Skip navigation

Cal Prison Politics, Guard Unions

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
I.

CALIFORNIA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY GROWTH..............................................................................1
A.
B.
C.

II.

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................2
DID YOU KNOW? .............................................................................................................................................2
LIST OF CALIFORNIA CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES ............................................................................................4
GROWTH OF THE CCPOA ............................................................................................................................1

A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.

ABOUT THE CCPOA ........................................................................................................................................1
DON NOVEY, CCPOA PRESIDENT ...................................................................................................................2
MEMBERSHIP GROWTH ....................................................................................................................................3
MEMBERSHIP DEMOGRAPHICS .........................................................................................................................4
SALARIES .........................................................................................................................................................5
ACCOUNTABILITY ............................................................................................................................................8
PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN: “TOUGHEST BEAT IN THE STATE” .................................................................8

III.

POLITICAL POWER OF THE CCPOA.....................................................................................................1
A.
B.
C.
1.
2.
3.
D.
E.
F.
1.
2.

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................1
THE CYCLE OF CCPOA INFLUENCE .................................................................................................................1
PACS AND CONTRIBUTIONS .............................................................................................................................2
Money to the Legislature ...........................................................................................................................7
Money to the Executive .............................................................................................................................8
Money to the Judiciary ..............................................................................................................................9
LOBBYING ......................................................................................................................................................10
THREE-STRIKES .............................................................................................................................................10
AFFILIATE GROUPS ........................................................................................................................................13
Native American Peace Officers .............................................................................................................13
Crime Victims Groups .............................................................................................................................14

IV.

GLOSSARY .................................................................................................................................................. I

V.

CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION RECORDS…….........................................................................1

California Correctional Facility Growth
27 March 2002

I-1
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

I.

California Correctional Facility Growth

A. Introduction
California’s correctional facilities have a legendary history. San Quentin, formerly a
frigate, has nestled on the San Francisco Bay for 150 years. Johnny Cash and Eldridge
Cleaver have given popularity to Old Folsom. National TV viewers have witnessed
parole board hearings for Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan, both California inmates.
The newest historical development in California correctional facilities features its rapid
expansion. Since 1984, California has added 21 facilities, raising the total operated by
the California Department of Corrections (CDC) to 33. In that same time, the inmate
population has swelled from 24,000 to over 160,000.
Currently, the California Department of Corrections manages a $4.8 billion enterprise,
with over 47,000 employees. Rural jurisdictions and other organizations such as the
California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) and Crime Victims United
of California (CVUC) are the beneficiaries of a growing criminal justice system.
Click here for a description of the political dynamics within the California criminal justice
system.

B. Did You Know?
ƒ

The state of California operates the third largest penal system in the world.1
California’s inmate population ranks behind only China’s national correctional
system and the United States’ national correctional system.

ƒ

California’s inmate population has exploded by 554% since 1980 (from 24,549 to
160,655).2
California's Inmate Population

200,000
160,655
150,000
97,309

100,000

California’s inmate population
growth (24,569 to 160,655)
over the past 20 years
represents a 554% increase.

50,00024,569
1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

Year

California Correctional Facility Growth
27 March 2002

I-2
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

ƒ
ƒ

In the same 20 year span, the number of correctional facilities in California has
nearly tripled, growing from 12 to 33.
Number of Correctional Facilities in Californi

35

Number of prisons in 1980: 12
Number of prisons in 2000: 33

30
25
20
15
10
5
0
1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

ƒ

From 1980 to 1999, the female inmate population has grown 850%.3

ƒ

The proportion of male inmates incarcerated for drug offenses rose from 7.4% to
28.3% between 1983 and 1999. During the same period, the proportion of
women inmates incarcerated for drug offenses rose from 12.6% to 43.9%.

1999 Female Inmate Population

1983 Female Inmate Population
Drug
13%

Other
4%

Other
4%

Person
24%

Person
42%

Person

Person
Property
Drug
Other

Drug
43%

Property
Property
41%

Drug
Other

California Correctional Facility Growth
27 March 2002

Property
29%

I-3
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

• From 1980 to 2000, the racial composition of inmates has changed. From 19801986, White comprised the largest group. From 1986-1992, Blacks were the
majority of inmates in the CDC. From 1992 to present, Hispanics are now the
majority of inmates in the CDC.

Inmate Population by Race

50,000
40,000

White
Black
Hispanic

30,000
20,000
10,000

20
00

19
98

19
96

19
94

19
92

19
90

19
88

19
86

19
84

19
82

0

19
80

Inmate Population

60,000

Year

C. List of California Correctional Facilities
These data represent information posted on the California Department of Corrections Web site as of
January, 2002.
Annual
Operating
Date
Number of Budget (in
Facility Ð
OpenedÐ Security LevelÐ InmatesÐ millions) Ð
California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Aug-97 II, III, IV, SATF,
and State Prison, Corcoran (SATF)
CTC
6,239
$101
Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP)
May-96
I, II, III, IV
4,093
$93
High Desert State Prison (HDSP)
Aug-95
I, II, IV, RC
4,293
$96
Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW)
May-95
I, II, III, IV, RC,
SHU
3,570
$63
Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP)
Nov-94
I, III
4,889
$88
Ironwood State Prison (ISP)
Feb-94
I, III
4,624
$86
California State Prison, Centinela State Prison Oct-93
I, III, IV
(CEN)
4,526
$81
North Kern State Prison (NKSP)
Apr-93
I, III, RC
4,962
$78
California State Prison, Los Angeles County
Feb-93
I, IV
4,185
$92
(LAC)
Calipatria State Prison (CAL)
Jan-92
I, IV
4,107
$78
Wasco State Prison (WSP)
Feb-91
I, III, RC
6,034
$88
Central California Women's Facility (CCWF)
Oct-90
I, II, III, IV, RC,
Condemned
3,416
$75

California Correctional Facility Growth
27 March 2002

I-4
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP)
Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP)
California State Prison, Corcoran (COR)

Dec-89
Dec-88
Feb-88

Northern California Women's Facility (NCWF)
R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock
Mountain (RJD)

Jul-87
Jul-87

Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP)
Avenal State Prison (ASP)
California State Prison, Sacramento (SAC)
California State Prison, Solano (SOL)
Sierra Conservation Center (SCC)
California Correctional Center (CCC)
California Rehabilitation Center (CRC)
California Medical Facility (CMF)
California Men's Colony (CMC)
Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI)
California Institution for Women (CIW)
Correctional Training Facility (CTF)
California Institution for Men (CIM)
California Correctional Institution (CCI)

Jun-87
Jan-87
Oct-86
Aug-84
1965
1963
1962
1955
1954
1953
1952
1946
1941
1933

Folsom State Prison (FSP)
San Quentin State Prison (SQ)

1880
1852

I, IV, SHU
I, II
I, III, IV, SHU,
PHU
II, III, RC
I, III, RC,
Firehouse,
Infirmary
I, III, IV
II
I, IV
II, III
I, II, III
I, II, III
II
I, II, III
I, II, III
I, III, RC
I, II, III, IV, RC
I, II, RC
I, RC
I, II, III, IV, SHU,
Youth Offender
I, II
I, II, RC,
Condemned

3,384
3,700

$84
$60

4,867
759

$118
$20

5,243
3,501
6,466

$78
$73
$92

5,812
6,240
5,818
6,095
3,027
6,725
4,136
2,107
7,133
6,298

$104
$497
$81
$78
$109
$129
$68
$42
$104
$111

5,496
3,880

$107
$62

6,121

$120

I: Security Level I
II: Security Level II
III: Security Level III
IV: Security Level IV
SHU: Security Housing Unit
RC: Reception Center

**Black, White, and Hispanic are used to be consistent with the terminology used by the
California Department of Corrections.

Resources:
California Department of Corrections – Fact Sheet
http://www.cdc.state.ca.us/factsht.htm

United States Census Bureau
http://www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html

The Atlantic Monthly on “The Prison Industrial Complex”
http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/98dec/prisons.htm

Prison Activist Resource Center
California Correctional Facility Growth
27 March 2002

I-5
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

http://www.prisonactivist.org/crisis/prison-industrial.html

Citations:
1

http://www.rut.com/mdavis/hellfactories.html

2

http://www.cdc.state.ca.us/pdf/hist00.pdf

3

The Disparate Imprisonment of Women Under California’s Drug Laws, Justice Policy Institute, 2001.

4

California Department of Corrections, 2000

.

California Correctional Facility Growth
27 March 2002

I-6
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

II. Growth of the CCPOA
A. About the CCPOA
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) is a union of workers
in the field of corrections. The organization is united behind the mission “to promote and
enhance the correctional profession and to protect the welfare of those engaged in
corrections.”1
The union has grown from a fledgling group of fewer than 2500 members in 1978 to a
powerhouse of 31,000 members who contribute $21.9 million dollars a year. The union
employs a 91 person staff including 20 full-time attorneys and uses the services of five
lobbyists and a team of public relations consultants.2
The CCPOA earned exclusive collective bargaining rights in the early eighties and went
on to negotiate contracts. That, if the current contract is ratified, will bring correctional
officers’ salaries as high as $73,000 per year in 2003.3 The union has also bargained for
better pensions, more training, tighter security measures and employee screening.
However, the union has extended its influence beyond wages and benefits. It has
become a political force; contributing more to California candidates than any other
organization.4 It has formed alliances with members of both parties and officials from
district attorneys to the governor.
The mastermind behind the unprecedented growth and political success of the CCPOA
is Don Novey, the union’s president. Novey, a second-generation correctional officer,
took over as president in 1980 and brought a strong passion and vision to the job.
Novey captured this vision when he said, “We had a total reorganization of the union
that helped us politically. We restructured into labor, legislation and legal (divisions) and
then wrapped the bacon around it—better known as political action.” 5

Resources:
CCPOA Web site
http://www.ccpoa.org
Common Cause
http://www.commoncause.org

Citations:
1

Interview with Lance Corcoran, January 29, 2002.

Growth of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

II-1
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

2

Interview with Lance Corcoran, January 29, 2002.
Lucas, Greg, “Davis’ Plan Gives Prison Guards Big Pay Boost,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 13,
2002.
4
Tannenbaum, Judith, “Prison’s a Growth Industry,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 27, 1999.
5
“Guardian of the Guards,” California Journal, March 1, 1997.
3

B. Don Novey, CCPOA President
Don Novey, president of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, is
accredited for being “the best thing that ever happened to prison guards” in the state of
California.
Novey, a legendary figure, is almost as famous for his personality as for his political
achievements. Many know him as “the man in the fedora,” referring to his trademark
head-gear. He identifies himself as a “fifth generation Polish Californian.” He loves
boxing. His wife, Carol, works at the Post Office. They live in a tract home outside of
Sacramento. He earns his correctional officer’s salary of $59,000 plus a matching salary
for his job as union president. One reporter characterized the 54-year old dynamo as
“an impressive combination of prison guard moxie, wonkish intellect and unassuming
charm.”
Some at the Capitol call him “Colombo” referring to his pre-union days when he worked
in the army as a military counterintelligence agent, allegedly posing as a German
artillery officer in the Eastern Bloc. According to Novey, “It was cutting-edge, James
Bond kind of stuff.”
Upon his return, Novey followed in his father’s footsteps, taking a job at the Folsom
State Prison in 1971. He ran for president of the union in 1980 and worked both jobs
until 1986.
How could one person have so much influence on a union and California
politics?
Novey’s Motivation
“It was about setting an agenda for a profession that’s been somewhat maligned and
forgotten because they’re behind the walls of these prisons… I wanted to do something
about it.” —Don Novey
Novey’s Vision
“Don had a vision of the Cinderella castle we wanted to reach, and little by little we’ve
built the road to get there.” —Jeff Thompson, CCPOA Legislative Director
Novey’s Reputation
“If Don Novey ran the contractor’s union, there’d be a bridge over every puddle.” —Dan
Schnur, Republican Strategist
Growth of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

II-2
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Novey’s Political Strategy
“If you have an open door with an administration, you can do creative things. A lot of the
money that was spent by our group was to get that door open.” —Don Novey
“Don’s not afraid to spend on a losing cause if he thinks he’ll get someone’s attention.”
—Senator John Burton
“He doesn’t like to be told he’s wrong; it’s his way or the highway. That’s no way to do
public policy.” —Senator Richard Polanco
Novey’s Complaint
“For years prison officers were treated as second-class citizens, like in the old James
Cagney movies, and now when we step up to the plate and hit a home run, people yell
foul.” —Don Novey

Sources:
“Guardian of the Guards.” California Journal. March 1, 1997.
Warren, Jennifer, “When He Speaks, They Listen.” Los Angeles Times. August 21, 2000.
Butterfield, Fox, “Political Gains by Prison Guards.” New York Times, November 7, 1995.
Interview with Ralph Mineau, January 20, 2002.

C. Membership Growth
The CCPOA is an open shop and 97% of the officers are organized. As of 2002,
members pay $59.42 per month in dues (1.3% of the top salary). Non-members pay a
monthly “agency” or “fair share fee” of $40. At this rate, with 31,000 members, the
CCPOA is collecting $1.8 million a month and $21.9 million a year in dues.
Membership has grown steadily since 1980, mirroring the growth of new correctional
facilities. The union also bulked up its membership in the 1980s by organizing related
professions including parole officers, psychiatric and medical technicians, some
supervisors, and correctional counselors.

Graph of membership growth

Growth of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

II-3
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

35,000
30,000
25,000
20,000
15,000
10,000
5,000
0

1978

1980

1991

1995

1999

2001

Sources:
Interview with Lance Corcoran, CCPOA Vice President, January 15, 2002.
Interview with Lance Corcoran, CCPOA Vice President, January 29, 2002.

D. Membership Demographics
The CCPOA has made great strides to create a diverse workforce. In 1999, members
were 19% female and 81% male.1 This is the largest female representation of any law
enforcement union. Over the past twenty years, the CCPOA has also increased its
minority representation considerably. The racial breakdown of CCPOA is 53% White,
26% Hispanic, and 15% Black.2
Racial and Ethnic Breakdown
60
50
40
CCPOA
Inmates

30
20
10
0

White

Hispanic

Black

Other

Sources:
California Department of Corrections
2000 Corrections Yearbook

Growth of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

II-4
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

E. Salaries
CCPOA members earn the highest salaries of correctional officers anywhere in the
country. In the mid-1990s, CCPOA had the best pension plan in the nation and an
average salary 58% higher than the correctional officer national average.1 Currently, a
correctional officer with seven years of experience earns $54,888. This number will
increase to $73,428 if the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Governor Davis is
ratified by CCPOA membership in February, 2002.2
These salaries are particularly high considering that the job requires a high school
degree or equivalent. A correctional officer earns more than an associate professor with
a Ph. D. in the University of California system.3 Correctional officers’ salaries are also
inflated by the fact that most correctional facilities are in rural areas with lower costs of
living.
A generous benefits package also sweetens correctional officers’ contracts. Union
members receive a healthy pension, reimbursement for school courses, and a monthly
budget for staying physically fit.4
While there can be no doubt that the work of a correctional officer is dangerous and
challenging, the CCPOA has justified pay increases by dubbing its work as “The
toughest beat in the state.” There are other tough beats that are not equally
compensated.

Toughest Beat in the State?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the 2000 average salary of Correctional Officers as
$46,410. Lance Corcoran, Vice President of the CCPOA estimated this figure closer to
$50,000. Regardless, this is over twice the average salary of Machine Operators and
Farm Workers, even though these professions led to a staggering number of on-the-job
fatalities. In 1999 there was one correctional officer killed in the line of duty.
2000 Average Salaries

Growth of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

II-5
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

60,000
50,000
40,000
30,000
20,000
10,000
0

Correctional
Officers

Police
Officers

Truck
Drivers

Farming Jobs

Machine
Operators

Construction
Workers

On the Job Fatalities
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

Correctional
Officers

Police
Officers

Truck
Drivers

Farming
Jobs

Machine
Operators

Construction
Workers

Working with a Challenged Population
The CCPOA argues that its members work with the toughest elements of society and so
correctional officers should be rewarded accordingly. A compensation survey of other
professions who work with challenged populations shows the following:
ƒ

In 2001, Correctional Officers earned $46,000.

ƒ

80% of inmates have a history of substance abuse. In 2001, Rehabilitation
Counselors earned $29,400.

Growth of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

II-6
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

ƒ

As many as 28,000 California inmates have been diagnosed with serious mental
illnesses. In 2001, Mental Health Counselors earned $30,610.

ƒ

A majority of inmates has experienced some kind of abuse as a child. For women
inmates, the number is as high as 71%. In 2001, Child and Family Social
Workers earned $36,150.

ƒ

47.9% of California’s female inmates are infected with Hepatitis B and 54.5% are
infected with Hepatitis C. In 2001, Health Educators earned $40,230.

2000 Average Salaries
$50,000
$45,000
$40,000
$35,000
$30,000
$25,000

Correctional
Officers

Rehabilitation
Counselors

Mental Health
Counselors

Child, Family
Social Workers

Health Educators

Resources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics
http://www.bls.gov
California Department of Corrections
http://www.cdc.state.ca.us

Citations:
1

Pens, Dan, Excerpted from The Celling of America.
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/prison_system/calif.prisonguards.html

Growth of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

II-7
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

2

Lucas, Greg, “Davis Plan Gives Prison Guards Big Pay Boost.” San Francisco Chronicle. January 13,
2002.
3

Bovard, James, “Pork Barrel Prisons.” Playboy.

4

Bancroft, Ann. “Prison Guards Pay Rose Steadily in Past Decade.” San Francisco Chronicle. April 22,
1991

F. Accountability
The CCPOA claims to be accountable only to its membership (and the IRS).1 Because it
is a union of state employees, the CCPOA falls within a loophole of the law. All unions,
composed of private or federal employees, are required to make their tax forms
available to the public and file them with the Department of Labor. State employee
associations do not fall under this federal law so they are able to operate with less
disclosure.2
This might illuminate one reason for CCPOA’s resistance to the privatization of
correctional facilities. CCPOA would not be able to unionize private correctional facility
workers without publicizing their records and budget.

Citations:
1
2

Interview with Lance Corcoran, January 28, 2002.
Department of Industrial Relations, San Francisco.

G. Public Relations Campaign: “Toughest Beat in the State”
“Every day they ‘walk the line’ among some of the toughest, most violent inmates in the
world… These are the men and women of the California Correctional Peace Officers
Association—dedicated, proud, courageous law enforcement professionals who walk
the toughest beat in the state.” 1
The cover of the CCPOA publication, In Harm’s Way, shows a shadowy caged figure
draped in black, holding a weapon that appears to be a gun. The message is unclear. Is
the figure an inmate or an officer? Who is really armed in this institution? Who has
power over whom?
CCPOA’s promotional materials aim to raise questions about who is more vulnerable in
California prisons—the inmates or the officers.
Since 1997, the CCPOA has spent at least $361,000 on public relations campaigns,
primarily crafted by McNally Temple Associates.2 One goal of CCPOA’s public relations
campaigns is to counter negative press that correctional officers received, including
reports of alleged staged fights and subsequent shootings of Corcoran inmates.
Growth of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

II-8
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

To take the spotlight off the alleged brutality of correctional officers, the CCPOA has
emphasized the brutality of inmates. CCPOA literature, TV commercials and
promotional videos advertise that six officers are assaulted every day. Inmates use
handmade weapons. They throw feces. “They can assault you for no reason.” They act
without rationale, like caged animals.
CCPOA promotional materials never show an inmate by face or by name. Instead,
videos depict inmates as anonymous, predatory creatures. Interviewees refer to
inmates as “the criminal element” or "the predatory element.” According to one video,
“The predatory element is always on the hunt.” The video shows scenes of staged
violence where inmates overtake correctional officers and brutally beat them.
Walking the line is dangerous and stressful and California correctional facilities house a
culture of violence, but 160,000 incarcerated individuals are not a monolithic “predatory
element.” In fact, the majority of inmates have been committed for nonviolent offenses.3
“They’re victimizers,” a young, blond correctional officer tells the camera, “They
victimize people on the street. Right now they’re victimizing us inside the institutions
anyway they can.”
In contrast to the faceless criminals, the correctional officers in the videos are a diverse
workforce of men and women, who talk about the real tensions and stresses of their
work environment. They describe kissing their kids goodbye everyday, not knowing if
they will see them again. These individuals are “the unseen heroes of law enforcement.”
When asked what motivates him to go to work every day, one officer responds, “Our
main purpose is to keep those people away from our daughters, away from our wives,
away from you.”
CCPOA promotional materials work to maintain a heightened fear of crime in the public.
This is essential to maintain support for the CCPOA political agenda.

Resources:
In Harm’s Way: Life Inside the Toughest Beat in California, 1996.
Bloodsport: How the Media Convicted Eight Innocent Men, 2000.
Behind the Wall: The Toughest Beat in California, 1996.
Inside Corcoran: Where Hell Begins, 1999.

Citations:
1

2

In Harm’s Way: Life Inside the Toughest Beat in California, 1996.

San Francisco Department of Elections, Campaign Contribution Records.

Growth of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

II-9
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

III. Political Power of the CCPOA
A. Introduction
Labor unions have moved consistently into realms beyond the “bread and butter” issues
of wages and benefits. Union leaders realize that political muscle translates into
members’ gains. Because legislators and the governor write the checks, these political
alliances are critical.
Groups such as the California Teachers’ Association (CTA), California Highway Patrol
and the CCPOA contribute money and volunteers to candidates. In addition to these
direct supports, labor unions pay for television ads, sponsor party conventions and send
out voting guides for their members.
CCPOA political activity exceeds that of other labor unions. It outspent CTA in the 1998
and 2000 election cycles with only a tenth of the membership. CCPOA contributions go
to both Democrats and Republicans and reach all three branches of government Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The CCPOA spends on bread and butter issues as
well as on tougher crime legislation.
CCPOA engages in a variety of political activities. Most spending is done through
political action committees, or PACs. CCPOA also hires lobbyists, public relations firms
and polling groups. Don Novey, the president of CCPOA has formed close alliances and
friendships with political leaders.
Each of these political components is legal and accepted as common practice. Alone,
these components appear as natural extensions of unions’ growing political role.
Combined, these tactics present a powerful political machine that has had a dramatic
effect on the state’s correctional system. When the CTA exerts political influence, class
sizes get smaller. When the CCPOA exerts power, more people are incarcerated.

B. The Cycle of CCPOA Influence
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ

31,000 members pay $59.42 per month to the CCPOA.
Union dues total $21.9 million per year.
65% of that money goes to operations.
35% goes of the budget funds political activities
The political budget flows out in 6 main directions.
CCPOA pays for public relations.
CCPOA pays for lobbying services.
CCPOA funds affiliate groups.
CCPOA contributes “soft money” to political parties, political events, debates.
CCPOA gives direct contributions to candidates.
Election winners support the CCPOA political agenda.

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-1
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

ƒ
ƒ

Tough on crime legislation fuels expansion of the correctional system.
Expanded correctional system adds membership to the CCPOA.

C. PACs and Contributions
CCPOA is alleged to have as many as eleven PACs, according to Los Angeles Times
reporter Dan Moraine.1 San Francisco public records show four PACs that clearly
mention the CCPOA name. Together, they have contributed well over $9.6 million to
political campaigns in two election cycles.2
Below is a summary of the 4 primary PACs of the CCPOA. Each section describes the
PAC and highlights a political influence from 1997 to late 2001, noting top single
donations and notable recipients. Some periods are missing from the files of the
Department of Elections. For some PACs, these periods are minimal, covering a few
months here and there. For others, there are entire years missing. Thus, these figures
give only a portion of the donations of each PAC.
Note these characteristics of CCPOA PACs.
1. Each PAC has a unique flavor and giving function.
2. Money moves readily from PAC to PAC.
3. The four primary PACs of the CCPOA funnel money not only to candidates but to
other organizations such as Crime Victims United of California (CVUC) and the
Native American Peace Officers (NAPO
4.
CCPOA PAC This is the primary PAC of the CCPOA.
Total giving: $4 million.
Top 10 single donations

Date
10/98
10/98
10/98
05/98
10/98
05/98
12/00
02/00
06/00
02/00

Recipient
John Burton
California Democratic Party
California Republican Party
No on 226
California Republican Party
Albert Martinez
John Burton
Sheila Kuehl
Tom Harman
Jack Scott

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

Amount
$200,000
$100,000
$100,000
$100,000
$75,000
$75,000
$63,000
$59,000
$50,180
$50,000

III-2
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Notable donations

Recipient

Amount

John Burton
Albert Martinez
Native American Peace Officers PAC
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Ron George, Chief Justice, California Supreme
Court [Javonne: III C 3]
Hawaii Trip

$424,000
$234,427
$220,000
$220,000
$208,000
$25,000
$25,000

Who gets money? The CCPOA takes care of its own
One of the less familiar names from the chart above is Albert Martinez. Why would this
individual receive the second highest donation total from CCPOA? He was neither an
incumbent nor the leading challenger, but he was one of their own.
According to Prison Legal News,
On the night of June 26, 1998, state parole officer Albert Martinez was arrested
in a Los Angeles park and charged with committing unspecified “lewd conduct.”
The day before the arrest Martinez had narrowly lost a race for the Democratic
Party nomination for the 62nd State Assembly seat. Martinez had received about
$250,000 in campaign donations from the California Correctional Peace Officers
Association for his election bid.3
CCPOA Issues Committee This committee funds legal services, public relations,
polling and lobbying and gives to propositions.
Total giving from: $1.7 million.
**This figure does not cover a full year in an election cycle, from 7/00 to 8/01.
Top 10 single donations

Date
03/98
06/00
09/01
05/98
03/98
03/98
12/98
06/00
12/99
06/99

Recipient
McNally Temple Associates
McNally Temple Associates
California Indian Legal Services
Albert Martinez
McNally Temple Associates
Moore Information
Crime Victims United of California
Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau
Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau
Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

Amount
$90,000
$85,000
$50,000
$50,000
$46,700
$46,700
$33,670
$30,750
$30,750
$30,750

III-3
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Notable donations

Recipient

Amount

McNally Temple Associates
Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau
Allen Pross, CVUC Executive Director
Native American Peace Officers
Native American Peace Officers
Nielsen, Merksamer, et al.
Albert Martinez for Assembly

$350,000
$175,000
$130,000
$90,000
$90,000
$77,700
$69,000

Conflict of interest?
Steve Lucas, the treasurer of the CCPOA Local Issues PAC, is a partner with Nielsen,
Merksamer, et al., a law firm that represents the CCPOA and was the recipient of
$77,700. He is also the chairman of California's Bipartisan Commission on the Political
Reform Act.4 This Commission is dedicated to “investigating and assessing the effect of
the fundamental law governing campaign financing and government ethics in
California.”5 He makes decisions about campaign financing for CCPOA as well as for
the general public.
CCPOA Local PAC

This PAC gives contributions to local candidates.

Total giving: $200,000.
**This period does not cover early 1998, nor any of 1999.
Top 10 single donations

Date
06/98
06/98
06/01
10/98
12/00
06/98
06/01
02/00
09/98
09/98

Recipient

Amount

Paula Kamina, Marin County District Attorney
Ron Calhoun, Kings County District Attorney
Paula Kamina, Marin County District Attorney
Patrick Hedges, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff
Global Strategy
Leroy Davis, District Attorney
Paula Kamina, Marin County District Attorney
Bob Waterson, Fresno County Supervisor
John Henderson, Sheriff
Patrick Hedges, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

$25,300
$23,400
$19,900
$17,500
$15,200
$14,000
$6,900
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000

III-4
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Notable donations

Recipient

Amount

Paula Kamina, Marin County District Attorney
Ron Calhoun, Kings County District Attorney
Patrick Hedges, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff
Leroy Davis, District Attorney

$60,000
$25,700
$22,500
$18,000

CCPOA Independent Expenditures Committee This PAC tends to pay for big-ticket
items, such as the television ads for Gray Davis and the campaign against Proposition
36. It is also used to funnel money to the main CCPOA PAC.
Total giving: $3.7 million
Top 10 single donations

Date

Recipient

Amount

10/98
10/98
10/98
12/98
05/98
06/98
10/98
05/98
12/99
05/98

Gray Davis
CCPOA PAC
CCPOA PAC
CCPOA PAC
PAC General Purpose
CCPOA PAC
CCPOA PAC
PAC General Purpose
Governor’s Cup Invitational Golf Tournament
PAC General Purpose

$946,400
$445,000
$425,300
$252,600
$190,000
$164,000
$145,000
$112,000
$100,000
$70,000

Notable donations

Recipient
Gray Davis (Television ads)
Governor’s Golf Cup
Citizens United Against Drug Abuse
(Opponents of Proposition 36)

Amount
$946,400
$100,000
$75,000

Resources:
San Francisco Department of Election: Campaign Contribution Records

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-5
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Citations:
1

Interview with Tom Quinn, January 24, 2002

2

San Francisco Department of Elections: Campaign Contributions Records.

3

Prison Legal News, October, 1998, Issue 13. http://www.prisonlegalnews.org/Issues/1098/013.htm.

4

http://www.nmgovlaw.com/national_campaign_compliance.htm

5

http://www.commoncause.org/states/california/pr_review.htm

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-6
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

1. Money to the Legislature
In the 1990s, CCPOA contributions to Governor George Deukmejian ($494,000) and
Governor Pete Wilson ($2 million) led some to assert that the CCPOA was a, “Republic
union.” Don Novey denied that claim with a utilitarian description, “proportionately, over
the years, the legislature has been 59-60% Democratic and our money has gone in that
direction.”1
Today, the CCPOA spends generously on both parties. While the union sponsored the
2002 Gubernatorial Republican primary debate, it also gave over a million dollars to
progressive candidates, like John Burton and Carole Migden.2
As Novey notes, this shift in spending makes sense. Democrats have solid majorities in
both halls of the legislature: 50-30 in the Assembly and 26-14 in the Senate.
They also hold important leadership positions. Carole Migden chairs the Appropriations
Committee, dispersing $100 billion of California’s budget. She is carrying two bills on
the CCPOA’s 2002-03 Legislative Agenda. John Burton is the Senate Majority Leader.
He sponsored Senate Bill 65, the memorandum of understanding that, if approved on
February 11, 2002, will lift correctional officers’ salaries as high as $73,000, well above
those of teachers, social workers and mental health counselors in the state.
Legislators who oppose CCPOA put themselves at risk. They not only deny themselves
contributions from the biggest spenders in the state, they also subject themselves to
public relation assaults. For example, the CCPOA initiated a direct-mail campaign sent
to every member that listed the “Enemies We Face” and included Senators John
Vasconcellos and Richard Polanco.3
The result is overwhelming support for the CCPOA and legislators scramble for
endorsements and contributions. As Senate Majority Leader and “Dean” of the
California Legislature noted in the Capitol hallway, “We’re all for law enforcement”.4

Resources:
Common Cause
http://www.commoncause.org/states/california/topten.pdf

Citations:
1

Lucas, Greg. “Guard’s Union Impeding Prison Probe.” San Francisco Chronicle. March 18, 1998.
San Francisco Department of Elections, Campaign Contribution Records.
3
CCPOA Mailer, “Yes on Gold Shield”.
4
Interview with Senator John Burton, January 16, 2002.
2

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-7
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

2. Money to the Executive
CCPOA’s contributions to the chief executive reflect an understanding of his decisive
impact on legislation. In 1994, the CCPOA made history with a single contribution of
$425,000 to incumbent Pete Wilson. It was the largest single donation ever made to a
California candidate.1 In Wilson’s 1990 bid for governor, CCPOA contributions totaled
nearly $1 million. 2 These contributions, according to CCPOA president Don Novey, “put
him over the top.”3
In the 1998 gubernatorial election, the CCPOA had to choose between two tough-oncrime candidates. Republican Dan Lungren, California Attorney General who was
backed by the National Rifle Association, ran against Democrat Gray Davis. The
CCPOA chose Davis and threw its monetary weight behind a Democrat for governor for
the first time in 16 years.
CCPOA contributed a total of $2 million to Davis, including $946,000 for television ads
to win last minute swing votes.4 After his election, Davis promised to build a new
correctional facility in Delano. He also approved a five-year contract that will raise top
salaries by as much as 25% and, despite a recession, will cost California $1 billion.5
As the 2002 election heats up, the CCPOA has not yet chosen a candidate to endorse,
but its gears are beginning to crank. The CCPOA sponsored the GOP debate on
January 22, and it also sponsored Davis’ annual Governors’ Cup Invitational Golf
Tournament, which has raised as much as $356,000 for the governor.6
Lance Corcoran, CCPOA Vice President, says the endorsement decision “will come in
August.”7 This much anticipated endorsement, late in the race, will bring crucial money
to fuel the crunch months of the election.

Citations:
1

Tannenbaum, Judith, “Prisons a Growth Industry.” San Francisco Chronicle, September 27, 1999.
Ostrom, Mary Anne, “Prison Guards: The Union Throws Its Weight to the Democrat, Sending Lungren
Scrambling,” San Jose Mercury News, October 1, 1998.
3
Butterfield, Fox, “Political Gains by Prison Guards.” New York Times, November 7, 1995.
4
San Francisco Department of Elections: Campaign Contribution Records.
5
Lucas, Greg, “Davis’ Plan Gives Prison Guards Big Pay Boost,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 13,
2002.
6
San Francisco Department of Elections: Campaign Contribution Records.
7
Interview with Lance Corcoran, January 29, 2002.
2

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-8
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

3. Money to the Judiciary
Between 1989 and 1999, 39 inmates were shot to death, and 200 more were wounded.
Not one district attorney in the state prosecuted a correctional officer for any of these
assaults.1
The CCPOA gave at least $108,000 to local district attorneys from 1996 to 2000.2
“You can investigate it until you’re blue in the face but you still have the problem of who
prosecutes it…To accept one of these cases would eat up everybody you have in the
place, plus every red cent you’ve got to get one of these cases to court,” said Nathan
Barankin, a spokesman for Attorney General Lockyer.3
This quote illuminates the challenge of facing an opponent who is armed with a team of
20 lawyers.
Local district attorneys have good reason to hesitate before taking a position against the
CCPOA’s interests. Greg Strickland, former district attorney in Kings County, home to
Corcoran state correctional facility, attempted to take a brutality case to the grand jury.
The CCPOA fueled his opponent with $30,000 in the next election, leading to
Strickland’s defeat.4 A similar scenario happened in Del Norte County and in Susanville
County.4
When local district attorneys fail to prosecute charges against a correctional officer, they
will refer it to the Attorney General’s office. At this time, the Attorney General’s office is
too overwhelmed to respond quickly or consistently or sometimes at all.
The State Supreme Court
State Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor for a term of 4 years. At
each interval they must be reconfirmed by the voters. The Supreme Court frequently
rules on legislation important to the CCPOA (ex: Three Strikes).
The role of the Supreme Court is to interpret laws, not to create them. The judicial
branch of the government plays a vital role in the checks and balances of the
democratic system.
CCPOA contributed $25,000 to Chief Justice Ron George in October 1998.2 What can
CCPOA hope to gain from such a contribution?

Citations:
1

Arax, Mark “Union crushed bid to let state prosecute guards,” Los Angeles Times, July 18,1999.

2

San Francisco Department of Elections: Campaign Contribution Reports.

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-9
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

3

“Guarding their Silence,” Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/11/22/guards/index1.html

4

“Lockyer loses a round; Guards defeat effort to bolster prison prosecutions.” The Fresno Bee, July 18,
1999.

D. Lobbying
From 1999 to 2000, the CCPOA spent nearly $800,000 on lobbying fees. To
communicate its legislative agenda, the union employed five lobbying firms: Jeff
Thompson, McHugh and Associates, Robinson and Associates, Paula Trent, and Ackler
and Associates.1
In addition, at least one of the CCPOA’s lobbyists worked for affiliated organizations as
well. Jeff Thompson was employed simultaneously by the CCPOA, the CCPOA Benefit
Trust Fund and the Crime Victims United of California. This is yet another example of
how resources are shared across organizations.

Resources:
California Secretary of State, Cal-Access
http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/

Citations:
1

Cal-Access Reports for 2000-2001 for CCPOA and CVUC.

E. Three-Strikes
California’s “Three-Strikes and You’re Out” law demonstrates how a politicized and
publicized fear of crime has turned California into a state of incarceration.
What fueled California’s fear of crime?
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, violent crime was on the rise in California.
Coverage of murders and other crimes tripled on national TV, hardwiring fear in
peoples’ psyches, by providing daily, even hourly, reminders of violence.1
Two violent crimes, in particular, captured media and public attention. In 1992, 18-year
old Kimber Reynolds was shot and killed in a purse-snatching incident.2 A year later,
12-year-old Polly Klaas, was abducted from her home and murdered.3 The entire
country was shocked and horrified as repeated images of the Polly Klaas case
dominated television screens. How could citizens be safe when these crimes could be
committed?

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-10
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

California’s elected officials reacted to the public’s cry for action. Governor Pete Wilson
took advantage of Polly Klaas’s funeral by taking a moment of mourning and
transforming it into a political platform. At the funeral, he delivered a speech vowing for
legislation to get “tough on crime.”4
Who turned Three-Strikes into Law?
Both of the well-publicized crimes were carried out by repeat offenders and ThreeStrikes, previously seen as a drastic measure, now seemed politically viable.
Mike Reynolds, father of Kimber Reynolds, gathered 800,000 signatures (twice as many
as necessary) to put three-strikes on the ballot. He joined forces with Mark Klaas, the
other grieving father, to get political support. Together, they visibly reminded the public
the need to lock offenders away in jail for a very long time.
Legislators lined up to sponsor this tough on crime bill. Assemblymen Bill Jones and Jim
Costa carried the three-strikes initiative and it evolved from proposition 184 to Assembly
Bill 971.
Financial support followed. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association
(CCPOA) was the second biggest donor, funneling $101,000 to the initiative. The
National Rifle Association followed suit and donated $100,000. The largest contributor,
however, came from Republican Congressman Michael Huffington, who donated
$350,000.5
On Election Day, Three-Strikes passed with a 72% approval rating.6

Did you know?
ƒ

California has convicted 7,072 people for 3rd strike offenses and 34,656 people
for 2nd strike offenses by December 31, 2001.

ƒ

The highest offense rate by second and third strikers is not for “violent crimes,”
but for possession of a controlled substance.7

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-11
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

CS+ Sales,
Etc

Posession of
Weapon

Other
Assault/
Battery

CS+ Possess
for Sale, Etc

Burglary 2nd

Assault
Deadly
Weapon

Petty Theft
with Prior

Burglary 1st

Robbery

2nd and 3rd Strikers by Offense Type

CS+
Posession

16%
14%
12%
10%
8%
6%
4%
2%
0%

Offense Type

ƒ

Blacks are disproportionately represented as 2nd and 3rd Strike offenders in
California correctional facilities compared to California’s population, as reported
by the Census bureau. **Black, White, and Hispanic are used to be consistent
with the terminology used by the California Department of Corrections.

Comparing Population Rates
(Inmates vs. Census Data)
70%
60%
50%

Percent of 2nd and 3rd
Strikers
Census Data

40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Black

Hispanic

White

Other

Race

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-12
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Resources:
Financial Support for More Correctional Facilities
http://www.facts1.com/reasons/money.htm
Limitations on media exposure to inmates
http://www.facts1.com/general/inform.htm
Perspective of The California Prison Guards' Union from the editors of Prison Legal News
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Prison_System/CalifPrisonGuards.html
Prison News Network’s Perspective on California’s Three-Strikes Law
http://prison.webprovider.com/essay.htm
Three-Strikes: The Legacy of Opportunism
http://www.socialistaction.org/news/199906/three.html
ACLU Poll Shows: Most Americans Don't Want to Throw Away the Key
http://www.aclu.org/features/f071901a.html

Citations:
1

Schreibner, Michael. “Three-Strikes: The Legacy of Opportunism.” June 1999.
www.socialistaction.org/news/19906/three.html
2

Vitiello, Michael. “Three-Strikes: Can We Return to Rationality?” Journal of Criminal Law and
Criminology. Volume 87, Number 2. 1997, pp. 395-481.
3

Vitiello, Michael. “Three-Strikes: Can We Return to Rationality?” Journal of Criminal Law and
Criminology. Volume 87, Number 2. 1997, pp. 395-481.
4

Cal Voter: http://www.calvoter.org/archive/94general/props/184.html

5

San Diego Alliance for Clean Elections: Clean Money 2000.
http://www.cleanelectionsandiego.org/newsletter/septnews.html
6

Vitiello, Michael. “Three-Strikes: Can We Return to Rationality?” Journal of Criminal Law and
Criminology. Volume 87, Number 2. 1997, pp. 395-481.
7

Department of Correction’s Published Reports
http://www.cdc.state.ca.us/reports/offender.htm

F. Affiliate Groups
1. Native American Peace Officers
The CCPOA has curried favor with a unique range of political groups in its efforts to win
influence in state government. One of its strangest alliances is the relationship with
Native Americans.

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-13
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

The California Teachers’ Association (CTA) used to be the most powerful lobby in
California, channeling the dues of its 300,000 members to candidates and propositions.
With the onset of legalized gambling on Native American reservations, however, a new
set of players has emerged on the scene. In 1998, a variety of Native American tribes
gave over $20 million in campaign contributions. Now five tribes surpass the CTA in
giving.1
The biggest donor in California, however, is the CCPOA. Its own donations, to
candidates, lobbyists and officials, have been detailed above (link to section 3-1,2,3. Its
relationships with other groups, however, multiply its influence.
One of CCPOA’s affiliate groups is the Native American Peace Officers (NAPO), a
shadow organization run entirely from the offices of the CCPOA. NAPO formed over 12
years ago through a personal relationship with Don Novey and the son of a slain peace
officer.2 Its staff and budget is as guarded as that of the CCPOA.
NAPO’s campaign contributions, however, are public and records from 1997 to 9/2001
show that the NAPO Independent Expenditures Committee and the NAPO Issues PAC
have donated at least another $200,000 to candidates.3
Why does the CCPOA create affiliate groups like NAPO and CVUC (link to CVUC) to
channel money to the same candidates and issues that its own PACs support?
Is this an attempt to show the tolerant side of the CCPOA? Is it to show a broader base
of support for a “tough on crime” movement. Is it to entice candidates to receive ethnic
minority backing? Are there any Native Americans who work for NAPO?
Or, is it a gimmick to increase money to key players while masking contributions?
Donations to candidates from an ethnic minority group (NAPO) evoke sympathy. The
CCPOA can not only multiply its giving but make its power appear more pure. It helps
contributions appear noble and less self-interested.

2. Crime Victims Groups
The CCPOA utilizes crime victims’ groups to help push its legislative agenda exploiting
the crime victims’ movement as a political opportunity.
CCPOA used a calculated tactic to assemble the crime victims’ movement from a
smattering of support groups to a major statewide political force. In 1992, as the might
of the CCPOA grew, president Don Novey turned his attention to crime victims’ support
groups. Where many saw grieving mothers, Don Novey saw a political partner.
Both groups, for their own reasons, wanted the same things—longer sentencing,
tougher laws, and more rights for law enforcement. Both brought unique strengths to the
Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-14
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

table. The CCPOA brought money; crime victims’ brought a pretty face. As Jeff
Thompson, lobbyist for both CCPOA and Crime Victims United of California (CVUC),
explained, “Nobody feels empathetic for prison guards, but everyone’s got sympathy for
crime victims.”5
The prime example of this money and sympathy partnership was three-strikes
legislation. When CCPOA’s finances combined with public sympathy for victims’
families, Assembly Bill 971 went from an idea to a law.
CCPOA galvanized the crime victims’ movement through the CVUC and Doris Tate
Crime Victims Bureau (CVB). Before the CCPOA’s involvement, the crime victims’
movement had no voice in politics. As Harriet Salarno, President of CVUC, recalled, “In
the 1980s, politicians treated us horribly, they put us last on the agenda. Nobody would
listen to us.”6 It is a different story today as CVUC Vice-Chair Marcella Leach explains,
"We were in Sacramento for three days and we hardly had a chance to go to the
bathroom. There was one candidate after another lined up waiting for our
endorsement."7
CCPOA support is the link that shifted the crime victims’ movement into high gear. In
the words of CVUC’s Executive Director, Al Pross, "If CCPOA hadn’t helped us, we
wouldn’t have CVUC. They saw a need for a statewide umbrella entity instead of
individuals and local groups of victims each doing their own thing and they filled it." 8
The CCPOA provided office space, telephones, attorneys, lobbying staff, and 95% of
the initial funding to help CVUC get off the ground.9 For an example of how lobbying
resources are shared, see Lobbying.
Another face for CCPOA is the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau, currently undergoing a
name change to Crime Victims Bureau or CVB. According to its CVB Executive Director
Susan Fisher, the CCPOA pledged, "We’re going to help you do what you want to do
and help you get on your feet." The CCPOA provided office space, telephones, lobbying
staff, and 78% of funding for CVB in its early years.10
But the CCPOA did not only provide money and services to the crime victims’
movement. Ms. Salarno pointed out that besides the logistical support, Don Novey
"steered us in the right direction, opened the door, and taught us what to do. He
educated us.” 11
As CVUC has grown and developed its own funding sources, the CCPOA has replaced
direct funding with full-time staff. The CCPOA now provides the CVUC with a Director of
Education and Research to monitor relevant legislative committees and an Executive
Director to provide political advice and candidate recommendations.
CCPOA’s Web Site explains the alliance, stating, "The CCPOA actively supports the
work of Crime Victims United and the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau, two groups
dedicated to the rights of victims and the passage of more effective public safety
laws."12
Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-15
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

The CCPOA uses its relationship with crime victims as a tactic. To change the face of
its political activities, the CCPOA financed the creation of the two statewide crime
victims’ groups. Victims’ stories are powerful and legislators understand the political
sway that these stories hold over their constituency.
Inmate and author Paul Wright defines this power when he says, “When correctional
officers support tough-on-crime legislation, they are selfish. When crime victims do the
same thing, they are noble.”13 The CCPOA continues to spend its money supporting the
same legislation, with the face of crime victims, rather than the face of correctional
officers.

Resources:
CCPOA and California State Politics
http://www.prisonactivist.org/factsheets/ccpoa.pdf

Citations:
1

Common Cause, http://www.commoncause.org
Gilmore, Craig. “Guards’ and Gambling Tribes’ Big $$$ Alliance.” California Journal, May 2000.
3
San Francisco Department of Elections: Campaign Contribution Records.
4
Butterfield, Fox, “Political Gains by Prison Guards.” New York Times, November 7, 1995.
5
Interview with Jeff Thompson, January 16, 2002.
6
Interview with Harriet Salarno, January 24, 2002.
7
Interview with Marcella Leach, January 17, 2002.
8
Interview with Al Pross, January 17, 2002.
9
CCPOA and California State Politics, http://www.prisonactivist.org/factsheets/ccpoa.pdf.
10
CCPOA and California State Politics, http://www.prisonactivist.org/factsheets/ccpoa.pdf.
11
Interview with Harriet Salarno, January 24, 2002.
12
CCPOA Web site, http://www.ccpoa.org
13
Interview with Paul Wright, January 28, 2002.
2

Political Power of the CCPOA
27 March 2002

III-16
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

IV. Glossary
CCPOA: California Correctional Peace Officers Association
CTA: California Teachers Association
CVUC: Crime Victims United of California
Condemned: Term used to described inmates with death sentences.
Fair Share Fee (or agency fee): A fee paid to the union by members of a bargaining
unit who have not joined the union. The fee pays for services and benefits (and not
for political campaigning contributions) that the union has negotiated for all members
of the bargaining unit.
Felony: A grave crime formerly differing from a misdemeanor under English common
law by involving forfeiture in addition to any other punishment.
Hard money: This defines contributions given directly to candidates.
LWOP: Life Without the Option of Parole. This is a criminal with a life sentence
MOU: Memorandum of Understanding. A formal name for the contract jointly prepared
by labor and management incorporating matters on which agreement is reached
through negotiations, or meeting and conferring. The memorandum, having the force
of a contract, is subject to ratification by membership.
NAPO: Native American Peace Officers Association
Open Shop: Employees of an organization are given the opportunity to choose whether
or not to be members of the labor union.
Ratify: To vote for a contract.
RC: Reception Center. Provides short-term housing to process, classify and evaluate
incoming inmates.
Security Levels for Correctional Facilities:
I Open dormitories without a secure perimeter.
II Open dormitories with secure perimeter fences and armed coverage.
III Individual cells, fenced perimeters, and armed coverage.
IV Cells, fenced or walled perimeters, electronic security, more staff and armed
officers both inside and outside the installation.
SHU: Security Housing Unit. The most secure area within a Level IV correctional

facility designed to provide maximum coverage.

Soft money: These are contributions given to political parties for distribution to
candidates.
Three-strikes: Description as provided by Families to Amend California’s Three-Strikes
http://www.facts1.com/general/3strikes.htm
If a person commits any felony after March 7, 1994 and:
If the person has one previous "violent" or "serious" felony conviction (which includes burglary of
an unoccupied dwelling), he or she is sentenced to twice the term prescribed by law for each new
felony (and must serve at least 80% of the sentence).
If the person has two previous violent or serious felony convictions, he or she is sentenced to a
life sentence with the possibility of parole. The minimum term of the life sentence is calculated as
the greater of the following:
a. Three times the term otherwise provided
b. 25 years
c. The term determined by the court pursuant to other applicable sentencing provisions of existing
law.

Violent crime: Definition as provided by the California Penal Code as cited on
http://www.facts1.com/general/667-p21.htm
(1) Murder or voluntary manslaughter.
(2) Mayhem.
(3) Rape as defined in paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 or paragraph (1) or
(4) of subdivision (a) of Section 262.
(4) Sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on
the victim or another person.
(5) Oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily
injury on the victim or another person.
(6) Lewd acts on a child under the age of 14 years as defined in Section 288.
(7) Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.
(8) Any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an
accomplice which has been charged and proved as provided for in Section 12022.7 or
12022.9 on or after July 1, 1977, or as specified prior to July 1, 1977, in Sections 213, 264,
and 461, or any felony in which the defendant uses a firearm which use has been charged
and proved as provided in Section 12022.5, or 12022.55.
(9) Any robbery.
(10) Arson, in violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 451.
(11) The offense defined in subdivision (a) of Section 289 where the act is accomplished against
the victim's will by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily
injury on the victim or another person.
(12) Attempted murder.
(13) A violation of Section 12308, 12309, or 12310.
(14) Kidnapping.

(15) Assault with the intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, or oral copulation, in violation of
Section 220.
(16) Continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5.
(17) Carjacking, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 215.
(18) A violation of Section 264.1.
(19) Extortion, as defined in Section 518, which would constitute a felony violation of Section
186.22 of the Penal Code.
(20) Threats to victims or witnesses, as defined in Section 136.1, which would constitute a felony
violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.
(21) Any burglary of the first degree, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 460, wherein it is
charged and proved that another person, other than an accomplice, was present in the
residence during the commission of the burglary.

(22) Any violation of Section 12022.53.

 

 

Federal Prison Handbook
CLN Subscribe Now Ad
Federal Prison Handbook