Welcome to my unofficial site for DVI. This site is dedicated to keeping us up to date on all the current CDCR, Law Enforcement, State Worker and CCPOA news. Hope you enjoy Gladiator School and remember this site is for informational purposes only. Terms of use

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stockton warden reassigned to Folsom Prison - News - recordnet.com - Stockton, CA

The acting warden of the nation’s largest prison health care facility on the outskirts of Stockton has been reassigned to Folsom State Prison, a switch that comes amid ongoing criticism of conditions at the state institution from a prisoner advocacy group.
But Acting Warden Ron Rackley, 48, said those issues have nothing to do with his decision to accept another post.
Rackley leaves California Health Care Facility after seeing it through construction and an activation process that began in 2013 and spawned reports of inadequate medical care and sanitation problems.
More recently, the Berkeley-based Prison Law Office has questioned three inmate deaths that appear to have been preventable.
There certainly have been challenges in establishing operations at the facility, Rackley said, but his transfer is based on his own desire to work closer to home.
Rackley, an Elk Grove resident, said he’s been interested in Folsom for years, and when the opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago he accepted.
Rackley had been named acting warden of the health care facility after spending more than 25 years at Deuel Vocational Institution, where he had moved up through the ranks to become warden of the Tracy prison.
The Stockton assignment, Rackley said, was not intended as a long-term job.
The $839 million facility had been open for about six months when a court-appointed receiver, charged with taking over responsibility for state prison health care, halted medical and mental health admissions to the facility in January.

Stockton warden reassigned to Folsom Prison - News - recordnet.com - Stockton, CA

State audits find prison, hospital payroll abuses - LA Times

Audits of a state prison and psychiatric hospital detail hundreds of thousands of dollars in improper payments and financial problems, including outright payroll fraud, and medical staff and guards receiving questionable bonuses and holiday pay, according to reports released Wednesday.

The financial reviews at California's Sacramento prison near Folsom and the Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino are among 14 state agency audits required this year in the wake of payroll abuses uncovered two years ago at California's parks department.

The reviews, conducted by the state Controller, found rates of unauthorized or improper pay in as many as 88% of the relatively small number of files examined, amounting to excess payments to state workers of nearly $230,000.

Auditors have called on the state agencies to conduct full internal reviews of their payroll systems for the last three years.

There was no immediate response from the Department of State Hospitals, but a spokesman said the corrections department is conducting such a review and has issued new requirements to document who signs off on payroll decisions.

State audits find prison, hospital payroll abuses - LA Times

Indio council approves response to grand jury AB 109 report

The Indio City Council on Wednesday reviewed the city's response to a Riverside County grand jury report detailing the regional effects of AB 109, 2011 legislation that realigned the state's correctional system to ease overcrowding in state prisons.

The 12-page letter, approved with a 5-0 vote and with no discussion, provides the city's required response to the June 17 grand jury report.

Mayor Michael Wilson attended the meeting via teleconference from Maui, Hawaii.

The civil grand jury cited good and bad results since implementation of the realignment program in October 2011.

The city's letter acknowledges that as with many law enforcement agencies, AB 109 strained resources within the Indio Police Department and throughout the county.

Indio council approves response to grand jury AB 109 report

California Prisons Begin ‘Use-of-Force’ Reforms for Mentally Ill Inmates | State of Health Blog from KQED News

The number of inmates with mild to severe mental illness has grown to 37,000 in California, about a quarter of the prison population.

A series of lawsuits brought by inmates against the state over the last two decades has exposed a correctional system poorly equipped to handle their extraordinary needs.

Now California is trying to comply with a federal court order to change when and how correctional officers use pepper spray to force uncooperative inmates to leave their cells or follow orders.

Pepper spray may have contributed to three inmate deaths and an unknown number of injuries — unknown because the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations doesn’t consider the effects of pepper spray an injury.

The issue was brought to light last year through graphic videos shown in court in a lawsuit that was begun in 1990, a lawsuit brought by inmates to improve psychiatric care.

Prisons record some use of force incidents, according to department policy.

California Prisons Begin ‘Use-of-Force’ Reforms for Mentally Ill Inmates | State of Health Blog from KQED News

Eight California Prisons Accredited with the American Correctional Association

The Commission on Accreditation for Corrections has accredited eight additional California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prisons, bringing the total number of accredited California prisons to 16. The most recent round of accreditations was announced yesterday during the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) 144th Congress of Correction in Salt Lake City, Utah.

California Institution for Women, Centinela State Prison, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, Folsom State Prison, Ironwood State Prison, Kern Valley State Prison, Sierra Conservation Center and Wasco State Prison and Reception Center achieved near-perfect scores in the ACA evaluation.
“ACA accreditation is an important and highly respected indicator which demonstrates that our state prisons are being operated safely, professionally, humanely and in compliance with the U.S. Constitution,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “I commend all CDCR employees for their ongoing commitment to ensuring our facilities meet and exceed such strict standards.”
For more than 143 years, the ACA has been the recognized worldwide authority in corrections and its Commission on Accreditation for Corrections certifies correctional facilities. The ACA is responsible for conducting the audits; the Commission, comprised of corrections professionals from across the country, is responsible for granting or denying the accreditation.
ACA standards are the national benchmark for the effective operation of correctional facilities. The ACA’s Standards Committee continually revises standards based on changing practices, current case law, agency experiences and the expert opinions of corrections professionals, doctors, legal experts and architects. Adult and juvenile facilities, community-based programs, and parole and probation agencies all use ACA standards. Lawyers, judges, county administrators, academia and advocacy groups also use ACA standards as a tool to ensure the constitutional rights of offenders and to protect staff and the public.

Eight California Prisons Accredited with the American Correctional Association

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

UC Davis ‘whistleblower’ wins $730,000 verdict - Sacramento City News - The Sacramento Bee

A Sacramento Superior Court jury has awarded a $730,000 verdict to a former UC Davis administrative nurse who claimed in a lawsuit that her career was ruined when she blew the whistle on an unethical pain management research project on prison inmates.

The jury’s decision came down late Monday in favor of Janet Keyzer, who had worked as an administrative nurse researcher for the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research for more than nine years at the time of her termination in November 2007.

Keyzer, 59, is a 30-year nurse with a Ph.D. in human and community development, according to her lawsuit. She said she was subject to a series of retaliatory actions after she began work on the university’s Community Oriented Pain-Management Exchange Program in December 2006 and raised questions about whether a research project on physically and mentally disabled inmates at San Quentin Prison had obtained the consent from its “human subjects.”

According to Keyzer’s lawsuit, the project gathered medical data from the patient/inmates’ medical records without their permission and without the approval of the university’s Institutional Review Board that is supposed to review all requests for research on people.

When she expressed her concerns to her supervisor, “Ms. Keyzer was ostracized by COPE management and others at the Center,” her lawsuit said. She said her project manager became “hostile, abusive and rude” toward her.

In June 2007, the plaintiff’s husband, Ken Keyzer, a part-time technical staffer on the COPE project, was fired, the suit said. After the termination, Janet Keyzer directly contacted the Institutional Review Board, and it “confirmed the improprieties Ms. Keyzer identified,” her suit said.

UC Davis ‘whistleblower’ wins $730,000 verdict - Sacramento City News - The Sacramento Bee

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Delivery drone carrying marijuana, cellphones and tobacco crashed outside a S.C. prison - The Washington Post

Police are seeking one man and have arrested another who they believe tried to smuggle contraband into a South Carolina prison by way of drone.

On the morning of April 21, officers discovered a small drone that had crashed in the bushes outside the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C., according to the Associated Press. The drone never made it over the 12-foot fence, though the AP noted that “officials aren’t sure exactly where the drone would have gone if it made it over the wall.”

The drone was carrying marijuana, cellphones and tobacco, according to Stephanie Givens, a spokeswoman for the S.C. Department of Corrections.

One person, 28-year-old Brenton Lee Doyle, has been arrested in connection with the incident and appeared in court Wednesday. He has been charged with attempting to smuggle contraband into a prison and possession of the drug flunitrazepam, also known as “roofies,” according to Reuters.

Police have issued a plea for information about a second suspect who may be connected to the incident. They released a series of surveillance photos of the man taken in a convenience store near the prison.

Delivery drone carrying marijuana, cellphones and tobacco crashed outside a S.C. prison - The Washington Post

Convicted murderer escapes during prison transport in Merced County | abc30.com

Merced County California- Law Enforcement personnel has launched an active investigation an237086_630x354d manhunt in attempts to apprehend a wanted Escapee. Merced County Sheriff's Office received an emergency assistance request from officials from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation just shortly after 6:00p.m., this evening.

CDC officials reported while transporting Inmate Jeffery Scott Landers, from Wasco State Prison to Stockton California, he managed to escapee from Officers custody. Landers escaped from Officers, possibly in the area of Sultana Drive and Liberty Avenue in the Livingston California area.

Landers is described as a 34 year old white male adult, 5-8, brown hair, hazel eyes, medium built, eagle tattoo on chest

Landers is a convicted murderer, who has been sentenced. Landers is considered highly dangerous. Law Enforcement Officials are asking anyone with information as to Landers whereabouts to dial 911. Do not try to contact or apprehend if located.

Convicted murderer escapes during prison transport in Merced County | abc30.com

California prisons alter ‘use of force’ policies for mentally ill inmates - Crime - Sacto 911 - The Sacramento Bee

State prison officials unveiled new policies Friday that they characterized as a “sweeping culture change” aimed at limiting the use of pepper spray and other force against mentally ill inmates.

The policy changes, filed in Sacramento federal court as part of a long-running legal battle, essentially require prison guards to stop and consider alternatives to force as they get mentally ill inmates who are acting out to comply with commands.

The 69-page court filing also outlines new procedures for addressing disputes between guards and mental health professionals over how to resolve problems with mentally ill inmates.

“This is a great first step,” said inmate attorney Jeffrey Bornstein, who won his battle last year to have videos played in court of inmates being pepper-sprayed by guards. “This seems to mandate more of a collaborative approach.”

The new policy states that if there is disagreement between custody staff and mental health staffers over whether to use force, the issue must be elevated to higher-level officials on duty at a prison.

That change follows a Sacramento Bee report on the 2013 death of inmate Joseph Duran at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione after he was pepper-sprayed by guards.

Duran, who was mentally ill and breathed through a tube in his throat, was found dead Sept. 6 inside his cell seven hours after being pepper-sprayed.

The inmate had refused to let go of a food port in his cell door and was pepper-sprayed and left in his cell despite demands by medical staff that he be removed and decontaminated. Custody staff refused those demands, saying it was too dangerous to remove him, according to documents obtained by The Bee……………

California prisons alter ‘use of force’ policies for mentally ill inmates - Crime - Sacto 911 - The Sacramento Bee

Union: Employees forced to falsify suicide-watch documents | State | SanLuisObispo

The union representing California state psychiatric technicians says that two of its members were forced to fake inmate suicide-monitoring records and were then disciplined when video recordings revealed the false documentation.

The California Association of Psychiatric Technicians alleges that managers at the prison medical facility in Stockton ordered those employees and others to document that they checked patients in the mental health crisis unit no less than five times per hour, even though other work kept the employees from adhering to that schedule.

When surveillance tapes reportedly showed that the suicide rounds weren’t done that frequently, one technician was rejected on probation. Another was suspended, union officials said.

“We’ve told the department, ‘You’re putting our people in positions where they can’t do the work,’” said union attorney Steve Bassoff. “They haven’t responded.”

Two inmates in the unit have attempted suicide in the last three months, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Dana Simas said. Both survived. She could not say if the attempts occurred when suicide monitoring had lapsed.

The affair has sparked a round of finger pointing between Corrections officials and California Correctional Health Care Services, the agency run by federally appointed receiver J. Clark Kelso to clean up California’s inmate medical system.

Union: Employees forced to falsify suicide-watch documents | State | SanLuisObispo

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Judge allows class-action suit alleging race-based prison punishments - LA Times

A federal judge in Sacramento on Wednesday awarded class-action status to a lawsuit filed by California prison inmates alleging their rights are violated by widespread practices of race-based punishment.

Prison officials acknowledge they respond to outbreaks of violence by ordering lockdowns and other sanctions, and that every inmate is assigned a race or ethnic code: black, Hispanic, white or other.

But they denied in court filings that punishments are decided by race. However, they commonly contend that inmates align themselves with gangs based on race and ethnic group.

U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley's ruling Wednesday found that it is "undisputed" that California uses statewide policies governing lockdowns that utilize race. He wrote that "any assertion denying the existence of the [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's] policy to be insincere at the very least."

There was no immediate comment on the ruling by the department.

The case stems from a 2008 court complaint filed by inmate Robert Mitchell, who protested that he was repeatedly subjected to lockdown at High Desert State Prison and denied access to exercise or programs because of his race. Mitchell alleged, according to the lawsuit, that prison officials said it was state policy that “when there is an incident involving any race, all inmates of that race are locked up.”

Judge allows class-action suit alleging race-based prison punishments - LA Times

$1 Billion Stockton Prison Medical Complex Reopens After Numerous Problems « CBS San Francisco

A billion dollar prison medical clinic that’s sitting half empty will start readmitting the state’s sickest inmates, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Monday.

Admissions were temporarily halted six months ago amid reports of unsanitary conditions and shortages of staff and supplies. But some prison workers are saying not so fast.

It’s the crown jewel of California’s prison system: a brand new billion dollar healthcare facility designed to house the state’s sickest inmates.  Wheelchair accessible cells are equipped with hospital beds. There’s a state of the art emergency room and a 29-chair dialysis clinic.

But the sprawling prison complex is eerily quiet, because it’s only half full.  Admissions were shut down earlier this year  after a court appointed receiver overseeing California’s prison healthcare system  found too many problems.

“We were experiencing the issues of inmates not getting enough medical supplies,” said  Joyce Hayhoe with the Receiver’s office. “Things like gloves for our nurses, food service, catheters.

One employee, who does not want to be identified, told us the facility simply wasn’t ready when it opened last summer, and he says it’s still not ready. “We don’t have enough officers, we don’t have enough nurses,  they are spending money on other things,” he said.

$1 Billion Stockton Prison Medical Complex Reopens After Numerous Problems « CBS San Francisco