Monday, July 30, 2012

Inmate Walks Away from Julius Klein Conservation Camp in Los Angeles County

AZUSA – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are looking for a minimum-security inmate who walked away from the Julius Klein Conservation Camp, located near the community of Azusa, in Los Angeles County, last night.

Inmate Rafael Ortega, 20, was last seen at his assigned bed at approximately 5:10 pm during a mandatory count.

Camp staff searched the inmate dormitory area, surrounding buildings and the camp perimeter after he was discovered missing.  All local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol have been notified and are assisting in the search for Ortega.  Apprehension efforts are continuing. 

Inmate Rafael Ortega is described as a Hispanic male, 5’7”, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.  He was committed to CDCR on October 12, 2011 from San Bernardino County to serve a three year, eight month sentence for Possession of a Firearm by an ex-felon.  He was scheduled to parole in May 2013.
Anyone knowing the location of Inmate Rafael Ortega or having other relevant information is asked to contact the Julius Klein Conservation Camp Commander at (626) 910-1213, or the Sierra Conservation Center Watch Commander at (209) 984-5291, extension 5439.


July 27, 2012
Contact:  Lt. A. Von Savoye
(209) 984-5291 ext. 5499


 San Diego – On the evening of July 28, 2012, a minimum security inmate from the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF) was discovered to have walked away from the Minimum Support Facility (MSF) located on prison grounds.  Inmate Juan Ledesma, 23, is a Hispanic male, 5’8” tall, 150 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.  He was committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on August 22, 2011, from San Diego County for Possession of a Controlled Substance.  He was scheduled to be released from custody in September 2012.

Inmate Ledesma was last seen by custody officials on the MSF at approximately 3:45 p.m. 
The RJDCF immediately implemented its escape procedures, searching the facility grounds and surrounding community, but Ledesma was not found.  All local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol have been notified and are assisting in the search for Ledesma.  Escape apprehension efforts are continuing. 

Anyone seeing Ledesma should contact local law enforcement immediately.

The RJDCF employs approximately 1,600 staff and provides secure housing for approximately 3,900 minimum, medium and high-security inmates.  The prison provides offenders academic and vocational education programs, work skills in prison industries and inmate self-help group activities.  In addition, the RJDCF contains a MSF, providing administrative, fire suppression, and off-reservation work crews.  The RJDCF works extensively with San Diego County,
in conjunction with other governmental entities, to perform many valuable services to the various communities within the county.

# # # #

July 28, 2012 
Contact: Lt. Patrick Logan
(619) 661-7802
(619) 507-8184

Friday, July 27, 2012

California Institution for Women Announces Second Graduating Class from Behavioral Program

Program shows only 3.5 percent recidivism rate among graduates since 2007

CORONA- Fourteen inmates at California Institution for Women graduated today from the Choice Theory® Connection Program, which has a 3.5 percent recidivism rate among the 114 participants who have paroled. Of the original 12 graduates at CIW in 2007, none has returned to state prison. 

The Choice Theory® Program began as a pilot program at CIW, introduced by Loyola Marymount University and the William Glasser Institute to teach female offenders about self-evaluation, tolerance, and relationships. Many of the participants said the Choice Theory® Connection Program changed their lives by teaching them about choices that they did not know were available to them in their previous environment.

The Choice Theory® Connection Program was founded by Dr. William Glasser, world-renowned psychiatrist and author and creator of Choice Theory® and Reality Therapy. The program is the first of its kind to be offered to female offenders. It consists of five phases and more than 100 hours of classroom instruction. More than 400 female inmates have completed at least one phase since its inception in November 2007.

Of the 12 original class participants in 2007 who have paroled, none has returned to prison. From 2007 and through November 2011, 114 participants have paroled and only four have returned to prison.

The graduation from CIW’s Choice Theory® Connection Program involved 14 female inmates who received certificates in Choice Theory® and Addiction Coaching. This certification recognizes the individual understands Choice Theory® and how to assist peers in making effective choices to eradicate negative behaviors and improve the course of their lives. 

The ceremony was attended by notable guests, including CIW Warden Guillermo Garcia; Choice Theory® co-founder Carleen Glasser; and Bradley Smith, Special Program Coordinator at Loyola Marymount University. 

July 27, 2012
Contact: Lieutenant Felix Figueroa
(909) 606-4921

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CDCR Parole Agents Arrest More Than 69 Parolees with Gang Affiliations in Los Angeles

Operation Guardian results in the rescue of three children in addition to weapons, drugs and illegal profits confiscated; Anti-gang Parent Empowerment Guide launched online

EL MONTE – Agents from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and their local law enforcement partners have just concluded Operation Guardian, one of the largest and most comprehensive sweeps in recent years focusing on parolees who have known ties to criminal gangs.

So far, Operation Guardian has resulted in the arrests of more than 69 parolees in Los Angeles County with known gang ties. One compliance check prompted an investigation after a naked parolee was found in bed with three children. There were 59 instances of guns, a shotgun, semi-automatic handguns and ammunition seized. More than 35 knives, four swords and a machete were also confiscated. CDCR agents and their law enforcement partners also confiscated 20 fully grown marijuana plants, 156 grams of marijuana, 30 grams of cocaine, a possible meth lab, drug paraphernalia and hundreds of dollars of suspected illegal drug money.  Sixty out of 340 compliance checks are still being tabulated.

“This morning, while many of the potential suspects were still asleep, more than 400 CDCR agents and local law enforcement partners fanned out across Los Angeles County and searched the homes of parolees who are affiliated with criminal street gangs,” CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said. “The number of parolees who were arrested and the number of guns, ammunition and drugs taken off the streets show how important these proactive searches in cooperation with our local law enforcement partners are to public safety.”

Agents from CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) and Office of Correctional Safety were joined by law enforcement officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Department of Children and Family Services, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service.

“This joint operation demonstrates to the citizens of Los Angeles County our commitment to making the streets of our neighborhoods a safer place to live,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said. “Our combined success is a result of excellent communication and cooperation between the CDCR, LAPD and everyone involved with this operation. The people who were targeted today were put on notice that their criminal activities are not going to be tolerated.”

CDCR also launched the Operation Guardian Parental Empowerment Guide on its website that provides parenting tips, and help with problems that contribute to gang involvement.

“The true frontline against gang violence is the parents at home,” said DAPO Director Robert Ambroselli.  “Our new web pages offer parents straight talk about gangs, links to emotional discussions with family members of innocent victims of gang-warfare, as well as parents of deceased gang-members.  They also offer hope with parenting tips and by drawing attention to local resources that can help teens who are beginning to get involved in gang activity.”


July 25, 2012

Contact: Luis Patino

Monday, July 23, 2012

American Correctional Association Certifies Three California Prisons

Sacramento, Solano and Central California Women’s Facility Consistently Exceeded Requirements Following Rigorous Audit by National Experts

SACRAMENTO – Three California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prisons were certified today by the American Correctional Association (ACA) during the 142nd Congress of Correction in Denver, Colorado.

California State Prison-Sacramento, California State Prison-Solano and Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla were given nearly perfect scores by the ACA, the oldest and largest international correctional association in the world and for more than 135 years has been the recognized expert in establishing measurable standards in prison management and providing certification of correctional facilities.

“This certified accreditation validates our efforts toward reaching the strategic goal of making California safer through correctional excellence,” CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said. “This is evidence of our compliance with national best practices which will also position us to end expensive federal court oversight of many of our operations.”

CDCR began the process of seeking nationally recognized accreditation from the ACA in late 2010. In April and May 2012, ACA standards compliance audit teams visited the three prisons to conduct comprehensive on-site audits of all aspects of prison operations, including health-care services. The prisons had to comply with 61 mandatory requirements and reach a 90 percent compliance rating in 468 non-mandatory areas.  Some of the areas the ACA audit teams rigorously assessed included management, the physical plant, operations, services, inmate programs, medical services, sanitation, incidents of violence, staff training, and the provision of basic services that can affect the life, safety and health of inmates and staff.

The audits found that all three prisons met all of the mandatory requirements and all three significantly exceeded the 90 percent mark for non-mandatory items. California State Prison-Solano achieved 99 percent, California State Prison-Sacramento achieved 98.6 percent and Central California Women’s Facility achieved 98.16 percent.

CDCR will seek accreditation for all of its facilities. During the next year, Correctional Training Facility, Mule Creek State Prison, Pelican Bay State Prison, High Desert State Prison and Kern Valley State Prison will be audited by the ACA. These five prisons will begin preparation in August 2012 with a formal training visit by an ACA auditor.

“The accreditation of these three prisons, and ultimately all state prisons, will help California regain its place as a national leader in corrections,” said CDCR Undersecretary of Operations Terri McDonald.  “This is a proud day for those prisons and the entire Department.”

For more information on CDCR, please visit


July 23, 2012
Contact: Terry Thornton
(916) 445-4950 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CDCR Seeks Input for Rehabilitation Programs

Will Host Two Public Workshops For Discussions

Sacramento –The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will host public workshops in Los Angeles on July 19 and Oakland on July 24 to gather input for improving rehabilitation programs for inmates and parolees.

Each forum is expected to attract suggestions from a wide range of organizations that provide substance abuse programs, academics, career technical information and employment services. Representatives of both public and private organizations are invited, including county agencies, faith-based and non-profit organizations, and those that qualify as Small Business Enterprises (SBE) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE).

The call for bolstering rehabilitation programs supports CDCR’s plans to establish re-entry facilities at some prisons to concentrate resources that will better prepare inmates as they near the end of their sentences and prepare to return to their communities.

CDCR also intends to strengthen community-based programs that will continue to support inmates particularly during the first year after they are released, based on research which suggests tht is the most critical time to prevent recidivism.

“One of our primary goals is to improve rehabilitation programs for inmates and parolees because we know it will reduce recidivism and improve public safety, which also can save taxpayers billions of dollars by reducing the number of people we incarcerate,” said Matthew Cate, Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The Los Angeles forum will be held at the auditorium of the Junipero Building, 320 West 4th Street, beginning at 9 am. The Oakland forum will be held in the auditorium of the Elihu M. Harris State Building, 1515 Clay Street, in downtown Oakland, also at 9 am. Registration for both workshops begins at 8:30 am.

More information on CDCR’s Blueprint for the Future can be found at

July 17, 2012
Contact: Bill Sessa
(916) 445-4950

Monday, July 16, 2012


Tehachapi – Investigators from California Correctional Institution (CCI) and the Kern County District Attorney’s Office are investigating an inmate homicide that occurred in Facility A, within the security housing unit at CCI.

In the afternoon of July 15, staff members found inmate Ladwright Smith unresponsive in his cell. Inmate Smith was pronounced dead at 3:42 pm.

Smith, 39, had been received at CCI on May 29, 2012 after being sentenced to eight years in prison for corporal injury to a spouse in San Bernardino County.

The alleged suspect is identified as Anthony Taylor, 28, from Kern County who is serving a life sentence for a first-degree murder. Taylor was received at CCI on July 13.

California Correctional Institution, a minimum- to maximum-security prison, is located 52 miles east of Bakersfield.  The prison opened in 1933, houses more than 4,600 minimum- to maximum-security inmates and employs more than 2,000 people.


July 16, 2012
Contact: Lt. B. Skaggs
(661)822-4402 ext. 3-21

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Inmate Homicide at Substance Abuse Treatment Facility

CORCORAN-- Officials at California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran (SATF) are investigating an inmate homicide after an incident that occurred on July 11, 2012.

Inmate Hector Juarez, 34, was pronounced dead at an outside hospital at approximately 11:29 am on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 from an apparent trauma/hemorrhage to his torso.

Prison officials and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office have named inmate Michael Rene Romero, 22, and inmate Ramon Salvador Chavez, 32, as suspects in the case. The suspects have been placed in the administrative segregation unit pending the investigation.

The victim, Inmate Juarez, was received by CDCR on May 5, 2003 from San Diego County and was serving a 14-year sentence for first-degree burglary.

Inmate Romero was received by CDCR on November 23, 2010 from Yolo County and is serving a Life term for second-degree murder.

Inmate Chavez was received by CDCR on May 23, 2003 from Stanislaus County and is serving a Life term for first-degree murder.

For more information about SATF, visit CDCR’s website at


July 11, 2012
Contact: Lupe Cartagena (559) 992-7154

What They’re Saying About Realignment

Local and State leaders talk about the Public Safety Realignment

“We should be able to control our population with (alternatives to incarceration), if we can create (rehabilitative) programs. Luckily, in Tulare County…we were able to use AB 109 to staff positions.”
Captain Robin Skiles, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department
(Source: The Recorder, Christine Burkhart, July 6, 2012)

“Taxpayers will save money by having (offenders) serve time in county jail rather than in state prison. We're getting smarter on crime so we can better invest limited resources on education rather than corrections, which every poll shows Californians support. And of course education is our best known crime prevention tool."
California State Senator Mark Leno
(Source: Associated Press, Don Thompson, July 2, 2012)

"I am pleased with the progress Placer County is making in implementing realignment."
Jack Duran, Placer County Supervisor
(Source: Rocklin and Roseville Today, June 27, 2012)

“"(Fresno is) slowly moving in the right direction. We're not going to solve our problems by tossing people in jail, like we've done, and then just throw them back on the street." ,"
Debbie Reyes, Director of the Fresno-based California Prison Moratorium Project
(Source: Fresno Bee, Kurtis Alexander, June 26, 2012)

"When it costs from $45,000 to incarcerate a person (in state prison), and when that money could be used to rehabilitate four persons and get them back on their feet, I think it's well worth the investment (in rehabilitation)."
Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazine
(Source: Merced Sun Star, Joshua Emerson Smith, June 26, 2012)

“In the big picture, in San Diego County, we believe we are adjusting well…as long as we used the evidence-based principle of assessing risk to identify who is best suited for (alternative custody) options, then we are achieving our goal of managing public safety."
San Diego County Chief Probation Officer, Mack Jenkins
(Source: North County Times, Chris Nichols, June 21, 2012)

“Realignment is achieving its goals more quickly than even its supporters had anticipated.”
(Source: Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice report, June 14, 2012)

"Putting as many people in prison for as long as possible is not the best way to spend public dollars and protect public safety."
(Source: Pew Center on the States report, June 6, 2012)

“Realignment is achieving its goals more quickly than even its supporters had anticipated.”
(Source: Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice report, June 14, 2012)

“Violent and career criminals belong behind bars, and for a long time, but building more prisons to house lower-risk non-violent inmates for longer sentences simply is not the best way to reduce crime.”
Adam Gelb, Director of the Public Safety Performance Project
(Source: Pew Center report “Time Served: The High Cost, Low Return of Longer Prison Terms,” June 5, 2012)

“Governor Brown demonstrated once again his commitment to counties by staying true to his vow to sustain funding for realignment.” (Regarding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s May budget revise).
California State Association of Counties President and Yolo County Supervisor, Mike McGowan
(Source: CSAC press release May 14, 2012)

“With adequate time, attention and resources, a better plan will take shape to track and manage inmates and work with community groups to re-integrate offenders into the community.”
Santa Barbara County Chief Probation Officer, Beverly Taylor
(Source: Santa Ynez Valley Journal, Jeremy Foster, May 11, 2012)

“California’s counties use state prison resources at dramatically different rates, and … the counties which use state prisons the most have below-average crime rates. Viewed this way, the state is simply …  forcing counties to pay for their sentencing decisions.”
(Source: W. David Ball, Assistant Professor, Santa Clara Law School, in his 2011 study “Tough on Crime (On the State’s Dime)”)

“I think all of us have been surprised how successful these people have been and how they’ve changed.” (Regarding Tuolumne County’s new Day Reporting Center for probationers, funded by the 2011 Public Safety Realignment).
Dan Hawks, manager of Tuolumne County Probation’s Adult Supervision Unit
(Source: The Union Democrat, May 3, 2012)

“Reducing prison costs requires reducing the prison population in a way that ensures the worst of the worst are appropriately punished while lower-level offenders get the help needed to leave the system for good. (CDCR’s blueprint and other prison proposals) offer a good starting point to achieve those reforms.”
(Source: Bakersfield Californian editorial, May 1, 2012)

“Since (Realignment) took effect last October, that shift has gone as expected. Counties have not been overwhelmed. In fact, the number of offenders released from county jails due to lack of space actually declined in the first three months…But, make no mistake, California finally seems on the right path to get its state prison population and management under control.”
(Source: Sacramento Bee Editorial, Pia Lopez, April 29, 2012)

“The philosophy behind realignment is based on more than a decade of thinking, studying, evidence-gathering and soul-searching over the costly cycle of crime, incarceration, failure and return to prison…The public can be safer, the cycle can be broken, and tax money can be spent more constructively — and more frugally.”
(Source: Los Angeles Times editorial, April 25, 2012)

“While criminal justice realignment presents the most significant challenge ever faced by the Inyo County Justice System and local treatment providers, the ultimate goal of public safety can be achieved with effective communication, collaboration and fiscally responsible decision-making with respect to our limited resources.”
Inyo County Chief Probation Officer Jeff Thomson
(Source: Inyo Register, Mike Gervais, April 17, 2012)

“In addition to the enforcement (and) compliance component, probation has focused on a number of resources that are traditionally outside of the role parole provides. We focus on treatment elements which range from employment resources to substance abuse programming. We are modeling these probation programs for Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS), I do believe that our success rate for probationers will transfer to the PRCS cases.”
Chris Condon, San Bernardino County Probation Department
(Source: High Desert Daily Press, Beatriz E. Valenzuela, March 12, 2012)

"Nobody is being released early, they're doing their time.” (Speaking about implementing effective drug-rehabilitation and anger management programs) It’s not about incarceration.”
Tulare County Sheriff Bill Wittman
(Source: Visalia Times Delta, Luis Hernandez, March 12, 2012)

For more What They're Saying information please see previous press releases:

July 11, 2012
Contact: Dana Simas
(916) 445-4950

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

CDCR Secretary Participates in Ground-Breaking Ceremony of New San Mateo County Jail Facility

REDWOOD CITY-- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary Matthew Cate today participated in the ground-breaking ceremony of a new San Mateo County Jail facility with dedicated space for rehabilitative programs. 

"California is seeing an unprecedented shift in the way it handles criminals," CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said. "Today's ground-breaking shows San Mateo County's commitment to reducing recidivism and improving public safety by providing rehabilitative services to offenders."

The current San Mateo County Jail is comprised of two facilities, the Maguire Correctional Facility and the Maple Street Complex. The new 768-bed jail will replace the Maple Street Complex and will have dedicated space for:
  • Education and vocational training
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Work/education furlough programs
  • Transitional housing for men and women which will prepare them for re-entering society after incarceration.
 San Mateo County has indicated it will apply for state funds newly authorized by the state legislature for additional jail construction.


Deuel Vocational Institution Walk Away Inmate Apprehended

TRACY-- On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at approximately 1:00 am, Inmate Enrique Contreras, 25, who had walked away from the Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) Minimum Support Facility on July 1, 2012 was apprehended.

Inmate Contreras was apprehended and returned to DVI by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Service Unit. DVI officers took custody of inmate Contreras and transported him to the Administrative Segregation Unit within the secured perimeter of the institution.


July 10, 2012
Contact: Lt. George Paul
(209) 830-3851

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Inmate Death at Corcoran State Prison Being Investigated as a Homicide

CORCORAN-- Investigators at California State Prison-Corcoran and the Kings County District Attorney's Office are investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide after succumbing to injuries he suffered during an in-cell attack on Saturday, June 30.

Inmate Shawn Keith Wilson, 35, was pronounced dead on July 3, 2012, at an outside hospital. Prison officials have named his cellmate, Chad Michael Carl, 27, as the suspect in the case.

The victim, Inmate Wilson, was received by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on July 6, 1999 from San Diego County to serve a 16-year to life term for second-degree murder.

The suspect, Inmate Carl was received by CDCR on May 18, 2007 from Los Angeles County to serve a 27-year to life term for vehicle theft with a prior conviction.

The cause of death has not yet been determined.  The Office of the Inspector General has been notified.

CSP-Corcoran opened in 1988 and houses nearly 5,800 minimum-, medium-, maximum- and high-security custody inmates.  The Kings County prison offers academic classes and vocational programs as well as community programs and work crews.  The prison employs approximately 2,300 people.