From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
The corruption in California's prison system is revealed
January 16, 2004 8:04 AM
Scandalous! The time has finally come for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the $5.3 billion penal system it has so masterfully corrupted.
The revelations come in a new 71-page report by John Hagar, an expert on prisons appointed by U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson to investigate.
It is apparent that top officials of the Department of Corrections neither understand nor care about the need for fair investigations, nor are they likely to impose discipline in the face of CCPOA (the prison guard union) objections.
The Sacramento Bee
said the report "painted a picture of a prison discipline system that covers up for brutal correctional officers but punishes whistle-blowers among the correctional staff."
How did it all unravel? Edward Alameida, the head of the Department of Corrections until a month ago, killed an investigation at Pelican Bay State Prison and then crafted a cover-up after his top deputy Thomas Moore botched the investigation and lied to the federal court. All under enormous pressure from the prison guard union, of course. But that's just a symptom of massive systemic problems caused by the union's stranglehold.
Last month, Hagar recommended an outside agency be tasked with monitoring the prison system:
It will be impossible for the Department of Corrections to ever check itself given the politics and perhaps the incompetence that exist in certain levels of the department
Lest anyone forget, Gray Davis was in bed with the prison guard union and it became a huge issue in the recall election. This is a nice bit of vindication for Arnold -- and Arianna too. Schwarzenegger never took money from the union, so our new governor is in the perfect position to massively overhaul the prison system -- something Gray never would have done.
The corruption in California's prison system is revealed
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Read the 59 comments.
So it wasn't the end of California to have a Republican elected governor. Do you honestly believe these revelations would have seen the light of day if Davis had kept his office?
Fri Jan 16 2004 8:48 AM
I actually do believe these revelations would have come out under Davis because it was in a federal judge's hands, but I don't believe for a second that Davis would have done anything about it, while Schwarzenegger undoubtedly will. There has already been a lot of talk about major changes to California's penal system, including the possibility of releasing a large number of non-violent offenders.
I've been pretty honest about my feelings on Schwarzenegger. I think he's doing a good job, but frankly, he isn't much of a Republican. Even his adamant refusal to raise taxes (which is a bit misleading since he does want to raise fees for college students) isn't all that bad in my book. State governments need to be more business friendly than the federal government because they're competing with other states, and a very moderate Republican works nicely for that.
I think the reason I just couldn't pull the lever for him in the end all boiled down to trustworthiness. He wasn't coming clean on all the allegations leveled against him during the campaign (and he still hasn't, by the way), and that's a huge minus for me. Just tell us the truth, okay?
That being said, he's doing a damned fine job considering the mess he's got to work with.
Fri Jan 16 2004 9:35 AM
I have been a prison reformer in this state for over 15 years and I have some things to tell people about the abuses in the prison system, does anyone want to listen? Our new Govenor did not. My phone # is 707-874-3647
Sun Feb 1 2004 12:10 PM
I just want to know more about this subject.
Thu Feb 5 2004 5:22 AM
I'm a college student and I'm doing my term paper on the corruption that goes on in the prison system, and the untold stories of the abuse the prisoners have to go through.
Fri Feb 13 2004 7:09 PM
For any comments on my paper please e-mail at any time and I'll respond. Thank You for your support and have a nice day.
Fri Feb 13 2004 7:13 PM
The whole California Prison System is so corrupt and no one seems to correct such corruption. California Penal System should provide rehabilitation and it's that not even being done. I am a firm believer that all human beings deserve a second chance or provide them a chance not abuse and recyle them back into prison.
Wed Feb 18 2004 8:28 AM
i've seen first hand some of this corruption...gaurds supply drugs,sex, beatings...you name it
Fri Mar 5 2004 4:52 PM
you people have no idea what goes on in a prison. You see the inmates after they have had a chance tocome in and clean up a bit, then they start crying to you about how badly they are treated and all of the freedoms they have lost. There is a good reason for any freedom that they loose and it is because they are not adult enough to handle making their own decisions. Give one of these inmates a utensil to eat with and they make a shank out of it. Give them pens to write with and they hide needles in them and use the ink for tattooing. Give them a bit of privacy and they are raping someone or trying to cut through bars, make weapons, find hiding places in the vents, or make homemaid alcohol. These people have been given so many chances already, how many peolpe get caught and go to jail the first time they do something illegal? Instead of giving the inmates a break how about giving those of us that live our lives in peace a break? Keep them locked up where they belong until they learn to stop shooting up our nieghborhoods, raping our wives and daughter, killing our sons, and stealing everything that honest people work so hard for.
And for all of you people that hate Correctional Officers so much how would you like it if we all decided not to come to work one day? How would you like it if no one was looking and the inmates just got up and walked away form the prison and back in to your community? We do a difficult job for little money. I supervise up to 165 inmates in a unit by myself. They try everyday to manipulate you, to intimidate you, to twist you up till you are as messed up as they are. Luckily it doesn't work on 99% of the Officers but the press sure does love to put in print that 1% that they do get to turn. How do you think that you would do with a 160 inmates that are in for drug crime, rape, murder, robbery, kidnapping, assault, and anything else that you would rather not think of? If the job is so easy and gets paid so much maybe you should apply and make a change? Yeah right, that's what I thought.
Sun Apr 18 2004 7:03 AM
Splendid attitude. Unfortunately your job prospects in Iraq seem to be drying up.
Fortunately there is still California.
Sat May 1 2004 7:44 PM
I just want to ask you if you knew about the Rape Act Geroge Bush passed in 03 for all prisons across the states? First time in history has a US president considered the well being of prisoners in a system that has been laughed at and joked about for years-even before you were a dirty thought in your dad's mind. I mean look at it, everyone joked around by saying "if you go to Jail dont drop the soap!!!". We laugh at that, all of us. But its a serious matter, and as long as we stupidly overcroud our jails-we need more justice for prisoners and Bush delivered that. Im not saying to stop hating him; if you feel true hating bush and calling him evil, go ahead-this is America. But do more research for yourself...
Keep up the good work.
Tue May 11 2004 12:27 PM
i am a man with very liberal views.i grew up on the streets amongst these people that are doing time in california state prisons.now i work as a correctional officer for the past 11 years i have worked on a level 4 yard.and in that time i have never seen someone being treated unfairly.what i have seen is a good friend of mine father of three stabbed 8 times for someone to gain status in a prison gang known as the bloodline.anyone who has worked inside knows what i am talking about.anyways the corruption i know is what the media tells you.
Thu Jun 17 2004 10:21 PM
A CDC Wife:
Those of you who want to reform the "corrupt" system, why not start by getting a GOOD understanding of the system? Go to the State's web site, download an application, and go work there. Oh, don't like the prospect of a 200:1 felon to you ratio? Are you scared? Don't like the prospect of living 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with Tuberculosis, Hep. A, Hep. C, AIDS or any number of infectious diseases? Don't like the thought of "poop watching" an inmate when it's suspected he has kiestered contraband and you have to wait for him to crap it out? Sound yummy? How about having to shower when you get home before you can pick up your kids - or hiding your work shoes because they probably have blood, urine and feces on them and you don't want it on your carpet?? Your clean air purifiers won't work on that!
Let me tell you how many holidays my husband has missed with his kids because he's keeping these felons away from YOUR kids! So, this Christmas, when you wake up at 9am to open gifts, think about my toddlers getting up at 5am to open theirs so they can spend an hour with Dad on Christmas morning before he goes to work for 16 hours!
If you think the life of a correctional officer, or any other law enforcement officer is charmed, try it! My husband does his job and never complains - more than I can say about you sad sacks! The only complaint I've ever heard is about people like you who have no clue what it's like, but feel they are experts to judge. Get out from behind your fishy and flowered screensavers, save yourself from carpal tunnel and see for yourself what it's like! Nah, it's much easier to let the LA Times and Sac Bee spoon feed you rather than fact finding! Enjoy your Starbucks and morning email from the Times!
Wed Jun 30 2004 10:43 PM
I also have seen the inside of the California state prison system first hand. They are without a doubt corrupt. While it is true that many inmates in there DO actually belong there, many do not. I have personally whitnessed California Correctional Peace Officers (Guards) trying to start fights between inmates. I have seen the guards bringing in drugs (and other "contraband") to certain inmates. I have personally experienced needing medical attention and being refused that attention. I have watched officers take 602 (appeals/complaint forms) and using a lighter burn them in front of inmates and then deny having done so when asked about it by their supervisors. I have watched officers forcing inmates to dump hazardous paint chemicals in area rivers, all because they did not want to be bothered with disposing of them properly. I hear all the time on television and in newspapers about how "over-worked" and "under-staffed" the poor Correctional Officers are; this is plainly CCPOA & CDC propaganda B.S.! The Officers that I have seen spend the majority of their time sitting on their asses with their feet up reading the local newspapers and pornographic magazines (which are supposed to be illegal in CDC now anyway). I have personally listened to guards go to one race of inmates and ask them if they are going to let another race of inmates "get away" with "dis-respecting" them. When I asked another Officer why the one officer did something like this, he smiled and said "because we want to see some action (fighting between inmates) go on". I'm not saying that there are not some good CDC Officers in the California state prison system who actually want to do their jobs properly and earn their paychecks, however there is a large majority who are not good people at all and use their green uniform and badge to abuse the only the only people that they can.... the inmates. Clearly CDC cannot "police" itself as a whole and what the California Correctional System needs is someone who can let CDC and its Officers know that they cannot and will not be allowed to violate individuals rights and the law itself.
Sun Jul 11 2004 7:30 AM
Hmmm...I don't know where to begin and how to make this post brief. First I'd like to say that the people that deny the corruption in the prison system are the same people that deny racism. They're the same people that believe a child molester should get less time than a drug offender. What kind of sense does that make?
To the guard that said that we see the inmates after they clean-up, you're so full of it. I have been married to my husband for 10 years so I have seen him at his best and his worst. I know him and trust him more than any correctional officer and he has never given me a reason not to. He has begun serving a 6 year sentence for getting caught with a pound and half of marijuana. A good man that is a good father to our two children(8 and 4). Now I have no explanation for my children and he's caught in the system with the murders and rapists and the corrupt prison guards.
First I'd like to say that the attitutde of the guards is apparent to the visitors, not only the inmates. They can be very rude at times and also discriminate. They give certain inmates more "privileges" than others. On top of that, they DO instigate riots and place people in segregation with no reason or explanation. IT's happened and continues to happen. One thing, you forgot to mention guard (and I don't know what state you work in) is that California correctional officers make twice the national average of prison guards. Not to mention they get "hazard pay" when violence or riots breaks out wich gives them a reason to perpetuate it.
To the CDC wife, I don't know what it feels like to half to get up at 5am on christmas morning so my children can open up gifts what thier dad but I do know what it's like to wake up on Christmas morning without him here at all and he will not be returning after 16 hours. I also know what it feels like knowing that a good man that made a mistake has to constantly have his dignity and manhood taken away from him and feel powerless because I know that ccpoa and the governemt are much more powerful than me. I have also seen the racism and systematical injustice that takes place in the correctional system and how biased sentecing laws are enforced. You have never seen the inside of a prison have you CDC wife? I have I think you should check it out and YOU should get a job there and stop relying on what your husband tells you. He may very well be a good peace officer but DO NOT try to deny the corruption. In the United States, we are supposed to be inoocent until proven guilty. There are inmates that have served decades and more in prison for crimes they did not committ. NOt even animals deserve that treatment. Prison inmates have rights too. To the prison guard and his wife, if you don't like what you do, get another job. Don't mistreat people, eventually you will meet the final judge-GOD. WE are all God's children and we are all sinners. People do not deserve to be treated like animals and made to fight for entertainment or hazard pay. It is so hard for me to have respect for law enforcement when there is so much corruption among them. Many of the guards are worse than some of the criminals and as an American citizen and a voter, I am ashamed and embarresed by our justice system especially the California Department of COrrections.
Fri Jul 23 2004 5:48 PM
I also have numerous experiences with the policy's and personalities in the California prison system and I agree with inmate's wife. I actually visit two separate inmates and the stories are very consistant with each other in terms of the mismanagement and brutality of most of the prison guards. I will agree that there are some good ones, but the bad ones prevail. The basic guard in California makes an extremely good wage for what they do. $50-100k/year for an individual who can only spell like "Gaurd" above. He talks about people who can't take care of themselves. I would like to know what his academic credentials are in order to make a pretty good income. I would guess that his education is high school at best and there are many more like him that are overpaid for their actual duties. I wouldn't have written this, but reading some of the letters above can really make one mad.
Then one can get into the financial arrangements with the subcontractors to the prisons. I would love to look over the methods of selection and the deals made with kickbacks back to the CDC and guard association. Look at the deal with the quarterly packages, and with the collect phone call charges for examples.
I can go on and on, but I'll stop for now.
Mon Jul 26 2004 4:14 PM
I watched Blood in Blood out bound by honor, movie with Edward James Olmos in it. That's the way the Calif. prisons are.
Tue Aug 24 2004 2:56 PM
Although I work for CDC, I am not a Correctional Officer (C/O). As far as corruption goes, the majority of C/O's are good guys. The problems arise from a corrupt union that protects the 'bad apples'. I have family and friends that were/are C/O's and further up in the prison hierarchy.
Having worked in the Inmate Trust office for over 8 years, I have witnessed first-hand how inmates come to false conclusions, and even make slanderous allegations regarding staff. When an inmate accuses you of being a thief and embezzler, because he is 'mathmacically challenged', and cannot account for 10 cents in his trust account, you can see how things can get blown out of proportion. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm not saying that all inmates are manipulative, or evil minded. But those who are more than make themselves heard loud and clear.
Getting back to the CCPOA, this union has so convoluted basic labor standards that it's almost impossible to keep up. I am a Personnel Specialist, and have about a dozen 'bad apple' C/O's in my 200+ employee caseload. Those dozen C/O's take up the vast majority of my time. They call in sick, knowing that they don't have enough sick time on the books. They take 40 hour (or more) vacations, knowing full well that they don't have the time to cover it. When I dock their pay, due to the convoluted work/pay periods tha CCPOA has negotiated for them, 40 hours of missed work may result in only a 38 hour dock in pay. This means that the C/O has received time off that didn't cost him a cent. The state has screwed itself over in accepting what's known as the "7k pay period/work period" calendar. It created 13 work periods within a 12 month calendar year. It's a ludicrous idea, and only a bureaucrat would be stupid enough to fall for it. Any time a C/O misses work, and has no leave credits, we have a one page calculation that we have to go through to get to the actual time to be docked. It's ridiculous, and downright fraudulent of CCPOA to bargain for such a thing.
If you want to begin reforming the prison system, write your Representatives and tell them to repeal "7k", and begin to crack down on (maybe even terminate!!) those employees who abuse their sick/vacation time. It's YOUR money, after all!!
Wed Sep 15 2004 11:32 PM
So much for the terminator overhauling the corrections department...the piece of crap is in bed with em just like ol pencil neck gray davis...money talks and bs walks! bunch of overpaid lazy incompetent state workers knockin down 80g's a year to play cards and then retire at 50 with a 5000 a month pay check@! SICKENING!
Sat Jan 15 2005 2:37 AM
I READ THIS, I WORK IN A PRISON. I HOPE THESE OFFICERS NEVER DECIDE TO STOP WORKING. DO NOT EVER JUDGE UNLESS YOU WALK IN THEIR SHOES.
CALIFORNIA PRISONS ARE A SCARY AND DANGEROUS PLACE
THANK GOD FOR THE OFFICERS..
Sun May 8 2005 8:03 PM
i think all prisons are bad in california
Tue May 10 2005 3:56 PM
California Prisons Corrupt? I wouldn't say corrupt, but I would agree that some people just don't belong here. Lets see, is our entire political government corrupt? The people of California has nothing else to concern themsleves with except the prison system? How about the welfare system, social security system ect? Lord get off the prisons for a change it's old news.
To the "Inmate Wife", do you kow how many other women your husband is writing and calling? How many other women are visiting on the days you don't go visit? How many other women are sending money orders ect? I thought not. You talk about taking your children to prison to see "Daddy" personally it disgusts me when I see mothers bringing their children to prison to see "Daddy". It shows prison isn't such a bad place after all you can eat, play and not work! What a great life! I don't know if your husband is a repeat offender, but majority of the inmates are. Don't you people think if the place was so HORRIBLE and TOTUROUS maybe these people would quit KILLING, DEALING, STEALING, RAPING, MOLESTING,SOLICITING? I think so. Apparently it isn't a bad gig. Free food, utilities, cable, $5.oo for the doctor, free clothes, free cable, you can have a personal T.V, radio, typewritter, hot pot and oh, lets not forget all your phone calls are free to! Your family gets to pay for that! But the best part is while your in prison being SUPPORTED by THE STATE, you family gets to suffer along with you by being on welfare ie...being SUPPORTED BY THe STATE! Isn't California TERRIBLE! Lets start running this place like Tent City in Arizona and see what you think of California's Prisons. Bet you won't be whinning then!
Also, how many of you women go to work everyday and get called every name you can imagine? If you were what would your reaction be? How many of you have to physically fight men? How many of you get spit at or gassed? Thankfully that has never happened to me but I know plenty that it has happened to. How many times has your husband tried to get "closer" to a female officer? You people on the outside only hear what your loved ones tell you. They aren't going to tell you the truth, whose going to send them packages, money orders and stamps then?
I can think of several things that need to be fixed in California that are much worse than the Prison System. I agree it isn't perfect, but if the world was perfect we wouldn't need prisons would we?
Anyone out there willing to take Charles Manson in if he ever gets to parole? Any of you want to have child molesters parole to you street? How about the guy that rapes your wife or husband for that matter, mind if he lives in the apartment next door? Hell we can save alot of money if all you "Inmate Lovers" would just volunteer to take all these people into your homes! We wouldn't need prison at all. Think about it! It's perfect! You, your spouse, your adorable little kids, a child molester, a rapist and hell lets go ahead and throw a murderer in there too. He just needs a little attention.
Get real people and wake the hell up!
Fri Jun 3 2005 12:18 AM
Does corruption exist in CDC? Of course, like every part of life there is good and there is bad. I spent 7 years in CDC and can speak first of different incidents that I witnessed but the truth of the matter is that each institution will vary in atmosphere and even between yards. You know everybody hates snitches, child molesters, and rapists in prison but yet correctional officers take them under the wing. These sick people are used to gather information and keep officers informed. You can't deny the fact that there are entire yards that house these individuals. Why they're protected is beyond my comprehension.
Let's see between my term I was beat once, set up a couple times, I witnessed an inmate get beat for about 10 minutes and eventhough he yelled at the top of his lungs nobody came. You never heard about the gladiator fights that PVSP was running in ad seg because they never killed anybody but they used the block gun plenty of times. They would stage fights all the time then they would turn around and validate inmates for gang activity when CDC knows damb well that rival groups can't program together on the same yard in the hole. One of my friends was shot in the head eventhough policy states that you are suppossed to shoot on the body. He showed me the part of his scalp that was pealt back and he was even allowed any medical attention. Another friend os mine was also taken to the hole one day when he was getting his package, well while staff was giving him his stuff they found a kitchen knife, a drill bit, a srew driver, and something else. All packages were ex rayed prior to being sent to the yards and its funny how his package never made it. Since his Grandma was the one that sent it, she was almost arrested as well but I guess that they hadn't counted on her insuring the package, so all of the items that she had put in the box had been inventoried and those items weren't among them.
I've seen CO's carry relationships with inmates, and many other things but the truth of the matter is that for the most part CO's are treated like they treat people, sure there are those assholes who hate CO's and go out of the norm but it's the same all the way around. The sour apples stick out more than the good folks.
One thing that I didn't like at all was how Girl Guard came down on the lady who would take her children to see their father, wether good or bad family is family and we go through the good and the bad. Girl Guard is stereo typing by assuming that all women that go see their frineds or loved ones are on welfare, she doesn't even know the lady nor does she know her husband to be making those stupid accusations.
I suggest that Girl Guard go back to school and get a real education since she hates inmates so much. You could get a little furthe with an AA than with just your GED. The money is good I know but unless you want to do a life term in installment plans then you should take my advice. I'n not only talking out of my ass, I went back to school as well and I am a couple semesters from getting my AA, I have a 3.2gpa and I'm starting my own busines. Not bad for a parolee, huh?
Mon Jun 20 2005 6:25 PM
Dear Girl Guard...
I agree living in California comes with it's ups and downs. Welfare does have problems that need to be fixed and I don't even like to think about the problems social security has. But; for you to say the prison system is "old news" was laughable. Welfare and Social Security have been topic of conversation/debates all over our nation longer than our prison system in California. People wouldn't have to talk about it if prisons and the government cleaned up their act. You say you agree the prisons aren't perfect but express that you think there are more important issues at hand. After that, you justify the not so perfect prison by stating : "If the world was perfect we wouldn't need prisons." Good question. Your right we wouldn't. One could say we also wouldn't need you and the 200+ people you are in charge of or any law enforcer. Now, don't get me wrong I'm not saying we need people breaking the law so you have a job. That would be stupid of me to say, it would seem like justifing what the prisonors did which is silly. I'm sure you agree. It's even sillier to imply the corrupt prisons and the abuse towards the inmates isn't anything worth talking about; because people who aren't perfect made the mistake which got them there. Or even worse, implying the world isn't perfect so why should our prisons. If you honestly feel that way, please quit your job, and encourage family who share the twisted beliefs you practice to do the same. You ask "how many for you women go to work and get called..." This begs the question, who gets a job they can't handle? I honestly really don't know where that statement came from, or why? What are you trying to prove? It's not like everyone else has a walk in a park job. Get over your pompous self. Your really not that great. The things you said to the "Inmate Wife" only helped her point. You were rude. You basically said her husband of 10 years is cheating on her if not with a gaurd through the mail. You told her she's disgusting for taking her kids with her on visits. I don't think it is right for a kid to see a parent in that manner, but to go as far as to say shes disgusting for it? A bit judgemental, don't you think? If you think prison is so great, live like them yourself. You seem to admire the way of living. Like you said California (our tax money) pays for everything (not excluding your salary). I don't know who you think should pay for it. I personally rather have taxes take the money to pay for my safety. Repeat offenders are what fill the prisons? THATS A SHOCKER. Who would of thought it anyother way. When someone goes to prison/jail it is because they were convicted of illegal behavior, right? I'm going to use drugs to explain this. Lets say I am taken to jail because a police officer found a pound of dope in my car. I go to court to find out I'm going to prison for 12 months. The public/judge figure this will help him quit drugs. This would be true except it's easier to get high in prison than on the street. So I get a guard to give me something and it becomes routine. Because of this guard, I wasn't able to get clean and now being realsed. I begin to want more and can't find anyone to hook me up, so I commit a crime, get caught, and get sent back to prison. If guards did thier jobs correctly the number would't be so high. The other repeats? People that have problems. Our prisons fail them, because if the immate is doing something the gaurd gave him, he's watching his back because boys beat eachother up in there (it's not uncommon to hear talks about guards setting it up). "Good Gaurds" don't exist. "Bad Gaureds" just have the outspokeness to say things and do things some people wouldn't believe. A gaurd with morals, character, and ethics would report gaurds that harm the immates along with the safety of co-workers and other immates. I must address the "Inmate Lover" statement you made. I wouldn't care if anyone of those examples lived next to me or on my roof for that matter. People change and they served the time California said they needed to. What gives me the right to protest out side of a molesters house because he lives near me? He already did the time and registered himself. I'm going to assume you don't think what the protesters are doing is wrong. So I want to ask you this. When you run a red light and get a ticket, you have to pay for the ticket and though you pay right away, the ticket will always show on your driving record. Which show up on a credit report, and makes your insurence sky rocket. Think it's unfair? Think this shouldn't be on your record? After all you paid right away and can't afford your credit score dropping and the increased insurence and lets not forget registration, it will be more expensive too. Most people say "Heck yea it should be taken off my driving record!" Understandable, why should a little mistake change so much even after you paid for it? Truth; it shouldn't be any different for ex-felons. I'm not out on your lawn with signs that say "possible murderer" or "assult with deadly weapons=red light runners." So, why are people on *my* lawn doing what reminds me of the riots that happened when "blacks" went to a white school.
My overall feelings on the subject are simple. I believe the first steps to prison reform need to involve drug testing gaurds, and installing something gaurds walk through that checks for drugs. Then I would work on the care, benifits, programs, and the dockets that the ex-drug lord gaurd would burn in front of the inmate. Eventually get deeper and deeper as I go through the system. Want to email me> TruckHustler@yahoo.com
Sun Jul 24 2005 10:36 AM
In a sickening, nationally-televised videotape, America watched as CYA guards viciously beat two men lying prone on the floor, covering their heads with their arms, while other guards stood there watching. Except for the uniforms, it resembled a gang-jump, complete with spectators feeding off the violence.
The guards were rightfully terminated, yet the State Personnel Board has ruled to reinstate them with back pay.
Lance Corcoran, the guard union's VP, thinks this is "fantastic" and he anticipates the CDC will "continue to waste taxpayers' money on appeals".
California prison guards are the nation's highest paid with average salary of $70,000 (many making $100,000 w/overtime), have a well-padded benefits package (full retirement at age 50), and notoriously abuse their permissive workers compensation and sick pay benefits, so it's not unreasonable to expect them to exhibit a little professional behavior and restraint instead of contributing to the number of violent and angry parolees released into society.
Prison guards only need a GED to gain employment and many of them failed the psychological testing to become a police office, so they just don't have the professional skills necessary to deal with thousands of mentally-ill people we now house in prisons. These inmates do not have the capacity to follow the strict rules of prison and receive the brunt of the abuse and SHU punishments for "gassing" and acting out against guards. Guards don't have the training to deal with the majority of youths who have been physically, sexually and mentally abused prior to being put in CYA.
Instead, guards who do show empathy, understanding or kindness toward an inmate are harrassed and called names by other guards. They're encouraged to lump all inmates under a "scumbag" label, verbally and physically abuse them, dehumanize them, and, ultimately, release angry, frustrated prisoners into society that are more likely to lash out in ways that create more victims and send them back to prison.
How can we expect abused young men to respect our laws when we allow guards to commit criminal acts of violence against them that are worse than many of the offenses we imprison them for? This gratuitous decision is not only shameful, inexcusable and a waste of taxpayer money, it puts the public safety at higher risk.
Thu Sep 1 2005 2:41 PM
Just to let you know alittle about my background, I served 24 years in the military before I started a career with the California Department of Corrections. I am amazed with the lies that are said about the California Department of Corrections. I feel there is no more corruption within the Department of Corrections then there is with any other law enforcement agency. I would like to know where the editor or owner of this blog gets his information. These inmates are murders, rapist, chils molestert, car jackers, drug users ect.. I dont see any of you folks that are bad mouthing CDC wanting to take these folks that we watch into your homes to try and rehabilatate them. Before you criticize the Department of Corrections and the officers that work there, why dont you come and work for the department and see how things are run there for yourself before you pass judgement on what we do. Don't believe these knuckleheads that bad mouth us becasue they have a personal agenda against us. Remember this, our job is to ensure that all inmates stay locked up so that they dont hurt your families and ensure that they pay their dept to society.
Thu Oct 27 2005 4:32 PM
I work in the CDC (condemned and adseg) and am neither an inmate nor a guard but I have had ample chance to observe both closely in action. The situation is not black and white. There are many manipulative inmates who complain relentlessly about their conditions. Frankly, I find it difficult being sympathetic to most, because it's a prison after all, duh?! And how was it that you got into these less than stellar accomodations? However, I have heard volumes of legitimate complaints regarding things like not being issued any soap for over a week after arrival; people's property sitting virtually for months without delivering it to the prisoner's cell, when there are medications in the property that are desperately needed. I ahve also seen inmates sitting in dark cells with no light bulb for an entire month before the one prison electrician gets there to change it. I have also seen men with no running water in their cells and they need to take their psychiatric medications and wash them down with what? I came across an inmate slumped on the floor in the corner of his cell, his eyes rolled up in his head, barely breathing with vomit covering his chest. I asked the guard to please get him to medical stat. I have to walk away and do something but I come back shortly to make sure it was being handled appropriately, when I find two guards standing there not doing anything and the guy is still unconscious, lying in a pool of vomit -- I ask what's up and they tell me with straight faces, that he refuses to come out of his cell and go to medical. I said "Excuse me, he's not refusing - He can't walk!! Can you please get medical to bring a gurney and take him to the infirmary!? I practically had to get out a whip to get these two morons to perform a most basic and obvious task. On this particular block that has 5 tiers and about 280 men, I have observed that the guards are almost never up on the tiers like they are suppossed to be. They (and I mean sometimes 8 of them) are all hanging around the command post yucking it up and goofing off like a bunch of high school dorks. I swear to God, these guys do as little work as possible, meanwhile the unit is out of control with yelling and screaming and kites flying everywhere, with the occasional death threat discernible over the din and roar. What I have noticed is that there are the guards who do their job and take it seriouslly and those few who clearly work their asses off, but there are unfortunately, far too many in my opinion who are screwing off. I have also noticed that it is routine for many of the guards to use incredibly offensive language and one refers to the inmates to their faces, as "MOTHER******S". I have also heard from several different inmate sources who have no relation to one another about a particular lieutenant who is supplying inmates with tobacco and other contraband. Some nights I smell cigarrette smoke coming from the 2nd tier guard office and I know damn well its not an inmate. So far, only being at this prison for 3 months, I have had to file two sexual harrassment complaints from two different guards and I am not talking some lame little thing that some chick blows way out of proportion, but groping with hands in one case, and in another, pushing themsevles agianst me. I talk to guards - the good ones who I know are concerned for my well being and safety and want me to know the ropes. They told me that you cannot trust anyone and that there were a lot of corrupt guards who slept with inmates, brought in drugs and set up their co-workers to take a fall. I remember going into one especially vile unit with creepy serial killers who were staff assaultive where one "charming" gentleman in green got a big kick, snarking and chuckling because I was subject to have to witness one of these creeps masturbating blatantly splayed on his little crummy bed, for no doubt, maximum impact on my delicate senses as I unsuspectingly came upon his cell for my routine, observation purposes. Naturally, the bastard knew when I was coming along and had clearly prepped in advance. The inmate was gross for sure, but that little snarky prick of a guard who was getting his jollies vis a vis this pervert inmate made me sicker. Now everytime I see that guy around the place I freeze him out. A couple of times when he escorted me again in that unit, I made remarks like, "so you really enjoy it when women are subjected to creeps like Smith, huh?" He says nothing and gives his little sadistic, self-satisfied smirky-smile, looking like an evil cherub (he's stout and very blonde, with little blue button eyes and a little pug nose). I think to myself the guards on this unit are extra weird; like one always tells me he wants me to analyse his erotic and bizarre dreams, while he pokes my rib cage with his fingers and laughs uproariously. Now this guy, he's inappropriate but he's goofy as hell and makes me burst out laughing. We like each other. But the rest, you can have 'em. Now getting back on topic, this prison runs like a well-oiled piece of s**t. They sometimes don't even have utensils for the prisoners to eat their dinners, so the they have to scoop their food with their hands. I have another inmate I see who just got diagnosed with liver cancer and hep C. They do not have a follow up appointment for him to get biopsied for 6 weeks. That's enough time for an aggressive cancer to kill a person. It's quite clear that he will be allowed to die if he is unlucky enough to have a malignant tumour. Another inmate in solitary was starving - he lost 20 lbs over the course of his protective stay in the hole. This man had severe food allergies and could only eat a few items off of the food tray he was served. When he was on a lower security unit, he bartered for extra foods off of other inmate's trays in order to get a suuficient quantity of food. But, in the hole he could not do that and was limited to scrounging maybe 200-300 calories a day. He complained of extreme hunger. I saw him form day to day and he was clearly losing weight. He was a skinny guy to start with but he was beginning to look emaciated. I attempted to rectify the situation because there was no telling how long we would have to stay in the hole. He was starving. I approached the nursing station, the drop in clinic, the chief dietician, the chief of medical and finally, a sullen medical doctor in order that he may have extra foods that he could digest added to his plate. None of these individuals would respond to the situation. Each passed it on to someone else. No one showed any concern for the fact that this guy had been in the hole for almost 2 weeks with barely anything to eat and theri was no end in sight! Finally, though the sullen MD decided to write an order for a supplemental drink, which was useless because it ahd dairy products in it and I had already told this jerk that the inmate was totally lactose intolerant. I ended up going to the associate warden who than got the whole dog and pony show going again but this time starting with the doctors bringing him down and weighing him to determine a base line. It turns out they weigh him but they don't bother to take off or even account for the fact that he is wearing about 10 lbs. of chains. They get 10 lb. falsely inflated weight for the guy and say he's not so bad off after all. But the doctors write a special order for him to get supplemental foods on his tray but when the order reaches the desk of the Prison head dietician, she rejects the order, again. Now it is approximately 20 days and his eyes are sunken in his head and he looks terrible. Now what do I do? I have a situation on my hands and I better do something because of the "NO CODE OF SILENCE POLICY" and you bet - a sense of personal moral and ethical duty. Ok, I am going to the warden and if that does not work, I'm going to have to contact Judge Hendersen of the 9th Circuit Court -- I have no other choices. I went one last time to check up on the poor s.o.b. (by the way, only a pot grower) and he's GONE!! The guy got sprung back to his former unit where their was food a waitin' Was I happy; he would eat and I would not have to go through all of the drama and hassle of "taking it to the top."
So back to the guards -- theri are the good and their are the bad. My final analysis is that it's a mixed bag about whether the guards are corrupt or not. But I can say this, I believe that there are too many unprofessional and lazy guards. These types really should be the exception, but they are not. The guards who are doing their jobs and are respectful and concerned for the safety of the institution and others are highly appreciated by us non-custody staff. Finally -- yes the system is pretty bad, there is major waste, misallocation of funds, abuses and worst of all, a state of such institutional, beuracratic, management entrenchment and deadlock that, by all appearances nothing can penetrate to effect any real change -- The system is just choking itself out. Eventually something has to give - how long can this go on? It's crazy!
Mon Nov 7 2005 10:53 AM
Where is everybody. When is someone going to comment on my colorful but true post I want to know?!
Signed waiting for an answer
Thu Nov 10 2005 1:37 PM
GOOD POST. I HAVE BEEN IN THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AS A CONVICT, I MADE A MISTAKE WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND IT WAS FAIR THAT I GOD LOCKED AWAY NO DOUBT. TO BE HONEST THE PLACES I WAS AT I WAS FAIRLY TREATED BY THE C.O. S BY THE MOST PART. BUT I WAS NOT ON A LEVEL 3 OR 4 , WHERE MOST OF THE PROBLEMS OF ABUSE OCCUR.
I THINK WHERE THE BIGGEST INJUSTICE IS, IS IN THE PRISON GUARD UNION. THEY ARE LIKE AN ORGANIZED CRIME FACTION THEMSELVES. THEY SCARE THE PUBLIC INTO THINKING THAT EVERYBODY IN THERE IS A VIOLENT CRIMINAL. THEY SUPPORT EVERY INITIATIVE THEY CAN, NO MATTER HOW DRACONIAN, TO KEEP MORE PEOPLE LOCKED AWAY, FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME. THEY THREATEN TO RUIN ANY POLITICIAN WHO DARES CHALLENGE OR EVEN QUESTION THEM. THESE GUARDS ARE BEING PAID 3 OR 4 TIMES THE SALARY OF A TEACHER. YOU SHOULD SEE HOW OUT OF SHAPE ALOT OF THESE GUARDS ARE. WOW. NOW I AGREE ALOT OF PEOPLE BELONG IN THERE. VIOLENT CRIMINALS, SEXUAL CRIMINALS, ETC, KEEP THEM IN THERE. BUT THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN "PRISON" , NOT COUNTY JAIL, PRISON ARE IN THERE FOR NON VIOLENT DRUG AND PROPERTY CRIMES. THATS A SHAME. TO KEEP THE BELLIES FULL OF THE CDC. STRAIGHT UP. NO GETTING AROUND IT. KEEP MY BELLY FULL. GIVE ME MORE. FORGET THE FAMILIES OF THOSE IN FOR DRUG POSSESION. I WANT MORE. JUST LIKE A POT BELLY PIG. CDC GOURGING ITSELF, ON OUR LIVES AND YOUR DOLLARS. WIPE YOUR FACE CDC , YOU LEFT A LITTLE RIGHT THERE.
Wed Nov 23 2005 8:01 PM
D.O.J. Investagator California:
yesterday at Chino a prison guard was KILLED! by a inmate it appears the inmate was used to squelch arguments, with opposing inmates this intire situation could have been prevented if the CDC Guards would have done there own job instead of letting a inmate do it for them. TRUST ME! the state of california is now and has been well aware of the coruption within the CDC AND things are going to change in a way that is going to make some of you eat your text!!!!!
Mon Jan 23 2006 5:32 PM
We should first take a long look at the correlation between the explosion of drugs and the increase of prisons throughout the state and the country.It seems rather odd that during the early eighties when the crack epidemic started, the state during "strategic planning" built and opened numerous facilities to house those individuals convicted of drug related crimes. Crack it seems hit hardest in the inner cities, consuming some of its best and brightest individuals. However the only people benifiting from this increase in drug crimes are those residents of rural underdeveloped, unemployed and undereducated areas of the state. These areas such as Pelican Bay are now thriving because of the numerous well paying jobs brought to their region. Not only that these mainly all white areas are allowed to claim the Black and Hispanic inmates as part of their general population thus making their region eligible for additional federal funds, to aide their schools, roads and communities. When will people wake up. Prison is big business.
Tue Feb 7 2006 9:05 PM
my deeds are infamous my age suggests my cdc wisdom
as I bloodletted the San Francisco days & nights 60'&70's
percorum mortuis those evil knifen strikes then I came to CDC reborn as an Ofiicer bee and as I trolled upon one in Badger section who deemed me reconized in his demented confusion I showed him the final way to cut his arm laterally oh poor Santiago, suicide they say in 82 0r 83 I taunt, but
years have gone by no record of this guy I really do still live rember me MY arching pentagram for thee.
Wed Feb 8 2006 1:04 AM
Yes there is some corruption in prison but most of the things that prisoners complain about is false. I mean who you want to beleive a murderer,rapist,child molester or the guard who takes care of them. Lot of people do not understand that just because u put an imate on the ground and he suffers an injury it is not brutality. Now if someone beats a inmate for no reason or repeatatley then yes this is brutality but just because an inmate suffers some broken bones ever once in awhile doesn't mean they are all from brutality.
Thu Feb 9 2006 6:03 PM
C/O # 2:
I agree that some times we “guards” as you call us, have pretty mellow jobs and frankly the money is not all that. There are about 200+ different jobs in a correctional setting depending of its capacity and each and every job it’s different from each other. Can you imagine trying to learn all those jobs in two years? Anyways, if you think we are overpaid try responding to riots of more than 700 inmates on the yard and being subject to get stabbed or killed. How about the possibility of contracting some infectious decease such as HIV, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, you name it. You don't have clue.
For those of you who don’t like us because you think we are overpaid, don’t get mad at us. We have a job to do and so do you. Please don’t hate, instead give us some support.
If you think you can make a change please do so, go to www.cdcr.ca.gov and obtain information on how to apply, I’ll give you that challenge.
For you Ex-Inmates or should I say “Wrongfully Accused Individuals,” think about the one time that if it wasn’t for an officer putting his life on the line, saved your life when you were getting stabbed on the yard.
Tue Mar 21 2006 2:41 PM
I am doing a Term paper on the California Prison System. Can anybody give me starting points? I know some about it since I know someone who is in the Prison System and has been for over 12 years and I do not wish that on anybody. Thank You. You can email me at email@example.com and SUBJECT: California Prison System so I know what it is. Thank You, Respectfully
Mon Apr 10 2006 5:53 PM
I agree with Andrea B.'s post 100 percent. Her message explains why I chose to leave my job with the California state prison system. I worked for the medical unit and witnessed similar horrible situations.
Thu Apr 27 2006 1:07 AM
A WIFE TO AN INMATE:
I'VE EXPERIENCED ALOT SOMEOF BOTH ENDS OF THIS STATE OF CALIFORNIA HOTELS INC. AND IF I CAN JUST REALLY KEEP IT REAL? SOME OF WHAT I HAVE REAL FROM ALL THE COMMENTS HAS TRUTHS ON SOME ISSUES. I
HAVE HAD A HORRABLE TIME WITH MY HUSBAND SOLD OUT ADULTRY LIVING COMMUNICATING WITH THIS WHAT I CALL A BEAST FROM BEINGHT MY FEET. ALONG WITH MY HUUSBAND OF 15 YEARS OF MARRIAGE IN HIS 50'S.
HOW COME THE PRISONS IN CLASSIFING THE INMATES DETERMINE IF THERE MARRIED THEN THERE VISITING SHOULD BE ONLY LIMITED TO FAMILY. BOTTOM LINE. CONCIDER THIS, FOR THE MOST PART THE INMATES ARE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE C/O'S A NUMBER RATHER THAN A NAME. REGULATE THE PHONE USEAGE, THE INCOMING MAIL AND SO ON. TO REVENT ALOT OF DRUMA
HEART ACHE PAIN FRUSTRATION AND SO ON. WHAT EVER THE INMATE DID TO THEN BE LOCK UP ARE BEING MADE TO ACCOUNTABILTY FOR BREAKING THE LAW SO WHY NOT
APPROACH THE WHOLE PITURE ALOT OF THE BREAKDOWN BEGANS WITH THE FALLING AWAY FROM ANY TYPE OF FOUNDATION THAT WAS HEALTHY LIKE FAMILY. ANY THING CAN STAND FIRM, WHEN IT IS PLANTED ON FIRM GROUND AGAIN LIKE FAMILY MORE.
Thu Jun 22 2006 11:44 AM
I was born and raised in Susanville, CA, home to (2) state prisons. I have seen first-hand the huge jump in pay for these guards. Years ago they made about the same as a mill-worker in this little lumber town......but as time passed the Guards wages jumped while everyone else's remained stagnate. Now, as has been stated in earlier posts, these glorified security guards are making more than teachers, engineers, carpenters, etc. Now don't get me wrong.....I'm not saying these guys (and gals) are making too much, I'm saying that if a prison guard makes $70,000.00 for staying awake, a carpenter, or a plumber or a school teacher or..you name it....should make more!
I have numerous friends that are guards........all of them tried to make a living some other way, but they all finally broke-down and became guards because the private sector just didn't offer the pay and benefits. (And they didn't have the skills/education to capture a job that equaled the pay of a guard).
I think the pay disparity between these state workers and the private sector is a good indicator of the sorry economic state of our Country in general. Just look at how many people in the private sector are being screwed out of their pensions while these state workers' pensions just keep getting fatter! Basically you can thank Ronald Reagan and all the Republican voters who fell for his B.S. Since Reagan, voters have been convinced that we don't need labor unions and worker protection laws, we don't need regualtions-we're "rugged individualists". We've been bombarded w/ right-wing talk radio/etc saying we don't need all those pesky unions and regualtions-so, for the most part, as a country we took away the power of the true labor unions. We now have entire industries (take construction for example) that used to be highly unionized with a well-trained, well-paid workforce that was self-sufficient, meaning that thru their union they had good medical and retirement benefits-but now those industries are mostly non-union with low-paid non-skilled workers who are subsidized by the government because they are considered "working poor", and they get food stamps, medi-cal, subsidized housing/etc! But as the private sector unions faded, the government unions flourished and now we have the current situation we are in-where the public servants enjoy all of the benefits of belonging to a powerfull union, while those of us that pay their wages thru our taxes see our wages/benefits fall.
I could write for days on this subject-but I just want to stress that America needs to wake-up! It's not that these guards are over-paid, it's that everyone else is underpaid!!!
Wed Jun 28 2006 4:11 PM
Well, I'm pretty new to the prison system, (about 3 years now- visiting my very old dad), But I am very curious with some of the comments I've read on this site. I ralize some of them are old coments (2004) but I feel compelled to respond. The first that grabs me is the CDC wife- your description of your husbands work environment sounds just like mine... I'm a NURSE in a hospital with the county contract. This means there are SEVERAL prisoners hospitalized at one time. I am surrounded by HEP A<B<C HIV/ and everything else under the sun- yet, I work holidays (kids are 6 and 4) I take off my shoes before coming into my house, I even strip off clothes in garage before touching my kids! The point is, I DO NOT feel that it would ever be appropriate to degrade/mistreat another HUMAN BEING because "I'm having a bad day" or "He's a criminal" or "I'm bored" or "Everyone else is doing it". In fact, I don't even ask about the crime committed because I don't want it to influence my judgement of another human being- which is most likely the risk officers are taking by knowing the crime. Do I feel all officers are corrupt" No. Do I feel that there is only 1% of corrupt ones? No. My dear, the number is much greater than that. Do I feel that the job of an officer is potentially dangerous? Yes. As with many other professions- but most know that going into it- and if you missed that part when you started, rethink your line of business. My dad was hurt by 2 officers while he WAS HOSPITALIZED(because ALL prisoners in hospitals are assigned 2 officers to gaurd the room! Talk about a waste of tax payers money. Most of the time they are sitting outside the room reading/crossword puzzles/talking amongst themselves or on the phone). They yanked him up after he fell from the wheelchair and when he said something to them, one of them threw a metal cannister at him! Luckely there was a nurse and houskeeper witnesses it. Not all hsopitalized prisoners need 2 guards. I just pointed this out because the system is corrupt/overpopulated/ and yes, in many cases unjust. Yes, some guard do play favoritism. Yes, guards do bend rules to satisfy either a personal satisfaction, play a favoritism, or just to flat out punish someone. I feel there is a gross misuse of power by guards in many cases and Misuse of power can be very dangerous. Keep in mind that not all guards do this, but without a doubt lady, it is way more that 1%. Don't kid yourself.
Sun Jul 30 2006 3:32 PM
Guard Girl:- i believe it is time for you to seek other job prospects. I say JOB becuase from the sounds of things, You are TRULEY not a professional. In fact, I think the term is "Unprofessional". If what you wrote is truly how you feel, you are a very dangerous person to work for/with. I agree with the person who wrote that you should further your education... preferably with a few classes in sociology and psychology, oh and maybe a class or two in anger management. You need to chill out with the hospitily girl. Why on earth woulf you choose to be a prison guard if you truly feel the way you conveyed yourself here? Is it because you feel that thispopulation of people are "throw-aways" or that somehow they are beneath you and you feel empowered with all of your personal rage? Who on god's green earth interviewed you and allowed you to work with other human beings? My suggestion to you girl is to seek a job that DOESN"t involve working with people and for god's sakes, Take a chill pill of some sort!!!
Sun Jul 30 2006 3:43 PM
Please do you have any cheese to go with that whine? Blaming Reagan because your buddies were “forced” to become a prison guards spare me - you and those like you are what’s wrong with this country blame everyone else for your misfortune. Tell me is there some one putting a gun to your friends heads to stay in Susanville, CA?
There is the rest of the country where they can make their fortunes! You talk as if labor unions were the be all and end all for the American worker unions are destroying American industry most are in the mob’s pocket and the rest suck dues out of American workers and pay them lip service, I’ve been in a union and was disgusted with the business owner paying off the union rep and the union rep saying to the rank and file “after heated negotiations we have come to an agreement” I got out of there!
Tell me how much would you pay for a domestic car? Pick one any one justify to me paying 25,000 for something worth maybe 18,000 I’ll justify it for you Unions obligating industry to pay 20.00 hr to someone putting a nut on a bolt and people hate outsourcing???
Keep obligating the business owners for things like for family medical leave– how soon before you say you should be paid for it! How soon before business owners pay people to stay home oh wait that’s the government (welfare)!
Tell you what take a GOOD look at the deductions on your paycheck and just think of how you could set yourself up for life with that money, tell yourself when you retire that the 800.00 per month you get from Social Security will keep you alive when if the government (but mostly democrats) knows you could have prepared for your golden years yourself but the government wants you addicted to that SS check because with out it they have no power over you.
Do some research, there’s a town (the name escapes me at the moment) in Texas that opted out of FICA and the retirees receive something between 4 & 8 THOUSAND per month.
Bottom line is that you and your friends can go anywhere you want if you don’t like the circumstances you’re in, so feel free to wallow in your woe-is-me attitude!
Sun Jul 30 2006 10:05 PM
yall r crazy. d prisons r crap dats all it is. dont try and say der not. why r ppl in dire need of health care being turned down? holding in the pain and anger dat dwells in dem. u cant say oo just cuz der criminals. but der is ppl who R not guilty. did u evr think of dat? evry1 needs to c the real way things r workin in dese jails. innocent ppl r gettin hurt and killed and evn the wrong doers need der chance and day. u cant discrimanate cuz der criminals or prisonors. and dont u dare get no attitude wit me i have the RIGHT to. my own father is in jail 4 suttn he DID not do. hes gettn treated horribly and he doesnt deserve it. he will b dead soon enough not bein fed and the abuse form the other cell mates. this needs to b stoped and this is the only way i can speak out. listen to my ear and listen to wut i have to say.
Tue Aug 1 2006 11:55 AM
My buddies weren't "forced" to become Prison guards-they chose to because the private sector jobs paid low wages with no benefits! Sure, they could move away from Susanville but this is their hometown. I'm not blaming anyone for their "missfortune", I'm explaining that their pay is very lopsided when compared w/ the private sector-they are fortunate to have a good paying job w/ benefits-very rare in todays phony "free market" society that all you dumb-ass republicans created! (By the way-I make much more then a Guard, but I am very skilled @ what I do, I don't just "put in my time" for a paycheck which is what many of the state and government workers do).
In regards to your comment about labor unions ruining America....I ask you one question. How many retired non-union construction workers do you know that are drawing a pension, have medical care, etc? For every (1) that you show me, I'll show you 10,000 retired union construction workers! I was an Organizor for the Carpenters Union here in California for a while-it was amazing how many old geezers I met that were still out there busting their ass for "cash under the table" with no hope for the future, just hope that the Boss will give them an easy job when they're too old to do anything else....then it's off to join the homeless, or go on welfare because they don't have anything for the future. I also ran into many non-union guys who claimed "I was union-they stole my pension", of course after talking a little longer it was obvious their pension wasn't "stolen", they just didn't get vested in the pension plan before they went to work non-union-so I would ask them "what kind of retirement plan is your non-union employer providing"? Of course the answer was always-nothing! I take that back-a few had 401k's or the like, but if the Carpenter didn't contribute out of his after tax earnings then he didn't get shit-and of course they don't have enough $$ left over to contribute to the 401k. You know what most of the "smart" non-union guys do? After working 10-15 yrs and realizing they have nothing for the future-they become state or government workers! How ironic, many of these guys worked for cash all their lives (i.e. they never contributed their fair share of taxes/etc), then they go on the public dole w/ a government job so they can get a pension! Who the hell do you think made up all the slack for stupid scabs like that? I'll tell you-private sector union members!!!! People who take care of themselves and each other!!
As for your comment re buying a domestic car...it's a fact that $1500.00 of every car made in America goes to pay for health care, while evry other country in the world that manufactures cars for sale in our market have National Health care plans! If you dumbass republicans would have let Bill Clinton institute a national health care plan 12 years ago 90% of the health care mess we are in wouldn't exist! By the way-you say an autoworker is making $20.00/hr to put a nut on, a CA Prison guard makes $40.00/hr to stay awake! The whole health care issue is quite interesting...we already have national health care-it's just that a very small # of us are paying for it-yep you guessed it-private Union members! Think about it-if a non-union Carpenter (working poor) goes to the Dr, welfare pays the bill (who pays for welfare-me), if a government worker goes to the hospital who pays the bill-the government (again-me the taxpayer), so essentially that's the reason my insurance costs so much-because I'm paying for my neighbor, the Prison guards, the Scab construction worker who's taking my job, and all government workers...and probably you!! And you know who's laughing all the way to the bank? Yep.....the employers who are being subsidized by me the Taxpayer!! (i.e. like non-union construction companies, Wal Mart, fast food joints, etc that pay low wages and no benefits).
As for the Social Security comments......sure there's some truth to what you're saying. But I've been around long enough to know that the vast majority of people in this country would take that $$ and blow it! (Just look at all the dumbasses buying $40,000.00 trucks, $100 sneakers, and big screen TV's-they can't afford them-but they qualify for credit to buy them. If they had an additional $500.00/month they'd blow it on toys!) I for one am not counting on SS for retirement, I'll have a decent pension from the Carpenter's Union, and I own 8 rental houses. I do know that many people would be homeless and hungry if not for the SS they are getting. (Ask all those Enron employees if they would've rather had all their SS $$ invested in Enron stock).
Sorry, but I'm not wallowing in the "woe is me swamp", I'm wallowing in the "Woe is America swamp" because this country is going in the wrong direction. Just remember....if it wasn't for the whiners and the dissidents this great country wouldn't exist. I guess we should all just let the Republicans screw us out of everything without so much as a whimper (it's un-patriotic to bitch about your government in time of war). It's pathetic that this Republican controlled country is more interested in who's sleeping with who in Hollywood, or what team's going to the Super Bowl, then in what's going on behind closed doors-politicians and big buisness fleecing America!!
Fri Aug 4 2006 1:18 AM
Book can be purchased at:
Exiting New Book Helps Families who have a loved one incarcerated in any of the 33 State Prisons in California.
La Habra,Ca.-- (Cali Love Press Release)-August 3,2006 -Cali Love Publishing today announced the publication of a new book "Family Guide to Visiting California State Prisons." This new book by publisher and author Laura Frisbee gives first hand knowledge from the experience and problems she has encountered in her journeys to visit her family member. Along with the problems, she has also included solutions that she found helpful in making the trips easier with fewer complications.
"This book is about helping families from all walks of life to make there visit a pleasant and less stressful trip visiting loved ones incarcerated in California State Prisons." "Everyone makes mistakes in life nobody's perfect and some are caught and do time." says author Frisbee. "I wrote this book because many families aren't aware of our legal system and the consequences once a loved one is convicted to do time in any of the 33 California State Prisons, Fire Camps, and community correctional facilities I know from first hand experience."
Other items include sample letters, sample forms you may need. This book can be kept in a glove box of car, suitcase, and book shelf for future reference if a loved one is transferred to another prison. This book is a must have for you!
Wed Aug 9 2006 5:43 PM
I think everyone needs to remember that all correctional officers are merely people. There are good and bad. These people go into a negative enviroment every day and sometimes they do act unprofessional. Iv'e been to Wal-Mart though and have seen their people act the same way to customers too. They are just people, it happens. If you don't like it, don't got to prison. Just as if you don't like your treatment say at a grocery store, you wouldn't go back.
How do I know about this. I was a correctional officer. I was spit on, had my rib broke, and finally was attacked by a mental impaired (in the inmates words, not mine) inmate and was injured so bad I retired. I was cussed at daily and was masterbated at too many times to count. I was once sexually threatened by an inmate because he thought the food I gave him was not as much as what his celling got! He told me that, well what he said to me was so gross that I simply won't write it. I have had many inmates threaten my children and have heard many other officers children or families be threatened. I have also met inmates who were respectful men and were treated with respect from all staff.
Yes, I did cuss at the inmates, but they never complained to me or any supervisor. This was mostly because they had been cussing at me. That's how they talk. I have seen men who had been raped and placed in protective custody, attack officers. I have seen officers say some inappropriate things to inmates out of frustration. Unporfessional, yes. But they are only human, I'm sure everyone who has posted here has done that at one time.
I have never seen inmates set up to fight. I have seen inmates file law suits so they are not locked down after a riot, only to have them stab someone when they are let off lock down. I have never seen inmates beaten by officers either. I have seen officers get in inmates faces, but on these few occassions the inmates were cussing and in the officers face. Does it make it right? Not on wither the officers or the inmates part. Is is understandable? Yes, most people would not back down if cussed at and threatened.
I have also seen inmates get visits from their wife one weekend and their girlfriend the next. I have personally hugged a girlfriend who showed up on the same day as the wife because she was so humiliated. The wife was just pissed. I have searched cells for contraband and have seen the letters from all different women to one inmate. One guy actually told me, "If you call them all baby (or the other word he used), you won't accidentally call them another girl's name. your safe"!
These are they people officers deal with everyday. They have lived their lives as "fast talkers" and manipluators and they will continue to do so. They will tell you whatever they think you want to hear because it benefits them. I have never once heard of an inmate saying to an outside group, "Yeah, I cuss at them, spit on them, I'll fight them, heck I'd even threaten to sexually assualt them. But they shouldn't react to it. So help me by bad mouthing all correctioanl officers."
Doesn't it seem odd to anyone that they act like they are model prisoners who are just wronged at tevery turn by mean prison guards? They can't be as innocent in their behavior as they portray, they were convicted of a felony (many numerous felonies) or they wouldn't be in prison.
Just a few ideas for everyone think about. But mostly I want people to understand that correctional officers are just people, they do bad things and make mistakes. Everyone does. Let's all try to have a little more understanding.
Fri Dec 22 2006 4:45 AM
DO YOU THINK CALIFORNIA WILL EVER ENFORCE A TENT CAMP PRISON LIKE ARIZONAS SHERIFF JOE RUNS?
Thu Jan 11 2007 4:47 PM
does anyone know how i can report abuse in a california prison i need help please my dad is in there and needs help really bad if anyone knows what i can do please write back
Wed Jan 24 2007 7:32 PM
I HAVE A 18 YEAR OLD WHO HAS BEEN IN THIS CALIFORNIA PRISON SYSTEM IN TRACY WAITING TO SERVE HIS TIME AND WE HAVE NOT HEARD FROM HIM IN OVER A MONTH.DOES ANY ONE KNOW IF HE CAN MAKE PHONE CALL OR ??? AND WHEN YOU CALL TRACY PRISON NO ONE WILL ANSWER THE PHONE?CAN ANY ONE TELL ME HOW IT IS IN TRACY?
Wed Feb 14 2007 7:26 PM
I DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS IN STATE PRISON, WHO CARES ABOUT CORRUPTION IN PRISON WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH CORRUPTION IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. MY SON WAS MURDERED IN 2004 & THE MURDERER PLEAD GUILTY AFTER THERE WAS A MISTRAIL IN 2006. I DON'T GIVE A DAMN WHAT HAPPENS IN THERE. IT IS A BILLON DOLLAR BUSINESS. WE NEED MONEY FOR OUR FUTURE, & A BETTER EDUCATION SYSTEM. I'M NOT SAYING THAT EVERY INMATE DESERVES HORRIBLE TREATMENT, THE ONLY ONES I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT IS THE MURDERERS, RAPERS, & CHILD MOLESTERS. I DON'T HAVE ANY SYMPATHY FOR NONE OF THEM. THEY PUT THEMSELVES IN THAT HELL HOLE!!!!!! LET THEM SUFFER LIKE WE ARE SUFFERING FROM THE MURDER OF OUR CHILDREN. THEY DON'T DESERVE SPECIAL TREATMENT. THEY HAVE MORE PRIVILEGES THAN OUR CHILDREN, LIKE FREE ROOM & BOARD, FREE HEALTH CARE, FREE FOOD ECT..... THEY SHOULD MAKE THEM WORK OUR IN THE FIELDS LIKE THEY DO IN THE SOUTH, & STOP TAXPAYERS FROM PAYING FOR THEIR HOUSING. OUR CHILDREN NEED THAT MONEY FOR BETTER PROGRAMS.
THOSE INMATES CAN GO TO HELL & STAY THERE AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED. THE MURDERER WHO KILLED MY SON IS GOING TO STATE PRISON ON HIS 18TH BIRTHDAY & I HOPE IT'S NOT PRETTY!!!!! HE GOT ONLY A MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE BECAUSE HE PLEAD GUILTY. HE KILLED MY SON IN COLD BLOOD. MY SON DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT WAS COMING AT HIM WHEN THE MURDERER PULL OUT A GUN & SHOT MY SON TO DEATH. HE THINKS THAT HE OUT SLICKED THE SYSTEM BUT HE IS A TWO TIME LOSER & I HOPE HE GETS 3 STIKES WHILE HE IS IN PRISON.
Mon Feb 26 2007 12:25 AM
Relax a bit. My son is currently at the Wasco reception center and contact is limited. No phone calls, but they are allowed to write. He brought some paper with him and a few envelopes from county, but he said they weren't allowing any commissary until April.
It appears to be a premeditated approach to cut off contact with the outside, without incurring the wrath of the bleeding hearts in the legal system.
My son is only 20 and he IS in there innocently. I have the ATM pictures to PROVE that it wasn't him, and a gas station attendant who confirmed the stolen credit card taken during the armed robbery 10 minutes earlier was used by this other kid. He wasn't even AT the freakin scene of the crime, yet, he sits in Wasco awaiting transfer to where he'll spend the next 15 years of his life.
Hopefully, the appeals will right a horrible wrong, as we KNOW the kid who committed the armed robbery.
For those of you who believe whatever prisoners get, they deserve--Wake up. These are fellow human beings.
Besides, conservative estimates place the number of innocently incarcerated inmates in CA at around 8000 of a growing 173,000 inmate population. Tell their families they deserve whatever they get.
Sure, most are guilty, many are truly bad human beings and overall conditions suck. However, when I read of guards coming on here whining about inferior working conditions,followed by faint efforts of trying to justify prisoner abuse...you've lost me.
Last time I checked, the lesser of 2 evils STILL leaves me with 2 evils to choose sides from.
The primary solace I take with the current status of our terribly broken prison system is that one day these very same guards who abuse others with impugnity will face a Judge far stricter than the ones these inmates were sentenced by.
As the lady who worked in the prison so eloquently stated....it's not a black and white proposition. At this point, pointing fingers is only going to contribute to further decay and delay in fixing a terribly broken system.
It's in EVERYONES best interests that we get it fixed and resolved. The recidivism rate is astronomical in this state, primarily because these guys are only equipped for one thing when they leave: daily survival, by hook, or by crook.
Sadly, when they leave prison, the crook option is all many of them know to choose. Meanwhile, we unwittingly become their potential prey due to our current apathy, since the problem hasn't hit our household YET.
Sat Mar 10 2007 3:15 AM
I am an ex inmate.To the guard. You complain inmates make shanks and blah,blah blah.Maybe you can explain to me why a so called department of "corrections" Does not even attempt to fulfill its primary purpose? Corrections implies the act of correcting.I was in for 5 years and never saw anyone try to correct a damn thing.The governors budget overview posted on the CDCR home page claims there is over 5 million dollars needed for services and programs for re-integrating paroles back into society.This money aids inmates with cash, housing,clothing,and food.When I click on the service link I find a bunch of charities. There is not one halfway house in the region of riverside county.You people charge the citizens 5 million this year for services that dont exist.It might interfere with your job security.I ask my parole officer for help with food and he tells me to pick up cans.Cry me a river. And why when manipulating society with media panic dont you make it known that 70 percent of Ca. prison poulation are in for victimless crimes? Yeah I did the 5research off your own web site. It seems a little cowardly to cry danger when 70 percent of the population never hurt anyone and the oither 30 percent are in locked cells and wont be getting out.The purpose of Corrections is to rte-socialise offenders. But you dont dare do that because then the need for your 70,000 dollar a year drain on Ca. citizens wouldnt be justifiable. So instead you promote a culture that is resocialised by harder criminals because you know that they are guaranteed to come back.So save that punk bull crap to spread on your lawn.When CDCR actually impliments programs to change things things will change. But how dare you sit by and draw paychecks and snivel about the shit your paid to do but refuse.
Mon Apr 2 2007 1:33 PM
I have to set the record straight. I spent 26 years in a California State Prison for manslaughter, enhanced by using a weapon, and taking a police officer hostage trying to avoid arrest (kidnapping). I have lived on a level IV 180 housing unit (the highest security). I can tell you THE FACT IS, there are corrupt officers, but they are the small minority. For the most part, Correctional Officers DO a good job, and DO treat us fairly. There ARE a small minority of bad officers. Those officers are lazy, and DO sit on their asses for as much time as they can get away with. I have been called every name in the book, but usually by inmates of other gangs or races. I have only been called ethnic names and slurs by a couple of officers. There is a code on a level IV yard that you HAVE to live by. You HAVE to abide by certain politics, and that is just how it is if you want to survive on the mainline. There ARE rules and codes that convicts have to live by if they want to stay in good standing and stay in one piece. Those who don't end up becoming PC's, and get moved to an RM program or transfer to an SNY program. I was able to survive on a level IV 180 yard for eleven years. You pretty much have to stick with your own (race & ethnicity). You HAVE to abide by your people's rules. You HAVE to put in work when you are told to do so. That is, you have to stab someone or thoroughly beat him up to get him off the yard, or you have to be a weapons maker, or a mule, or whatever else you are told to do. Doing that stuff didn't make me considered to be weak or a punk. It's just the rules of the game. I did what I had to do to survive. In my over 1/4 century of incarceration, I have only known of two C/O's to mule in drugs. If you think about it, that's a pretty small number compared to the 30,000 that work in the system today. In contrast, inmates bringing drugs in through visiting is the norm. It happens EVERY weekend. Trust me. There was a time that I was a visiting porter, and I was told that every Saturday after visiting was over and I was cleaning up and emptying out the trash, I was instructed that there would be drugs taped to the side of a certain trash bag. So, while I was dumping the trash, I would have to keep an eye on this particular trash bag, find the drugs, stick them up my hind end, and bring them in to the housing unit. From there, I was retrieve them and pass them on to the contact who then took a cut and split them up. I always got paid for my work, and I also did my share of getting high. I was usually pretty smart about my techniques, so I never got caught muling them in. I can go into great lengths about how to make weapons, how to set up a hit, etc. but I'd need to write a book. According to our code, we HAVE to pass our paperwork around everytime we change yards or transfer, and it has to be checked and approved by the shot caller for that group. If there are any discrepancies, then we get beat up or stabbed. Fortunately, my paperwork was always okay. The convicts in prison don't have any problems with accepting someone for murder, drugs, etc. With few exceptions, there is NO tolerance for child molesters or rapists. It all depends on the type of offenses you've committed, whether or not you have an "R" on your jacket, etc. Funny though, certain groups (blacks), don't really care if their own have committed rape or child molestation. But if a white or southern mexican inmate does, just consider him a dead man. There is no other crime that is more despicable to those inmates than these types of crimes. As for guards setting up fights and then sending us to the hole for no reason, that hardly ever happens. I can't say it has never happened, because I have seen that too. But as I said earlier, these types of guards are very few and far between. In fact, I have met quite a few guards that I have grown to respect, and if I ever saw them on the streets, I would buy them a beer. They were fair, honest, and did their job. Some of them live by a code as well. Even though prison is often a game of cat and mouse, most guards don't take it personally when they get beat. That's just how it goes. We are expected to take every advantage we can, and they are expected to catch us. We beat them about 75% of the time. Sometimes when we get caught, the guards do take it personal, because they're embarrassed. But others understand the politics in prison, and they just take it as a lesson learned and try to learn from it. Oh, we watch the guards constantly, and figure out their habits. We quickly learn which ones are the weak link, and those are the ones that we beat each and every time. I have also heard some good old guard school some of the new green fng's. Some of the old guards have standards that they live by which make all our lives easier. They tell the younger guards not to mess with an inmates food, or his mail. He knows this will cause great tension in the prison and people can get killed over bullshit like that. As for throwing inmates in the hole without any reason or paperwork, that happened twenty years ago. But in the last ten years, we are always given paperwork that tells us that we are being sent to the hole, and the reasons why. Sometimes it's because some snitch has given up our game, or because a snitch was a witness to what we did. Those are the inmates we remove from the yard. And believe it or not, the guards have no tolerance of these types of inmates either. I have given thought during the holidays when my family has come and visited me for Christmas, of the guards who have had to spend sixteen hours working and not having Christmas with their own families so we could have Christmas with ours. Hey, I'm no guard lover. But for the most part, most of them are fair. There IS corruption in the California Prison System. But it isn't prevalent at the guards level. It's the administration and the assholes in Sacramento who haven't set foot in a prison in twenty years who make our lives miserable. For example, a couple of years ago when Sacramento decided to make the property list of acceptable items for inmates who are housed in Ad Seg (the hole). Sacramento decided that we didn't need deodorant. They treated us like we were animals and dogs. Fortunately, after about two months, the warden at my prison at the time got a waiver from Sacramento. But let me tell you, the dicks in Sacramento almost started getting guards killed for their stupid ass decision. This kind of stuff happens all the time. But like I said, it's not the guards who implement these rules. It's only the guards who are ordered to enforce these rules. I talked to alot of guards about the deodorant issue at the time, and they all felt the way I did. That is, that the whole think just wasn't fair, as they wouldn't want to have to live without deodorant either. With the exception of just a few bad apple guards, the rest of them try to be fair, and most of them do earn their $75,000 a year that they make.
We do get two hot meals a day plus a sack lunch. We do have jobs available to us if we want to work. We get paid, but it's really shitty. I earned .35 cents an hour at my last job. But that is enough for me when I go to the store once each month to get my little stash of candy, chips, cosmetics, sodas, soups, and other misc. items. When I paroled, the prison gave me a check for the $343 that I had left in my account there, PLUS they handed me $200 cash that the state gives every inmate on the day they parole. Now granted, just after we got off prison grounds, we got the bus driver (private company), to stop at the first store and we got our supply of beer, cigarettes, and other little stuff. While in prison, we do get (shitty) clothes to wear, and we CAN buy our own TV's, radio's, fans, CD players, CD's, etc. I suppose I can go on a little more about the prison politics, and how going to yard is mandatory, as is role call, and putting in work. Tattoo's are common, and I got pretty good at giving them to other inmates of my race who wanted them. I actually think I earned the equivalent of a PhD in prison regarding gangs, weapons, drugs, psychology, sociology, manipulation, etc. It is a whole different civilization and world inside the prison walls. A whole foreign set of rules of which to live by, and a heiarchy that must be followed if you want to survive. You can question, but you must also act and serve when needed. Those are just the sobering facts. Guards have bad days just as convicts do. I don't "hate" guards just because they're guards. The only guards I have no respect for are the ones who have earned that status. I have the same feelings about some inmates too. I have been in my share of fights and race riots, but that doesn't mean I'm prejudice or a racist. It's just what has to be done in order to survive. Each prison in California is different. I have lived in seven different prisons. Each level IV 180 yard is different from another IV 180 yard, even at the same prison. They're different from a IV 270 yard, and they're very different from a level III yard. It's a whole different type of life that you will never understand unless you've actually lived in a prison. For those of you who think you know about prison life just because you've visited someone in prison, or just because you took a tour of a prison, or you've read books about one, or you heard a story from someone doesn't mean you know SHIT about what TRULY goes on in a California Prison. What Prison has taught me is that I fear no man, and I know I am capable of doing absolutely anything to anybody if I so desire, and if the situation dictates that I need to. I have been fair and objective in this letter. For those of you who don't want believe me, BLOW IT OUT YOUR ASS, KEEP YOUR HEAD BURIED IN THE SAND, AND GO TO HELL.
Mon Apr 2 2007 11:44 PM
Sorry, it's a bit long, but so much more happened and is happening!
You would be amazed as to how many innocent people are in Jails and Prison!
Innocent or NOT, I OPPOSE SLAVERY as defined in California Constitution Article 1, section 6!
Guarantied, if half of the innocent People are cared for, with out violence, they can be out 3-6 months and be a great part of society again. After only 12 hours, when they let me go, the happy free feeling lasted a very short time. The out rage, well you can only Imagen?
It took an Officer min. to take everything from me! And kept it! Including all of my keys. Took me to jail, I very first time. Never even had gone to visit someone before. Kept there 12 hours. Kicked out with only the clothing on my back. Happy as hell, headed home (walking). About a block away, it hit me, How am I going to get into my Apt.? With threats, I was made to sign multiple documents, none of which were made copies of for me, per my request. After several days of recovery, I made it to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Office (arresting agency) to retrieve what ever I can. They denied me a report (there was no victim- other then me) and the tow company wanted the full amount $2,000 approx, if I was to get anything back. Contacted Every Local agency and court to see if there is a trial date for me, not a thing. A friend needed a ride (got the car running), when I arrived she was being questioned by an Officer. The Officer asked for my info, I gave her my ID, she ran a check, told me that there is a warrant out for me (Another first). The Officer was cool, didn't do anything about it, told me how to fix it. It was on a weekend, the next day, just walking to get some food, get stopped (unlawfully), the questioned me, I answered everything (BIGG NO NO EVERYONE - DO NOT SAY A THING!!!!) I also informed them of my warrant, they ran a check, and it was like Christmas, one of their eyes light up, got out of the car and started touching me (unlawful search - nothing seized - I was just going to get something to eat). Put in a complaint, they retaliated. My motorcycle sold, I was never notified (Violation of the US Constitution) I still have not had a court hearing, not found guilty yet? Filed Civil Lawsuits ALL dismissed, the judges (federal), never even spoke to me. By the way, I am now (6May07) 33 Years Old, I was 32 (first time going to jail). never involved in any legal issues to speak of, 2nd Golf War Disabled Veteran (medical Discharge - Honorable), was a medic in the US Army, was going to college to be a nurse. From the first FAULTS ARREST, till now, I have no idea how many times it has been. Because every agency keeps says, “no”. When I request a report. The last time I made a request, City's Attorney replied with an Objection, I wrote back thanking them. A few days later, 4-6 men, telling me that they are officers (didn't show me ID, when I asked for it). Handcuffed me for about an hour in a patrol car (only two men in uniform, the others in plain clothing). I find out that I am on a terrorist list.
NOW WHAT? I have charges pending, The “Judge” assigned rules without informing me, or having the courts send the rulings/decisions.
Sun May 6 2007 8:52 AM
I have read your print and I must disagree with you the Governor has fallen under the pressure of speical groups he will not release nonviolent prisoners, thats whay all the new beds. more prisoners , more guards, more money, bigger union, more power. their sick leave is a joke I have heard in a beauty shop I had to take sick leave because daughter bleached her hair so I had to stay home to fix it.
Tue May 8 2007 10:29 PM
I work as a correctional officer in arizona state prison system.I have been with the department going on 8 years.Crazy as it may seem speaking from my experiences only, and this being my opinion.I have had more problems working with certain staff, then do inmates.To be specific supervisors in general. They feel they are above law and can say or do what they want, and because they wear the bars and stripes, this entitles them to treat people like garbage.My first 5 years with the department were the best, i was trained by good officers, and had good supervisors.
It is a shame though that not everyone is like this.The word fair is non-exsistent, and you have old school deputy wardens,that like to run their yards like it was back in the day.I consider myself a good officer, i manage inmates very well, my population on my yard is about 700 plus inmates.I can honestly say that i know 95% of my inmates.I walk and talk with inmates all day, under good and bad conditions. I search their cells, i find their herion and syringes, i"m familar with all the gangs, and i settle things at it lowest level whenever possible without compromising myself or others.I am a female officer, and well respected by my peers.I come to work everyday, my boot are polished, my uniform looks good.I'm not a problem officer, inmates don't complain me, even though i take there drugs and weapons on a regular basis.I have earned their respect in the prison system by being fair, and consistent with every inmate.I"m not there to judge them . they have been sentenced for their crimes already, now my job is to keep them safe and society safe, and that is to include myself and other staff as well.I suppose where i have experienced the corruption has nothing to do with inmates but with the administration, that allows wrong doing to go on.I speak for myself, that i am, and have experienced this corruption, through lies and deceit by my immediate lieutents, and one sergeant.They speak of the code of conduct, like it was yesterdays news.They expect you to abide by it, and memorize it, but they themselves don't acknowledge it.I have been personally treated like dog poop for better words.I had an incident occurr when new officers were locking down my building, of course without checking out IDs, placed inmates in a cell.I returned from locking another building down and proceeded to conduct my count, and we cleared @ 1623 hrs.Shortly thereafter my sgt. showed up and he told my control room officer he was placing two inmates on report.He proceeded to walk the pod in search of these inmates.Keep in mind i have conducted count , the pod is locked down the rest of the night til the next count. The sgt. goes to the cell and my control officer opens the door, and my sgt. then realizes that the id does not resemble the inmate.Instead of the sgt. calling me back to the cellblock, my supervisor decides he will place this inmate right back ( into the wrong cell).The day goes on, and myself and another officer conduct random searches, mind you I have no idea this occurred, til after the fact and looking at everything that happened. At 1949 hrs count was called, and my partner conducted count, and we cleared it.(so we thought).I begin to do random searches and go to a cell, we find out that the wrong inmate is in the cell. we beigin a search for the other inmate, and find him in the cell on the top tier, OOO where the sgt. had gone to place an inmate on report that wasn't there.The inmate was downstairs the entire time.My supervisors ,to be specific my lieutenant, does like me very much.Every chance he gets he wants to hammer me, find fault, even create issues that aren't there.Although my pace file does not reflect any negative interventions with supervisors, or negative feedback as a result of my work history, this guy now knows the wrong inmate was in the cell, because the sgt. shared that with him, and now was his chance to get me..
Right from the beginning the wrong doing was the sgt. allowing the inmate to stay in that cell, it was better for him to feed into the negativity of the lieutenants, by giving them that info to set me up.They thought they had it under raps until i decided to interveiw the inmates myself, and double check paper work and logs.I then found out what really happened.I miss my count the first time, my partner missed it the second time, the sgt. who found it kept it to himself, to enjoy what was to happen later on that night.I reported the find, and was to dearly pay for it.the supervisors went on with the interrogation of why i randomly searched that cell , when i have never been questioned before about cell searches.I have always done things by policy, and i was in my assigned area.After this they began getting on very hard calling me down to the office as to intimidate me, and want a confrontation, words were said by mysef that were inappropriate, and this gave a them a reason to file a 601 against me(supervisor complaint)Meanwhile back act the ranch, the were trying to get the officer that searched the cell with me to change his paper work dump everythiing on me, and why was he helping me conduct count.I beieve that maybe in their minds i would either find the mistake and correct it without reporting it, or finding and reporting it, not finding it at all.Of course i did the right thing, obvisouly pissing them off to no end.But due to prea (prison rape elimination act) why would you leave the wrong inmate in a cell if you have knowledge of it, specially when there is no consentual sex allow in the prison system between inmates or staff.The sad part is that my DW and his associates are old school indivduals, and they are doing a wonderful job, or running a crooked yard, the way they like it.which means their way.Complainst go unanswered, and all you get is i'll discuss with the supervisors, and no corrective action is taken.( even though they say they have done so behind the lines)But if it were true, the behavior would change.I have had so many issues with this person, it amazes me how administration continues to ignore the problems with this guy.In any event the moral of the story is, that the system needs to clean out some of the bad apples, and try to play nice and and be fair with staff and inmates.do your job they best way you know , and CYA. because the system doen't always work for you...
Fri May 25 2007 4:42 PM
I am a recent inmate of Los Angeles County Jail
I want to be a volunteer
Thu Jun 7 2007 12:05 PM
I want to find out wich jail cell and prison my brother is in...please help me out i have been looking for him for 2 years
Wed Jul 11 2007 6:43 PM
I just sat and read this whole blog and I must say that the most honest statement came from Parolee 4/2/2007. I was the wife of an inmate, who did 6 small terms. Mainly for parole violations due to being abusive because of drug use, and just doing stupid things. And his story as well as my ex's meshed. So I would say that is how it is. Now for those who want to blame the republican's, get a grip. Politicians for the most part are corrupt, the system was not broke in a decade it won't be fixed in a decade.In 1977 Gov. Jerry Brown Dem., did away with indeterminate sentencing, saying that prisons were for punishment only. Now, last year he wants to run for State Atty. Gen. on a platform that calls for sentencing procedures that would lower prison populations. Now he wants to correct a problem which he helped create. They are all wishy washy, so it's time to start facing the facts and find solutions that are Californian not Republican or Democratic. Lots of folks in prison are NON violent offenders. Small time dope fiends, that just can't complete probation and violate, or can't keep in a program. They only are hurting themselves. Now bear with me, it's okay to be straight, just don't be narrow minded for a minute. If it were up to me, I would decriminalize marijuana. That would empty out alot of people. Also, the revenue the state could make off the taxes would be enormous. Alcohol is a worse drug than marijuana. And nobody says that if it was legal you would have to use it. I prefer it myself over alcohol. The other effect which would be quite beneficial, is that if it was allowed to be grown, like it was in the 1700's,by people like Pres. Thomas Jefferson, for one, the green house effect would be reversed in about 20 years. So, it would help alot of people even if they didn't use it. Also the 3 strike law, that was meant to be used on people who kill children, rape and molest them or are repeat VIOLENT offenders. Even the authors of that bill are disheartened by the way things have gone. What about being able to discipline our children without CPS or school counselors telling them if your parents spank you come to us and they will be punished. So we can't spank our kids but we can pay money for any damage they do till age 18, and then the prison system will punish them for us. It's ironic don't you think?! As well as sickening. How about putting God back in the schools(as far as the pledge of allegiance)? I never thought about it til I was older, but back in the 60's through the early 80's, nobody I knew was disrespecting teachers or bring guns and knifes to school, or killing their classmates. School for the most part was the safest place to be if you weren't at home. I am 43 and have never talked to my parents the way my now 16 year old daughter spoke to me at the age of 11 because, "Ms. Floyd said you can't do anything about it".Maybe just saying the word set a tone of reverence and respect toward others the whole day. Maybe I am wrong. Where were those bleeding heart liberals when I was getting spanked for lieing, or coming home late without calling? I am glad they were not around, I came out a better individual without them. Maybe there should only be male guards for male prisoners, and visa versa.Maybe guards should not make the big bucks unless they are qualified and have some education in criminal psychology or sociology. Maybe prisoners should not have the choice to be segregated by race or gang affiliation, Why should they "run the show", so to speak. maybe if these people got an understanding of each others cultures, they would be able to get along with more people on the outside. i think what people mistake as fear toward other races is just a lack of knowledge about others and their beliefs. And the chain gang and tent prison are great ideas. they still have the chain gang in Tennessee. Wouldn't it be alot different if your family had to pay your way through prison like the parents do to put their kids through college? Back in the "old west" days, justice was swift and harsh. There were no prisons, as in other countries, you steal, lose a hand. Steal a horse, which was like the car at the time, you were hanged.Maybe that is what we need to do. Start utilizing the death penalty...publically and more often. End the 20 appeals thing. In any other type of court you only get one appeal. Why would a person want to stay alive on death row anyway? why should taxpayers take care of these losers anyway? The people they killed aren't their lives worth anything? And then we add insult to injury by The victims family knowing that some part of their tax dollar are going to feed and take care of the SOB that murdered their loved one. The inmates family doesn't help out and pay the victims families bills, do they? The whole ideology is backasswards if you ask me. well, it's just my ideas and a few suggestions. And the so called war on drugs...what a joke- don't even get me started. Thanks for listening/reading my opinion.
Fri Aug 24 2007 9:59 PM
Whoops i forgot to mention, remember when that kid got caned in public for graffitti? i think that is a great idea too. Speaking only for myself, but i am sure that others will agree that a little public humiliation would go along way as far as deterring crime. In the sixth grade, My best friend's dad was my teacher. Mr. Felker. Back then, home and school backed each others play. well after we were all told NOT to write in ink in our spelling books, I did. And the punishment was for me to get up in front of my class, bend over, grab my ankles, and get 3 swats with a yard stick. It stung, but what had the most effect was the humiliation of it. I must say that I never wrote with a pen in my spelling book again- EVER! Nor any other book to this day. It just goes to show, That some of the best lessons in life are free! They don't have to cost as much money as the prison system makes, and it makes little impact for the betterment of people but costs way too much.
Fri Aug 24 2007 10:21 PM
Last week's soundtrack: