Saturday, August 1, 2015

What's going on at CIW

A spike in suicides and attempted suicides has prompted corrections officials to step up oversight at a California women’s prison as inspectors try to pinpoint the cause of the troubling increase.
Four women have killed themselves at California Institution for Women in San Bernardino County in the last 18 months, according to state records. The suicide rate at the facility is more than eight times the national rate for female inmates and more than five times the rate for the entire California prison system.

This Oct. 22, 2012 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Stephanie Feliz. Feliz, 34, was serving a sentence of more than 11 years for crimes including theft, forgery and burglary, when she died March 6, 2015 in California Institution for Women in San Bernardino County. Feliz, whose death was ruled a suicide, is one of four women to kill themselves at this facility in the last 18 months. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP

Such deaths in custody have drawn scrutiny since Sandra Bland was found hanging in a Texas jail cell after a traffic stop that gained national attention amid increased focus on police practices, though she died in a county jail and not a state prison.
In California, the Institution for Women is the only women’s prison in the state to have had any suicides in the last five years, and another 20 of the prison’s 2,000 inmates have attempted suicide during the last year and a half.
It is a shocking turnaround at a facility that last year was cited as a rare example of California providing proper mental health treatment for inmates. All four women who died were receiving mental health treatment in the days before their deaths.

The prison’s psychiatric program was promoted as a positive example in May 2014 by Matthew Lopes, a federal court-appointed overseer who monitors mental health treatment for inmates. Of six inpatient programs for mentally ill inmates statewide, he found that only the one at the women’s institution was providing proper care.
But this January, court-appointed suicide expert Lindsay Hayes labeled the prison “a problematic institution that exhibited numerous poor practices in the area of suicide prevention.” They included inadequate suicide risk evaluations and treatment and not checking on inmates as often as required by department regulations.

That was before Gui Fei Zhang, 73, killed herself a day after being released from suicide watch in February, according to the advocacy group California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Stephanie Feliz, 34, hanged herself less than a month later after several previous attempts and after seeking emergency mental health care the same day she died, the group said, citing letters from her fellow inmates.
“(W)e have women dropping like flies, and not one person has been questioned as to why we believe they are killing themselves,” inmate April Harris, who has been in prison since 1998, wrote to the coalition after Feliz’s death. “I have never seen anything like this. Ever.”

Before the recent surge, there were three suicides at the institution in 14 years.
Cirese LaBerge, who was incarcerated with Feliz for more than a decade, told The Associated Press her friend “was a young, pretty blonde and full of life” who grew despondent in the months before her death.
“I could see her downward spiraling and asking for help, and didn’t receive it,” said LaBerge, who was paroled from the prison in March. “It just seems like they’re housing the mentally ill and not getting them the help they need.”

California prisons have long had a suicide problem, but not among female inmates.
Suicide is predominantly a male phenomenon in prison as in society at large, yet women at the Southern California prison have been killing themselves at “an astronomical rate,” said Jane Kahn, an attorney who has fought to improve prison suicide prevention efforts.
By comparison, there were no suicides in any of California’s three women’s prisons during a similar 18-month period in 2011-12.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation studied each suicide once it realized there was “a cluster, a spike” at the women’s prison, said spokeswoman Dana Simas.

“They could not identify one single underlying issue that indicated that CDCR had any deficiencies in mental health treatment, in lapses in supervision. There were so many variables in each individual’s case that it didn’t point to anything specific that CDCR was doing wrong,” she said. However, the department increased mental health training for prison employees, with extra supervision for some who had “performance issues,” she said.
The prison system’s inspector general recently began sending inspectors to the women’s prison day or night whenever there is a suicide or attempted suicide, the only one of the state’s 34 prisons with that level of scrutiny. The decision was made so “our set of eyes can try to pinpoint what’s going on ... since it seems to be spiking there,” spokesman Shaun Spillane said.

Monday, July 27, 2015

It's an attack on our Pensions

Pensions Under Attack

In their never-ending effort to force-feed warmed-over political ideas to a skeptical public, the pension attackers are back, using new poll-tested language and focus-grouped talking points to undermine retirement security for millions of working families.

Under the Orwellian moniker of the “Voter Empowerment Act,” former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio and their anti-pension cohorts are proposing nothing short of gutting the public employee pension system – one of the last bastions of middle-class economic security.

They are falsely selling their proposed ballot measure as a potential cut in pensions for new employees. In reality, it could cut or eliminate pensions earned by current employees for future work.

Whether it is a function of poor drafting or something more sinister at play, a careful reading of the proposal reveals its potential reach is far more extensive than its backers admit. This proposal attempts to eliminate state constitutional protections for current and future employees to receive the pension benefits they were promised when they were hired.

What Reed and DeMaio are selling as “voter empowerment” is little more than a bait and switch, allowing governments to break promises made to teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public employees when they were hired, and to essentially rewrite their benefits without any negotiation or other compensation. Many public employees make long-term financial planning decisions based on the promises made to them when they were first hired.

This brazen assault on retirement security makes contracts for public employees meaningless, permitting voters, without collective bargaining, to increase or decrease compensation and retirement benefits by initiative and referendum. The proposal repeals 60 years of law and alters the fundamental balance of power between workers and management. It closes pension plans to new employees and prohibits government employers from contributing funds to existing pension plans to fund promised benefits without voter approval.

This proposal goes well beyond anything Reed attempted in San Jose, or what DeMaio tried in San Diego. This is an effort to undermine the very foundation of economic security and public pensions in our state. Even its proponents admit the initiative is much more than meets the eye. The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Steve Greenhut, a longtime pension warrior, gleefully called the measure a “backdoor” attack on rules that have been put in place to protect existing employees.

The truth is, despite the continued drumbeat from fear-mongerers, state and local governments have already taken steps to shore up their pension systems. In 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature passed extensive pension changes that raise the retirement age for new workers, and require all employees to contribute a larger share of their own retirement. The average public employee pension is approximately $2,500 a month, and every new employee must now pay half the normal cost of these benefits.

This measure would eliminate defined benefit pensions for new employees hired after Jan. 1, 2019, restricting them to either 401(k)-style plans or nothing at all, unless a vote of the electorate restores benefits. It also eliminates the current death and disability benefits for new police, firefighters and other public employees.

Voters are smarter than Reed and DeMaio give them credit for. Their latest assault on middle-class retirement security will be revealed for what it is – a cynical attempt to break fundamental promises to working families.

Dave Low is chairman of Californians for Retirement Security.

Read more here:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Reno CCPOA Convention

I know a lot of you are wondering, why no News coming out of the Convention?  Well, your favorite Indian "Sitnbull" didn't attend this year... So all I have is what some of my local reps sent me so here goes... Now Don't shoot the messenger.  But by all accounts the Convention was not very exciting and no Contract News Flash was delivered!!!  And they did not answer my CCPOA MOU Survey, I asked "what is CCPOA going to do about the rising Gas Prices!!" I guess they didn't think that was a legit question.........

In 2018 a possible Cadillac Tax from Obama care that potentially could affect us , we would get taxed like income tax based on our premium health care. Stay tune

Next year the Supreme Court will rule on the CTA lawsuit.. ( fair share)

Legislation has made statements that they did not want to build anymore prisons.

Gearing up to fight pension initiative next year.. This appears to be the number one battle moving forward!

Being told that crime is up and on the rise .. Drought is #1 Crime is #2..

There still meetings on Guard One and its unresolved issues..  Many issues with Guard 1.

Once again CCPOA Reiterates do not use your state computer for CCPOA or private business as the state has a third party who can will retrieve any and all emails .. Nothing is private!

Due to rising CCW ( carry concealed weapons permit) issues outside of CDCR, employee training will soon be hitting Institutions state wide.

The highlight was probably Guest Speaker Robert O'Neil Seal Team 6..
Great motivational speaker!
Robert O'Neill (born 10 April 1976) is a former United States Navy SEAL and a native of Butte, Montana.[2] He is best known for his claims, made in November 2014, of having fired the head shots that killed Osama bin Laden during the raid on his Abbottabad compound on May 2, 2011

Chuck Helton was Re-Elected as Rank and File Vice President.

CRC Closure is on hold until 2016-2017 Budget..

Sorry folks but that's all I got.  Considering this was the EC's first Convention with the New Players, I thought it might be a good convention.  I'm sure the local Reps. still had a good time.  It just would have been nice to hear some good news on the MOU contract talks....

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015

Push Play on that Recorder! Excellent advise

CCPOA Legal was recently contacted by an officer requesting an attorney representative for a "verbal complaint inquiry." Our office contacted the ERO's office to arrange our attorney's access to the secured perimeter, with a recording device, to provide representation in the interview with the ISU Lieutenant. The ERO's office checked with ISU and relayed to CCPOA Legal that the officer was not being investigated. It was just a PREA inquiry because an inmate made a verbal allegation, and the matter had not been "sent up for investigation yet." Management was puzzled that an attorney representative would be present.

The officer was absolutely correct to obtain a representative. An "appeal inquiry" is an investigation. A "preinvestigation fact finding" is an investigation. It doesn't matter what the department wants to call it, if staff are being questioned and information is being gathered, it is an investigation.

If you are going to be questioned regarding an inmate complaint, or if there is an accusation or allegation of misconduct, you have a right to representation. Exercise that right. Where the complaint, accusation, or allegation of misconduct involves potentially criminal misconduct, obtain an attorney representative. In the example above, the inmate was alleging a violation of PREA due to allegations of inappropriate touching during a pat down. This allegation is potentially criminal (sexual battery) and the appropriate representative is an attorney. Many routine "inquiries" or "fact findings" involve inmate allegations of excessive or unnecessary use of force. These allegations are potentially criminal. Exercise your right to attorney representation during questioning.

Also, be aware that when ISU conducts their inquiries, they will not record the interview unless the officer records the interview. ALWAYS RECORD INQUIRY OR INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWS. The employee being interviewed should insist that the interview is recorded. A recording protects the employee because it prevents disputes about what was asked and what was stated in response. Without a recording, the interviewer could misunderstand or misrepresent the employee's response, and the employee could find him or herself defending dishonesty allegations.

If you are noticed for any interview regarding an inmate complaint or allegations of misconduct, immediately contact CCPOA for appropriate representation.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Contract expired......Riders sounding off

Are all of you fish? Are you aware of the rules required in collective bargaining. No. What occurs during negotiations cannot be shared with the membership as negotiations are fluid and subject to change, Once a total Tentative Agreement is reached, it will be presented to the Executive Council for a vote if it should be presented to the members for a vote. If the negotiating team feels that they have gotten the best deal they can achieve, they will send it for a vote. This crap about this, that and the other thing is nothing more than a guess and/or an idea in your head. Let it go. Until a Tentative Agreement is presented to the membership, you have no clue what is going on in negotiations.... But I heard that they were going to...... You heard from the team? Let it go.........

It's July 1st, where is our contract ccpoa?

Working with the same old contract. Why no word from sac? To me this isn't good news.

Anybody heard anything about our contract its July 2nd already........ There's gotta be a reason there's no news, cause it's probabley bad news....anybody heard anything

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thank You, from CCPOA

Just log into the member site and click on the link for the free shirt.  The only problem I saw is they require your cell phone number and SSN.  I guess they want to keep a parole from getting a free shirt!