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Tuesday, Jul 22 2014 11:48 AM

Prison gives update at citizens advisory committee

California Correctional Institution's officials provided a overall snapshot of the the state facility's status during the quarterly Citizen's Advisory Committee on July 15.

According to Joseph Gutierrez, chief deputy warden for the prison's Facilities A and B, the state Inspector General's office had just wrapped up an audit of CCI's educational blue print.

“So far, there's been no negative feedback,” Gutierrez said.

According to officials at the prison, the educational programs offered to inmates at CCI are meant to help gain their GED and equip them with skills for re-release back into the civilian population.

Brian Skaggs, public information officer for CCI, said 86 inmates received their GED during a July 18 graduation ceremony.

“The goal is to give them everything they need not to come back into here,” said Chris Worland, acting chief deputy warden.
As of July 15, there were 4,373 inmates located at the facility, with approximately 998 sworn state correctional officers. CCI is authorized for 1,126 correctional officers.

Todd Broussard, associate warden for business services, provided an insight into the number of incoming correctional officers for the prison. The prison expects one officer to come in for July, 19 for August, two in September and 17 in October, for a total of 39 officers.

According to Skaggs, the state is attempting to hire 7,000 corrections officers over the next three years to fill vacancies throughout the entire Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. However, only about five percent make it through the academy application process.

“There are a lot of applicants that are weeded out in the background checks,” he said.
About 200 recruits make it through the academy per month, barely keeping ahead of the attrition rate as 160 officers retire per month.

Skaggs said the Department of Corrections has been out in force trying to recruit candidates for the academy, including veterans from military bases. He said representatives will be at the Mountain Festival in August and National Night Out on Aug. 5 at Philip Marx Central Park.

Broussard noted the opening of the California City Correctional Facility, which the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation leased from Corrections Corporation of America in 2013 had an impact on staffing.

“One of the biggest impacts was staff going to Cal City to help support and it get it running,” said Broussard.

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