Wednesday, March 30, 2011

KQED Interview with Secretary Cate

Secretary Cate was on KQED public radio this morning. The interview covered a wide range of corrections related topics. The link to the interview, recorded live this morning, is below:

Monday, March 28, 2011


CDCR announced that it was pleased by the March 21 ruling of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California to terminate Madrid v. Cate, a 21-year-old class-action lawsuit regarding use of force, medical and mental health care at Pelican Bay State Prison.

“The department has made tremendous efforts over the years to satisfy the court’s orders in this case, resulting in system-wide improvements to medical and mental health care and reforms to CDCR’s internal affairs and disciplinary process,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “The court’s decision to terminate this lawsuit means CDCR has successfully complied with the court’s orders to implement reforms of its use-of-force policy, to review and analyze all use of force incidents, to create a process to ensure inmates receive medical and mental health care that meet constitutional standards, and to create an employee investigation and disciplinary process that is fair, consistent and transparent.

The lawsuit was filed in 1990 on behalf of inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison and claimed prison and department officials failed to adequately investigate allegations of excessive force and that medical and mental health care provided at the prison violated the U.S. Constitution's Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

CDCR developed comprehensive remedial plans to address the court’s concerns with progress monitored by a court-appointed special master.

“As a result of this lawsuit, CDCR created inter-disciplinary processes for the delivery of mental health treatment to inmates. These processes laid the foundation for the delivery of mental health care statewide and has helped made our prisons safer,” Cate said.

System-wide reforms to the investigation and discipline of employees were approved by the court in 2004.

“CDCR has complied with the Madrid mandates and successfully created a model internal affairs investigation and employee disciplinary process. Investigations are consistent, thorough, fair and transparent. The Madrid mandates also provided oversight of employee investigations by the formation of the Bureau of Independent Review in 2004, part of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In its last report, the OIG noted that CDCR has substantially complied with the policies and procedures mandated by the Madrid court,” Cate said.

On October 16, 2008, the special master filed his final report on the use of force, recommending ending force-related remedial plan monitoring and related court orders.

On January 21, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a response to the court, acknowledging CDCR’s use-of-force policy had been adopted and implemented and that comprehensive training for all staff regarding the policy would be completed by August 1, 2011. Accordingly, it did not oppose the dismissal of the case.

“CDCR’s use of force policy is based on law and there are processes allowing for the review and analysis of all use of force incidents statewide. I am pleased with the hard work of CDCR staff in implementing these critical reforms. The court’s order to terminate this lawsuit demonstrates the acknowledgement and approval of the progress CDCR has made over the years,” Cate said.

Inmate Dorothea Puente Dies of Natural Causes

Central California Women’s Facility inmate Dorothea Puente, 82, who had been serving two life-without-parole sentences for two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances and a concurrent 15-years-to-life sentence for second-degree murder, died of natural causes at 10:15 a.m. Sunday, March 27, 2011.

Puente was convicted on December 10, 1993, by a Monterey County jury – a change of venue from Sacramento County – for the murders of Leona Carpenter, Dorothy Miller and Benjamin Fink, tenants in her Sacramento boarding house. The jury could not reach a verdict on six other murder charges.

Puente was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on December 17, 1993.

In 1982, Puente was sent to state prison from Sacramento County with a five-year sentence for giving drugs to aid in a felony and grand theft. She was released to parole on February 19, 1985, and discharged from parole in 1986.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chuckawalla Inmates Donate to JROTC

The Chuckawalla Valley State Prison's (CVSP) Inmate Veterans Group donated $975 to the Palo Verde High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) in an effort to help offset costs associated with the program.

The money was raised through an inmate food sale. Earnings from such sales are donated to a non-profit organization selected by the inmate group conducting the sale.

The JROTC's check was presented to Master Sergeant Walker, senior instructor.

"The members of CVSP's Veterans Group are grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve by giving back to the community," said inmate Latscha, chairman, Facility D Veterans Group. "This donation will help to provide needed supplies to make the Palo Verde High School JROTC program better. Our plan is to continue to donate to the Palo Verde High School's JROTC program as funds come available."

Monday, March 7, 2011

CDCR’s Adult Parole Operations Reduces Number of Parolees-at-Large by more than 3,000 in Past Year. Number of Absconders Drops to 16-year Low.

Since the inception of the California Parole Apprehension Team, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations has located and/or arrested 3,045 parolees-at-large in a little more than a year of operation.

“I’m proud of our dedicated apprehension teams, global positioning satellite specialists and parole agents who are clearly making our communities safer every day,” said CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations Director Robert Ambroselli.

The number of parolees who have absconded parole supervision in California has declined from 15,927 in January 2010 when CPAT units were formed to 12,882 in February 2011. The decline of more than 3,000 at-large parolees in just over a year is the quickest and most significant drop in the number of parolees-at-large in California history. The greatest number of at-large parolees in California occurred in 2003 when there were 19,954. The current 12,882 parolees-at-large is the lowest number in the 16 years that such figures have been kept. The initial count of at-large parolees started in 1995 when 17,688 parolees were reported as absconders.

One recent effort targeting absconded and non-compliant paroles who are sex-offenders or gang-members was dubbed “Operation Safe Playgrounds.” Updated statistics show that 277 of the 407 parolees arrested state-wide during the mid-November sweep by CPAT, are still behind bars. Those parole violators are serving up to a year in state prison, with the average being five additional months behind bars. For more information on the “Operation Safe Playgrounds”, visit CDCR’s web site at and click on the Parole tab.

CPAT agents have extensive training in fugitive apprehension, database searches, social networking, field tactics and firearms training at CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety Academy. CPAT teams consist of a Regional Intelligence Unit in each of four regional offices and multiple field apprehension teams throughout the regions.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

California Coalition Against Sexual Assualt for Denim Day California

SAVE THE DATE! Wear Your Best Pair of Denim.
Please join the California Coalition Against Sexual Assualt for Denim Day California.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
West Steps of the California State Capitol

Phillip Ung
(916) 446-2520 ext. 317

In 1999, the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans. The Judge argued, "because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them," concluding "it was no longer rape but consensual sex." Wearing jeans is a symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about sexual assault. Join other leaders in your jeans, and sign the pledge to end sexual assualt.

Crime Victims United of California March on the Capitol

March on the Capitol

Crime Victims United of California Presents:
MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2011
West Step _ 10th Street
Sponsored by CCPOA

Invited Guest:
Governor Jerry Brown

Information Booths Open at 10:00 am
Program Begins 11:45 am

CCPOA will be providing brown bag lunches. Please contact Crime Victims United at 530-885-9544 for lunch tickets. (You must have a ticket to recieve a lunch. Tickets are limited)

Table reservation deadline: April 1, 2011
Photo submission deadline: March 11, 2011

Crime Victims United of California is the only organization of its kind - using education, legislative advocacy and political action to enhance public safety, promote effective crime-reduction measures and strengthen the rights of crime victims.

CVU is comprised of two distinct, yet complementary groups - a legislative advocacy arm that works to strengthen victims' rights laws and a political action committee that lends its endorsement and financial backing to pro-victim candidates.

To reserve a table or submit a photo of your loved one click on the below link:
click here

Crime Victims United
Harriet Salarno