Most inmates arriving at San Quentin are amazed by the programs, recreation and work opportunities offered.
There is Prison University Project and Prison Industry Authority (P.I.A.) for close-B inmates, plus library access and self-help groups. However, lately programs of recreation and jobs are diminishing. Historically when California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation eliminates a program, it is gone forever.
P.I.A. has officially cut the work week down to three days. Wednesday night library is gone due to unavailable staff. In addition, to Thursday’s implementation of ‘no yard second or third Watch, inmates housed in North Block and H-Unit are losing their morning yard on weekends, and on several days per week.
Due to the state’s budget deficit, state correctional staff has been forced to accept another 5 percent pay cut. Yet, inmates are still expected to program and to perform their duties regardless of loss of program.
According to CDCR’s Title 15 §3044(8)(c) Privileges; “Privileges for each working/training incentive group shall be those privileges that are earned by the inmate. Inmate privileges are administratively authorized activities and benefits required by statute, case law, governmental regulations, or executive order.”
Rescinding an inmate’s earned privilege is an adverse action more applicable to be served on a troublesome inmate. Fact is, when an inmate violates rules and regulations, correctional staff are quick to mete out some form of punishment. Yet, many believe a form of punishment is being unfairly sanctioned on inmates who have earned their privilege to all activities authorized by CDCR.
This is not a safety issue because CDCR has chosen specific days to withdraw privileges and therefore are in the process of implementing a new policy within the prison. Inmates have earned the right and the privilege to enjoy their time off from work assignment or school assignment.