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