Black August

An urgent bulletin is going out to law enforcement Wednesday, warning of a new threat of attacks against officers on the street and in prisons.

It has to do with what’s called Black August.

I-Team Reporter Dan Noyes has a source in law enforcement that leaked the bulletin to him. He wants you to understand the potential dangers officers are facing. In his words, when it hits the fan, you’ll know the reason why.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons, Sacramento Intelligence Unit and the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center have issued a bulletin to law enforcement, warning of increased risk for violence during Black August.

The prison gang Black Guerilla Family or BGF started Black August in the 1970’s as a month to honor fallen members.

One of the biggest, Hugo Pinell served 46 years in solitary confinement after a San Francisco rape conviction, after killing a prison guard, and slashing the throats of two other guards who survived during an escape attempt in 1971.

Former San Quentin inmate Jerry Elster remembers Pinell as a freedom fighter. “When I went to prison at 20 years old, there was somebody there to remind me not to compromise my integrity,” Former BGF member Jerry Elster said.

Last summer, just 12 days after corrections finally released Pinell from solitary, he was stabbed to death in a riot at state prison Sacramento.

The bulletin says the Black Guerilla Family believes state prisons worked with the Aryan Brotherhood to Kill Pinell.

At the very least, Elster believes the state had a duty to protect Pinell. “I mean, it’s only those who are charged with authority and protection, of protecting and housing of Hugo Pinell who have to bear that responsibility,” Elster said.

The bulletin warns an inmate source: “Claims the BGF has a 2-for-1 kill policy.” That the BGF is “going to kill correctional officers and Aryan Brotherhood gang members to send a firm message. And the attacks will occur across the country, not just in California, and will likely occur during the BGF’s memorial celebration of Black August.

The Bureau of Prisons and the FBI declined to comment for this report, so I showed the bulletin to retired FBI special agent Rick Smith. “I think it’s serious. They put that bulletin out, they don’t want to be caught with something happening with the information they have and not disseminating it,” he said.
Also included in the bulletin is the FBI’s Baltimore office reports, “BGF members reportedly discussed how they could ambush law enforcement officers who were parked in alleys or side streets.”

It also mentions the San Francisco Bay View newspaper for publishing articles, “suggesting California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation responsibility for Pinell’s murder, and promoting Black August celebrations as a platform for action.”

Bay View editor Mary Ratcliff is surprised her newspaper is named in the bulletin, but is worried about the message. “This statement from the department of justice puts black people in danger,” Ratcliff said. “Because it is promoting the idea that there is a war going on between black people and law enforcement.”

The bulletin also includes a drawing from the newspaper by a BGF member, showing the logo and a gorilla eating a pig.

Ratcliff downplays the reference to violence against police officers. “A depiction like that is a release, it’s yeah, go for it, that’s how I feel. Now, I don’t have to do it,” she said.

Smith from the FBI tells me this bulletin does not come as news to officers, in prison or on the streets. They know how dangerous their jobs have become. This is yet another heads up.


CIW and CCWF Wardens Retire on the same day?

The wardens for both of California’s female-only prisons “retired” on Friday. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is calling it a coincidence. But prisoner advocates say it’s a housecleaning.”They appear to be forced retirements,” says Colby Lenz, a legal advocate with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.

The two prisons — Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and California Institution for Women (CIW) — have been the subjects of a lengthy investigation by the Department of Corrections, and inspectors had been camped out at both facilities for the last few weeks, according to sources with access to the prisons

“They appear to be forced retirements,” says Colby Lenz, a legal advocate with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.
The two prisons — Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and California Institution for Women (CIW) — have been the subjects of a lengthy investigation by the Department of Corrections, and inspectors had been camped out at both facilities for the last few weeks, according to sources with access to the prisons.

 

“There have been very serious problems recently,” says Don Spector, executive director of the Prison Law Office, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm based in Northern California. “We were not surprised the state would take this action.”.


Agent accused of trading bus passes and gift cards

A former parole agent has been arrested on suspicion of trading bus passes and gift cards for a parolee’s prescription painkillers in Huntington Beach, officials said Thursday.

Scott Patric Keblis, 49, of Chino was charged with felony embezzlement by a public employee and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.

 

Keblis, who faced up to four years in custody, was released Thursday after posting $20,000 bond, prosecutors said.

At the time of the alleged crime, Keblis was a parole agent for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. On Nov. 5, that agency got an anonymous tips that Keblis was providing passes in exchange for prescription narcotics, prosecutors said.

On Nov. 23, Keblis obtained two bus passes and two $40 Target gift cards from the Department of Corrections, claiming he needed to give them to a parolee under his supervision, prosecutors said.
But later that day, he instead drove to Huntington Beach and met with a different parolee who was not under his supervision, prosecutors said. Keblis was accused of trading the passes, gift cards and $30 of his money for 26 of the parolee’s prescription hydrocodon pills.

Keblis was arrested Wednesday by the Department of Correction’s Internal Affairs


“Change”

“Change is good”, that seems to be the new catch phrase amongst some CDCR Managers and Supervisors. However, that’s just a code word for “You’re being moved for no apparent reason, other than putting one of the Kids in your spot”.

Should there be oversight in what some of the Wardens are doing at their Institutions? Most Chief of Police’s have oversight committees or groups that monitor department problems or complaints. However, in our department some Wardens run wild and do whatever they want.

Let’s take for instance hiring practices! Do some Wardens circumvent the promotional ranking system? Like by sending one of the kids to Blythe on a promotion (8th or 9th rank) and then transferring them back just after a few months later as a lateral transfer? I also haven’t met too many Wardens that won’t honor a request to delay an interview if that staff member is on vacation! I remember years ago, supervisors would make sure there was racial diversity in their units and on their yards. Today, whatever flavor is in charge will dictate how the hiring is done! This my friends needs to STOP!

I know the biggest topic of discussion at most Prisons is management positions! Back in the day, a supervisor could pick his or her management positions. Somehow this has even changed, at my institution the managers (Warden) now approves management positions! So again the “kids” are given the prime spots! They use to only control ISU, IST and Transportation, but now the Wardens feel like they have to hire the yard cops as well. And yes, the new MOU will help I hope!!!

So like I said earlier in this post “Change is good”. But “Change is good” can also apply to Wardens…………


Just PAY ME!

Vacaville prison guard’s lost check costs taxpayers a tidy sum

VACAVILLE — A lost paycheck at California State Prison, Solano in Vacaville is costing taxpayers nearly $10,000 – according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Merle Deloney worked as a prison guard for 31 years when he retired in December 2014. When he went to get his final paycheck, he got the runaround from prison bureaucrats until they figured out that the paycheck had been lost.
The paycheck was found four months later, in April 2015.

Deloney filed a claim with the State Labor Commissioner saying he had not been paid in a timely way as required by state law.
After an administrative hearing last month, a commissioner ruled Deloney was entitled to a month’s worth of wages from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as a sanction for the long delay. Calculated at Deloney’s hourly wage of nearly $40 an hour, the payout totaled nearly $9,800.


Prop 57

For years, Gov. Jerry Brown could hide behind the fig leaf of a federal court order in turning tens of thousands of convicts loose in a program he called “prison realignment.”
Prisons lost almost one-third of their occupants to county jails and streets all around the state. Most of those released or paroled were so-called “minor” criminals; very few rapists, murderers or armed robbers have won early releases.
This satisfied the courts, which all the way up to the level of the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld an order to reduce prison populations.
Then came the 2014 Proposition 47, which reclassified many previous felonies as misdemeanors carrying far smaller penalties and no “three-strikes” implications. Felony arrests fell to levels unseen in 50 years. One reason: Thefts below the value of $950 are no longer felonies. Because realignment has caused overcrowding in county jails, most thievery at that level goes unpunished; often perpetrators are not even pursued because of police frustration with the changed rules.
One apparent result — and no, the link has not been proven beyond statistical doubt —– is more property crime in many places, while violent crime has remained relatively stable over the last five years. The increase is official; what’s unproven is the direct cause-and-effect link to Proposition 47.
All this is not enough for Brown, who has a new initiative before voters, on the November ballot as Proposition 57. This one allows early paroles for legally defined nonviolent prisoners in exchange for certain achievements and good behavior. The governor spent millions of dollars this spring to qualify his measure, mostly from funds he raised but largely did not spend while winning re-election in 2014.
Brown calls his new measure “straightforward,” saying it will let only judges, and no longer prosecutors, decide which juveniles aged 14 and over to try in adult court. He says it will speed paroles for some nonviolent offenders, while setting up a system of credits allowing inmates earlier releases if they get high school and college degrees while imprisoned, and “take charge of their lives.”
This measure figures to let loose thousands more inmates atop those already released.
What Brown has never said, but a spokesman admitted to a reporter while the initiative petitions were still circulating (at about $5 per valid voter signature) is that some persons convicted of crimes like assault with a deadly weapon, soliciting murder, elder or child abuse, arson and human trafficking might get speedier paroles.
The disingenuous hype Brown applies to his proposal by saying it would affect only “non-violent prisoners who can change their criminal thinking …” might be similar to the outright lie told for years by the state prison department, which denied for years allowing serious violent criminals into inmate firefighting camps, where there is limited supervision. Of course, when that oft-repeated claim was disproven, Brown said nothing and disciplined no one.
No one knows how state parole panels will ever be sure that any prisoner has “changed their criminal thinking,” or whether crime rates might increase under this new Brown plan.
A close Brown aide said almost all those covered under the new initiative also could be affected by realignment. “This has a chance of providing a carrot of early release for them,” the aide said. “It won’t work for everyone. But the alternative is a system offering no incentives for people to straighten themselves out.”
Former seminarian Brown couches his measure in moral terms and maintains California “still does not have a durable plan to deal with prison overcrowding.” His initiative could also save many millions in prison costs.
But at what price? Burglaries are up. Car thefts, too. So is shoplifting. Would other crimes rise with a new flow of inmates leaving prisons? No one knows.
For sure, prosecutors say they’re worried, and not only because this proposition would decrease their authority a bit.


CIW SHU unit evacuated

At approximately 1230 hours a code 1 was requested to the SHU unit, initial reports is that two inmates set a fire within the cell. Staff responded and attempted to take custody of the inmates and extinguish the fire. The alarm was elevated to a code 2, additional staff was needed. Staff could not get the cell door open, as the inmates manipulated the cell door from opening. Subsequently the cell door was opened and the inmates were taken into custody. All additional staff was needed to evacuate the SHU unit. The inmates were sent out to area hospitals for further treatment. The fire was extinguished and eventually all the inmates were re-housed in the unit. The response supervisor and staff did a great job responding to the incident. Several outside agencies responded and of course the media trucks also showed up! (just another day dealing with Gender Response/WEFO!!) This place is off the hook…………..Back to Basics..huh….


CCPOA Members are we beyond fustrated yet?

The question now is does CCPOA owe it’s members some sort of labor negotiation update? We are now into the holiday season and our Contract has been expired since July 1st. Many of you have contacted me via email and messages to this site. I have to be honest never has the line of communication been shut down like this before. We all get it, were trying to keep our Negotiations out of the media and public scrutiny. Many of us have been very critical of our past CCPOA President, but at least information was shared with it’s members, whether we agreed or not. Is it now the plan for our present CCPOA President to keep it’s members in the dark? Are they thinking the less information released the less it’s members get to voice their critical concerns? Chuck we have confidence in your leadership, however it’s time us members get to hear from you!!! (riders, please keep your comments civil and show your concerns in a professional manner, let the CCPOA SAC crew hear your concerns)


Corcoran Inmate shot during brawl

6 inmates injured in brawl at California prison in Corcoran

Posted: Nov 06, 2015 5:51 PM PST Updated: Nov 06, 2015 5:51 PM PST

CORCORAN, Calif. (AP) – Six inmates have been injured – one critically – in a brawl at a Central California prison. It happened Thursday night at the state lockup in Corcoran, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles.

Authorities say an inmate was attacked by two others in a maximum-security dayroom, which quickly led to a brawl involving 20 inmates.  Guards shot one inmate and used foam bullets and pepper-spray grenades on others to break up the fighting.

The inmate who was shot is hospitalized Friday in stable condition and an inmate who was stabbed several times is listed in critical condition.

Authorities say four other inmates were treated for cuts and head trauma.
Inmate activities have been curtailed while the cause of the fight is investigated.