Friday, November 19, 2010

CDCR Parole Agents Arrest Nearly 580 Sex Offenders during “Operation Safe Playgrounds”

California Parolee Apprehension Teams Coordinate with 140 Partner Agencies to Track, Search, Cyber-monitor and Capture Sex Offenders. A specialized team of parole agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has arrested 579* parolees during a six-month multi-agency sting entitled Operation Safe Playground. The statewide operation, which began in July and continues through January, was conducted by the department’s California Parolee Apprehension Team (CPAT) along with other law enforcement partners.

“Operation Safe Playground is designed to deter crimes against children by taking dangerous sex offenders off the streets and by sending a clear message to all sex offenders that our agents are watching them carefully,” said CDCR Division of Adult Parole Operations Director Robert Ambroselli. “Our teams are meticulously tracking sex-offender parolees’ movements, checking parolees’ property for prohibited contraband and searching sex offenders’ homes and their cyber world for any sign they may be preying on the innocent.”

The CPAT was created because of recent parole reforms launched by CDCR in January to direct more intense focus on parolees who pose the most risk to public safety. CPAT agents receive extensive training in fugitive apprehension, database searches, social networking, field tactics and firearms.

Since July, parole agents and their law enforcement partners have conducted 1,276 parole and probation searches statewide, and arrested 579 sex offenders, 233 of whom were parolees-at-large.*

CPAT led more than 140 partner agencies including the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement departments statewide in this week’s efforts.

The efforts by CDCR and its law enforcement partners included:

Conducting Global Positioning System (GPS) parole searches;
Conducting searches on probationers;
Auditing registered non-parolee sex offenders;
Conducting social network checks;
Coordinating with Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) to scan computers and smart phones of parolees;
Analyzing GPS location tracks of transient sex offenders;
Conducting park and community surveillance;
Locating and apprehending at-large sex-offender parolees and wanted probationers;
Taking action on active warrants for sex offenders with the assistance of U.S. marshals;
Assisting local law enforcement with sex offenders who were not complying with the terms of parole or probation;
Investigating and following up on GPS tracking and community collateral contacts.

This week alone – as part of California’s Special Enforcement Week – CPAT and its partner agencies have arrested nearly 350 sex offenders for the following offenses or violations:

Parolees-at-large 233
Child pornography 9
Pornography 87
Possession of drugs 46
Possession of weapons 36
Possession of contraband 131
(Contraband can include items such as computers, children’s toys, etc.)

“While it’s the responsibility of all parole agents to apprehend parolees-at-large, CPAT is improving our ability to find offenders who have absconded supervision,” Ambroselli said.

For more information about California parole and reforms, visit CDCR’s website at

*Arrest totals are as of Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

CDCR Breaks Ground for the California Health Care Facility Stockton

Today the CDCR and the California Prison Health Care Services (CPHCS) today broke ground on a 1,722-bed inmate medical facility southeast of Stockton, which will strengthen inmate medical care and create thousands of jobs. The ceremony, on the site of the former Karl Holton Youth Correctional Facility, was attended by elected officials, local dignitaries and CDCR and CPHCS officials.

The event highlighted the partnerships between the state and the local community and was a chance to highlight the progress of AB 900. The department is grateful to everyone that attended the event today looks forward to working together as this historic projects becomes operational.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Inmate Locator Avalaible on CDCR Website

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today launched the Inmate Locator web page, an online database designed to help family members find an inmate in California’s prison system.

“Inmates who stay connected with family members are often more motivated to change their behavior, leading to an overall increase in public safety,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “This new tool will make it more convenient for the public to locate, write and visit incarcerated family members and friends.”

Inmates in California are transferred from prison to prison for a number of reasons, including for their own protection, protection of other inmates or staff, or a change in their custody level. The database, which is updated weekly, helps concerned family members keep track of an inmate’s whereabouts.

“This will be a tremendous benefit for families to remain in contact with an incarcerated family member,” said CDCR Associate Director Debra Herndon, who oversees the Department’s inmate family council. “Not only does it help the inmate, but it also helps children connect with a parent who may be in prison.”

Visitors to the website can search by an inmate’s name or CDCR number to learn in which institution the inmate is currently housed. There are also driving directions. The website also includes helpful links on visitation guidelines.

Before traveling, visitors should contact the institution for current visiting information. If the inmate’s location cannot be found on the web page, the public should contact the Department's Identification Unit at (916) 445-6713. Historical information and release dates are not available.

The Inmate Locator page is available at

# # #

Monday, August 30, 2010

Gov. Schwarzenegger Announces Results of Largest Parole Sweep in Los Angeles

80 Parolees Arrested, 50 Weapons Confiscated

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined officials from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and a task force of federal and regional law enforcement agencies to announce the results of Operation Disarm. The operation is the largest parole sweep in the history of Los Angeles, targeting about 300 high profile parolees for illegal activity in both the city and the county.

Nearly 1,000 officers from 17 federal, state and local agencies worked together in today’s surprise sweep early this morning. Preliminary results from Operation Disarm indicate that 80 parolees were arrested, 50 weapons, over 150 rounds of ammunition and drugs, including marijuana and cocaine, and drug paraphernalia were confiscated, as well as 11 children were taken into protective custody. The goal of the operation was to focus on parolees with felony convictions for weapons possessions and parolees with gang affiliations, and return any violators back to custody.

“This operation sends a message to communities throughout our state that we are dedicated to public safety and focused on those most likely to commit serious or violent offenses,” said CDCR Adult Parole Operations Director Robert Ambroselli.

Organized by the parole division within CDCR, Operation Disarm was a multi-agency effort that included 40 teams made up of agents and officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Sheriff Department, Los Angeles County Probation, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Bell Gardens Police Department, Whittier Police Department, Inglewood Police Department, Pasadena Police Department, Hawthorne Police Department, Downey Police Department, El Monte Police Department, Huntington Park Police Department, Glendale Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service.

Operation Disarm is one of many operations and actions recently conducted by CDCR and special task forces to improve public safety and eliminate dangers posed by serious and violent parolees and gang members. CDCR launched historic parole reforms earlier this year under legislation passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor last year. The reforms include a new parole supervision model which allows parole agents to focus on high risk parolees by lowering caseloads from 70 per agent to 48 per agent. The department has also increased its efforts to proactively connect parolees with community resources to help them reintegrate into society while also stepping up efforts to capture parolees who have absconded from supervision. Savings from the reforms are providing additional funding to hire more than 400 additional agents. The reforms also provide more than $5 million in reallocated funding for California Parole Apprehension Teams (CPAT) to actively search and apprehend high-risk parole absconders.

Since CPAT was formed in January as a result of the parole reforms, the number of parolees-at-large has realized the fastest and most dramatic reduction in California history. Not including the results of today’s major sweep operation, CPAT has located or arrested 2,598 parolees-at-large, including nearly 100 sex offenders.

Here is a roll up of the new coverage from the event:

Massive parolee sweep leads to more than 75 arrests
Los Angeles Times

More than 75 high-profile parole offenders were arrested early Thursday in a massive multi-agency sweep of Los Angeles County, officials said. About a thousand officers from various agencies took part in the 5:30 a.m. sweep. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called the effort, dubbed "Operation Disarm," a success during a press conference Thursday morning. The sweep targeted 300 high-profile parolees and resulted in 77 arrests, along with the seizure of 21 weapons, more than 150 rounds of ammunition and caches of cocaine and marijuana. The parolees targeted included felons with weapons convictions and gang affiliations.

Story Link:

Dozens arrested in massive L.A. parole sweep
(Los Angeles Times) KABC TV

It's described as the largest parole sweep in Los Angeles County history. More than six dozen suspected parole violators were arrested and drugs and weapons were seized in a massive law enforcement operation. About 300 high-profile parolees were targeted in Operation Disarm. Most had spent time in prison for gun crimes. It was also one of the largest parole sweeps in the entire state. The goal of Operation Disarm was to track down parole violators and to take illegal weapons off the streets.

Story Link:

Dozens of parolees arrested in LA-area sweep
San Francisco Chronicle

Authorities say they've arrested more than 60 people in a Los Angeles-area parole sweep designed to take illegal guns off the streets. State, local and federal agents spread out Thursday morning to determine whether 300 people who went to prison for gun crimes are obeying their parole terms. Violators could go back to prison.

Story Link:

Pasadena officials join in massive parole sweep
Pasadena Star-News

Authorities arrested a wanted parolee Thursday after a standoff at a Pasadena home in what officials are calling the the Los Angeles area's largest-ever parole sweep. The arrest was part of what authorities called the largest parole sweep operation in Los Angeles history Thursday during which 77 wanted "high-profile" parolees were arrested, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said at a news conference in Carson. The operation targeted about 300 parolees.

Story LInk:

Dozens Arrested in Massive Parolee Sweep in L.A. County

Authorities arrested 77 high-profile parolees during a massive multi-agency sweep of Los Angeles County. Nearly 1,000 state, local and federal agents fanned out across Southern California to particiate in "Operation Disarm." The goal: To determine if 300 people who went to prison for gun crimes are obeying their parole terms.

Story Link:,0,2924005.story

Police conduct countywide sweep of parolees with guns
The Daily Breeze

Nearly 80 parolees were arrested and more than 20 weapons seized during what was billed Thursday as the largest sweep of its kind in the history of Los Angeles County. Called Operation Disarm, the sweep targeted parolees with felony convictions for gun crimes. By late morning, police had arrested 77 parolees primarily because they had guns and recovered 21 guns, more than 150 rounds of ammunition and drugs that included marijuana and cocaine, the Governor's Office said.

Story Link:

Dozens of Parolees Arrested in Huge LA-Area Sweep
(Los Angeles) KTTV

Authorities say they've arrested more than 60 people in a Los Angeles-area parole sweep designed to take illegal guns off the streets. State, local and federal agents spread out Thursday morning to determine whether 300 people who went to prison for gun crimes are obeying their parole terms. Violators could go back to prison.

Story Link:

Dozens Of Parolees Arrested In LA-Area Sweep
(Los Angeles) KCAL

Authorities have arrested 77 people in a massive Los Angeles-area parole sweep. Nearly 1,000 state, local and federal agents spread out Thursday morning to determine whether 300 people who went to prison for gun crimes are obeying their parole terms. Violators could go back to prison. At a news conference, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said parole system reforms made earlier this year are providing more funding and helping authorities to focus on high-risk offenders.

Story Link:

Dozens of parolees arrested in L.A.-area sweep
Los Angeles Daily News
Scores of parolees were arrested today in what is being described as the largest parole sweep in the history of Los Angeles. More than 60 people were arrested in the sweep, according to media reports.The task force operation included personnel from the U.S. Marshals Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; the Los Angeles County Probation Department; and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

Story Link:

Parole sweep nets 2 SCV men
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Two men from Canyon Country were arrested as part of the largest parole sweep in Los Angeles County, authorities confirmed Friday. On Thursday, 77 people were arrested across the county for violating the terms of their parole. About 1,000 officers from 17 local, state and federal agencies conducted parole sweeps on about 300 parolees who had been arrested on felony charges for weapons possession or gang involvement, according to a statement from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office. “Operation Disarm” netted two arrests in the Santa Clarita Valley, Gordon Hinkle, a California Department of Corrections spokesman, said in an e-mail Friday.

Story Link:

There was also a sweep in Solano County the same day. This article recaps their results.

Solano County parole sweep nets 22 arrests
The Vacaville Reporter

Friday marked the second day of an unannounced parole sweep targeting 94 Fairfield, Vacaville and Dixon parolees. Conducted by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's adult parole division and allied local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the sweep resulted in 22 arrests of people found to be in violation of their parole terms, authorities said.

Story LInk:

Friday, August 13, 2010

CDCR helps firefighting efforts in Russia

Gov. Schwarzenegger Provides Assistance to Firefighters in Russia
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the state of California will provide protective firefighting supplies to Russia as unprecedented wildfires continue to burn in that country.

“California has one of the best prepared and most experienced firefighting operations in the world. It is important we share our resources with other nations – the same way they have shared with California in the past,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I have seen firsthand how dangerous wildfires are and our supplies will keep Russian firefighters safe as they continue to put their lives in harm’s way.”

The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) coordinated delivery of 2,040 items of personal protective Nomex (fire resistant) clothing including pants, jackets and shrouds provided by the Prison Industry Authority of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. These supplies were collected from Chino, San Luis Obispo and Ione and delivered yesterday to a federal shipping facility in French Camp, California.

California’s supplies are accompanying other resources already in the process of being shipped from the Sharpe Army Depot in French Camp. These supplies are one of several being coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Friday, August 6, 2010

DAPO holds sweep of gang parolees in Alameda County

Yesterday CDCR's Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) conducted a sweep in Alameda County targeting gang parolees. Here is some of the coverage that this operation received.

KCBS RADIO has a print and also an audio feed:
o Link is:

CBS Channel 5 news story and video:
o Link is:

Channel 2 KTVU print and video:
o Link is:

Channel 7 news story and video:
o Link is:

Oakland Tribune print story:
o Link is:

CDCR participates in signing ceremony with San Joaquin leaders

Peace pact signed
City, county, chamber ink deal for prison hospital

By Joe Goldeen
Record Staff Writer
August 03, 2010 12:00 AM

STOCKTON - All the players in a public, acrimonious dispute over placing a state prison hospital in Stockton came together Monday to sign an agreement to pave the way for construction to begin this fall.

Appropriately held at the offices of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce - which spearheaded the community's objections to the project's environmental impact report - representatives of Stockton, San Joaquin County, the chamber, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation joined federal prison health care receiver J. Clark Kelso in a signing ceremony witnessed by dozens of local and state officials and community members.

"This truly is an historic occasion," chamber President Rick Goucher said.

Prison hospital particulars

• 1.2 million square feet on more than 144 acres near southwest corner of Arch and Austin roads (site of the former Karl Holton Youth Correctional Facility), Stockton
• 1,722-bed subacute medical and mental health care facility
• $900 million projected construction cost
• $300 million projected gross annual operating cost; $250 million net operating cost based on saving $50 million annually from decreased population transfers and outside hospital costs
• 9,200 construction jobs and $1 billion in economic output
• 1,700 construction workers on site daily during seven-month peak period in summer 2012
• 2,400 permanent, year-round jobs with estimated $220 million payroll
• Ground preparation expected to begin in late fall, with construction to begin next spring; completion and activation of hospital projected for fall 2013

Recounting the process that started in 2007 when the chamber challenged the EIR over the 1,722-bed subacute California Health Care Facility-Stockton hospital's effects on the region, Goucher noted his approval when the city and the county joined the chamber's lawsuit against the state.

"That put more teeth into it," Goucher said. "Now we've gotten to the point where we're signing this. No, we didn't get everything we wanted, but at the end of the day, I think it will be good for the city, county and the state."

San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Chairman Carlos Villapudua and Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston agreed.

"This is a major milestone that produces a one-of-a-kind partnership between the city, county, state and the federal receiver," Villapudua said.

Johnston noted that objections needed to be raised to "protect our local community. We needed to involve the citizens in whatever happens in this process."

Key elements of the settlement include up to $1 million in sales tax revenue from the purchase of construction materials, hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct aid to schools and local government, $3 million in road improvements, and the state's commitment to hire county residents during the construction and activation phases of the new hospital.

Or, as Johnston said: "Jobs, jobs, jobs. The hope is these will be high-paying jobs with good benefits. The challenge now will be the education pipeline," to ensure the new hospital does not drain existing health care providers of trained personnel in a region chronically suffering from a shortage.

Attorney Steve Herum, a founding partner of the Herum Crabtree law firm, who was described by Johnston as "the Darth Vader of our effort" for his role in negotiating the settlement, deferred the praise and instead credited "the vision, boldness and courage of our local and elected leaders that took the step of standing up to the state for the well-being of the community. This is their day."

Contact reporter Joe Goldeen at (209) 546-8278 or Visit his blog at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In Case You Missed It: CDCR Provides GPS Monitoring at State Fair

CDCR Provides GPS Monitoring of Parolees During State Fair Ensuring Event is Family-Friendly Safe Zone

SACRAMENTO - A GPS safe zone monitoring parolee sex offenders — Operation Eagle Eye II — has been deployed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) at the California State Fair (July 14 - Aug. 1) for the second year... More

Friday, July 2, 2010

CDCR Releases 5 Year Roadmap in Strategic Plan 2010-2015

On June 30, 2010 the CDCR released the Strategic Plan for 2010-2015. This document is the result of numerous meetings and planning sessions with institutional senior managers as well as others in the CDCR Executive Staff.

To view the CDCR Strategic Plan 2010-2015, click here [PDF].

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Statewide Law Enforcement Access to "Real Time" CDCR Parolee Data Now Available

Working with local law enforcement, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today launched version 2.0 of its online parolee database that provides police and sheriff’s deputies faster and more thorough access to offender information, including photos and criminal background.

The enhanced tool, called the Parole Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS 2.0), was developed in partnership by the CDCR Division of Adult Parole Operations and Enterprise Information Services, and features a number of improvements including easier navigation, similar to an e-commerce website.

Like an e-commerce website, LEADS 2.0 has the ability to dig deep into a real time database and perform search functions that allows law enforcement agencies to validate the identity of individuals they have stopped, using specifics like a tattoo, physical descriptors, and other information. Additionally, all Non-Revocable Parole information is stored and disseminated to our law enforcement partners on this site as well.

It provides instant information including photos on more than 109,000 active parolees, is accessible via desktop, or a patrol vehicle, and is expected to be available on mobile devices like smart phones. The database also keeps records on inmates in pre-parole programs, as well as parolees who are at-large, have had revoked parole, have been deported and are in Non Revocable Parole (NRP), for a total of 207,000 records.

While earlier versions of the LEADS system have been in use since the late 1990s, this version is vastly superior and is designed to allow law enforcement to quickly find specific parolee information and can accommodate several thousand concurrent users checking out tips on individuals or run a background check of someone an officer believes may be a parolee.

The information in the LEADS 2.0 system is updated every 15 minutes, and has search functions that allow partner law enforcement agencies to find real time information on the status of a parolee they have made contact with, including Non Revocable Parole (NRP) status, PC 290 registration (including any field notes on an individual), and potentially any available victim contact information.

For more information on CDCR Parole and the LEADS policies go to:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Work Force Analysis for Proposed Facilities in San Joaquin County

Please see the attached link (PDF) for information on the following proposed Stockton Prison Healthcare Sites:
  • California Health Care Facility
  • DeWitt Nelson Converted Juvenile Justice Facility
  • Northern California Reentry Facility

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CDCR Breaks Ground on First AB 900 Construction Project

Awards Mental Health Facility Construction Contract to Brown Construction, Inc. of West Sacramento

CDCR broke ground June 15 on its first AB 900 construction project, a 64-bed intermediate care mental health facility at California Medical Facility (CMF) in Vacaville.

“We are very pleased to announce the construction of this mental health facility, the first of our AB 900 funded construction projects,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “Through this important project, CDCR will be able to provide appropriate care for inmates needing intermediate care services and help satisfy court orders to provide increased mental health care to inmates.”

The new, stand alone facility will include housing, treatment, support and administrative services that will help mitigate the state’s unmet licensed mental health bed deficiencies for inmates as part of the Coleman vs. Schwarzenegger class action lawsuit.

Construction is expected to be completed in August 2011 and be fully activated by the end of 2011. Funding for the $33.7 million project was authorized with the passage of the historic AB 900 legislation, which dedicates bond funding authority for a variety of prison construction projects.CDCR awarded the CMF project to Brown Construction Inc. of West Sacramento after a competitive bidding process involving 19 construction firms. Brown Construction will be joining other participants on the project team including staff from CDCR, consultants Kitchell CEM and Nacht & Lewis Architects among other sub-consultants.

The project also includes extending the existing electrified fence to encompass the new 44,000 square foot facility and adds two guard towers and 198 parking spaces for new staff.The project is expected to obtain a Silver certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for new construction rating system pursuant to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order #S-20-04. A LEED Silver rating, which is difficult to obtain in a correctional setting, promotes occupant well-being and lessens the structure’s environmental impacts.

The CMF project is the first of many AB 900 construction projects currently being developed by CDCR. It will be staffed and operated by employees of the California Department of Mental Health and CDCR.

Construction Quick Facts:

Firm: Brown Construction Incorporated, of West Sacramento
Total Project Cost: $33,671,000
Fund Source: AB 900 (GC 15819.40/Bond Funding)
Construction timeline: June 2010 start, Aug. 2011 completion
Facility Activation: December 2011
Contract #: FAC.09014

Link to CDCR Facilities, Planning, Construction and Management Web Page:

More photos of the groundbreaking ceremony can be found on our Flickr website:

Friday, May 28, 2010

CPOA Annual Training Symposium

This week the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA) held its Annual Training Symposium in Los Angeles. Secretary Cate updated the CPOA Board on what is going on at CDCR including an update on the budget. Additionally CPOA swore in a new slate of officers which includes Chief Jim McDonnell from the Long Beach Police Department as President. John Standish, the immediate Past President, was a great partner this past year. I want to thank John for his collaborative approach and his dedication to public safety on behalf of CPOA. Today, more then ever, working together is crucial and I look forward to working with Chief McDonnell in the coming year and know that he will work hard on behalf of CPOA.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Superintendent of Prison Education Appointed

Glenn Brooking has been appointed Superintendent of the Office of Correctional Education (OCE), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), by CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. Mr. Brooking is the first permanent superintendent appointed to lead rehabilitative education programs for inmates since 2006.

“During these challenging budget times, we have to better leverage the resources we have to deliver rehabilitative educational services in our prisons," said Elizabeth Siggins, Chief Deputy Secretary for Adult Programs. "We are pleased to have an education leader with Superintendent Brooking’s vast expertise and capabilities to take on this responsibility. With his leadership, we are pursuing innovative approaches to serve as many offenders as possible with quality education programming despite reduced funding.”

For more than 32 years, Mr. Brooking has provided education and administration services in the public school system and for CDCR’s Division of Juvenile Justice. Since February 2010, Mr. Brooking has served as Acting Superintendent of OCE. For three years prior to assuming that position, Mr. Brooking was the principal of California State Prison, Los Angeles County in Lancaster, where he elevated academic learning gains by 500 percent and increased General Education Development (GED) certificates earned by students by approximately 300 percent.
“We know that education is crucial for inmates to succeed when they are released from prison and an important component of reducing recidivism,” said Superintendent Brooking. “I am committed to assuring that our new education models give offenders the best academic and vocational opportunities possible that use our resources as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

This month, CDCR began to phase in its new, streamlined academic education models based on best practices in adult education which use a combination of classroom instruction and independent study. CDCR is increasing access to literacy, promoting GED preparation and focusing on vocational programs with current industry-certified and market-driven trades that can be completed in 12 months – programs that have been shown to reduce recidivism.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CDCR Joined by Fresno Law Enforcement Agencies to Launch Major Gang Sweep

The CDCR, joined by a task force of regional law enforcement agencies, conducted a major gang sweep in the cities of Fresno and Clovis, and increased the use of Global Positioning System technology to track gang members.

The increased use of GPS monitoring of gang members was made possible through recent legislation (SB3x18) passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that expands the use of GPS monitoring to 1,000 gang members statewide this year.

“California has taken a bold step in focusing its attention and resources on those gang members identified as posing the highest risk to the public,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “We are committed to improving supervision of gang members which will help increase public safety.”
During operation “Gang Zero Tolerance”, 61 gang associated members were returned to custody for violating their parole terms, nearly 200 known gang members and associates on parole were visited by agents, and 80 GPS tracking devices were strapped onto identified gang members. In Fresno alone, the parole unit is expanding by an additional three GPS gang caseloads as part of the reform efforts.

“The positive results from this sweep are a testament to the dedication of CDCR and our partners in law enforcement who made it a success,” said Robert Ambroselli, Director of CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations.
Operation “Gang Zero Tolerance” was comprised of 10 teams of CDCR parole agents and agents from its Office of Correctional Safety, Fresno Police Department, Clovis Police Department, Department of Fish and Game (K-9), Madera Police Department, Madera County Gang Task Force, California Highway Patrol’s Investigative Service Unit Team, CDCR’s Division of Adult Institutions (CDCR Transportation, Institutional Gang Investigators), U.S. Marshals, and the Fresno County Child Protective Service Team.

The objective of Operation “Gang Zero Tolerance” was to assist in protecting the community by assuring parolees are in compliance with their special conditions of parole. The teams conducted home contacts with parolees and searched their residences to ensure compliance with parole and possible involvement in criminal behavior.

In October 2005, CDCR began implementing a High Risk Gang Offender Pilot Program using GPS technology as a tool to monitor and track the movements of known gang members. GPS is one of many tools CDCR parole agents use to monitor high-risk parolees who are deemed likely to re-offend.

CDCR’s parole division currently monitors nearly 160 high risk gang members on eight caseloads (or 20 gang members to one agent ratio), in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Fresno, and Sacramento. The program will increase this year to 1,000 gang members statewide.

Recent parole reforms reduces supervision of parolees who the Penal Code classifies as non-serious, non-violent and non-sex offenders and who are low risk to reoffend. The reduced supervision of these individuals allows agents to improve its supervision of those deemed higher risk to society.

The GPS Gang Program is restricted to parolees who have been identified as having a history of gang involvement, activity and/or association. Parole staff will be expected to utilize field experience, information from law enforcement agencies, and other relevant case factors in determining the appropriate use of GPS on gang members posing the greatest risk to the community.

Additionally, the new law provided more than $5 million in reallocated funding for the California Parole Apprehension Team to actively search and apprehend high-risk parole absconders. The Governor’s budget realized cost savings from implementing Non-Revocable Parole but reinvested a portion of the savings to strengthen programs that focus on the higher-risk parole population.

Click here to view a video of the event.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CDCR Staff Recognized for Efforts During 2009 Riot

On May 14, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) recognized staff during a ceremony held at the California Institution for Men (CIM) for employees who exhibited extraordinary bravery and conduct in the 2009 riot at CIM where public safety was at risk. More than 60 employees from CIM and nearby institutions who participated in the crisis response team with the August 8-9 2009 riot were honored with Unit Citations.

The Unit Citation is for great courage displayed by a departmental unit in the course of conducting an operation in the face of immediate life-threatening circumstances. In addition to the more then 60 Unit Citations the Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to Public Information Officer, Lieutenant Mark Hargrove. The Distinguished Service Medal is for an employee’s exemplary work conduct with the Department for a period of months or years, or involvement in a specific assignment of unusual benefit to the Department.

Aside from our remarkable staff, we cannot forget to thank our local partners that provided mutual aid during this catastrophic event. The coordination between CDCR and these agencies resulted in no escapes and no deaths and their hard work is to be commended. The agencies that provided aid were: the Chino Police Department, Chino Valley Independent Fire District, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (Chino Hills Police Department, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana Stations, The West Valley Detention Center, and the Aviation Division), Ontario Police Department, Upland Police Department, American Medical Response, CALFIRE – Prado Conservation Camp.

Furthermore, Acting Warden Aref Fakhoury was officially sworn in as Warden, which was a surprise to those attending. Many local elected officials and community leaders attended the event to show their support to our brave staff and CDCR appreciates the support of these influential members of the community. Overall it was a great day for CDCR.

Welcome to External Affairs

What is The Office of External Affairs?

Before the Office of External Affairs (OEA) was created there was disconnect between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and its stakeholders. The OEA was established to function as a liaison between the CDCR and its external stakeholders, fostering a streamlined approach to information sharing. These stakeholders include local and statewide law enforcement groups, community and faith-based organizations, city and county government officials, nonprofit organizations, and any other community group or organization. The OEA serves to keep CDCR stakeholders up to date with events and news concerning the Department and values the input of each of their stakeholders. In addition, the OEA is responsible for identifying surrogates from media market to back CDCR when support or clarification is needed.

The OEA is a small division consisting of a Chief, Erin Sasse, and a Deputy Chief, Laura Enderton.

For External Affairs related questions email: