July 2011 News Briefs

SACRAMENTO – More than 10,000 offenders are serving their sentences in private prisons outside of California, in four states. That number could grow to 15,000 by 2013. The transfers were ordered in an October 2006 state of emergency proclamation signed by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said the action was necessary “to prevent death and harm caused by California’s severe prison overcrowding.” The proclamation allowed officials to override a law that prohibits sending prisoners out of state without their consent. In 2007, the Legislature also approved some out of state transfers as part of a prison construction bill. The Legislature’s authority for those transfers expired in July. “Ou position is that the emergency proclamation is in place and we’re operating under that authority,” said CDCR spokesman, Paul Verke.

SACRAMENTO – Doctors, dentists and psychiatrists with the federal receiver’s office overseeing prisoners mental and medical care are the highest paid state employees in California, according to government salary data the state controller’s office reported. Two prison doctors make more than $700,000 annually. Dozens of other prison medical personnel, some with the Department of Mental Health, make more than $300,000 a year. A top official with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection makes $309,000 annually.

STOCKTON – A contract worth about $512 million will go to a joint venture of Clark Construction Group of Bethesda, Md., and McCarthy Building Co. of St Louis. The California Health Care Facility, Stockton, estimated to cost more than $900 million, will provide long-term care to 1,722 mentally and physically ill state prisoners when operational in 2013.

MENDOCINO – The Parlin Fork and Chamberlain Creek Conservation Camps, located between Fort Bragg and Willits in the Jackson State Demonstration Forest is operated by CDCR. The camp, in conjunction with CAL FIRE has a primary goal of suppression and prevention of local fires by prisoners who have received fire training at the Suanville Correction Center. When not fighting fires, these crews of low-risk male felons also serve the community by clearing forest brush and completing labor tasks for government and certain non-profit organizations.

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