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Ltr and Report Re Oig Area Concerns With Cdcr Out of State Facilities 2010

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David R. Shaw, Inspector General

Office ofthe Inspector General

December 2, 2010

Matthew L. Cate, Secretary
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
1515 S Street, Room 502 South
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Mr. Cate:
This letter is to inform you of the concerns noted during our inspections of the five privately run outof-state facilities that house California inmates. The facilities inspected were the Tallahatchie County
Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, Mississippi; NorthFork Correctional Facility in SaYre, Oklahoma;
La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona; Florence Correctional Center in Florence, Arizona;
and Red Rock Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona.
Our visits were part of the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) facility inspection program whose
purpose is to' identify issues that, if left unaddressed, could develop into more significant problems. In
addition to touring the five facilities and interviewing management, employees and inmates, we also
reviewed certain terms and conditions of the out-of-state prison housing contract between the
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Corrections Corporation of
America (CCA). Because OIG's inspection program is not as extensive as an audit, we performed only
a limited review and testing of documents.
Many of our concerns relate to specific CCA facilities, but some of the issues appear to affect most, if
not all, facilities. Most of these concerns were verbally discussed with both CCA and CDCR
management representatives during our site visits. The concerns are detailed in the enclosed document
and summarized below.
~

Denial ofInmate Rights or Privileges
These include retaining inmates in administrative segregation, overriding inmate classification
scores, delaying transfer of inmate property, family visiting video-conferencing not provided,
limiting programming opportunities for Northern and Southern Hispanic inmates, inmates
lacking required classification committee documents, incorrectly recording inmate
4isagreements with committee decisions, and inadequately analyzing and documenting rule
violation reports.

~

Safety and Security Weaknesses
These include missing or damaged inmate identification cards, allowing inmates to wear
clothing similar to custody personnel, poor screening protocols for new CCA employees,
inadequately preventing inmate workers' ability to tamper with food trays, unsupervised
inmates in restricted areas, good security procedures not practiced during inmate movement

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor
P.O.

Box 348780,

SACRAMENTO,

CA 95834-8780

PHONE

(916) 830-3600

FAX

(916) 928-5996

~

Matthew L. Cate, Secretary
Out of State Prison Inspection Results
December 2, 2010
Page 2

and inmate counts, cell searches inadequately documented, significant incidents not
investigated and improper evidence handling, opening under an inner fence-line security gate,
employees not required to be quarterly weapons qualified or carryall safety equipment,
inefficient alarm response system, inmates not provided with seat belts during transports, and
inadequately training temporarily assigned transportation employees.
~

Unenforced Rules, Policies, Practices or Contract Provisions
OIG found that CDCR did not: exercise adequate oversight of the inmate welfare fund,
competitively bid state-to-state transportation services, approve CCA's use-of-force policy and
timely review use-of-force incidents.

~

Other Notable Issues
OIG also identified other issues that include conflicting inmate visiting protocols and other
visiting program weaknesses, inmates being provided outdated .institution rules, prescription
medications being wasted, operating weaknesses in central control, poor formatting of inmate
escape bulletins, inmate advisory committees lacking continuity and consistency, and
insufficient safeguarding for inmate correspondence boxes.

CDCR should determine the impact of the identified issues at each of its out-of-state facilities,
implement appropriate corrective action and monitoring, and report its comprehensive corrective
action to the OIG by June 1,2011. We will follow up on your corrective actions during future
inspections. However, with regard to the denial of inmate rights and safety and security weaknesses, I
strongly urge you to immediately address these issues and take alI-necessary corrective actions as
quickly as possible.
Thank you for the courtesy extended to my employees during the inspections. If you have any
questions regarding the above issues, please contact Jerry Twomey, Chief Assistant Inspector General,
Bureau of Audits and Investigations, at (916) 830-3600.
Sincerely,

David R. Shaw
Inspector General
Enclosure
.cc:

Scott Kernan, Undersecretary, Operations, CDCR
Melissa Lea, Chief, Contract Beds, CDCR
Lydia Romero, Chief (A), California Out-of-State Correctional Facility, CDCR
Kim Holt, External Audits Manager, CDCR

Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

Enclosure - Ola Areas ofConcem with CDCR Out-of-State Facilities
Denial ofInmate Rights or Privileges
~

Retaining inmates in administrative segregation
o

We identified four inmates at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility
(Tallahatchie) who were held in the administrative segregation unit (ASU) longer
than necessary. Even though the hearing officer had found the inmates not guilty of
the offense that prompted their ASU placement, the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation's (CDCR) chief disciplinary officer did not promptly
review the decision and forward the decision to the institutional classification
committee that officially authorizes ASU releases. Instead, CDCR was not aware of
the delay until the OIG brought the matter to its attention (approximately 20 days
after the ·initial hearing officer's not guilty finding).

o

Based on inmate interviews and file reviews at Tallahatchie, NorthFork
Correctional Facility (North Fork), and Florence Correctional Center (Florence),
inmates were not provided with staff assistance 24 hours prior to their classification
hearings as required by California Code of Regulations Title 15, Sections
3315(d)(2)(B) and 3339(b)(3). For all three facilities, we reviewed a combined total
of ten applicable case files and found no evidence that a staff assistant met with the
inmate at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.

o

In two of five Tallahatchie institutional classification committee cases reviewed,
ASU placement hearings were held 14 and 19 days after ASU placement in
violation of California Code of Regulations, Title 15, Section 3338(a), which
requires hearings be held within ten days.

o

The OIG observed that all out-of-state facilities house "level IV" inmates in ASU
and deny those inmates general population privileges such as group exercise and
programming opportunities that the inmates would likely get if they were housed in
a level IV facility in California. According to the CDCR's chief of contract beds, all
out-of-state placed irunates who violate rules and subsequently have their custody
level point count increased to level IV status are placed in ASU until either reclassified as a level III override or transferred back to California. Normally, barring
extenuating circumstances or unique case factors, an inmate who was on a general
population yard prior to being placed in an ASU would be returned to a general
population yard consistent with their point level once released from ASU. However,
because none of the out-of-state facilities have level IV general population housing,
the level IV inmates are retained in ASU.
After reviewing ASU placement logs, we found that all of the out-of-state facilities
. are retaining level IV inmates. Many of the inmates have been retained in ASU for
long periods of time, some due to having level IV points and some due to being
validated gang members. Active validated prison gang members are generally
required by the California Code of Regulations Section 3341.5(c)(2)(A)(2.) to be
placed in a security housing unit (SHU). Many of these ASU retained inmates are

Pagel

Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

pending transfers back to California facilities that have level IV yards or SHU.
Specifically, we found that:
• North Fork housed 23 level IV inmates in ASU (some held between 19 and 24
months).
• Tallahatchie housed 13 level IV inmates in ASU (seven held between four and
twelve months). In addition, we found anoth~r 37 validated prison gang
members (or associates) held in ASU for five months.
• La Palma Correctional Center (La Palma) housed approximately 40 level IV
inmates in ASU. Thirty of these inmates had been held from between six
months to more than a year (most were pending transfers to California level IV
or SHU facilities). Four of the inmates were validated prison gang members (or
associates).
• Florence housed five level IV inmates in ASU (four held between five and ten
months).
• Red Rock Correctional Center (Red Rock) housed three level IV inmates in
ASU (one held over five months and pending transfer to a California SHU).
CDCR reported that it has tried to transfer the level IV inmates back to California;
however, it has been unable to do so because CalifQrnia has limited level IV bed
space. The 010 has concerns that CCA facilities do not meet California's
standards for level IV housing, and CCA employees may not be adequately
trained to manage level IV inmates or validated gang members.
~

Overriding Inmate Classification Scores
o

Even though the California Code of Regulations allows only level I through III
inmates to be transferred out-of-state, CDCR is allowing inmates with level IV
custody points to be retained as out-of-state level III inmates. This practice
generally occurs when out-of-state level III inmates commit rule violations and their .
. classification points are elevated to a level IV custody status. Further, CDCR
management does not believe it always makes "fiscal or custodial" sense to transfer
some inmates back to California. On March 17,2010, CDCR issued a memorandum
revising the out-of-state retention criteria. The memorandum allows, on a case by
case basis, a level IV inmate with low points (52-59) to be classified as a level III .
override and retained out-of-state. A CDCR representative agreed that it was not
unforeseeable that some inmates may deliberately commit rule violations to
incr~ase their custody points in an attempt to be transferred back to California.
Although retaining these inmates in out-of-state facilities may have been a
reasonable alternative to returning them to California, the 010 still has concerns
that the intent of the California Code of Regulations Section 3379(a)(9)(A)(2) is not
being met. Specifically, the code allows only level I through III inmates be
transferred out-of-state, yet CDCR is allowing inmates with level IV points to be
retained out-of-state. Further, CCA facilities do not meet the California Code of
Regulation's level IV security requirements for internal armed coverage.
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Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

~

Delaying Transfer of Inmate Property
o

~

Family Visiting Video-conferencing Not Provided
o

~

CCA or CDCR is not promptly transferring inmate property. At North Fork for
example, OIG inspectors found that 46 inmates who arrived two to seven months
earlier still did not have their property.

Although CCA has contractually-required video conferencing equipment for inmate
visiting, CDCR has no in-state facilities that offer video-conferencing service to
visitors. CDCR management told us that while they have the necessary equipment at
two different California loc~tions, they have not been able to secure the funding for
additional staff needed to monitor the visiting sites. Without video-conferencing, the
cost of traveling to out-of-state facilities may effectively preclude family members
from visiting.

Limiting Programming Opportunities for Northern and Southern Hispanic Inmates
o

o

As a result of a serious incident. at Tallahatchie in March 2008, CDCR authorized
CCA to move the Northern Hispanic inmates from Tallahatchie to La Palma.
Because of the safety concerns due to gang conflicts with the more numerous
Southern Hispanics, CDCR required CCA to house all Northern Hispanic inmates
in the same La Palma housing unit. Since that time, CDCR and CCA have not
provided a full complement of programining opportunities to the Northern Hispanic
inmates at La Palma. At the time of our fieldwork, these inmates were offered
exercise·and GED education but have no access to a full law library, religious
services, narcotics anonymous, alcoholics anonymous, and most paid jobs. In
addition, CDCR management told us that 43 of 145 Northern Hispanic inmates
housed at La Palma have a reading level at 6.0 or lower, yet none of these inmates
are enrolled in adult basic education classes as required by CDCR's Operations
Manual, Section 101010.I.
In late October 2009, all general population Southern Hispanic inmates at four of
the five out-of-state facilities were placed on lockdown status immediately
following significant incidents that occurred within days of each other at the North
Fork and Tallahatchie facilities. The North Fork incident included a serious staff
assault and the Tallahatchie incidents included an attempted murder and large scale
disturbance involving ninety-eight Southern Hispanic inmates. The resulting fourfacility lockdown occurred from late October 2009 through mid-April 2010, during
which time Southern Hispanics received virtually no programming or out-of-cell
exercise. Between mid-April 2010 and early August 2010, the four affected
facilities slowly returned their Southern Hispanic inmate population to normal
programming.
In this particular case, the primary incident for which many of the Southern
Hispanic inmates were locked down did not even occur at the facility in which the
inmates were housed. While institutional safety and security may be an underlying
factor that prohibits daily exercise on a short-term basis, at least some offering of
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Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

programs and exercise seems warranted during long lock~down periods. By flatly
denying inmates exercise, CDCR creates a situation where the denial of programs
and exercise could be viewed as punishment.
.

~

Inmates Lacking Required Classification Committee Documents
o

~

CCA is not in compliance with requirements related to distribution of nonconfidential inmate documentation. Unlike California facilities, none of the out-ofstate facilities give inmates copies of their classification committee chronos (except
those related to legal matters), even though the California Code of Regulations,
section 3375(h), specifically requires that inmates be given a copy of all nonconfidential documents.

Incorrectly Recording Inmate Disagreements With Committee Decisions
o

Employees at Red Rock and Florence told the OIG that although classification
chronos state that inmates concurred, inmates frequently did not agree with their
institutional classification committee's decision. At Red Rock, we reviewed seven
classification chronos (CDCR Form 128-G, the form used to document
classification committee decisions) and found identically worded statements
indicating the inmate agreed with the institutional classification committee's
decision. At Florence, we also found three classification chronos that contained
similar verbiage of inmate agreement, yet an employee told the OIG that one of the
inmates did not agree with the institutional classification committee's decision.
CDCR is responsible for recording information correctly on the CDCR
Form 128-G, and CCA is responsible for allowing inmates to view the information
upon request. However, as discussed above, because the CCA does not provide
inmates with copies ofCDCR Form 128-G (an apparent conflict with California
regulations) inmates may not quickly identify and dispute inaccurate assertions
made in their official files.

~

Inadequately Analyzing and Documenting Rule Violation Reports
o

We reviewed 18 rule violation reports (CDCR Form 115) at the Tallahatchie,
Florence, and Red Rock facilities and found that even after CDCR's chief
disciplinary officer had reviewed and approved these reports, they still contained
numerous discrepancies such as insufficient description of the incident, failure to
consider evidence, and incorrect disposition.

Safety and Security Weaknesses
~

Missing or Damaged Inmate Identification Cards
o

While shadowing custody officers at Red Rock during a housing unit standing
count, we observed at least ten inmates who either had no identification card or a
severely damaged identification card. Based on the officers' inquiries, most inmates
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Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

indicated they had no identification cards for some time. One inmate said he never
had an identification card and another said a mydical employee took the card and
did not give it back.
~

Allowing Inmates to Wear Clothing Similar to Custody Personnel
o Both the La Palma and Red Rock facilities have inmates who wear clothing very
similar to the color of an officer's uniform.

~

Poor Screening Protocols for New CCA Employees
o Red Rock performs limited job applicant background reviews. Specifically, Red
Rock's hiring process does not include a comprehensive criminal background and
arrest history review, such as a review of National Crime Information Center
(NCIC) or California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System records. We
also noted that Red Rock's background investigators only check arrest records for
the city and county the applicant indicates as their current residence and do not
review state arrest records. Although interviewed applicants are asked whether they
personally know any California inmates, investigators do not attempt to corroborate
the information by interviewing applicant's friends and family. Finally, the
background process does not include asking the applicant whether they were ever
sentenced to a California institution or visited a California inmate. During our
inspection, the CDCR's chief of contract beds indicated that they recognize at least
some shortcomings in CCA's background review process and future contract
extensions will require NCIC checks to be performed.
At the Tallahatchie, North Fork, and LaPalma facilities, the background hiring
investigation process does not adequately attempt to identify whether an applicant
has relatives or acquaintances housed in CCA or CDCR facilities. Further, La
Palma does not attempt to determine whether an applicant ever visited an inmate.

~

Inadequately Preventing Inmate Workers' Ability to Tamper with Food Trays
o The Tallahatchie, North Fork, and La Palma facilities had security weaknesses that
allow some inmate culinary workers who prepare dietary food trays to have access
to administratively segregated inmates' names and housing locations. This
potentially allows inmate culinary workers to pass contraband or tamper with other
inmates' food.

~

Unsupervised Inmates in Restricted Areas
o During our site visits, we observed multiple instances where inmates were allowed
unsupervised access to restricted areas. For example, at both Tallahatchie and Red
Rock, we observed unsupervised inmates near or in the kitchen's restricted-access
sugar and spice cage that employees had left unsecured. (Inmates can use sugar as
an ingredient to make pruno, an alcoholic drink.) While in Florence, we observed
an unsupervised inmate working in the culinary's dry goods storeroom, which had a
restricted inmate access warning on the door entry, and we also observed another
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Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

unsupervised inmate working in the cold storage room where an unsecured cabinet
contained jelly packs and syrup.

~

~

a

At the Red Rock and La Palma facilities, we found the food manager's office door
unsecured.

a

During our Florence inspection, we observed a blood;.spill cabinet door damaged in
the ASU entrance sallyport area. One of the officers who works in the area,
speculated that inmate porters damaged the door while trying to gain unauthorized
access.

Good Security Procedures Not Practiced During Inmate Movements and Inmate Counts
a

During a La Palma inmate movement, custody staffing levels were insufficient to
adequately monitor inmates~ Specifically, only one officer was stationed in a
position to monitor and perform random clothed body searches of inmates exiting a
housing unit. As a result, the officer was unable to fully focus his attention on the
inmates passing through the metal detector, and we observed approximately 15 of
60 inmates move a barrier and go around the metal detector. We observed a similar
situation at a second La Palma location.

o

We found that North Fork inmates working in the receiving and release clothing
storage area had access to unsecured contraband items such as scissors.

a

Officers do not always follow good safety protocols when escorting inmates. We
observed two instances where the same Red Rock custody officer employed poor
safety practices. First, the officer allowed two inmate porters to follow behind him
while escorting the porters up a flight of stairs. Later, we observed the same officer
surrounded by approximately eight inmates he was escorting to a culinary work
station. Correct safety practices dictate keeping all inmates in a direct sight line.

a

During a North Fork inmate count, a custody officer missed a count sheet resulting
in an entire education classroom's 22 inmates not being counted. During the same
count, a culinary officer returned two workers to their housing unit prior to the
count clearing in violation of CDCR's Operations Manual, Section 52020.4 which
prohibits lllOst inmate movement during counts.

o

Due to limited exercise yard space at Red Rock, the residential drug abuse
treatment program inmates are counted first and released to a remote exercise yard
prior to the facility completing the full count.

Cell Searches Inadequately Documented
o The Florence facility's ASU employees were not documenting searches done after
an inmate vacates a cell and before an inmate occupies a cell. As a result, custody
employees would be unable to hold a subsequent occupant accountable for
contraband found in a cell.
In addition, custody officers could not easily determine when a cell was last
searched because officers do not use a one page grid-style table that allows for a
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Out-of-Sta,te Facility Inspection Results

quick summary of past cell searches. Without an adequate system in place, officers
could omit searching some cells or repeatedly search the same cells.
o

Similarly, the North Fork's ASU custody officers do not have an efficient way to
track when searches of specific cells were conducted, who completed the search, or
the result of the search. We also noted that cell searches conducted prior to housing
newly-admitted ASU inmates are not recorded as required by the California Code
of Regulations, Title 15, Section 3287(a).

o At all CCA facilities we found examples where cell searches were not recorded on
both the ASU cell search log and the inmate's corresponding Daily Segregated
Housing Record (CDCR Form 114-A).

»

Significant Incidents Not Investigated and Improper Evidence Handling
o At Red Rock, staff could not locate investig8;tive files for significant incidents
occurring at the institution. From the facility's incident log for the period of
. January 23,2010 through May 26,2010, we found no evidence that any of the 31
incidents were ever investigated for po~sible wrong doing.
o At the same facility, OIG inspectors observed poor evidence handling that
potentially could compromise evidence or render it unusable in judicial
proceedings. For example, we observed a temporary evidence safe with evidence
improperly labeled, evidence with no'labels, evidence packaged improperly, and
evidence with improperly completed chain of custody forms. Further, we found the
safe had been over-packed and that some evidence had been held in the temporary
safe for longer than 30 days. In a related area, inspectors were also unable to
determine whether evidence was transferred to the local police department due to
the incomplete chain of custody forms.
o

OIG inspectors found an unauthorized employee had access to the La Palma
facility's temporary evidence storage locker because a supply cabinet used the same
key as the temporary evidence storage locker. As a result, evidence integrity could
be compromised.

o The OIG reviewed CCA's evidence handling policies and found they do not explain
how to process blood-soaked evidence.
o During our inspection, the Red Rock investigator's evidence safe was inaccessible
for review. Specifically, the only person who knew the safe's code was on longterm sick leave and that individual could not remember the code when contacted by
facility management. As a result, we could not assess Red Rock's evidence handling
practices.
o A Tallahatchie housing unit search log review revealed that a "white powdered
substance" was found during a January 2010 dorm inspection; however, the
facility's investigative staff failed to follow through to determine the nature of the
substance. The investigative evidence log showed no record of a white powdery
substance being tested or retained as evidence.

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Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

~

Opening Under an Inner Fence-Line Security Gate
o

~

~

At Tallahatchie, an inner fence-line inspection revealed an approximate ten inch
gap below a gate in a restricted area that was large enough for a man to crawl
through.

Employees Not Required to be Quarterly Weapons Qualified or Carry All Safety
Equipment
o

Regularly assigned armed transportation employees at Tallahatchie, North Fork,
Florence, and Red Rock facilities only complete weapons qualification either
annually or semi-annually, rather than quarterly like CDCR. As a result, CCA
transportation staff may not be proficient with issued weapons.

o

At Tallahatchie and Red Rock, we observed officers unsafely carrying handcuffs
looped over their belts rather than storing them in a handcuff case.

o

At Tallahatchie and Red Rock, several custody officers were observed not carrying
a required CPR vent. At Tallahatchie, the CPR vents were never issued to some
employees.

o

At La Palma, custody officers were not required to carry critical safety equipment
such as whistles, pepper spray, and handcuffs.

Inefficient Alarm Response System
o Although not required by CDCR's Operations Manual, CCA facilities do not have
an audible incident alarm system. Currently, custody staff relies on using an
emergency button on their radios to notify central control that a problem has
occurred. As a result, the emergency response may be significantly delayed because
central control must then use radio communications to determine the officer's last
known location.

~ Inmates Not Provided with Seat Belts During Transports

o None ofeCA's medical transport vans are equipped with inmate passenger seat,
belts. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's website, the out-ofstate facilities are all located in states where laws do not require adults in vehicle
passenger rows to wear seat belts. While the out-of-state facilities may not be
legally required to use seat belts, the OIG identified one occurrence where an
unfastened inmate was injured during a medical transport.
~

Inadequately Training Temporarily Assigned Transportation Employees
o

Tallahatchie and North Fork do not ensure that employees who transport inmates'
for unscheduled appointments receive the same training provided to regular
transportation employees. For example, employees who regularly transport inmates
to outside medical providers receive 'ongoing training to retain custody of inmates
in public settings such as hospitals. Facility managers at both locations stated that if
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Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

regular transportation employees are not available, they instead select "fill-in"
employees based on availability without considering their training.

Unenforced Rules, Policies, Practices or Contract Provisions
~

Insufficient CDCR Oversight of the Inmate Welfare Fund
o

~

State-to-State Transportation Services Non-competitively Awarded
o

~

CDCR does not adequately oversee the Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF) to prevent
potential contractor program abuse and assure that inmates are charged reasonable
prices. The IWF is used by all CCA facilities to operate the inmate canteen where
inmates can purchase personal necessities and for which profits are used to
purchase equipment or services beneficial to the inmate population. While CDCR
does monitor the use of IWF fund profits, it has never audited the CCA records to
verify the accuracy of expenditures and revenues, including vendor rebates. In
addition, CDCR was unable to demonstrate that CCA charges canteen prices that
are comparable to California's prices.

CDCR's non-competitively bid contract with CCA allows it to use a CCA
subsidiary to provide routine state-to-stateinmate transportation services. The
contract though does not mandate the subsidiary's use. While the OIG recognizes
that using a non-competitively bid transportation service may have been necessary
in 2006, we are concerned that CDCR may be overpaying for state-to-state
transportation services because it has not advertised or competitively bid for these
services in the four years since the contract was awarded.

Unapproved Use-of-Force Policy and Untimely Use-of-Force Incident Reviews
o

According to CDCR's chief of contract beds, CDCR has never approved CCA's
use-of-force policy even though the contract terms require the policy's approval
prior to inmate occupancy. Because CDCR has never approved CCA's use-of-force
policy, CCA employees may not be trained in the same use-of-force standards as
used in California prisons. To illustrate the importance of an approved use offorce
policy, CCA currently has no CDCR approved written policy on whether CCA's
perimeter tower officers are authorized to use deadly force to quell inmate
incidents.

o

At La Palma and Florence, use-of-force incident reviews were not being completed
within 30 days and some were reviewed nearly three months after the incident.

Other Notable Issues
~

Conflicting Il)ffiate Visiting Protocols and Other Visiting Program Weaknesses
o

At the Florence facility, the visiting officer's post orders and the visitation policy
contained conflicting directives regarding the amount of money a visitor may
possess during visitations. The post orders indicated that visitors may have twenty
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Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

dollars cash while the visitation policy indicates only ten dollars. Further, both the
policy and post orders appear to be outdated since the facility uses debit cards for its
vending machine sales.
In a related area, Tallahatchie and the North Fork's visitation rules provided to
visitors are not updated to reflect the use of debit cards instead of cash for vending
machine purchases.
o At the Red Rock facility, officers temporarily assigned to visiting are not
consistently documenting visitor's badge numbers, the table location where visitors
are seated, and whether the visitor is a minor or adult.
o

~

Inmates Being Provided Outdated Institution Rules
o

~

La Palma's inmates are provided outdated policy information. Institutional rules
provided to the facility's inmates contain an outdated disciplinary section that does
not reflect updated revisions to the California Code of Regulations.

Prescription Medications Being Wasted
o

~

At the Tallahatchie and Florence facilities, the visiting officer's post orders and the
visitation policy contained conflicting directives regarding inmate searches. The
post orders require inmates only be pat searched prior to a visitation while the
policy requires an unclothed body search.

According to the Tallahatchie facility management, approximately 20 percent of
transferred inmates arrive with up to a 14-day supply of prescribed medication as
directed by the California Prison Health Care Services (CPHCS). However, to
comply with Mississippi law, the facility discards the medication because it cannot
allow inmates to possess medications not issued by a Mississippi licensed
pharmacist. Consequently, taxpayers incur the cost to r~place the discarded
medication. According to the chief of contract beds, CDCR is working with the
CPHCS' office to minimize the effects of the Mississippi law.

Operating Weaknesses in Central Control
o At Florence, 010 inspectors observed an emergency key set being issued without a
central control custody officer obtaining a marker to identify the keys' recipient.
Standard custody practices require accountability for all keys; however, without an
identifying marker this is not possible.
o

Tallahatchie central control's emergency key log did not detail why emergency keys
were issued. As a result, the facility cannot monitor the appropriate use of
emergency keys.

o

Security cameras are sometimes malfunctioning or not correctly focused. For
example, at La Palma, several central control monitored security cameras have not
been automatically returning to the approved fixed location, and several other
cameras were consistently out of focus. At North Fork, central control does not
have a standard procedure on where its fence-line cameras should be pointed when
I

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Out-of-State Facility Inspection Results

not operated manually. At Tallahatchie, we found a malfunctioning camera that was
located in the area adjacent to the facility's .high security administrative segregation
unit. Finally, at Florence, North Fork and Tallahatchie, we found that central
control officers were not notifying subsequent shifts of malfunctioning cameras.
~

Poor Formatting of Inmate Escape Bulletins
o

When prison employees transport inmates off grounds, the employees carry an
inmate escape bulletin that contains a picture and vital information about each
inmate in the event an inmate escapes. North Fork, La Palma and Florence's inmate
escape bulletins did not contain the term "Escape" or a color picture of the inmate.
As a result, the escape bulletin meant for quick public dissemination would not
clearly identify the inmate as an escapee or include a high quality image of the
'
inmate.
In a related area, we also found that Florence's transportation unit's equipment
checklist indicates that escape bulletins are applicable only to court transports.

~

Inmate Advisory Committees Lacking Continuity and Consistency
o

~

Inmate Advisory Committee (lAC) meeting practices could be improved. For
example, La Palma lAC meetings have not been held with the Northern Hispanic
population in at least six months. In addition, one Red Rock housing unit did not
have the lAC minutes posted because the unit manager was unaware that the lAC
should use the bulletin board to post meeting results. The NorthFork facility has
been holding formal lAC meetings since March 2010; however, the meeting
minutes had not been released to inmates as of May 2010 because management
wants the lAC to first develop committee by-laws. We also found that North Fork
posted lAC inmate meeting representatives' gang affiliation on its inmate bulletin
board. Tallahatchie lAC meeting minutes were not being posted, and lAC inmate
representatives complained that they were not being given access to locked down
inmates.

Insufficient Safeguarding for Inmate Corresponde!lce Boxes
o Unsecured inmate correspondence boxes were found throughout Tallahatchie,
which compromised inmate confidentiality and the integrity of the correspondence
process. Specifically, the CDCR inmate appeals and CCA grievance boxes in
housing unit D had no locks. At the time of our inspection, we found only a few
documents in the boxes. Management said the boxes had just been replaced and
maintenance had not yet placed locks on the boxes. We also found two inmate
appeals boxes in housing unit E that did not have locks. The facility west wing's
CDCR inmate appeals and CCA grievance boxes were also unsecured with several
inmate complaints inside the boxes.

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