Monday, December 30, 2013

Condemned Inmate Albert Ruiz, 51, Dies of Natural Causes

VACAVILLE -- Condemned inmate Albert Ruiz, 51, was pronounced dead early Sunday morning, December 29, 2013. He died of natural causes in the On-Site Acute Hospital Unit at the California Medical Facility (CMF) in Vacaville, CA. 

Ruiz was sentenced to death on January 27, 2003, by a Merced County jury for the May 22, 1998, murder and robbery of a Merced liquor and grocery store owner, Abdo Muhammed, 42, and the murder of Antonio Cruz, a 74-year-old customer in the store.  Ruiz had been on death row since January 28, 2003.
Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 62 condemned inmates (including Ruiz) have died from natural causes, 22 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, six have died from other causes, and for one of them, the cause of death is pending. There are 746 offenders on California’s death row.

DECEMBER 30, 2013
(415) 455-5008


Monday, December 23, 2013

New Study Shows Post-Prison Arrests are Down, Convictions Static under Realignment

CDCR tracked inmates released from prison pre- and post-Realignment

SACRAMENTO, CA – One-year arrest rates are down and conviction rates are virtually static for offenders released after completing their state prison sentences post-Realignment, according to a report released today by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

“The results here are very encouraging, especially when you consider they reflect the very beginning of Realignment, when counties were in the early stages of implementing rehabilitative programs.” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “As we move forward and both CDCR and the counties utilize state funds to invest more in rehabilitation efforts, I’m confident we will see fewer former inmates re-offending.”

For this Realignment Report, CDCR indentified all offenders who had served their full sentence and were released from prison during the first year after the implementation of Realignment (October 2011 through September 2012). Researchers then tracked the offenders, which include those released to state parole supervision and those released to county probation supervision, for one year to see if they were re-arrested, convicted of a new crime, or returned to state prison. CDCR then compared those results with all offenders released during October 2010 to September 2011 (pre-Realignment) and tracked them for one year in the same manner.

Key findings include:

• Post-Realignment offenders were arrested at a lower rate than pre-Realignment offenders (58.9 percent pre-Realignment and 56.2 percent post-Realignment).

• The rate of post-Realignment offenders convicted of new crimes is nearly the same as the rate of pre-Realignment offenders convicted of new crimes (20.9 percent pre-realignment and 21.0 percent post realignment).

• Post-Realignment offenders returned to prison at a significantly lower rate than pre-Realignment offenders, an intended effect of Realignment as most offenders are ineligible to return to prison on a parole violation. (32.4 percent pre-Realignment and 7.4 percent post-Realignment)

Under California’s Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011 (AB 109), no offenders receive an early release from state prison. The law, which was passed by the Legislature in response to a federal court order to reduce California’s prison population, has achieved dramatic reductions by stemming the flow of low-level inmates and parole violators into prison. The intent of Realignment is to encourage counties to develop and implement evidenced-based practices and alternatives to incarceration to limit future crimes and reduce victimization.

Prior to Realignment, more than 60,000 felon parole violators returned to state prison annually, with an average length of stay of 90 days. Beginning on October 1, 2011, most parole violations are now served in county jails. Also, offenders newly convicted of certain low-level offenses serve their time in county jail. Under another component of Realignment, inmates who have served their full state prison sentence for a non-serious, non-violent or non-sexual offense are now supervised upon their release by county probation rather than state parole.

To view a copy of the report, visit:

To view a fact sheet on Realignment, go to:

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For Immediate Release

December 23, 2013

Contact: Jeffrey Callison

(916) 445-4950

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Psychologist at Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran Recovering After Inmate Attack

CORCORAN – A staff psychologist is recovering from injuries she suffered from an attack by a Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran (SATF) inmate yesterday.

At approximately 11:45 a.m., a staff psychologist was escorting inmate Ryan Sanchez, 30, out of her office when inmate Sanchez turned around and struck the psychologist in her face with his fist, causing her to fall to the ground and lose consciousness. 

Inmate Sanchez was subdued and subsequently transported to the Administrative Segregation Unit.

The psychologist was taken to an area hospital and treated for head trauma. She was released and is at home recovering.

Inmate Sanchez was committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on September 11, 2012 from Fresno County to serve a two-year, eight-month sentence for indecent exposure, his second strike.

The matter will be referred to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

SATF opened August 1997 on approximately 280 acres in Kings County. The institution provides long-term housing for 5,518 minimum- and maximum-custody male inmates and employs 1,828 people.



December 18, 2013

Contact: Lt. Lupe Cartagena

(559) 992-7154

Friday, December 13, 2013

Inmate Death Being Investigated as a Homicide

JAMESTOWN – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are investigating the death of an inmate this evening.

Inmate Andrew Tisnado, 31, died this evening at a valley hospital.  Inmate Tisnado was found by staff in his assigned bed on December 11, 2013, with severe head injuries.  He was transported by air ambulance to a valley hospital, where he was placed on life support.  No other information is available at this time as CDCR is currently investigating Inmate Tisnado’s death as a homicide.   

Inmate Tisnado was a Hispanic male and was committed to CDCR on January 31, 2013 from Los Angeles County to serve a 4 year sentence for Possession of Ammunition by an Ex-Felon.  He was scheduled to parole in November 2015.

December 13, 2013
Contact: Lt. von Savoye
(209) 984-5291 ext. 5499

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

CDCR to Hire Approximately 7,000 Correctional Officers

SACRAMENTO— The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) expects to hire approximately 7,000 correctional officers over the next three years due to the increase in retirements.

Currently more than 1,800 CDCR peace officers retire annually. This outflow has led to an increased-  and in some cases urgent- need to fill peace officer positions statewide.

New cadets are paid a monthly salary while attending the CDCR Basic Correctional Officer Academy (BCOA). CDCR peace officers are offered very competitive health, dental, vision and retirement benefits. Job requirements include:

•    High school diploma
•    Proof of U.S. citizenship
•    At least 20 years of age; must be 21 at time of appointment
•    Pass a drug test screening
•    Provide history of law-abiding behavior

•    Legally be able to own, posses and have custody or control of a firearm or other weapons     authorized by CDCR 

Potential candidates must also pass a written test, qualifications assessment, physical fitness test, vision screening, psychological evaluation, pre-employment medical examination and a background investigation.

The application and selection process can take between nine and 12 months. Once the selection process is completed, candidates are offered positions throughout the state and can select their location based on institutional need and availability.

Once the candidate accepts the job, they go to a 16-week academy training at the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center in Galt.

During the academy, cadets can earn $3,050 a month as well as benefits. Following graduation, correctional officers can earn $3,774 a month to start, not including wages for overtime worked.

After a couple of years as a correctional officer, there are numerous opportunities for promotion and advancements to correctional sergeant, lieutenant, captain and higher.

There are many different types of positions for correctional officers while working at an institution including, transportation, tower watch, visiting, inmate programs and housing units.

For more information on how to become a correctional officer, visit CDCR’s Careers website here: To access the online application visit:

December 3, 2013
916) 445-4950