Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Report Shows Recidivism Rate Continues to Decline


From a CDCR press release issued yesterday, October 29, 2012:
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today released the 2012 Outcome Evaluation Report, the third in a series of annual reports tracking the recidivism rates of adult offenders released from state prison.  The report shows that recidivism rates have declined for the second straight year. 
The focus of the 2012 report are the inmates released from CDCR during fiscal year 2007-08, a pivotal year when CDCR began using risk and needs assessments to better rehabilitate and supervise its offender population.  These inmates had a 63.7 percent three-year recidivism rate, down from 65.1 percent the year before.  They also committed 1,450 fewer crimes than those released the year before, despite being a larger group of inmates.
“We’re pleased to see that recidivism rates are improving and that the reforms we undertook in 2007 and 2008 are working,” CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said.
In 2007 CDCR began using the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) and the next year began using the California Static Risk Assessment (CSRA) and the Parole Violation Decision Making Instrument (PVDMI).
COMPAS is a research-based risk and needs assessment tool used by CDCR in the placement, supervision and case management of offenders. It helps CDCR staff assign the right inmates to the right programs at the right time based on individual risk and needs assessments, reducing the likelihood of reoffending. All inmates are assessed using COMPAS before their release from prison. The report finds that, of those inmates with a substance abuse need as identified by COMPAS, those who receive in-prison substance abuse treatment and aftercare recidivate at less than half the rate of those who receive neither (30.7 percent compared to 62.7 percent, respectively).
CDCR partnered with the University of California, Irvine, to create a validated risk assessment tool to inform decision-making for parolees. The CSRA is a 22-item actuarial risk prediction instrument that predicts the likelihood to recidivate and moved CDCR from the use of an offense-based system.  The report finds that the CSRA performs well at predicting the risk for recidivism.
The PVDMI, launched statewide in November 2008, assesses a parolee’s risk for recidivism as calculated by the CSRA and the severity of the parole violation, based on a severity index, to determine a consistent and appropriate response to the violation.  Since the implementation of the PVDMI, fewer parolees have been returned to prison.
The report also contains a new section on the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison, a college program that began in 1996. Inmates who graduated from the program had a very low rate of recidivism after one year out of prison, as compared to a matched comparison group of similar inmates (5.4 percent compared to 21.2 percent, respectively). 
In fiscal year 2007-08, 116,015 people were released or re-released from state prison. The in-depth 2012 report focuses on the 73,885 inmates who returned to prison within three years of release. It also looks at demographics, including gender, age, ethnicity, sentence, length of stay, mental health status, and other factors. CDCR measures recidivism by arrests, convictions and returns to prison and uses the latter measure – returns to prison – as its primary measure of recidivism. CDCR’s return-to-prison measure includes offenders released from prison after having served their sentence for a crime as well as offenders released from prison after having served their term for a parole violation.
Future reports will monitor how the implementation of realignment legislation impacts recidivism.
The 2012 Outcome Evaluation Report is published by CDCR’s Office of Research, which provides research data analysis and evaluation to implement evidence-based programs and practices, strengthen policy, inform management decisions and ensure accountability.
To view the entire report, please visit http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/ARB_FY_0708_Recidivism_Report_10.23.12.pdf

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 2012 Newsletter

Transition celebration marks new beginning for CDCR parolees in Stockton

CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operation (DAPO) and BI Incorporated hosted a transition celebration recently for 22 offenders who successfully completed this intensive criminal justice program. BI Incorporated is the operator of an innovative community-based program for parolees in Stockton.

The goals of the programs at the Stockton Day Reporting Center (DRC) include reducing the prison population by diverting individuals to community supervision, and helping clients stay crime-free once released. Many of these graduates entered the DRC after violating conditions of parole. All graduates are either employed of enrolled in community college.



CDCR releases report, The Future of California Corrections: A blueprint to save billions of dollars, end federal court oversight and improve the prison system

In the wake of a declining prison population resulting from Realignment, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today released a plan to cut billions in spending, comply with multiple federal court orders for inmate medical, mental health and dental care, and significantly improve the operation of California’s prison system. The plan is titled “The Future of California Corrections: A Blueprint to Save Billions of Dollars, End Federal Oversight, and Improve the Prison System.”

“My goal is to end federal court oversight of medical, mental health and dental care by next year,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “This plan builds on the improvements made possible by Realignment. It will go a long way towards making our correctional system more efficient and secure and, at the same time, lower our high recidivism rates.”

CDCR’s plan will:


  • Reduce CDCR’s annual budget by more than $1.5 billion upon full implementation, including $160 million dollars in savings from closing the California Rehabilitation Center; 
  • Eliminate $4.1 billion in construction projects that are no longer needed because of population reductions; 
  • Eliminate $2.2 billion annually that would have been spent had Realignment not been implemented; 
  • Return all out-of-state inmates to California by 2016 to bring back jobs and manage offenders closer to home while saving millions in taxpayer dollars; 
  • Satisfy the U.S. Supreme Court’s order to lower the state’s prison population; 
  • Satisfy the federal courts that CDCR has achieved and maintained constitutional levels of medical, mental health and dental care to avoid costly oversight; 
  • Incorporate a standardized staffing formula to better manage staff levels and cost; 
  • Improve the classification system to provide proper inmate housing placement and reduce the reliance on costly high-security facilities.


This plan ends a long-term uptick in corrections costs. CDCR accounted for just three percent of General Fund spending 30 years ago, which increased to 11 percent in FY 2008-09. CDCR’s plan will lower it to 7.5 percent in FY 2015-16. When realignment is fully implemented, CDCR expenditures will drop by 18 percent overall.

CDCR has responded to a string of class-action lawsuits dating back to 1990 challenging the levels of medical, mental health and dental care for inmates. In 2006, federal courts appointed a federal court-appointed Receiver to bring health care up to constitutional standards. Mental health care is overseen by a Special Master and dental care is monitored by Court Experts.

“CDCR has made substantial progress in assuring the courts that it is providing Constitutionally-mandated levels of care to inmates,” said Cate. “We are committed to ending federal oversight of our prisons’ healthcare systems.”

The courts have indicated that California is making vast improvements and is on track to end the Receivership. Earlier this year, a federal judge cited “significant progress” in medical care delivery and wrote that “the end of the Receivership appears to be in sight.” The court also called for negotiations to take place on returning health care authority to CDCR.

Similar progress is being made in other aspects of prison health care. Mental health bed waiting lists that were once hundreds of patients long have fallen sharply or been eliminated. Dental care has improved markedly as well, with 30 out of 33 prisons having passed audits of their dental program and the remainder expected to pass soon.

Many of the improvements are due to the reduction in prison overcrowding made possible by Public Safety Realignment signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. last year.

Since Public Safety Realignment took effect, CDCR’s offender population has dropped by approximately 22,000 inmates and 16,000 parolees. Overcrowding has been reduced from a high of more than 200 percent of design capacity to just 155 percent today. The thousands of makeshift beds in gymnasiums and dayrooms that CDCR had been forced to use for years are now gone.

“Realignment has given California a historic opportunity to invest in a prison system that is not just less crowded, but more efficient, while saving billions of state taxpayer dollars,” said Cate.

CDCR’s spring population projections suggest that the department may fall just short of meeting the final court-ordered crowding-reduction benchmark. In June 2013, the department’s prison population is projected to be at 141 percent of design capacity rather than the 137.5 percent goal set by the federal Three-Judge Court and affirmed by the Supreme Court. The measures proposed in this plan will allow the state to seek and obtain a modification of the order to raise the final benchmark to 145 percent of design capacity. In its order, the Supreme Court anticipated this as a possibility and said the state “will be free to move” the court for modification. 

“We are confident that this plan will satisfy the court’s order,” said Cate.

To read or download a copy of the plan “The Future of California Corrections: A Blueprint to Save Billions of Dollars, End Federal Oversight, and Improve the Prison System”, go to www.cdcr.ca.gov.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CDCR Releases Plan to Cut Billions in Prison Spending and Meet Federal Court Mandates


Federal health-care oversight should end by 2013

SACRAMENTO – In the wake of a declining prison population resulting from Realignment, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today released a plan to cut billions in spending, comply with multiple federal court orders for inmate medical, mental health and dental care, and significantly improve the operation of California’s prison system. The plan is titled “The Future of California Corrections: A Blueprint to Save Billions of Dollars, End Federal Oversight, and Improve the Prison System.”

“My goal is to end federal court oversight of medical, mental health and dental care by next year,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “This plan builds on the improvements made possible by Realignment. It will go a long way towards making our correctional system more efficient and secure and, at the same time, lower our high recidivism rates.”

CDCR’s plan will:
· Reduce CDCR’s annual budget by more than $1.5 billion upon full implementation, including $160 million dollars in savings from closing the California Rehabilitation Center;

· Eliminate $4.1 billion in construction projects that are no longer needed because of population reductions;

· Eliminate $2.2 billion annually that would have been spent had Realignment not been implemented;

· Return all out-of-state inmates to California by 2016 to bring back jobs and manage offenders closer to home while saving millions in taxpayer dollars;

· Satisfy the U.S. Supreme Court’s order to lower the state’s prison population;

· Satisfy the federal courts that CDCR has achieved and maintained constitutional levels of medical, mental health and dental care to avoid costly oversight;

· Incorporate a standardized staffing formula to better manage staff levels and cost;

· Improve the classification system to provide proper inmate housing placement and reduce the reliance on costly high-security facilities.
This plan ends a long-term uptick in corrections costs. CDCR accounted for just three percent of General Fund spending 30 years ago, which increased to 11 percent in FY 2008-09. CDCR’s plan will lower it to 7.5 percent in FY 2015-16. When realignment is fully implemented, CDCR expenditures will drop by 18 percent overall.

CDCR has responded to a string of class-action lawsuits dating back to 1990 challenging the levels of medical, mental health and dental care for inmates. In 2006, federal courts appointed a federal court-appointed Receiver to bring health care up to constitutional standards. Mental health care is overseen by a Special Master and dental care is monitored by Court Experts.

“CDCR has made substantial progress in assuring the courts that it is providing Constitutionally-mandated levels of care to inmates,” said Cate. “We are committed to ending federal oversight of our prisons’ healthcare systems.”

The courts have indicated that California is making vast improvements and is on track to end the Receivership. Earlier this year, a federal judge cited “significant progress” in medical care delivery and wrote that “the end of the Receivership appears to be in sight.” The court also called for negotiations to take place on returning health care authority to CDCR.  

Similar progress is being made in other aspects of prison health care. Mental health bed waiting lists that were once hundreds of patients long have fallen sharply or been eliminated. Dental care has improved markedly as well, with 30 out of 33 prisons having passed audits of their dental program and the remainder expected to pass soon.

Many of the improvements are due to the reduction in prison overcrowding made possible by Public Safety Realignment signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. last year.

Since Public Safety Realignment took effect, CDCR’s offender population has dropped by approximately 22,000 inmates and 16,000 parolees. Overcrowding has been reduced from a high of more than 200 percent of design capacity to just 155 percent today. The thousands of makeshift beds in gymnasiums and dayrooms that CDCR had been forced to use for years are now gone.

“Realignment has given California a historic opportunity to invest in a prison system that is not just less crowded, but more efficient, while saving billions of state taxpayer dollars,” said Cate.

CDCR’s spring population projections suggest that the department may fall just short of meeting the final court-ordered crowding-reduction benchmark. In June 2013, the department’s prison population is projected to be at 141 percent of design capacity rather than the 137.5 percent goal set by the federal Three-Judge Court and affirmed by the Supreme Court. The measures proposed in this plan will allow the state to seek and obtain a modification of the order to raise the final benchmark to 145 percent of design capacity. In its order, the Supreme Court anticipated this as a possibility and said the state “will be free to move” the court for modification.
“We are confident that this plan will satisfy the court’s order,” said Cate.
To read or download a copy of the plan “The Future of California Corrections: A Blueprint to Save Billions of Dollars, End Federal Oversight, and Improve the Prison System”, go to www.cdcr.ca.gov.

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2012
Contact: Jeffrey Callison
(916) 445-4950

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Executive Assignment Changes

After two years with the department, Darby Kernan, Assistant Secretary of Legislation, has accepted a position with the California State Senate working for Senator Darrell Steinberg on public safety issues. Aaron McGuire will be replacing her effective April 2, 2012. Mr. McGuire’s previous assignment was working in Governor Brown’s Administration as deputy legislative secretary.

On March 28th, the retirement of Richard Subia, Director of the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI), was announced. Mr. Subia has been with CDCR for many years and has shown true leadership and dedication to the department. Replacing him in an acting capacity will be Kathleen Dickinson, Deputy Director of Facility Support - DAI. Ms. Dickinson has worked for the department since 1984, previously serving as warden at the California Medical Facility.

Lastly, Terri McDonald has been appointed Undersecretary of Operations, where she has served as acting undersecretary since the departure of Scott Kernan in October 2011. Ms. McDonald has served with CDCR in various positions since 1988. She was chief deputy secretary of adult operations from 2009 to 2011; associate director of reception centers from 2007 to 2009; chief for the out-of-state correctional facilities from 2006 to 2007; correctional administrator from 2004 to 2006; correctional captain at Folsom State Prison and the California Medical Facility from 2001 to 2004; correctional lieutenant and correctional sergeant at the California Medical Facility from 1993 to 2001; and correctional officer at the California Medical Facility and the Sierra Conservation Center from 1988 to 1993.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Governor Brown Announces Appointment

Terri McDonald, 48, of Sacramento, has been appointed undersecretary of operations at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where she has served as acting undersecretary of operations since 2011.

McDonald has served with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in various positions since 1988. She was chief deputy secretary of adult operations from 2009 to 2011, associate director of reception centers from 2007 to 2009, chief for the out-of-state correctional facilities from 2006 to 2007, correctional administrator from 2004 to 2006, correctional captain at Folsom State Prison and the California Medical Facility from 2001 to 2004, correctional lieutenant and correctional sergeant at the California Medical Facility from 1993 to 2001 and correctional officer at the California Medical Facility and the Sierra Conservation Center from 1988 to 1993. She is a member of the American Correctional Association and the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents. This position requires Senate confirmation.

Friday, March 9, 2012

State Awards $602 million to Counties for Jail Construction

In a major action to ease overcrowding and effectively implement Governor Brown’s Realignment program, the Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) yesterday, on March 8, awarded $602 million to 11 counties for the expansion or construction of county jails. 

“This provides a major boost for California counties to house local inmates safely and effectively,” said Matthew Cate, CSA Chairman and CDCR Secretary. “These awards, coupled with the ongoing funding to counties, demonstrate California’s commitment to helping our counties successfully implement Realignment.”

Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties were awarded $100 million each. Stanislaus will receive $80 million, and Tulare and Santa Barbara $60 million each. The CSA also awarded $33 million to both Kings and Shasta counties; $23.626 million to Imperial County; $10.255 million to Sutter County; and $3 million to Madera County.

The bond funding was authorized as part of the 2011 Public Safety Realignment legislation. The funding supports the fundamental realignment of responsibilities for lower-level offenders and adult parolees from state to local jurisdictions. The jail construction funding decisions are made by the CSA, which operates within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

The $602 million award was made at CSA’s bi-monthly public meeting in Sacramento after evaluating applications from 20 counties. The funds were distributed among three groups of counties: large, medium and small population. The CSA also recommended Kern and San Benito counties receive $100 million and $15 million, respectively, after legislation is enacted to shift more funds from an earlier allocation into the current round.

To date, the CSA has awarded approximately $1.2 billion to 22 counties for jail construction. The bonds were first authorized by Assembly Bill 900 in 2007.

State’s Commitment to Counties Under Realignment

Under Realignment, California’s most significant correctional policy change in decades, state prisons are responsible for housing and rehabilitating serious and violent offenders serving long or life sentences, and counties have the responsibility for lower-level inmates and parole violators. In some counties, this requires more jail space.

To help the counties handle these new responsibilities, a permanent revenue stream has been dedicated to help pay for training, hiring staff, and implementing new rehabilitative programs. Using a portion of both the Vehicle License Fee and the State sales tax, more than $400 million was provided to the counties last year. A further $850 million is being provided this year, and State support is expected to grow to more than $1 billion in 2013-2014. Governor Brown has also committed to seeking constitutional protection for the local Realignment funds.

More information about Realignment is available at www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment.   


Information about the Corrections Standards Authority and Jail Construction funds is available at www.cdcr.ca.gov/csa.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

CDCR Announces Final Deactivation of Non-Traditional Beds

Inmate population reduction eliminates iconic symbol of overcrowding crisis

After more than two decades of using non-traditional beds, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is no longer double- and triple-bunking inmates in areas that were not designed for housing, such as gymnasiums and dayrooms.

On February 23, CDCR removed the last of such beds and has begun renovation projects.

“Non-traditional beds became the iconic symbol of California’s prison overcrowding crisis,” CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said. “Now, gyms once filled with inmates in triple-bunk beds are open and can be used for their intended purpose. This demonstrates how much progress California has made in improving inmate conditions and employee safety.”

On October 25, 2006, CDCR reached its all-time-high inmate population of 173,479, more than 200 percent of design capacity in its 33 adult institutions. August 2007 marked the peak of CDCR’s use of non-traditional beds at 19,618 in 72 gyms and 125 dayrooms.

On May 23, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed an order from a federal Three-Judge Court that the State of California must reduce its inmate population to 137.5 percent of design capacity within two years.

Last year, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bills AB 109 and AB 117, historic legislation to address the Court’s order in a safe, effective way, while providing local governments with funding for Realignment and without early releases of state prison inmates.

California’s prison population has declined rapidly with the implementation of public safety realignment and actions by CDCR to reduce the state inmate population. As of February 15, 2012, CDCR’s inmate population in its 33 adult institutions was 127,770.

Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI)

Before being fully converted to a reception center in 2002, DVI offered 13 vocational educational programs to inmates, including Painting, Welding Machine Shop, Vocational Office Machine Repair, Shoe Repair and Electronics.

With the decrease in inmates returning to the custody of the CDCR, the mission at DVI has also changed. It is in the process of transitioning back to a Level III mainline institution with a secondary mission as a reception center. With this change it is anticipated that DVI will again offer vocational programs to the inmate population. These vocational programs likely will include: Vocational Welding, Plumbing, HVAC, Auto Body and Office Services.

In 2003, a riot at DVI in Z-Dorm left nine inmates and one CDCR employee injured. A contributing factor behind the riot was the overcrowded conditions at the institution, which was operating at 218 percent of design capacity. The riot involved inmates housed in a former gymnasium that was divided into two large dormitories: Z-Dorm and Y-Dorm. Together, the dormitories housed 690 inmates.

At one point, DVI was operating at 238 percent of design capacity with more than 1,000 non-traditional beds in the institution. On January 20, 2012, DVI deactivated the institution’s final non-traditional beds by closing Z-Dorm. The non-traditional beds in the Y-Dorm were deactivated on November 1, 2011.

The building is now being restored to its intended purpose as a place for inmate recreation and rehabilitative programming.

California Institution for Men

The Reception Center Central Facility-D Gym at California Institution for Men (CIM) housed inmates in non-traditional beds for approximately 25 years. In early November 2011, CIM removed the beds and worked to convert the gymnasium back for inmate recreation. After more than two decades of housing inmates, the gym’s basketball backboards were still functional and could be raised and lowered.

For before and after photos of non-traditional beds, contact CDCR’s Office of Communications or visit CDCR’s Flickr page here at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/37381942@N04/sets/72157628539832333/.


For a list of actions CDCR has taken to reduce its inmate population, visit CDCR’s website: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/docs/FS-Actions-ReduceInmatePop.pdf.

For background information on the Three-Judge Court order, visit CDCR’s website: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/docs/2011-05-23-Three-Judge-Panel-Background.pdf

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just Released: LAO's Realignment Assessment

The non-partisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released a report yesterday, February 22, 2012, entitled, “The 2012-13 Budget: The 2011 Realignment of Adult Offenders – An Update.”  The update includes a summary of the status of Realignment and recommendations for ensuring its long-term success.

The report can be found on the LAO home page at http://www.lao.ca.gov/laoapp/main.aspx

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Managerial Assignments

Effective December 31, 2011, three new managerial assignments took place within CDCR's Division of Adult Institutions (DAI):
  • Richard J. Subia was assigned as acting Director, DAI
  • Kelly Harrington was assigned as acting Deputy Director, Facility Operations, DAI
  • Mike Stainer was assigned as acting Associate Director of the High Security Males Mission
These assignments will remain in effect until further notice.

CDCR Meets First Court Benchmark to Reduce Prison Overcrowding

Inmate population drops to less than 133,000
As a result of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s historic Realignment program, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced that they have cut prison overcrowding by more than 11,000 inmates over the last six months. This reduction was announced in a monthly status report filed today with the federal Three-Judge Court. The report demonstrates that CDCR is achieving compliance with the population reduction order affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce overcrowding by 34,000 inmates over two years.

“Meeting the Three-Judge Court’s six-month benchmark to reduce prison overcrowding was our top priority,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “Reducing overcrowding enhances safety and security for staff, inmates and the public. It also increases inmates’ access to medical and mental health care, and gives us more space to provide rehabilitative programs.”

The reduction of the number of state prisoners was largely accomplished by the passage of Assembly Bill 109, 2011 Public Safety Realignment, historic legislation designed to enable California to close the revolving door of low-level offenders cycling in and out of state prisons.

Implemented October 1, 2011, Public Safety Realignment shifts responsibilities and funding for non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenders from the State to the counties, which can more effectively sanction and rehabilitate offenders. It also enables the State to safely reduce the prison population without resorting to a wholesale release of inmates from prison.

On December 28, 2011, the population of California’s 33 prisons was 132,887, or 166.8 percent of design capacity. Under the Three-Judge Court’s prisoner-reduction order, affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2011, the inmate population in California’s 33 prisons must be no more than:
· 167 percent of design capacity by December 27, 2011, (133,016 inmates)
· 155 percent by June 27, 2012,
· 147 percent by December 27, 2012, and
· 137.5 percent by June 27, 2013.
Design capacity is the number of inmates a prison can house based on one inmate per cell, single-level bunks in dormitories, and no beds in places not designed for housing. Current design capacity for all 33 of CDCR’s institutions is 79,650.

--------------------------------------------
Copies of monthly status reports (including the documents filed for the six-month benchmark), a graph tracking the prison population, and other up-to-date information are available on CDCR’s Three-Judge Court webpage:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/3_judge_panel_decision.html.