California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Infobox Law enforcement agency
agency_name = California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation
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logo_width = 250
logo_caption = California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation patch

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formed = 2005
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headquarters = Sacramento, California
employees = 57,641
sworntype = Officer
sworn = 32,772
unsworn = 24,869
budget = $8.75 billion (2007)
chief1_name = Matthew Cate
chief1_position = Secretary
chief2_name = Brett Morgan
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The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is responsible for the operation of the California state corrections, rehabilitation, and parole systems. It was created in 2005 by reorganization of the former Youth and Adult Correctional Agency.


In 1851, California activated its first state prison. This prison was a 268-ton wooden ship named "The Waban", and was anchored in the San Francisco Bay. [California Department of Justice. [ California Criminal Justice Time Line 1822-2000.] Accessed 27 Apr 2008.] . The prison ship housed 30 inmates who subsequently constructed San Quentin State Prison, which opened in 1852 with approximately 68 inmates.Reed, Dan. Killer Location May Doom San Quentin Prison. Also Calling It Outdated, State to Consider Razing Infamous Bayside Penitentiary for Housing. "San Jose Mercury News", August 20, 2001.] Since 1852, the Department has activated thirty one prisons across the state.


In 2004, a Corrections Independent Review Panel appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and led by former Governor George Deukmejian noted "California’s $6 billion correctional system suffers from a multitude of problems — out-of-control costs; a recidivism rate far exceeding that of any other state; reported abuse of inmates by correctional officers; an employee disciplinary system that fails to punish wrongdoers; and the failure of correctional institutions to provide youth wards and inmates with mandated health care and other services."Corrections Independent Review Panel. [ Reforming Corrections.] June 2004.] Among other recommendations to address these problems, the Panel suggested "Reorganizing the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency." The Agency had consisted of "the Department of Corrections, the Department of the Youth Authority, the Board of Prison Terms, the Board of Corrections, the Commission on Correctional Peace Officer Standards and Training, the Narcotic Addict Evaluation Board and the Youth Authority Board." [ Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation to Transform California's Prison System.] Press release, 10 May 2005.]

Schwarzenegger made a reorganization plan public in January 2005 implementing many of the recommendations of the panel but without "a citizens commission overseeing the state's entire correctional operation." [Furillo, Andy. Prisons plan shifts power to agency chief. "Sacramento Bee", 7 January 2005.] The reorganization became effective on July 1, 2005. The CDCR's current Divisions and Boards include (among others) [ [ California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Organizational Structure, October 2007.] Accessed 17 November 2007.] [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. [ Divisions and Boards.] Accessed 17 November 2007.] :
* Division of Juvenile Justice, formerly known as the California Youth Authority (Department of the Youth Authority). This has a 2006/07 budget of $530 million and 3,776 employees, of which 1,970 are custody staff. [CDCR Division of Juvenile Justice. [ DJJ Facts, Stats & Trends - Summary Fact Sheet (January 2007).] Retrieved December 1, 2007.]
* Division of Adult Institutions, responsible for the adult prisons, and Division of Adult Parole Operations. These have a 2006/07 budget of $8.75 billion and 57,641 employees, of which 32,772 are sworn peace officers. [CDCR Division of Adult Operations. [ First Quarter 2007 Facts and Figures.] Retrieved December 1, 2007.]
* Board of Parole Hearings, which combines the old Board of Prison Terms, the Narcotic Addict Evaluation Authority, and the Youth Authority Board.
* Corrections Standards Authority, whose functions parallel those of the former Board of Corrections and the former Commission on Correctional Peace Officer Standards and Training.


According to the Department’s official Web site, "Currently there are 33 adult prisons, 13 adult community correctional facilities, and eight juvenile facilities in California that house more than 165,000 adult offenders and nearly 3,200 juvenile offenders."CDCR Division of Adult Institutions. [ Visitors Information Page.] Retrieved November 30, 2007.] This inmate population makes the CDCR the largest state-run prison system in the United States.Moore, Solomon. [ New Court to Address California Prison Crowding.] New York Times, July 24, 2007.]

Regarding adult prisons, CDCR has the task of receiving and housing inmates that were convicted of felony crimes within the State of California. When an adult inmate arrives at a state prison, he/she is assigned a classification based on his/her committed offense. Each prison is designed to house different varieties of inmate offenders, from Level I inmates to Level IV inmates; the higher the level, the higher risk the inmate poses. Selected prisons within the state are equipped with security housing units, reception centers, and/or "condemned" units. These security levels are defined as follows:California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. [ California's Correctional Facilities.] 15 Oct 2007.]
* Level I: "Open dormitories without a secure perimeter."
* Level II: "Open dormitories with secure perimeter fences and armed coverage."
* Level III: "Individual cells, fenced perimeters and armed coverage."
* Level IV: "Cells, fenced or walled perimeters, electronic security, more staff and armed officers both inside and outside the installation."
* Security Housing Unit (SHU): "The most secure area within a Level IV prison designed to provide maximum coverage." These are designed to handle inmates that cannot be housed with the general population of inmates. This includes inmates that are validated prison gang members, gang bosses or shot callers, etc.
* Reception Center (RC): "Provides short term housing to process, classify and evaluate incoming inmates."
* Condemned (Cond): "Holds inmates with death sentences."

Correctional Peace Officers

These officers maintain Peace Officer (police) duties at prisons. In addition to managing state prison systems, they are also assigned to specialized units that handle many different aspects of prison operations and parole operations. These include CDCR Investigations Services Unit, Patrol Division, Gang Investigations, transportation units, dorms, tiers, yard guards, inmate escorts, towers, etc. Currently there are over 30,000 Peace Officers including Supervisors (Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captains) employed by the State of California, over 3,000 prison counselors, and over 1,500 State Parole Agents.

Corrections Academy

CDCR Peace Officers are trained at the Basic Peace Officer Academy located in Galt, California and Stockton, California. Cadets must complete a 16-week, formal and comprehensive training program. The curriculum consists of hundreds of hours of training and ranks among the top three correctional academies in the nation. Instruction includes, but is not limited to, firearms training, chemical agents, non-lethal impact weapons, arrest and control techniques, and State of California law and Department policies. Cadets must also successfully complete the Peace Officer Standards and Training courses (POST). Upon completion of the academy, cadets attend a graduation ceremony where they are then sworn in as State Peace Officers.cite web | url = | title = Correctional Officer Training | work = Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation | accessmonthday = April 27 | accessyear = 2008]


Officers of the department are represented by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (the CCPOA.) It was founded in 1957 and its stated goals include the protection and safety of officers, and the advocation of laws, funding and policies to improve prison operations and protect public safety. The union has had its controversies over the years, including criticism of its large contributions to former California Governor Gray Davis.Fact|date=June 2008 Since the California recall election, 2003, the CCPOA has been a vocal critic of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.Fact|date=June 2008

In June, 2008, the union came under investigation from the from both the California Office of the Inspector General and the CDCR for its role in the hiring of a 21-year-old parolee by Minorities in Law Enforcement, an affiliate of CCPOA. [cite news | first= Andy | last= Furillo | title= Chief of prison guards union defends hiring of parolee | url= | work= Sacramento Bee | date= 2008-06-21 | accessdate=2008-06-21 ] Mike Jimenez, President of the CPOA, was critical of the investigation, and of the CDCR. He said "It doesn't surprise me that CDCR would do this. They spend a lot of time, money and effort talking about rehabilitation, but then doing everything possible to keep (parolees) from being successful." In response to concerns that his unions payment for flights to come to the capitol to work might be a violation of the terms of his release, he said "We're trying to make it so the kid is successful – why would they do that? [...] This is exactly what is wrong – sick – about our system."

Fallen officers

According to the Department’s official Web site, since 1952 inmates have killed 17 custody employees of what is currently CDCR. [Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, State of California. [ Employees Killed By Inmates, January 1952 through December 2006.] February 2007.] Most recently, on January 10, 2005, Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez was killed in the line of duty at the California Institution for Men located in Chino. [California Peace Officers' Memorial Foundation. [ In Remembrance: Ofc. Manuel A. Gonzalez.] Retrieved December 1, 2007.] An inmate fatally stabbed Officer Gonzalez with a shank (inmate manufactured knife). [ [ The Officer Down Memorial Page Remembers... Corrections Officer Manuel Ariza Gonzalez Jr.] Retrieved December 1, 2007.] The suspect was later charged with "assault by a life prisoner," which is a capital crime in California, and with murder [Leveque, Rod. Dismissal of charge against inmate denied. "Inland Valley Daily Bulletin" (Ontario, CA), May 18, 2007.] ; however, as of October 2007 no trial date had been set. [Leveque, Rod. Suspect's father's testimony to be recorded for use in murder trial. "Whittier Daily News", October 24, 2007.]

Prison overcrowding

The California prison system is currently, and has been for many years, plagued with overcrowding due to an overwhelming inmate population. In April 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced his Prison Reform Bill that will fund up to three new prisons. However, many state officials have agreed that even with three new prisons, the situation with overcrowding in the prison system will not be fixed. In addition to the overcrowding issue, the prison system is far understaffed with Correctional Peace Officers. The state is unable to hire and train enough new Officers to keep up with the flow of new offenders into the system. On Wednesday, June 4 2008, the California Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled that the governor "was within his rights to declare a state of emergency at California's overcrowded prisons in 2006 and begin transferring inmates out of state."cite web |url= |title= Schwarzenegger can ship inmates out of state, court rules |author= Bob Egelko |work= San Francisco Chronicle |date= June 4 2008 |quote= ]

Prison health care services

In June 2005, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson put the state prison health care system into receivership, citing the "depravity" of the system. [cite news | first= James | last= Sterngold | title= U.S. seizes state prison health care | url= | work= San Francisco Chronicle | date= 2005-07-05 | accessdate=2007-12-21 ] In February 2006, the judge appointed Robert Sillen to the position. [cite news | first= Solomon | last= Moore | title= Using Muscle to Improve Health Care for Prisoners | url= | work= New York Times | date= 2007-08-27 | accessdate=2007-12-21 ] Sillen was replaced by Clark Kelso in January 2008. [cite web | last = Kagan | first = Racheal | title = CPR PRESS RELEASE: Judge Appoints New Prison Health Care Receiver, 01/23/08 | date = 2008-01-23 | url = | format = pdf | accessdate =2008-02-09] In July 2007, the judge appointed a three-judge panel to oversee the changes.


According to the Department’s official Web site, "there are more than 148,000 adult parolees and 3,800 juvenile parolees supervised by the CDCR." A 2002 article found that "California’s growth in the numbers of people on parole supervision — and in the numbers whose parole has been revoked — has far exceeded the growth in the rest of the nation."Travis, Jeremy, and Lawrence, Sarah. [ California's Parole Experiment.] California Journal, August 2002.] California accounted for 12 percent of the U.S. population but 18% of the U.S. parole population, and almost 90,000 California parolees returned to prison in 2000.Re entry assistance for inmates awaiting a Parole is provided by the non-profit organization [ California Reentry Program]

ee also

*List of law enforcement agencies in California
*List of United States state correction agencies


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ California Correctional Peace Officers Association]
* [ California Reentry Program]

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