Friday, March 11, 2016

California regains control of second prison's health care



California regained responsibility for providing medical care at a second state prison on Thursday as it slowly makes progress toward ending a decade of federal control.
J. Clark Kelso, the federal court-appointed receiver, turned operations at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad back over to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The prison holds more than 5,000 minimum and medium security inmates about 140 miles southeast of San Francisco.

Kelso acted despite the lingering concerns of attorneys representing inmates in the long-running class-action lawsuit over poor prison medical care, said Don Specter, director of the nonprofit Prison Law Office. Attorneys and court-appointed experts found continued problems with the quality and type of care being provided, so Kelso and department officials agreed to have the court's experts review inmates' care in about six months to see if conditions have improved.

"We kind of reached a middle ground with the state and Mr. Kelso," Specter said. "Here's a prison that had some problems, so we'll see if they can fix them."

In June, Kelso returned health care at Folsom State Prison to the state. But U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco said a year ago that the state must successfully operate all 34 adult institutions for a year before he considers ending his control.

The Folsom and Soledad prisons were the first two to receive passing grades from the state inspector general last year.

The inspector general has found, however, that a third of the dozen prisons he has inspected still are providing inadequate care. Conditions at four prisons continue to have problems that in some cases are similar to those Henderson found when he determined that an average of an inmate each week was dying of medical malpractice or neglect.

The state has since spent $2 billion for new prison medical facilities, doubled its annual prison health care budget to nearly $1.7 billion and reduced its prison population by more than 40,000 inmates.

For information about the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, please contact Albert Rivas, Deputy Chief, Office of External Affairs at (916) 324-6508 or email albert.rivas@cdcr.ca.gov

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

CDCR Partners with Judge Wendy Getty to Divert Adults from Prison

Substance abuse recovery is a challenging path from which people often lose their way. For some, the process requires clean and sober living environments, substance abuse counseling and education, a strong support system, and judicial supervision.

Judge Wendy Getty, who presided over the Fairfield Adult Drug Court in Solano County said the battle to stay sober is similar to the challenges that fire victims face. Ongoing substance abuse creates a feeling of loss, helplessness, pain, and, in worst cases, may take a life.

The men and women graduating from adult drug court work hard to change their lives, leaving behind the devastation their drug addictions caused in their lives, their families’ lives and even in the communities in which they live.

Community-based partners are critical to the success of any drug court. Partners staff the drug court team. They build rapport with, and offer services to, participants. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) provides participants with support during the program by attending Adult Drug Court hearings to recognize sobriety benchmarks. CDCR also advises the drug court team and works with individual participants to use available resources to successfully keep them out of the state prison system.

In December, four Solano County residents praised Judge Getty and the Adult Drug Court team for the positive impact the program made on their lives.

"This program saved my life and my family. I’m very, very grateful,” said Ingrid Britt during the graduation. The program partners helped Ingrid overcome her substance-use disorder.

 She reported that recovery stopped her life-threatening path and, as a result, kept her children from becoming wards of the court. Ingrid completed her recovery journey and has remained clean and sober for nearly two years.

Judge Getty worked tirelessly to help the adult drug court participants.  She was creative with sanctions she imposed on those not meeting the expectations set forth, ensuring her approach was customized to each adult drug court participant.  She reached out to California State Prison – Solano to lend assistance and the institution responded.  Through their collaboration, a program was initiated, referred to as The Change Factor, where adult drug court participants have opportunities to learn what life is like inside prison in an effort to deter them from criminal behavior.

Tonya Parker-Mashburn, Community Resource Manager with California State Prison – Solano, helps to inspire program participants as they progress through the program. She attends adult drug court hearings and coordinates peer mentoring discussions at the prison with incarcerated offenders and adult drug court participants. She coordinates educational prison visits for drug court participants to hear testimonies and encouragement from state offenders to keep clean and make positive life choices.  The Change Factor has made a lasting impact on the participants.

Another drug court graduate, 34-year-old James Malone, said achieving sobriety took him 15 years in and out of custody and other contacts with the criminal justice system. With the help of a residential treatment facility, he became educated about the tragedy of addiction. James displayed a renewed self-confidence as he received a certificate of appreciation from CDCR representatives. He’s happy about his transformation into a productive member of society.

Taylor Oppedahl recognized his problems and worked through them. He said by the time he was 14, he was already doing drugs and struggled with feeling abnormal. He didn’t have a GED, and by age 19 he’d been in and out of the correctional system.  Before drug court, he was arrested 21 times in Napa and Solano counties.

All this led to mounting debts for his parents. Adult drug court was the turning point for Taylor. The support and resources helped to change his life. He reported that after 18 months he is now clean and sober, and no longer addicted.

Adult drug court succeeds because of the team approach to addressing individuals’ addiction and criminogenic issues. Each partner wields its resources and expertise to the benefit of the drug court participants helping them to overcome their addictions and stay out of prisons and avoid future criminal behavior.

For information about the CDCR, please contact Albert Rivas, Deputy Chief, Office of External Affairs at albert.rivas@cdcr.ca.gov or (916) 445-4950.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Governor Brown Appoints Jeffrey Callison as the new Assistant Secretary of Communications

Office of the Governor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Governor's Press Office
Friday, March 4, 2016
(916) 445-4571

Governor Brown Announces Appointments

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments:

Nancy Bargmann, 54, of Long Beach, has been appointed director at the California Department of Developmental Services, where she was deputy director of the Community Services Division from 2012 to 2015. Bargmann has been associate executive director at the San Gabriel-Pomona Regional Center since 2015. She held several positions at Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment Inc. from 2009 to 2012, including executive director and business consultant and held several positions at the MENTOR Network from 1998 to 2009, including vice president of operations, vice president of business development and California state director. She held several positions at the Inland Regional Center from 1985 to 1998, including community services director, resource manager, adult services program manager and consumer services coordinator. Bargmann earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Pepperdine University School of Business and Management and a Master of Science degree in social work from San Diego State University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $186,572. Bargmann is a Republican.

Jeffrey Callison, 54, of Lincoln, has been appointed assistant secretary of communications at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where he has served as acting assistant secretary of communications since 2015 and was press secretary from 2011 to 2015. Callison held several positions at Capital Public Radio from 1996 to 2011, including radio host of a daily public affairs program, news director and reporter. He was communications director for the California Wild Heritage Campaign in 2000. Callison earned a Master of Arts degree in philosophy and English literature from the University of Edinburgh. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $123,504. Callison is a legal permanent resident of the United States, and therefore not registered to vote.

Vicky Waters, 41, of Sacramento, has been appointed press secretary at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Waters has been vice president of public affairs at Ogilvy Public Relations since 2015. She was deputy director of public affairs at the California Department of Parks and Recreation from 2012 to 2015, director of media relations at the California Charter Schools Association from 2009 to 2012 and an account executive at BPcubed Inc. from 2007 to 2009. Waters was a freelance journalist, independent public relations consultant and translator from 2003 to 2009. She was Sacramento correspondent at La OpiniĆ³n from 2001 to 2003, an anchor, reporter and producer at Univision Sacramento from 2000 to 2001, evening anchor, reporter and producer at Univision Corpus Christi from 1998 to 2000 and news editor and broadcast operator at WRAL-TV from 1996 to 1998. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $117,012. Waters is a Democrat.

Catalina Hayes-Bautista, 33, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy secretary for legislative affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Hayes-Bautista has been a principal consultant on environmental issues in the Office of California State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins since 2015. She served as legislative director in the Office of California State Senator Ricardo Lara from 2011 to 2015, legislative aide in the Office of California State Assemblymember Fiona Ma from 2007 to 2011 and as a California Latino Caucus Institute Polanco Fellow from 2006 to 2007. Hayes-Bautista was a development assistant at New America Media from 2004 to 2006. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $120,504. Hayes-Bautista is a Democrat.

Khaim Morton, 43, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy secretary for legislation at the California Government Operations Agency. Morton has been capitol director in the Office of California State Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Sr. since 2015, where he was senior assistant in 2013. He served as chief of staff in the Office of California State Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas from 2014 to 2015, where he was legislative director in 2014. Morton was a legislative consultant for the Office of California State Senator Alex Padilla from 2007 to 2013 and field deputy in the Los Angeles City Council President’s Office from 2003 to 2007. He served as mayoral aide and senior constituent services representative in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office from 2001 to 2003. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $120,504. Morton is a Democrat.

Dana Christine Simas, 29, of Sacramento, has been appointed assistant director for communications and public affairs at the California Department of Child Support Services. Simas has been an information officer in the Office of Public and Employee Communications at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2014, where she has held several positions since 2010, including special assistant to the superintendent at the Northern California Youth Correctional Center. She was deputy press secretary at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 2008 to 2010. Simas is communications director for the California Renters Caucus and a member at the California State Information Officers Council and the Public Relations Society of America. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $90,996. Simas is a Democrat.

Julia Montgomery, 45, of Elk Grove, has been appointed general counsel at the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Montgomery has been assistant chief counsel at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing since 2015, where she was senior staff counsel from 2013 to 2015. She was a managing attorney at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation Inc. from 2002 to 2013, where she was directing attorney from 2001 to 2002 and a staff attorney from 1996 to 2000. Montgomery earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $162,048. Montgomery is a Democrat.

Norlyn Serrano Asprec, 30, of Sacramento, has been appointed marketing and outreach director at the California Health Professions Education Foundation. Asprec has been a legislative aide in the Office of California State Assemblymember Susan Bonilla since 2013. She was a peer academic counselor at the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions’ Center for Academic Success from 2010 to 2012 and a capital fellow in the Office of California State Senator Mark DeSaulnier from 2009 to 2010. Asprec earned a Master of Arts degree in creative arts therapy from Drexel University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $56,352. Asprec is a Democrat.

Pete Sanchez, 65, of Suisun City, has been appointed to the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. Sanchez has been mayor of Suisun City since 2006. He was a member of the Suisun City Council from 1994 to 2005, supervising auditor and appraiser at the Solano County Assessor’s Office from 1983 to 2006, director at the North Bay Regional Center from 1998 to 2004 and an auditor-appraiser at the Alameda County Assessor’s Office from 1982 to 1983. Sanchez was a California sales tax auditor at the California State Board of Equalization, Oakland District Office from 1980 to 1982, a bank examiner at Central Bank of the Philippines from 1976 to 1979 and an accountant at Banco Filipino from 1973 to 1975. He is a member of the Northern Solano County Democratic Club and director of the Solano First Federal Credit Union. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Sanchez is a Democrat.

Martha Garcia, 57, of Oxnard, has been appointed to the California State Board of Optometry. Garcia has been an optical manager at Sam’s Club Optical since 2008. She was an associate at Downtown Disney Sunglass Icon from 2006 to 2007 and at JC Penney Optical from 2005 to 2006, at Sears Optical from 2004 from 2005 and at diModa from 2002 to 2004. Garcia is a member of the California State Society for Opticians. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Garcia is a Democrat.

Cindy Heffren, 66, of Chico, has been appointed to the 3rd District Agricultural Association, Silver Dollar Fair Board of Directors, where she has served since 2006 and served from 1987 to 2002. Heffren was an elementary school teacher for the Chico Unified School District from 1996 to 2011. She is a member of the Omega Nu Sorority and California Women for Agriculture. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Heffren is a Republican.

Michael Doherty, 46, of Arbuckle, has been appointed to the 44th District Agricultural Association, Colusa County Fair Board of Directors. He has been owner at Grindstone Wines LLC since 2010, owner and president at Chamisal Creek Ranch LLC since 2008 and a partner at Doherty Brothers Farms since 1991. Doherty is a member of the Colusa County Farm Bureau. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Doherty is a Republican.

    ###
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Thursday, March 3, 2016

New legislation notifies victims if offender intends to profit from story


The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) will begin notifying victims if their offender intends to contract with any person or entity for the sale of the story of their crime.

Assembly Bill 538 passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, JR. in October 2015, requires any person or entity that contracts with a criminal offender for the sale of the offender’s story of a specified crime for which the offender was convicted and under CDCR’s jurisdiction to inform CDCR’s OVSRS.

“This bill fills a much needed gap in notification services where OVSRS-staff can reach out and contact victims on file with CDCR to advise of a contract in place,” Nolice Edwards, Chief of CDCR’s OVRSR said.  “The victims will receive the dignity they deserve by being the first to hear of the contract and the possible intent to sell the story. They will be able to take the steps they need to protect their family and their interest.”

The specified felonies for which notifications will be made include; murder, attempted murder, mayhem, rape and other specified sexual assault crimes, kidnapping and any felonies punishable by life in prison or death.

Several years ago Missy Avila was murdered by two acquaintances who were subsequently convicted and sentenced to state prison. One of the two co-defendants appeared on various media outlets promoting and profiting from her personal memoirs and her version of the murder.

The appearances caused outrage to both the victims’ family and other victims throughout the country. In response, Assembly Member Nora Campos (D-San Jose), along with support at the national level, created legislation to protect and ensure a continuum of notification rights to victims to lessen their exposure of reading or viewing their graphic and emotional personal cases to the media.

Currently, OVSRS delivers more than 20,000 paper and electronic notifications to victims annually to advise of their offender’s release to parole/probation, death and/or escape.

CDCR has approximately 112,900 inmates in its 35 institutions. With the changing criminal justice landscape in California affecting offenders and victims every day, it’s crucial victims have their updated information on file to be informed of their rights and to have a voice in the criminal justice system.

To receive notification, victims must register by completing a CDCR form 1707, Request for Victim Services.

If you are a victim of an offender who is serving time in a CDCR facility, you can contact OVSRS toll-free at (877) 256-6877 for assistance in registering for notifications and offender status updates.

For more information about CDCR’s OVSRS, visit: victimservices@cdcr.ca.gov