High Desert State Prison (HDSP) inmate was fatally shot by correctional officers during the attempted murder of another inmate today, November 9, 2012. The inmate was shot after he failed to respond when correctional officers ordered him and an accomplice to halt their attack.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) sent a Deadly Force Investigations Team (DFIT) to the Susanville prison to investigate the use of deadly force.

The incident began at 11:05 a.m. today when two inmates attacked a third inmate on a maximum-security yard. The inmate victim was knocked to the ground and the two attacking inmates kicked him in his head and stabbed him several times with an inmate-made weapon. The victim lost consciousness. The attacking inmates ignored repeated orders to stop their attack. A correctional officer discharged one round from his state-issued Mini-14 rifle. The round hit one of the attacking inmates. He was pronounced dead at 11:17 a.m.

The fatally wounded inmate was serving an 82-year-to-life sentence from San Diego County for first-degree murder. His name is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

The inmate victim of the attack, age 29, suffered numerous stab and slash wounds, lacerations and injuries to his head. He was treated at the prison and is being monitored by medical staff. He is serving a 29-year, four-month sentence from Los Angeles County for assault likely to cause great bodily injury with gang enhancements.

The other inmate attacker, age 29, was not injured. He is serving a life without parole sentence from Riverside County for first-degree murder.

The names of the involved inmates are being withheld pending investigation.

Officers recovered one stabbing weapon. No employees were injured.

HDSP is on modified program, meaning inmate access to normal programs is limited to facilitate the investigation into the incident.

Pursuant to state law, deadly force can only be used when it is reasonably necessary to defend someone from an immediate threat of death or great bodily injury.

DFIT is a team of trained CDCR investigators that conducts criminal and administrative investigations into every use of deadly force.  The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review (BIR) was also notified. The BIR is responsible for real-time oversight of CDCR’s investigations of its employees. The Lassen County District Attorney’s Office is also investigating.

High Desert State Prison in Lassen County opened in 1995 and houses approximately 900 minimum- and medium-custody inmates and 2,700 maximum-security inmates. The institution employs more than 1,300 people.


NOVEMBER 9, 2012
530) 251-5100, EXT. 5501

California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran Correctional Officer Recovering from Inmate Assault

CORCORAN – A correctional officer is recovering from injuries he suffered from an attack by a California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran (SATF) inmate yesterday.

On Thursday, at 10:32 a.m., a correctional officer was talking with inmate Martin Villanueva, 27, when Villanueva punched the officer in the face, knocking the officer back where he struck the back of his head on the wall. Villanueva then pulled the officer’s jacket over his head and continued to punch him in the face and head area.

Inmate Villanueva was subdued and subsequently transported to administrative segregation.

The officer was taken to an area hospital for treatment for lacerations to his forehead and the back of his head. He was released from the hospital this morning without serious injury.

Villanueva was committed to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on On January 21, 2011 from San Diego County to serve a four-year sentence for first-degree burglary. He was scheduled to be paroled October 29, 2013.

The matter has been referred to the King’s County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.


November 9, 2012
Contact: Lupe Cartagena
(559) 992-7154

Thursday, November 8, 2012

CDCR implementing its new gang management reforms

Case-by-case reviews of gang-validated inmates an important step in new Security Housing Unit policy

 SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is now implementing a pilot program that will reduce long-term confinement in Security Housing Units (SHU) and overhaul the way gangs are managed. The “Security Threat Group Identification, Prevention and Management” pilot program was approved and certified by the Office of Administrative Law on October 18, 2012 and filed with the Secretary of State.  It is now the department’s official policy and enabled CDCR to begin conducting case-by-case reviews of inmates in segregated housing.

“The new gang management policy was developed with significant input from experts internally and throughout the nation and now includes prevention, interdiction and rehabilitation elements,” Undersecretary of Operations Terri McDonald said.  “This complex retooling of our gang management program requires considerable changes to state regulations and departmental policies and procedures. Implementing it as a pilot will improve the department’s ability to incorporate the new changes,” McDonald added.

Because of the magnitude of the changes and the complexity of gang management, CDCR is phasing in implementation. Phase One has begun which includes case-by-case reviews of CDCR’s existing validated gang population housed in its security housing units (SHU). The reviews will determine the appropriate placement of those inmates either in a new Step-Down Program or to general population housing. The reviews began October 25 at Pelican Bay State Prison and continue this week at other institutions.

“The reviews are extremely comprehensive and will take time to complete throughout the entire system,” McDonald said.

The term security threat group (STG) will generally replace the terms prison gang, disruptive group, and/or street gang within CDCR. The new STG policy is a behavior-based approach that focuses more on individual accountability.  Highlights include:

•    Incorporation of an STG prevention program for offenders during the intake process and an orientation process for validated affiliates in the Step-Down Program.
•    Recognition of the different levels of threat posed by STG members, associates and suspects, and that their housing should correspond with their respective threat level.
•    The incorporation of a weight-based point validation system which continues to require a direct link to an existing validated member or associate.
•    A new behavior-based system, which will serve to enhance the existing intelligence-based validation system.
•    A new STG behavior-based disciplinary matrix, which will provide for additional procedural due process safeguards and a system of individual accountability.
•    A new STG Classification Committee, which will provide an additional level of due process review and affirm initial STG validations.
•    STG associates – a majority of inmates housed in SHUs – will no longer be considered for direct administrative placement into a SHU based solely upon their validation to an STG unless there is a corresponding confirmed disciplinary behavior at the time of the original validation.
•    Implementation of an incremental three- to four-year Step-Down Program, which by design will replace the existing six-year inactive review process for validated STG affiliates.
•    The Step-Down Program will be an individual behavior-based program for STG affiliates that will provide graduated housing, enhanced programs and interpersonal interactions as well as corresponding privileges and personal property enhancements.

McDonald said Phase Two of the STG pilot program will include the implementation of the new validation process and will begin early next year. Case-by-case reviews of validated affiliates housed in smaller Administrative Segregation Units will also be implemented with the new validation system.

“These changes support our goals to reduce long-term SHU confinement, provide alternatives for inmates who want to disassociate from a criminal gang lifestyle, maintain safety in our prisons and communities and have a more effective system that complies with national best practices,” McDonald said.

CDCR manages about 3,100 STG (gang) members and associates in security housing units.  About 20 percent of these offenders are validated STG members, who maintain a high level of influence over subservient street gangs and other individuals incarcerated within the prison population and represent a significant threat to the safety of others and institution security.  The remaining 80 percent are validated STG associates, who under the direction of STG members assist in carrying out illicit, disruptive, violent and/or criminal activities in the operations of these criminal organizations.

California Penal Code Section 5058.1 grants CDCR the authority to implement pilot programs. The “Security Threat Group Identification, Prevention and Management” pilot has the force of law and will expire by operation of law in two years or on October 18, 2014 unless adopted by CDCR into the California Code of Regulations using the process described by the Administrative Procedure Act.

November 8, 2012
Contact: Terry Thornton
(916) 445-4950


Monday, November 5, 2012

Inmate Walks Away from Conservation Camp in Los Angeles County

ASUZA— California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are looking for an inmate who walked away from the Julius Klein Conservation Camp in Asuza located in Los Angeles County on Friday, November 2.

The inmate is 23-year old Jeremy Angel Ruano, Hispanic male, 5’9, 188 pounds. Ruano has brown eyes and black hair. Ruano was committed to CDCR on March 5, 2009 from Los Angeles County to serve a six-year term for assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Inmate Ruano was last seen at approximately 8 p.m. during a mandatory inmate count. Staff searched the inmate dorm area, surrounding buildings and the camp perimeter after he was discovered missing.

All local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol were notified and are assisting in the search. The Sierra Conservation Center (SCC), located in Jamestown, sent an Investigative Services Unit to the area.

If anyone has information about, or knowledge of, the location of this individual immediately contact 911, the Julius Klein Conservation Camp at (626) 910-1213, or the SCC Watch Commander at (209) 984-5291, extension 5439.


November 5, 2012
Contact: Lt. Jack Ingram

Thursday, November 1, 2012

CDCR Checks on 1703 Sex Offenders during Operation Boo

Compliance checks result in 85 arrests statewide; 5 parolees-at-large apprehended; new charges filed against 5 known predators; weapons, drugs and child porn confiscated

SACRAMENTO – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) parole agents contacted 1703 sex-offender parolees during compliance checks as part of the 19th annual Operation Boo Child Safety Project on Halloween night 2012.  Statewide, new charges were filed against 5 of the sex offender parolees contacted, 5 parolees at large were arrested, 2 parolees were found with child pornography,  7 weapons were confiscated and 17 parolees were found with narcotics.

“Our statewide efforts with Operation Boo on Halloween night help protect the innocence of California’s children as they enjoy the traditional trick-or-treating pastime.  The 85 arrests made by our parole agents and GPS specialists prove how important it is that we continue these annual sweeps," said Margarita Perez, Acting Director of the Division of Adult Parole Operations. 

On a regional basis:

Region 1 (which includes Northern and Central Inland counties and extends south to Kern County) conducted 218 searches and arrested 16 sex offender parolees, including one parolee-at-large.

Region 2 (which includes the Central Coast and the Bay Area counties) conducted 252 searches and arrested 16 sex offender parolees, including three 3 parolees-at-large.

Region 3
(which includes the greater Los Angeles area) conducted 358 searches and arrested 16 parolees, including one parolee-at-large.

Region 4 (which includes San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego and Imperial counties) conducted 875 searches and arrested 37. 

For more information about Operation Boo please visit:                                                              

NOVEMBER 1, 2012        

(916) 445-4950

Inmate shot at High Desert State Prison during assault

Susanville – On Wednesday, October 31, 2012, at approximately 2:40 pm, a 36-year-old High Desert State Prison (HDSP) inmate was shot in the right hip as he was kicking another inmate in the head.  Two additional suspects were also seen kicking the victim of the assault. They were all wearing boots.  HDSP Facility A staff saw the victim being kicked in the head and ordered the three suspects to stop the assault.  After the suspects failed to stop the assault the Facility A staff fired two warning shots.  The suspects continued the assault and one of the suspects was shot in the right hip. 

The victim of the assault lost consciousness during the incident.  He was treated at the HDSP Correctional Treatment Center and later was transported to an outside hospital for additional treatment.  The inmate suspect that sustained the gunshot wound was transported to an outside hospital for treatment. 

The second and third suspects in this case were not injured and were placed in the Administrative Segregation Unit. 

The victim was received from Los Angeles County and is serving a 33-year-to-life sentence for murder.  The inmate’s name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The first suspect is a 36-year-old received from Los Angeles County and is serving a three-year, eight-month sentence for possession of controlled substances for sale.  The names of the suspects are being withheld pending investigation into this incident.

The second suspect is a 29-year-old received from Orange County and is serving a 37-year sentence for kidnapping.

The third suspect is a 30-year-old received from Orange County and is serving a 9-year sentence for selling controlled substances.

The case is under investigation by the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office, the Investigative Services Unit at HDSP, and the Deadly Force Investigation Team.  The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified.

High Desert State Prison located in Lassen County opened in 1995 and houses 3,537, minimum-, medium-, and maximum-custody Inmates. The institution provides academic classes and vocational instruction and employs more than 1,275 people.

November 1, 2012

Contact Lt. Nick Albonico
(530) 251-5100