Friday, May 1, 2015

CDCR Announces Recipients of $2.5 Million in Grants for Innovative Programs

Grants meant to expand rehabilitative programs in prisons

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced the list of recipients of $2.5 million in one-time grants meant to boost innovative programs and increase volunteerism in prisons.

The grants provide funds to eligible volunteers and not-for-profit organizations who already operate successful programs in some California prisons and to help extend those programs to prisons that do not have the same levels of volunteer service. 

“There are many positive programs in California prisons that focus on offender responsibility and have demonstrated success,” Millicent Tidwell, Director of CDCR’s Division of Rehabilitative Programs, said. “We hope to reach more inmates by expanding those rehabilitative programs to prisons that have been typically underserved.”

Of the $2.5 million in grants, $2 million will come directly from the Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF). The IWF is a trust where all proceeds from inmate canteen and hobby shop sales are deposited and required to be spent on the benefit, education and welfare of state prison inmates. The other portion of the grants is from the Recidivism Reduction Fund created by Senate Bill 105 (Steinberg) in 2014.

The recipients will receive up to 50 percent of the grant funds initially and the remaining 50 percent on or after December 1, 2015, once CDCR has determined sufficient progress has been made in developing the programs.

At the end of the grant period, it is expected the programs will have been implemented, additional volunteer resources developed, and the programs able to be sustained in the future through the normal prison budget.

The prisons receiving new programs are: Avenal State Prison; California Correctional Institution; California Health Care Facility; California Medical Facility; California State Prison, Corcoran; California State Prison, Los Angeles County; California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran; Chuckawalla Valley State Prison; Deuel Vocational Institution; High Desert State Prison; Ironwood State Prison; Kern Valley State Prison; Mule Creek State Prison; North Kern State Prison; Pelican Bay State Prison; Pleasant Valley State Prison and Wasco State Prison.

See the list of grant recipients and which programs are being developed: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/docs/Grant-Recipients-for-Innovative-Programs.pdf

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Condemned inmate Richard James Poynton dies of unknown causes

SAN QUENTIN – Condemned inmate Richard James Poynton, 64, who was on California’s death row from Los Angeles County, was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison Thursday, April 30, 2015. He was pronounced dead at the prison at 6:50 a.m. The cause of death is unknown pending the results of an autopsy. Poynton was single-celled.

Poynton was sentenced to death on April 9, 2001, by a Los Angeles County jury for the Jan. 15, 1999, murder of his estranged wife of 18 years, Maria Poynton. A month after Maria obtained a restraining order to remove Poynton from the home, he ran her vehicle off the road and approached her, hitting her twice over the head and stabbing her 12 times. Poynton had been on death row since April 18, 2001.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 66 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 24 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, seven have died from other causes and three inmates’ causes of death are pending. There are 752 people on California’s death row.

For more information contact Lt. Sam Robinson at (415) 455-5008.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Condemned inmate Raymond Edward Steele dies of unknown causes

SAN QUENTIN – Condemned inmate Raymond Edward Steele, 67, who was on California’s death row from Shasta County, was found unresponsive in his cell Wednesday evening, April 22, 2015, at San Quentin State Prison. He was pronounced dead at 7:37 p.m. at the prison. The cause of death is unknown pending the results of an autopsy. Steele was single-celled.
 Steele was sentenced to death on July 24, 1990, by a Shasta County jury for the Aug. 5, 1988, murder by stabbing of Leann Thurman, who was under conservatorship as a result of brain damage suffered at birth. A convicted sex offender and murderer, Steele had been previously convicted in 1971 of the rape of a victim who lived next door to his aunt, and the second-degree murder of his 15-year-old babysitter, who had been stabbed eight times. Steele had been on death row since July 31, 1990.


Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 66 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 24 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, seven have died from other causes and two inmates’ causes of death are pending. There are 753 people on California’s death row.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2015   

CONTACT: Lt. Sam Robinson
(415) 455-5008

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