California prison guards call for a strike vote

July 15, 2009


After learning of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to slash prison guard’s salaries by another 10 percent, the union has authorized a strike vote, according to Paco Villa’s Correction Blog.

Union members question how the governor can determine which department’s wages he plans to cut through executive order and without legislative approval. Of primary concern are allegations that the governor has decided to leave officers, supervisors, and staff with the California Highway Patrol, a group that supported Schwarzenegger in the last election, out of the set of state employees receiving pay cuts, according to several union member.

While many state employees have received pay cuts, CHP employees have continued to receive pay raises, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The California Correctional Peace Officer Association (CCPOA) backed Phill Angelides in the last election. Critics of the governor’s economic plans claim pay cuts are unevenly split between government workers who supported the governor’s election and those who supported his opponent.

Plans to add another mandatory monthly furlough day, for a total of four, as well as an additional five percent pay cut planned for next July, would bring the total salary reduction for prison guards to approximately 25 percent. In March, the governor, through executive order, implemented two mandatory furlough days per month (a 10 percent reduction in pay) along with an additional furlough day this month (a five percent reduction in pay).

In 1978, prison guards waged a massive sickout protesting issues regarding wages, benefits, and guard’s requests to be recognition as peace officers. At the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo County, only three guards crossed the picket line to join supervisors in running the prison.

Officials initiated a system wide lockdown. Though quiet at first, inmates eventually created floods by blocking toilets, broke windows, and started riots.

Within a few days, than Governor Jerry Brown conceded to the guards’ demands.

Read more at Calfornia Progress Report


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Member Opinions:

By: pismoclam on 8/5/09

Remember Regan when he became a hero to 200 million of US. He fired the air traffic controllers when they went on strike. The governator should fire every over paid state worker who goes on strike. Give me a bull whip, a gun and a tazer. I’ll be happy to work at CMC for $125k per year plus $125k retirement at 50 yrs old.

By: JAFO on 7/29/09

PS to NorthCountyGuy, I don’t carry a Guard Card (easily obtained after 1 week of “training”. My ID states California Peace Officer. I am proud of what I do. If we weren’t there to do one of the nastiest state jobs there is, who would be? You?

By: JAFO on 7/29/09

Just for you “let the non-violent offenders go” supporters. Do you think the mother of the 17 year old girl murdered by a “non-violent offender” would agree. And before you crawl up on your soap box, don’t think for an instant that this was an isolated instant.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 7/28/09

To Fracturedfairietales.

If the Wal-Mart people chasing me are as old as their greeters, a fast past walk from me and I should get away fine. ;-)

To any Wal-Mart greeters I am kidding.


BTDT: That was the best comment,(with a loud gaffaw from me) that you have posted!! We have prettied up our own job descriptions until they have become quite comical actually. However, now you will have the rath of Pro Wal-Mart people on you for your dsisparaging remark. Look Out!!!

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 7/20/09

O come on now. Next people are going to say that clerks at Wal-Mart are Sales Associates and people that collect trash are Sanitation Engineers. Oh wait the do.


By: NorthCountyGuy on 7/20/09

They are GUARDs period. The taxpayers are being ripped-off by their greedy unions.

By: newscruzer1 on 7/20/09

If I may correct your wording and description of (prison guards)

They are Correctional Officers, not prison guards.

While the Correctional Officers continue to receive decrease’s in pay, along withs most other state employees, it is interesting to note that the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire are exempt from such pay cuts.

Seems the general public has the misconception that Correctional Offices have a fairly easy job, in that they baby sit imates for an eight hour shift, draw a hefty pay check with full binifits.

Un like a police officer when they arrest a law breaker, their contact with that individual is finished, not so the Correctional Officer who have to deal with some the states worst day in and day out, putting up with all their harassment’s and abuse both verbally and physically.

Over four years ago the California Correctional Officers Union negotiated a contract where theCorrectioanl Officers woul receive, I beleive a 15% pay rais over a five yeard period.

That contract has never been honored, and now their having their pay reduced by 15%, while again the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire are exempt from any cut backs.

This has caused a morale problem with Correctional Officers throughout the state, making their job all that much more difficult and dangerous.

One way to help reduce expense’s in the correctional institutions is by sending Mexico a bill for all the money tax payers are spending to house and care for the illegals who come hear and pray upon the citizens of California.

By: Cindy on 7/20/09

Kitty, I do not stand corrected.

On 7/17 you wrote “But they are usually police wanna be, and in reality the are glorified security officers on huge eagle trips.”

On 7/17 I wrote “Now please get off your rant”

You responded as follows:” I am not on a “ramp” but attempting a rational conversation and responding to irrational”

By the way those quotations around ramp were placed there by you!

Also you stand corrected about people staying in jail for a DUI until they see a judge or are bailed out. WRONG. No one has to post bail for a first time DUI offense. They are released to a sober driver within an hour or two, wealthy and poor alike. If they are too drunk to stand up they have to stay until they are sober.

By: hellokitty on 7/20/09

Honest one must be one of those gay nurses and mad i voted yes on 8? As there are lots of them, lol…It’s OK honey.

So sorry to have disappointed you, i didn’t “lie” i got pulled in and changed my mind. Big difference.

I never said that exactly; that i was a “Russian nurse”. I said English is my second language and Russian is my first. And i am studying to be receive my RN. I also said where I worked and what I do. This posting here is part of my work!!!

My boss says i need to move on from this news site…

Boy you people just change everything around on here don’t you. Talk about “manipulative”.

By: honest1 on 7/20/09

HELLO “kitty” Thought you were not posting anymore…too bad, I believed you and you lied. You are obviously looking for work, as I know I don’t have nearly the time commitment you do to this site. Thanks for the ramp up in blood pressure! I’m an R.N. and don’t work for the state, you claim to be a Russian nurse and just learned engrish (lol) a year ago? REEEEALY? Whatever. I thank God for liberals! Life would be way too easy without them :)

By: hellokitty on 7/19/09


Also, if you are poor you go straight to a drunk tank and sit in the county jail until you are put in front of a judge who decides if this was in fact your first offense or first DUI.

If you are rich you get bailed out while you are being finger printed and having you picture taken until your court date.

By: Susan1union1 on 7/19/09

what we need are video cameras in all areas of the prisons. This would help everyone on all sides to see the continuous truth, wouldn’t it. Why don’t the guards work for video cameras, continuous broadcasts and charge people for subscriptions, cameras in all areas, no sneaky dark corners

By: hellokitty on 7/19/09


You know, you had me going here for a minute, but i stand uncorrected and you stand corrected on an earlier post about my spelling of the following.

ego trip is the proper term

an eagle is a bird, they go on flights

a rant and a rave are the same

a ramp is something you take off the freeway or drive up onto to get your oil changed.

No big deal. we all make mistakes.

As far as the CDCr Mr. Scott K. “DUI” in his state CDCr car. We all know it is common knowledge that most DUI offenders had at least #10 prior DUI’s that went uncaught. This man is second highest to the throne in charge of CDCr, with that comes a huge burden of making wise choices. He does not deserve to keep his job, it is completely hypocritical that he continue in work his role at CDCr.

In addition, the TV shows that are documented about prisons are a complete waste of time to watch. They are very well supervised by CDCr officials, and not many have been actually produced in California state PRISONS. It is at best a documentary on a very good day in prison, with the guards behaving “professionally”for the cameras. It is a joke for us who know what really happens on your average day to day basis. And those gladiator fights that the guards put on with the prisoners really happened among many other atrocities.

By: Cindy on 7/19/09

MSNBC does inside programs on prisons across the country including California. The public does see what goes on including solitary confinement and the mentally ill. Its common knowledge that prisons have started to serve as mental institutions. It’s common knowledge that our current prison system is in turmoil and poorly managed, which is usually blamed on over crowding. The prison guards aren’t responsible for these conditions.

By the way a first DUI that didn’t result in an accident or high BAC (as in double the legal limit) is always what Kitty calls ” a slap on the wrist”. A few classes, a few hours of community service, a restricted license (for a few months) and a big fine. No jail time necessary.

By: hellokitty on 7/19/09

You know we know what is going on inside. You just don’t know how we know.

The problem is the public doesn’t know because the media was banned years ago from the CDCr prisons, and NEED to know. You of course are giving them a clue here on this thread,of the mentality of a prison guard. Pure hate & ignorance and above the law attitudes. Holier than thou. Look at your under secretary as an example. He should have done jail time and have gotten fired. Instead he gets a slap on the wrist and gets to continue to execute judgment on those who make the very same mistakes as he has but were not as lucky or as rich. hypocrites and snakes. And you call them dirt bags. What is the under secretary excuse? Was he brought up in a bad home with a bunch of criminals?

By: George on 7/19/09

A family member,a prison guard in adjacent state,tells me: “Easy work good pay” made friends with former schoolteacher inmate (sex act,underage boy)” he and I are the only ones here with college degrees”

By: starvingmexican on 7/19/09

Fire ALL the Guards and send the cons to Mexico.That’s the solution Gringo.

By: Susan1union1 on 7/19/09

There is no one here posing as two people. Just remember that the 3 million plus voters attached to a state prisoner can put you all into the soup line. They are not going to sit by and allow you to continue pratices of torture and neglect silently. You are not “good guys” when you degrade, invalidate and show callousness toward other people, especially children. This is why no one is coming out better.

By: starvingmexican on 7/19/09

Did he actually do it George or did the Great Obama save his soul?

By: George on 7/19/09

As for their children, I could care less. Again, use the resources to help the children of the victims. As a wise man once said “nits make lice”.

The wise man was in the act of smashing in a native American infant’s skull after ambushing and murdering the parents. Nice,long glimpse of the conservative Xtian ethos on full display in this thread.

By: hellokitty on 7/19/09

I can argue with you all until I’m blue in the face, but your most of you are hard headed goons who will never “get it” except for one or two of you who appear to have some level of intelligence.

Lets talk about this Kern. He should be fired!

By: hellokitty on 7/19/09

No, can’t you tell that she is much more intelligent than I am.

So, what do you guys think of your under secretary that Kern fellow? Got himself a DUI and a slap on the wrist to boot. Yet he and you all get to punish other addicts in prison for their “sins”.

By: hellokitty on 7/19/09

Because i know how much you all secretly adore me ;) (I felt like it). Susan is actually very busy, she is a journalist.

By: starvingmexican on 7/19/09


Send the puke down to Mexico and we’ll show you how to rehabilitate them.You could just whisper for the last time……… adios amigo.

By: Susan1union1 on 7/19/09

I have no idea what you just said, it’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo that has no logical basis to it and no critical thinking skills applied.

By: hellokitty on 7/19/09

Liberals? I for one am not a liberal and voted “yes” on 8.

The point is, what is best for society as a whole, not just one group of people. If we don’t care about everyone then we are screwing ourselves.

Did they teach you that in your 16-week guard school?

By: Fedup on 7/19/09

To susan1union1:

You bleeding heart liberals make me want to puke. You worry about these scum bags and try to make excuses for their criminal activity. Most of them are not crazy as you would have people believe. It not the fault of society that most of them are the most deplorable filth on the face of the earth. How about the victims of these animals. That is where the resources should go not trying to rehabilitate these dirt bags.

As for their children, I could care less. Again, use the resources to help the children of the victims. As a wise man once said “nits make lice”.

By: Susan1union1 on 7/19/09

The argument between whether or not a person is sick or well vs. someone who is good or evil can only be intelligently conducted with someone who is educated on the topic.

It is not your job to set yourself up as a “good person” punishing people into being less “evil.”

I doubt that you have the credentials to make those evaluations. It is your job to return people who are medically and mentally ill back to the community in better shape, not worse off than before they were incarcerated because you invalidated and belittled them the way that you have on this thread. The voters are tired of that approach and no longer want public servants who are endangering our public safety by pushing people who are on the edge over a cliff. It helps no one.

By: Susan1union1 on 7/19/09

It is true that some people should never have children, but very little regard is given to those who belong to a prisoner. They are often cast adrift in a foster care system that is as broken as the prison system, which is another topic altogether. In my qualified opinion, the money should be invested on the front end into education and support of our young people. The sentencing laws need to be changed dramatically.No matter how hard anyone tries, it is impossible to punish a sick person into being well. Most can be healed, but that is certainly not happening in prisons.

By: Black_Copter_Pilot on 7/19/09


I would submit that when criminals have children and raise them in their criminal households and teach them that there is nothing wrong with their criminal ways, you end up with the 80% rate of resitivism.

That and the fact the the schools these criminal larvae attend fail to educate that they might see that there is a better way than crime.

Finding falt with the prison system is easier than recognizing that they didn’t get there because of thier good acts.

Evil is real and some folks are pure evil.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 7/19/09

I can’t speak for other prisons but I talked to a supervisor in the office, that I know at C.Y.A. in Paso years ago. I asked what the resitivism rate is at that facility. It was 80%. That doesn’t speak well for the system of rehabilition.

By: Susan1union1 on 7/19/09

Your source of statistics only goes to 2004, the link I gave you goes to 2006. If you had any mental health training or even one modicum of sensitivity to the 40,000 plus mentally ill prisoners under your “care”, you wouldn’t be expecting everyone to get a job. Nor would you be using a derogatory term such as “dirtbags” to describe people who are ill and shouldn’t be in prisons in the first place. Could the attitudes reflected here by yourself and others point to the reason why California has the highest rate of suicides, one of the worst forms of medical neglect?

What are you personally doing to help people become employable once they are returned to society? Or do you view all prisoners and their families with derision and simply pick up a paycheck on our taxpayer dime?

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09


“False accusations, you say. Please point out a single untruth (and back it up) or for that matter, a single misspelling in any of my posts.

And when you decide to working for a living there are plenty nursing positions available in corrections.”

Prevet Sabokas!

I already addressed this one. Do you guards know how to READ at all. Or are you just to busy responding with knee jerk emotions.

Susan is a PRO, let her take it from here.

By: Susan1union1 on 7/18/09


You are not using up-to-date statistics. California has the second highest death rate (Texas leads) and the first highest suicide rate in the nation.

Would you like me to list out all your spelling and grammatical errors? It would take me a couple of days to do that, you made so many. These are the statistics from 2001 to 2006 from this same source you are citing broken down by state. Nobody knows how many inmates die at hospitals who aren’t included in these numbers or how many die within two years of release from diseases they caught while in prison that went untreated.

California 2,096 deaths

190 suicides, a form of medical neglect

Texas 2,376 deaths

The LAO charts show that less than 14% of the prisoners are in for violent crimes. This is a far superior source to the one that you furnished. At least 80,000 are in for minor technical parole violations and could be released

No leading criminologist or sociologist believes that prisons are doing one thing to prevent or reduce crime. Quite the opposite is true, people are coming out much worse off than before incarceration.

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

I am not taking “instructions from a prisoner”, that is very funny, LOL. How would one even begin to do that?

I think that I have gone on long enough on this guard forum. I will leave you all now, one to another, with your bloated egos…on “eagle” trips.


By: hellokitty on 7/18/09


Any stats that i post here are NOT my own, but are from accurate governmental websites.

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09


Are you a prison guard? Or a spouse of one?

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

Mine are clearly type errors and English is actually my second language, as I am Russian. I learned to read & write english in less than one year. You have all had all your life i will assume?

By: Cindy on 7/18/09

I don’t generally like to do this but I have to say something to HellKitty.

First an “ego trip” isn’t an “eagle trip”

and also being on a “rant” isn’t being on a “ramp”

That’s just a few of the oddities that have “wacked me” in the face. I do understand the difference between a typo such as rant and ramp, but “eagle trip”?

I suspect that Kitty is receiving her instructions from someone who is incarcerated and isn’t able to comprehend the bigger picture. I suggest that you guards don’t respond. The fact is that some of you truly are malevolent and engendered by power while some of you are benevolent beings just doing your job. Right now it’s time to kick Arnold in the behind.

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

Testifying in court hardly makes one an “expert”, lol. How funny. Bloated ego from a prison guard again.

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

Truth, I agree you try now to segregate them after 100 plus years and their are riots and resistance. But most of the resistance comes from the “shot callers” giving the other inmates the orders, if they do not comply as you must know they are beaten and/or killed.

On the positive side; We all can agree that Arnold neseds to GO! And you guys have taken you fair share of cut in pays, etc.

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

What prisons do you guys work at?

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

The charts here have different statistics on violent crime, one indicates about 14%. the source this guard is citing is not as good as this one. Just because the crime was classified to be “violent” doesn’t mean that it actually is, take kidnapping for example. If a parent sees their child being abused or endangered and they leave to another state to protect them from a violent spouse, this is classified as “kidnapping.” But is it violent? No. However kidnapping of one’s own child falls under the category of violent crime. Dig the way this moron spells burglary, he’s not exactly Einstein.

What is a gang? Are the prison guards a gang? Google the “green wall”.

There are no statistics anywhere that prove prisons, jails, juvenile halls and harsh laws do one thing to prevent or reduce crime. There are many studies that make a strong case for prevention through education and restorative justice techniques.

No leading criminologist or sociologist thinks prisons are doing anything but creating more crime.

Your an “expert”? You should learn to write English before spouting out what an “expert” you are.

By: JAFO on 7/18/09

Oh yeah check there C-files and compare what they were charged with compared to what they pled down to.

By: JAFO on 7/18/09

We tried desegregating the prisons a decade and when the racial fights skyrocketed we were accused of running gladiator school. The inmates (yes those kind loving souls) segregate themselves. Just try and mix races in a cell and see what happens. I will admit CDC is all screwed up, but pick any other country you would rather be incarcerated in.

By: JAFO on 7/18/09


False accusations, you say. Please point out a single untruth (and back it up) or for that matter, a single misspelling in any of my posts.

And when you decide to working for a living there are plenty nursing positions available in corrections.

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

LIE; 50% of all prisoners are violent offenders, NOT! Cite your “facts”.

TRUTH; 11% are violent offenders (LOA chart).

LIE; All prisoners are “gang” members…

TRUTH: All California prisons are segregated, (we are the ONLY state that is) by race leaving the inmates no choice BUT by CDCr to pick a race they MUST be a part of. There are of course “official” gangs, but not all prisoners belong to them, and some want out or drop out get killed with little or no protection from the guards.


The fearmongering the CDC put out along with the Gov. at election time has finally come to roost.All of you that voted for the three strikes and exended sentencing that crooked judges and politians including your beloved Gov,to make human bondage a high paying business has finally run dry, and now your crying, why did you honestly think that your Gov. was going to back you up what happened, what it comes down to is that the person you all trusted only cares about his special interest groups,so stop crying and wake-up after all didn’t you vote him in????????

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

In addition; I have yet to come down to your levels. So far you and the other guards have falsely accused me of being a,

1.) Ex-guard

2.) ex-con

3.) Wife,lover or girlfriend of a prisoner

I have already said who I am and what I do in a much earlier post. I don’t care if you believe it or not. I don’t need your approval. Tax payers pay you for your guard job and your making a fool of yourself here. GOOD! Show your true colors.

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

The only post/s here that are LIES,MISLEADING AND CLEARLY MISLEADING are from you guards.

I need say nothing more because anyone who can read & write can start from the bottom post (here) can comprehend the reality of the issues by keeping an open mind and doing a little research on the matter.

POINT made by your MANY misspelled errors!

By: norweb on 7/18/09

Why don’t you guys who are not happy with your pay go get another job and see if you will make as much money as you do now, while you sit in a chair all day and eat while being a glorified baby-sitter.

I think it is great that your salaries will be cut as prison guards.

By: honest1 on 7/18/09

Walk the mile people…walk the mile

By: JAFO on 7/18/09

Oooops forgot to add, this bully guard has never laid on hand an inmate except to break up fights between inmates, or to gain control of a situation that is about to get people hurt.

The 3 main goals of my job is to;

1. Keep the community safe.

2. Keep staff safe.

3. Keep the inmates safe.

hellokitty, you are battling the wrong people. I wish I could get you to understand that, but I don’t think it is possible.

By: JAFO on 7/18/09

As I am accused (idiotically) of being a bold faced liar and a bully thug. I shall make this my last post and contrary to belief am smart enough to stop beating my head against the wall. hellokitty, I did not dismiss your facts out of hand as you did mine, with a little research you would have found the facts I stated are indeed true. The way thing are going here in California you will soon get what what you wish for. I leave you with a quote from the the Los Angeles Police Department (since they also are California Peace Officers they must be liars too. Remember only trust a convicted felon he would never lie (unless his lips are moving).

Citing “information from independent research organizations,” LAPD states “For every 5,000 felons who receive an early release, 45,500 new crimes will be committed over a three-year period, and 9,000 of those crimes will be violent felonies. Applied to the 20,000 felons set for release under the budget proposal, this would result in an estimated 182,000 new crimes being committed over the next three years — 35,000 of them violent felonies!”

LAPPL President Paul M. Weber urged voters in a statement to contact legislators “and warn them of the dire public safety consequences of a mass early release of felons from state prisons. hellokitty; be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

By: hellokitty on 7/18/09

Who said that I was married? And can’t you guys stay on topic? Or is this your sick way of trying to “hit on me” and see if I am available?

MOST guards are NOT college graduates and certainly do not have the time to go to college with all that over time and $74,000 per year who needs a college degree!

By: lipripper on 7/18/09

Kitty, Just curious is your husband incarcerated? I sense you have some hostility toward Correctional Officers. Most Correctional Officers hold degrees and are currently continuing their education while also providing for their families.

By: GoingSilver on 7/18/09

Well said Jafo. Now you know why we want the sick and elderly released. It will save the state money and relieve the taxpayers of addition burden. We have been calling for release of the sick and elderly for years but guards fight it for job security sake. Send them home.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09


I am not on a “ramp” but attempting a rational conversation and responding to irrational- nonsense- bully- thug- prison guards. They are not just over paid they are criminals themselves in GREEN instead of orange and blue.

I agree Gov needs to go back and play movie star or better yet go back to that country he came out of.

By: norweb on 7/17/09

I have one word for you “Strike” it will show the State of California exactly who you are, a bunch of jack booted thugs, who think someone raally gives a damn about how little money you get paid. Go on Strike please, and stop writing about it, do it.

By: Cindy on 7/17/09

Good Grief HelloKitty, HELLO. Yes we all know that you don’t like prison guards. I’d like to say that this isn’t a popularity contest but it actually is about popularity. The prison guards have already taken their fair share of pay cuts. There are other gov employees that haven’t taken cuts and even received raises, if that makes a sense, which it doesn’t. The reason is because we have a GOB governor who is rewarding the groups he likes and singling out the ones he doesn’t. That arrogant SOB should be drawn and quartered. Now please get off your rant. If its any consolation to you, I agree that prison guards are over paid, so are most gov employees.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

I can come back here and put out the FACTS, but you bully guards will just come back and spur your hate and bold face lies.

There are not my facts below. They come from the “US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE”. But again I’m talking to bullies and ignorant prison guards.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

You guys complain about not getting “quality” applicants to apply for these guard jobs.

FACT= Most individuals with any substance and good of a good character will not be a guard and can not be bought.

FACT= The individuals who are working as guards are the opposite of the above and need be in order to be of any value for the CDCr.

FACT= Educated people don’t normally work as guards

FACT= Uneducated people do work as guards so the CDCr can brain wash them into the kind of thinking and mentality your posts reveal here.

By: Cindy on 7/17/09

The way I see it the pay cuts should be across the board. Swatznegger seems to have singled out groups that didn’t support his run for governor. The CHP is actually getting a raise! Now that’s something to get angry about. I don’t think anybody should be getting raises and the pay cuts should be equalized.

If the prison guards have a “sick out” (heheh) well I sure won’t like it but if that’s what it takes to bring attention to our dirt bag governor then by all means.

By: SanSimeonSam on 7/17/09


You clearly need some of that good medical care the prisoners get. You are probably one of those who sue the state to increase funds to pamper these criminals. We need less health care for these cons and better health care for the citizens of the state. These criminals may get the worst doctors and they deserve nothing more or less than the worst care we can provide. The problem is we pay these doctors too much money. We need fewer doctors. BTW unless there are more than 1300 prison facilities in the state, there are way more than one doctor per facility…but that would be a good start.


HelloKitty: Your comment about lousy doctors at facilities may be right in some instances but not ALL. Unfortunately, there will always be people such as yourself who feel sorry for the poor saps in prison, hence the exorbitant rate we spend to keep them well fed, well emotionally, and well taken care of in general. We do less for the homeless population, who have committed no other sin than bad luck. Cry me a river!

By: JAFO on 7/17/09

You just keep up with your hug a thug program.

I am sure when you become the victim of a violent crime, it will change you mind. Just as it has with so many before you. Good luck I am done with you.

By: JAFO on 7/17/09

Looked up some of your tables, I’m almost impressed. Now compare them to the national average and what do you find. Hmmmmm?

And of course all the homicides are by staff, because a lovable convicted felon would never kill another felon. It is all hugs and kisses, even rival gang members love each other. The majority of inmates are drug abusers and your surprised by mortality rates.

And before you start spouting treatment and rehab, they don’t work if the individual doesn’t want to quit. Most of the parole violators come back just to get healthy enough (on your dime) so they can get out and start all over again. I have had inmates tell me this little nugget on many occasions.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

Your Critics of the quality of health care services in California prisons filed suit last week in San Francisco Superior Court. They claim that California Department of Corrections (CDC) officials have failed to obtain required licenses to operate 33 inpatient clinics within the state’s vast prison system, which houses more than 160,000 inmates. The suit was filed by a nonprofit firm, the Prison Law Office of San Quentin, whose representatives maintain that the lawsuit was necessary because of a rising tide of complaints about poor medical treatment systemwide.

The lawsuit does not address quality of care issues directly by alleging, for example, any malpractice. The prisoner advocacy group decided to litigate over the issue of licenses because licensing standards cover a variety of measures related to quality of care, such as staffing levels, nursing care, medication procedures, and the layout of physical facilities. A similar suit against the California Youth Authority (CYA) prompted a San Francisco judge to direct the CYA to obtain licenses for all of its 11 health care facilities within two years.

According to the most recent lawsuit, only five health care facilities for adult prisons are licensed by the Department of Health Services, as required by a state law enacted in 1996. Representatives of the California Department of Corrections maintain that only 16 of the 33 units deliver the type of health care services requiring state licenses. CDC spokespersons expressed surprise at the timing of the lawsuit, maintaining that the department is on track to secure licenses for the remaining facilities within 18 months.

A String of Controversies and “Bipartisan Disgust”

California spends approximately $4 billion each year to operate its prison system; it takes 43,000 employees to run it. California spends more on corrections than it does on higher education. In the past 20 years the state has built 21 new prisons and one new college.

Prison health care in California has come under increasing criticism as the prison population has skyrocketed. Last October, California legislators heard testimony from women, confined in the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, who complained of medical mistreatment and neglect. Although the testimony involved harrowing anecdotes rather than systematic data, the prisoners’ laments were enough, in the words of San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter, “to evoke bipartisan disgust.”

“What I heard today curdled my stomach,” commented Senator Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley). “It seems as though most cats and dogs are treated better,” chimed in Assemblyman Carl Washington (D-Paramount), after hearing complaints of women testing positive for diseases and never being told. Inmates also complained of waiting years to be retested after the prison system discovered that BCL Clinical Labs of Santa Fe Springs in Southern California had faked hundreds of inmate HIV, hepatitis, and cancer test results, while working under contract to the Department of Corrections.

Just a few weeks after the Chowchilla hearings, a Sacramento federal jury awarded a Livermore woman $1.5 million, the largest malpractice award in CDC history. The woman’s son, Mark Holton (aged 20) died from an adverse reaction to a prescribed psychotropic drug while incarcerated at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville.

At the end of last year, the prison system launched an investigation of seven inmate deaths in a single month at the Central California Women’s Facility. Amnesty International had called for an investigation into the deaths, noting that “local prison groups who have visited the prisons have blamed the slow and shoddy medical care for at least some of the deaths.” Deaths by themselves might not be remarkable; the facility includes a nursing home and hospice and at least four of the women were apparently suffering from a terminal illness. But critics allege that the women were not given adequate treatment once their diagnoses came to light. Investigations are underway into how prison staff responded to the women’s complaints.

CDC officials had pointed to the establishment of a hospice at Chowchilla as a positive step. Some activists disagree, maintaining that the availability of hospice care removes any impetus for granting compassionate release of terminally ill prisoners who are no longer dangerous to society.

Double Agents

Complaints about the string of deaths in Chowchilla highlight a controversial California practice: the use of guards as “medical technical assistants (MTAs).” Amnesty International charges “that the use of guards as medical personnel conflicts with their custodial role. Inmates have reported, for example, that the prison’s medical technical assistants—guards who serve as the first line of prison health care—disregarded the complaints of one inmate, Pamela Coffey, less than an hour before her death.” (Ms. Coffey, 46, died last December 2. Her fellow inmates charge that MTAs failed to respond quickly enough to her cries for help.)

The marriage of health care and corrections will probably always be a rocky one. The goals of health care and corrections, if not entirely antithetical, are often at odds. The values health care workers seek to uphold—confidentiality, patient autonomy, and equitable access to care—are not necessarily shared by prison guards and administrators, for whom security and punishment are paramount concerns. Outside of prisons, medical ethicists have sounded alarms when doctors act as “double agents,” owing an allegiance both to their employers and to individual patients, as in the case of doctors employed by corporations or schools who have employees and students as patients.

The problem of double agency is nowhere more acute than in the prison setting. Prison systems in no other large states combine health care and guard functions so explicitly. Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) has promised to introduce legislation to end the CDC’s use of MTAs.

Besides sorting out the competing demands of health care and corrections in the prison setting, there are any number of factors that pose challenges to delivering quality care within prisons. Confidentiality can be difficult to maintain within a prison setting; it can be impossible if certain inmates are sequestered for a particular condition, such as when HIV-positive inmates are segregated in some prison systems. Getting to see a doctor first requires following sick call rules and obtaining a guard’s approval. Even with permission, securing access to needed services can still be a struggle; it is alleged that typical waiting times in California can be six weeks or more to see a doctor and eight months or more to receive dental treatment.

Just as on the outside, prison health care officials are struggling with fixed budgets as costs rise, especially for pharmaceuticals. In many parts of the California prison system, inmates must pay a $5 co-payment before seeing a doctor. This small fee can be a considerable hurdle when a typical hourly wage for prison labor is 17 cents. Senator Kuehl has suggested doing away with the co-payment.

Corrections Trends and the Impact on Health Care Needs

The burden of delivering correctional health care is growing greater, largely due to policies the United States has chosen in embracing incarceration. The past two decades has seen a boom in prison building. The United States incarcerates a greater proportion of its populace than Russia; it is second in this regard only to Rwanda. More than 1.7 million people were either in prison or jail in 1998. In the United States, 690 per 100,000 residents are incarcerated; in Canada the rate is 115 per 100,000; and in Germany and Italy, approximately 85.

Criminal justice and correctional policies have an impact on health care needs beyond just the sheer numbers of prisoners in need of services. Today, more of an emphasis is placed on punishment and repression than on rehabilitation as correctional goals. Judges are given less discretion in tailoring sentences to individual defendants. The prison population is aging, a result of trends in mandatory and life-long sentences, such as “three strikes” policies. Geriatric prisoners cost three times as much to take care of as their younger counterparts.

Criminal justice policies also have an impact on the particulars of health care needs in prisons. Many inmates are current or former substance abusers, in need of drug treatment. A large part of the California prison population, as much as 41 percent by some estimates, is infected with hepatitis C, in part because of needle-sharing habits of inmates. Tuberculosis (especially its multi-drug-resistant strains) is of particular concern in prisons. California inmates, who enter the system at a rate of 60,000 per year, are routinely screened for TB.

Differentiating between the Criminal and the Mentally Ill

Other trends of concern are the defunding of many mental health services and the closing of many inpatient mental health facilities, resulting in more mentally ill people being caught up in the criminal justice system. Mandatory sentencing laws give judges less discretion in taking mental illness into account in sentencing decisions. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that more than a quarter million mentally ill people are housed in U.S. jails and prisons; this translates into approximately 85,000 mentally ill prisoners in California.

The influx of mentally ill people into the criminal justice system has a profound impact on life within bars. As prison activist B. Cayenne Bird editorialized in the Los Angeles Times last year, “Cells were built for one person, yet the inmates are jammed together because of overcrowding. To get a taste of living in a cell, go into your 8-by-10 foot bathroom for a month. Take a mentally ill person with you…. It puts great stress on inmates when their ‘cellies’ are mentally ill, so great that they must sleep with one eye open and be afraid for their lives at all times.”

Another trend bearing on the treatment of mentally ill offenders is the increasing reliance upon so-called “supermax” or “security housing unit (SHU)” facilities. These are isolation cells, typically six-by-eight feet, in which prisoners are held for 23 hours a day. These units are often operated by remote control; prisoners have human interactions only when guards deliver meals. Prisoners in control units are typically allowed three one-hour solitary exercise periods per week in small cement yards.

As recently as 15 years ago it was rare for a prisoner to spend more than a month in isolation. Today, according to the National Campaign to Stop Control Unit Prisons, about 20,000 prisoners are confined in 57 supermax units in 42 states, including California. Studies of the use of supermax facilities indicate that they are used more than necessary to control the most dangerous of prisoners, the original argument for their existence. Control unit prisoners do not participate in educational, vocational, or religious programs. Reading and writing is one possible pastime, but many prisoners are functionally illiterate, a factor that heightens the sensory deprivation and imposed idleness. Isolation can literally drive prisoners crazy. Prisoners who exhibit extreme emotional disturbances as a result of solitary confinement may receive temporary treatment in mental hospitals, but are returned as soon as they are stabilized, often with medication.

Looking Ahead

Gauging the quality and accessibility of health care within prisons and other correctional facilities is exceedingly difficult. Many dedicated providers work in prison settings. Yet anecdotes of callous and indifferent care persist, with lawsuits opening windows on the darkest corners of prison health care.

Many corrections officials and observers maintain that prison health care delivery in California has improved markedly, in part because of a previous class action lawsuit (Shumate v. Wilson), which helped set standards for medical care. But some of the provisions provided by Shumate have expired, worrying prison advocates.

While it may take continuing litigation to ensure that prison officials live up to their obligations in providing health care for prisoners, other avenues for improving prison health care exist. One promising venture involves creating alliances between prisons and medical centers or teaching hospitals. Models for such alliances exist, such as the agreement between the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the County-USC Medical Center to provide medical and surgical care in Los Angeles county jails.

FACTS” are your opinions, PERIOD.

By: JAFO on 7/17/09

hellokitty, there you go spout facts that don’t exist. Sometimes I wish I could live in an imaginary world, but alas I am a realist and don’t rely on made up facts to support my claims.

Fact: The prison I work employs 7 quarter million a year Psychiatrists.

Fact: It employs 7 full time Dentists + assistants.

Fact: It employs at least a dozen doctors, and more RNs and LVNs than I can take the time to count.

Fact: My prison dispenses over a million dollars a month in just medications.

Fact: Dialysis alone cost the taxpayers more than the salaries of a dozen officers.

Fact: Less than 1/3 of the people employed in the Department are custody.

If you are going to spout BS don’t waste my time or yours. I am sure your boyfriend needs you to send him a letter because he needs you to put some money on his books so he can pay his drug debt.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

Yes I agree that prisons are not supposed to be “fun”. But the judges send them to prison as punishment, not to be punished by the bully guards and not by medical neglect. Prison is their punishment, loosing their freedom and most of their rights while incarcerated are.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

By the way. You can find all those detailed STATS at the US Department of Justice. Just go to their website. No GUARDS were killed, just the inmates.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

Deaths in Custody Statistical Tables

· Local jail deaths

· State and local law enforcement

arrest-related deaths

Deaths in Custody Statistical Tables

State prison deaths, 2001-2006

Table 1. Number of state prisoner deaths, by cause of death, 2001-2006

Table 2. Percent of state prisoner deaths, by cause of death, 2001-2006

Table 3. Mortality rate per 100,000 state prisoners, by cause of death, 2001-2006

Table 4. Number of state prisoner deaths, by selected characteristics, 2001-2006

Table 5. Percent of state prisoner deaths, by selected characteristics, 2001-2006

Table 6. Mortality rate per 100,000 state prisoners, by selected characteristics, 2001-2006

Table 7. Number of state prisoner deaths, by state, 2001-2006

Table 8. Mortality rate per 100,000 state prisoners, by state, 2001-2006

Table 9. Number of state prisoner deaths, by cause of death and selected characteristics, 2001-2006

Table 10. Percent of state prisoner deaths, by cause of death and selected characteristics, 2001-2006

Table 11. Average annual mortality rate per 100,000 state prisoners, by cause of death and selected characteristics, 2001-2006

Table 12. Number of state prisoner deaths, by cause of death and state, 2001-2006 Just added

Table 13. Average annual mortality rate, per 100,000 state prisoners, by cause of death and state, 2001-2006 Just added

Print format (PDF file 297K) | Spreadsheets in zip format (15K)

Source: Deaths in Custody Reporting Program.

See also Methodology

Geeezzz. I have not been in prison as a prisoner nor have a “man” there. That is your way of attempting to discredit the TRUTH.

By: mcdonald on 7/17/09

It sounds like HelloKitty has either been incarcerated or has a boyfriend in prison.

People aren’t supposed to like prison and I’m glad she didn’t.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

OK…TRUTH. I’m really a Doctor for the CDCr. HAHAHA! And i left my safe private practice to work with the criminals, yeah right!

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

There is ONE Doctor per prison facility and often times these are the WORST Doctors in the state as they have lost their their rights to practice in most acute hospitals!

My statements re FACTS yours are yadda-yadda save my $74,000. per year and job, as most of you could NOT get jobs outside the prison walls for what you make now. That scares you doesn’t it.

Anyone with half a brain can google the facts up about everything i have said here.


FYI HELLOKOOKY (WHOOPS, KITTY): A large number of our very, very good physicians have left private practice to work in the prison systems!! So you know not what you speak. In SLO county the insurance companies term this area a “rural” which means the compensation for reimbursement is alot lower than Urban areas. The physicians were going under financially. They go to the prisons because there is no “on-call”, pay is better and I believe the malpractice insurance is paid by the State (I could be wrong on that, however). Anyway, they have the opportunity to see the family more often and have less financial stress. Good for them. BUT, this means these dirtbags now get the best of our medical. They also see good dentists. Believe me, I see them being marched into dentists offices (even if it is only the local jailbirds), where their care is excellent. So don’t try to pull that nonsense about “waaaaayyyyy, poor inmates with crummy healthcare, dental”. Most of them went into the joint with lousy teeth anyway. Thanks to the Meth!!!


The State of California is in the toilet because we have become the Talking Head for the ACLU. “Everybody, please come to the State that doesn’t care if you’re born here or come over the many borders (not just Mexico), and receive FREE healthcare, dental care, housing because we have an abundance of goodwill and money.” OOPS – no we don’t. What happened? Just like the lottery was going to benefit our schools (right!), we assumed that the taxpayers would continue to give freely to all those who take wantonly. Why is it that no one understands simple math?! You can’t take out more than you have saved. I, for one, am tired of spending my hard-earned money on waste, be it losers in prison or losers on the outside.

By: JAFO on 7/17/09

You have to love folks that pretend knowledge of things they know nothing about.

SanSimeonSam on 7/17/09

“I believe with the no strike clause in their contract, we could fire them all, bring in the National Guard for about a week until these bums can be replaced.”

What contract? We haven’t had one in over 3 years. Since you know so much, I would think you would take that into consideration.

“We could farm out the prisoners, convert the prisons to more productive uses and still protect the citzens of the state.”

We already tried that, we can’t have inmates treated as well out of state. Lots of lawsuits to prove it. BTW it is spelled citizens.

“Training for their jobs takes about 2 days of learning the procedures and one day to find the break room.” It is 16 weeks of training followed by a 2 year apprenticeship, but you knew that right?

BTW we work a straight 8, we don’t get a break, lunch or otherwise. If you are going to claim knowledge, at least make it sound believable.

Last but not least, a death row inmate in California has a longer life expectancy than the average Californian.

By: puntdaddy on 7/17/09

It’s time to take a look at the soaring costs of medical care for inmates.

The soaring costs of medical care in California prisons are due to a federal ruling based upon the statistic that an inmate dies every day inside California prisons. 365 per year

According to kaiser health


California death rate among the general population is 700 per year per 100,000

so with almost 200,000 inmates in California the death rate should be 1,400 per year or app. 4 per day.

so in reality inmates are dieing at a rate that is 1/4th of the rate of average Californians.

bottom line , inmates receive better medical care than the average citizen.

By: SanSimeonSam on 7/17/09

I think its an excellent idea for the prison guards to go on strike to show solidarity for their union and to demonstrate that they are the oppressed worker and should receive more compensation for their difficult life. I believe with the no strike clause in their contract, we could fire them all, bring in the National Guard for about a week until these bums can be replaced. Again these are unskilled rent-a-cops. Training for their jobs takes about 2 days of learning the procedures and one day to find the break room. the savings to the state would be tremendous. Or better yet, there are counties in Kansas and Nebraska that have made “cottage” industries out of creating prisons to house out of state prisoners. The cost to the state would be about 15% of what it is today. We could farm out the prisoners, convert the prisons to more productive uses and still protect the citzens of the state. It would also promote welcome interstate commerce. All the hearings and appeals etc could be handled via video conferencing. The only inconvenience would be to the prisoners and well i dont much care about them.

By: Paso_Guy on 7/17/09


I would suggest that if this bothers you so much, you might consider relocation to a different state or country.

Cuba might be a good choice for you. Your “Human Rights” skills will come in handy and RNs are in demand everywhere, I hear.

By: JAFO on 7/17/09

2 quotes from hellokitty

“It is fact that the guards kill the inmates, not the other way around.” Where in the hell did you come up with that fact.

“I would believe an inmate over a guard in a heart beat”

I can’t believe the pure idiocy of those 2 statements, and if you honestly believe them you are a totally clueless individual. Oh, and by the way what exactly is a “huge eagle trip”

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

Oh yeah. And the media was banned from the prisons here in California in the 1990’s. So of course we only know what really goes on by the inmates and guards/staff. I would believe an inmate over a guard in a heart beat for ONE reason alone he /she isn’t being paid that $74,000 plus per year to lie, and justify their income from CDCr to the general public. Of course the more incarcerated the more the job security…

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

“I am a wife to an officer, and I am so sick and tired of hearing people complain about CO’s pay. Those officers work there butt off keeping the “outside world” safe. How would you like it “hellokitty” if you or you child or your spouse, or your mom,dad, siblings or your friends were killed,raped,tortured. You would want that person to stay in prison. Well who do you think makes that happen. Everyday my husband walks out our door I pray he comes back home the same way he left. You may think they are over paid, but you want them to have your back when it comes down to it. The average officer to inmate is 4 to 100. 4 officers to every 100 inmate. I will break that down for you even more. 1 officer for every 25 inmates. I ask you this could you defend yourself?”

Honey, you have very little to fear. The prisoners are in more danger than the guards are. More prisoners die than guards do. If you do a little research on the issue you will feel much better. It is fact that the guards kill the inmates, not the other way around. As far as their “wages” again, i think they make too much considering their educational backgrounds and training. Guards train for 16-weeks and usually have nothing more than a high school diploma, a lot of them come out of the military and could not get on with the local police for one reason or another. But they are usually police wanna be, and in reality the are glorified security officers on huge eagle trips. trust me, when you and hubby get into at home, he goes and takes it out on the prisoners. And they get away with it too. It is a SICK way to make a living. I think prison should be spared for the very worst of the worst, and most people are not that evil. There should be fewer prisons, fewer people in them, and fewer guards. We now incarcerate more than Russia and China! Something is wrong! I don’t think we have the most evil people living here in California, do you?

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

Prisoners do NOT receive the best medical and dental care in the system. That is a typical ignorant comment from your typical “Joe” general public poster. Hello! Have you not noticed that we have a Federal Receiver who took over for the CDCr b/c prisoners were dying do to lack of constitutional care given by CDCr? Yep. Prisoners DIE while in prison do to unconstitutional medical care. Some go in perfectly healthy and leave SICK. Do you know that in some prisons here in California have arsenic water that the prisoners have to drink if they want water? Yep. No clean water for some of them they leave with cancer. Can’t wait for the law suits on those ones to come out.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

I did read most the posts here, but got bored on about the fifth one or so. It the same here as it is at most news sites with articles on CDCr and CCPOA, ignorant/uneducated views/opinions and guards attempting to puff up their selves as “walking the toughest beat” to justify their high salaries. It gets comical after a while and if this wasn’t such a serious issue now effecting our state budget i would be laughing at your all your statements.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

LOL…Actually he is a violent inmate ;)

All joking aside, I am human rights activist for the UNION of Sacramento and working towards and RN degree.

By: udontwanaknow on 7/17/09

I have a feeling that a recent poster is regurgitating what her non-violent boyfriend told her.

Read previous post about non-violent offenders.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

By: JAFO on 7/16/09

“The prisons in CA are a safer (not safe) place to work because of the union. If we are so over paid, why is it so hard to get quality applicants. “Pardon all NV criminals” into a society with over 10% unemployment? Gee, what do you suppose will happen to the crime rate.

Those of you want to bag on COs all the time, please come and walk in my shoes a couple of days. We didn’t create this problem, a liberal California did.”

Your mistaken. The liberals did not create this problem, the Repubs did. I think we all can agree that Arnold needs to go! I have no problem with guards making good money, i do have a problem with them making more than your average college professor which education deters crime! I also have a problem with the guards whining about “walking the toughest line” when less than 10% of these criminals are murderers and rapists, etc. In addition, they do not walk the toughest line! One or two guard has been killed in the last 20 years!

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

And by the way, pelican bay is the worst prison there is in California and the worst RAN prison as well.

Most inmates do not gas the guards, possibly a mentally ill one or one who has been kicked around long and hard by a guard/s may be there only way of releasing frustration that many guards take out on the inmates.

By: hellokitty on 7/17/09

Mass murderers and rapist are not the “norm” or average state prisoner, in fact they make up less than 10% of the total prison population! The guards love to “throw that one out” to the general public. With our prisons (all 33) so over crowded we are throwing more & more non-violent people away. Lets face it, prisons do not rehabilitate they punish and these people do not come out better individuals into our society. Again something needs to give. We are #1 (USA) and California now TOPS our USA system with the most incarcerated bankrupting our state. Yes, we love to throw out that $74,000 per year figure b/c it is true! there are not many new comers (guards) with this kind of $$$ they stick around.

By: udontwanaknow on 7/16/09

“As far as ASH officers, no one wishes anyone to have their pay cut EXCEPT THE GOVERNOR AND HIS STAFF.” +1

No disrespect was ment Longtimelocal

By: honest1 on 7/16/09

First off there has been nothing done to facilitate a strike of Corrections Officers. You all have nothing to fear…yet. As far as ASH officers, no one wishes anyone to have their pay cut EXCEPT THE GOVERNOR AND HIS STAFF. Corrections Officers ARE forced to work overtime! One will have just finished working an 8 hour shift, head out to the gate, and be called back involuntarily. (which, for some of you out there, means AGAINST YOUR WILL). You then have to try to call home and explain to your wife or perhaps your 6 year old daughter, that you won’t be there for her birthday. Wise up folks…ANY Officer of the law knows the risks, accepts them, and deals with nutcases of all types whose only goal is to cut, shoot. or otherwise kill them. All to protect you. Quit your complaining and stop and thank them the next time you see one. And shut your whiny mouth, unless you’ll do the job you expect them to do so your silly butt can get a good night’s sleep. God Bless America and our protectors wherever they may be!!!

By: udontwanaknow on 7/16/09

When’s the last time a CDC guard stopped and ticketed someone for drunk driving?… (Stoping inmates intoxicated on pruno, drugs, etc…) Or when was the last time a CDC guard seached a car for drugs and weapons …(at least 3 times a day.. cell searches)… and then booked the driver into county jail… (booked into adseg)

By: Longtimelocal on 7/16/09

Thed cuts are tough but with the whopping salary increases the CDC guards have received over the last 5-7 years it ain’t as bad as is is for many. The police officers who work for the California Department of Mental health got nothing in the way of raises while the CDC guards got everything. For the officers at Atascadero State Hospital, who have gotten and will get the exact same cuts, these salary decreases are devastating. And I challenge any guard to tell me to my face their jobs are harder and more dangerous than the jobs of those Police Officers at Atascadero State Hospital. Because of the money thrown at prison guards, the public thinks all officers who work for the state are rolling in dough. It ain’t so folks. The officers at Atascadero State Hospital are the lowest paid in law enforcement. And they have the same responsibilites as street cops. When’s the last time a CDC guard stopped and ticketed someone for drunk driving? Or when was the last time a CDC guard seached a car for drugs and weapons and then booked the driver into county jail. There is a lot of unfairness in this whole state employee mess. It’s really hard to be sympathetic to the guards who make nearly twice as much money as the officer who work for the Department of Mental Health. This thing really, really suck for ASH Officers. The nurses and psych techs at ASH also got whopping raises. But the officers, who should have been the first to see any kind of raise, were forgotten. The cuts for ASH officers are extremely deep. How dare CDC guards whine about their cuts. And how dare they talk about strike. ASH Officers have not and will not go on strike. But if there ever was a group of law enforcement professionals who should go on strike, it would be the ASH officers. I’m telling you right now, that if it wasn’t the officers at ASH that whole place would fall to pieces. ASH officers are the only thing keeping that place together. They are the only thing keeping the public safe from the worst people on the planet. I’m proud of the ASH officers but I don’t believe the public deserves such loyal people protecting their dumb asses. And CDC you should be totally ashamed.

By: udontwanaknow on 7/16/09

Also, everybody loves to throw out that 78K a year number. That is an officer who is topped out with 7+ years in. Dond forget about a first or second year officer with a base of 53K.

And all of that overtime that “greedy prision guards” make is FORCED overtime. Most would love nothing more to go home to our families for a hot meal instead of a granola bar we keep in our bag just in case we get held over.

Don’t get me wrong, that is what officers signed up for. But the assumption that all officers want is to screw the taxpayers out of money with overtime is incorrect.

By: udontwanaknow on 7/16/09

Slomm… it’s not over 10%… we were tolerating that. The Governator is trying to get 25%.

By: slomm on 7/16/09

Ok. I understand that the job of being a CO is taxing on the individual, as well as their family. But really, a 10% pay cut and they are striking? Ok, the economy is in the toilet, and our state has no end in sight as to when our state government is going to get their shit together and fix it. My pay has gone down %50 percent in the last 10 months. You have to make the choice of staying or moving on. You can’t just stop doing your job because you are upset that your income has gone down a bit. Sure, the work that is performed is dangerous at the least, but they signed up for it. I am all for people being given raises/promotions/cost of living increases, but things are tough for all of us now, and there are consessions that are needed. And seriously, 350k per year for a dentist at a prison? shave it back to 175k and spread the 175k around to the rest of the guys. I feel like I got screwed knowing my tax dollars go to a dentist to fix criminals teeth and it costs me (and you) 350k per year, per dentist! That is what is wrong!

By: udontwanaknow on 7/16/09

I hear a lot of uniformed babble about releasing “non-violent offenders”. Let me tell you about your so called non-violent offenders.

Just because an inmate was incarcerated for a non-violent crime does not mean he does not commit violent/person on person crime. Example: You have an inmate who was in prison for possession of drugs (very few if any include pot). He has no job (remember he was not a felon until the first time he got caught) by his own choice. He has a $100 – $300 a day drug habit. Where do you think he is getting the $$$ for that habit? … Let me tell you. He is beating up his baby mama and taking her money that was slated to buy the children food, he is knocking off liquor stores, he is robbing people in parking lots and at bus stations, he is doing home invasions, etc…. Any of those victims could be you. Possession of drugs is just the easiest thing to catch him doing.

So go ahead and release these “non-violent” offenders in your neighborhood where your friends work, your children play, and where you live…… I dare ya!

Or would you rather pay a dedicated Correctional Officer who has taken an oath to protect the public (the same oath that Police Officers, Sheriff Deputies, Parks Police, CHP, etc.. have taken) to deal with him.

By: SanSimeonSam on 7/16/09

There are currently 65,000 state employees working for Corrections, Including over 1000 individuals making over 250,000 a year. This includes 31 dentists that make 350,000 a year. This is outrageous. Almost 30 % of the 65,000 individuals make over 100,000 a year. This has got to stop. We taxpayers have a right to pay for what the job is worth and the job of a prison guard is not worth anymore than that of a security guard at a bank. This is an unskilled position. Cut the pay by 40 percent and we begin to get to the real worth of the job. As for the doctors and dentists making over 250,000 a year we should cut their salary by 50 to 60 percent. If they quit, they quit. The guards wont quit their jobs….the retirement plan is too good and they have no other marketable skills to get them anything more than rent-a-cop wages.


3boys: I agree with your statement regarding the fear associated with being the wife of a correctional officer, police officer, fireman. These are tough, tough jobs for the families as well as those doing the jobs. I am married to an ex-police officer and not only had to be afraid of the outside menace, but the public outcry every time they received a measly cost of living wage of 2% was extraordinary!! I understand those who find it appalling that they make a living wage, but I have decided that there are always those that are never happy and are glad to bag on anything!!!

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 7/16/09

I go to a different approach. I always ask people when they apply for a job, did the employer ask you for a job or did you ask the employer for a job?

As for sheriff Joe. I love him!! I would love to see more of but the f**ked up ACLU won’t let happen.

16 hour shift no overtime pay?? You better get rid of your union. Contact your labor board in Santa Barbara. That is against law if over 40 hours in a week. If doing in shifts of 3 days then not. Again see first paragraph.

As for sending ambulance for inmates, again see my ACLU comment. Yes it is ridiculas. Have always hated that.

Do you work hard. No doubt. So does the mother of four making about 15 an hour to get by. Like I said earlier EVERYBODY works hard. See first paragraph if a person doesn’t like.

On the CHP yea I think that is wrong and should be corrected.


JAFCO: Don’t get your panties in a twist!! I was just saying that the military is a hard, hard place to be and the same weiners that put themselves in the prison system could never, EVER tolerate the military and it’s strict moral codes and difficult situations. Why risk your life, when you can just be a lop in prison? I was not bagging on the military – I just wouldn’t do that. Sorry for the confusion….

By: 3boys on 7/16/09

I am a wife to an officer, and I am so sick and tired of hearing people complain about CO’s pay. Those officers work there butt off keeping the “outside world” safe. How would you like it “hellokitty” if you or you child or your spouse, or your mom,dad, siblings or your friends were killed,raped,tortured. You would want that person to stay in prison. Well who do you think makes that happen. Everyday my husband walks out our door I pray he comes back home the same way he left. You may think they are over paid, but you want them to have your back when it comes down to it. The average officer to inmate is 4 to 100. 4 officers to every 100 inmate. I will break that down for you even more. 1 officer for every 25 inmates. I ask you this could you defend yourself?

By: JAFO on 7/16/09

FRACTUREDFAIRIETALES, glad you understood my point, but as a 20yr. military veteran I do take umbrage with your comment. Once upon a time a judge would offer a choice between jail and the military. I don’t know if it was right or wrong, but it did turn a lot a lives around.


JAFCO has a point to a certain extent. I for one, would not want to work in that type of environment for ANY amount of money. However, there are, as in all aspects of employment, the good and the bad. As stated, setting free those with only minor infractions is a good idea until you realize the state of the economy and the probable reality of joblessness amoung them. If you are out of work, no money, no hope then why would you NOT want to go back to prison where you have the best medical care, dental care, 3 square meals and a bed. Hey, it’s not the Marriott but it’s better than the streets or the military!! The reality is that this is a scre#&d up mess of a State and we are now paying the piper.

By: JAFO on 7/16/09

slammergirl, thanks for the support, I am not as eloquent as you, but hopefully we made somebody stop and think.

By: honest1 on 7/16/09

JAFO knows of which he speaks! Those who complain of “wanna be cops” “walking a mile in someone’s shoes” ect… are almost always pot smoking dicks and ARE at the very least COMPLETELY IGNORANT! I agree with Sheriff Joe in Arizona, feed the prisoners rice and beans everyday with a side of water and hard labor. Stick them in tents in the middle of the desert and they can use a self-dug-hole as a toilet. THAT’S HOW TO CUT THE BUDGET! Don’t take well deserved income from real heroes who protect us from the scum of the earth who shouldn’t be taking up our air. The people that “guard” these guys are one of the biggest contributors to California’s tax base and spend money in our economy. Stupid move Ahhhnold. Wake up people,get a job at on of the level 4 prisons and prepare to piss yourself…you can’t handle the truth! P.S. the tax system is happy to take your donations…just send a couple hundred to the Franchise Tax Board, State of California and the post office will get it there!

By: slammergirl on 7/16/09

How much is you life worth? Can you put a price tag on it? Would you be willing to go to work every day with the most notorious fellons in the state. Men/woman that have killed, molested and stole from society. Would you go to work if there was a chance that one of these STD infected, HIV carring, Hepetits C having, MRSA sluffing fellons might through a poop/urine substance, spit on you or in your face or on your person? Or plot to kill you before you can leave the interior of those prison walls to the security of you vehicle in the parking lot to return home to your family?Or the possiblilty of taking home to your family one of those infections? What if you had to make a split decission to take a life to protect another? What do you think you should be paid then…… I work at Pelican Bay State Prison, the end of the line for 98% of all inmate housed there. Yes i choose to work there! I sure would not do it for federal minimum wage, or anything less what i have built my self up to over the coarse of the last 11 years.. I think that members on the web site should think before the speak.. We are not paid for the boring things we do day to day. We as Correctional Officers will have to do and be cofronted with over the corse of our career. I my self have been assulted, an HIV infected inmated through blood in my face. I have a neck injury, and been stuck with an inmate manufactured tatoo gun and was off work because of the side affects of the medication i was on so i would not contract a life threating infection(HIV or HEP C) i am now currently off because of the lower back injury i have that is requiring me to have surgury, which may medically retire me. I am only 39 years old. I mother of 4, wife. What do you think this does for my family, the stress they are going through now, or when i am at work… This is why Correctional Peace Officers are paid $74,000 a year.. Would you be will to do my job? (Hellokitty) I would like to see if you could handle it.. I DONT THINK YOU COULD! Put you money where your mouth is take your base pay and do my job, than ask your self, would you want a raise?

By: JAFO on 7/16/09

Fed up, I kind of agree. But if our wages are so good, why can’t we attract quality people.

Nobody wants to do the job we do. I personally work hard for my pay, and put up with way too much crap from inmates, administrators, and a misinformed general public.

By: JAFO on 7/16/09

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the inmates just got their 42″ flat screen plasmas the other day. And I am sure they enjoy the new rec center with pool tables and ping pong. I hear the administrator even want to get them a swimming pool (no joke). What you should be complaining about is the code 2 ambulance rides for a head ache or tummy ache. Inmate health makes our wages look insignificant.

By: Fedup on 7/16/09

Amen BeenThere. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I have known some California prison guards and in my opinion they were not qualified to be dog catcher no less prison guards. I, for one, am tired of being held hostage by a bunch of wannabe cops.

By: JAFO on 7/16/09

Oooo, a field trip, since you have been there and done that, what do you think of having to worry about a shank in the neck (Gonzales) every day you go to work. Besides, I didn’t hear you volunteer. I am sure we have an academy starting soon. But here is my real complaint, if it was across the board I could live with it. CHP no pay cut, but 8% raise, elected officials and those who work for them, no pay cuts. BTW most CHP and other beat cops wouldn’t get caught dead working in prison. I am just trying to survive, like everybody else. You want to blame someone try the politicians in Sac. PS when is the last time you worked a 16 hour shift with no overtime pay. The state makes employers follow rules that it exempt itself from, that is why we have a union.

By: Michelle on 7/16/09

Right on.. BeenThereDoneThat

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 7/16/09

For the record I have been on a field trip for a Cuesta class, inside CMC and also know some guards. It isn’t that bad, as compared to other state prisons. Maybe we should have a sliding pay scale??

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 7/16/09

Ah I always love the walk in my shoes arguement. I hear it from the police, firefighters, teachers, yada yada etc. You know what. Most people work damn hard in there jobs for a hell of a lot less compensation and yet don’t whine, bitch, moan and complain as the union types mentioned above.

By: JAFO on 7/16/09

The prisons in CA are a safer (not safe) place to work because of the union. If we are so over paid, why is it so hard to get quality applicants. “Pardon all NV criminals” into a society with over 10% unemployment? Gee, what do you suppose will happen to the crime rate.

Those of you want to bag on COs all the time, please come and walk in my shoes a couple of days. We didn’t create this problem, a liberal California did.

By: Cindy on 7/16/09

I forgot to add this to my last post.

OH Yeah, and lock up Kelly Gearhart.

By: mccdave on 7/16/09

You wonder how much general awareness there is of the prison industrial complex and what a racket it is. America’s high incarceration rate does seem to be voter-approved.

Could this be Schwarzenegger’s PATCO moment?

By: Cindy on 7/16/09

This tax payer has had it with the Unions and the mediocrity. Unions should not be allowed in government business, period. BREAK THE UNIONS, and end the hypocrisy. In the meantime outsource the criminals to other states, release the pot heads, the infirm and all others that aren’t a threat to society.

By: honest1 on 7/16/09

I thought that unions were antiquated until finding out that this state makes them necessary. If CCPOA can be accused of anything it is forcing hard working people to join or not work. A lot of people out there need to walk behind the walls of prisons in this state, have several doors lock behind them, and deal with mass murderers, rapists, and people whose only goal is to terrorize other human beings. Try that armed with a can or impotent spray, a stick, and a button to push for help. The prisons aren’t full of “pot heads” they ARE full of people who do horrible things to innocent people and actually LIKE it. Walk a minute (if you can do it without wetting yourself) in those shoes.

By: hellokitty on 7/16/09

The California prison guards are waaaayyyy over paid. They are mere high school graduates, and have 16 weeks of guard training, then WA-LA average salary is $74,000 per year and much more with OT which is the case for most of these men & women in California with prisons so over crowded 3x the norm capacity. We need non-violent prisoners to be released along with the terminally ill and mentally ill prisoners who should not be in prison in the first place. If we had competent politicians we would NOT be in the mess we are in in the first place. Something has to give.

By: ajdury on 7/16/09

I agree with sunny1966.

This taxpayer is so over county/state/federal employees and their unions’ tactics.

The unchecked hypocrisy needs to end.

Government has some real fat it needs to trim, just as private industry has been doing, to make ends meet.

Enough with the ‘status quo’ that Government keeps spoon-feeding us.

If we are truly “all in this together”, then ALL OF US need to tighten our collective belts. Not just us private citizens in private company employment (if we’re so lucky.)

All of us.

By: rogerfreberg on 7/15/09

hmmm… I think this is called ‘bad timing.’ Coming right on the heals of the bust of CMC prison guards and friends is not real smart.

Although the budgetary problems start and end with K-12 ( now roughly 50% of the budget and delivering questionable results)… unless that can be changed everyone has to be realistic… including paying folks to sit on all these state boards earning big numbers.

Of course, California could out-source the prison population to other countries and save a ton? ;) I think that’s how Australia got started.

By: sunny1966 on 7/15/09

You know the really sad part of this story is the CCPOA doesnt realize how sick and tired we the taxpayers are of the highway robbery we have recieved from them over the years and I think now is a great time to allow them to see we dont think so highly of their tactics. WE should all just be happy to have a job. I personally was laid off from a state job due to budget concerns and I am just thankful i was able to find a job that only cost me a 10 percent cut in pay. Get over yourselves CCPOA, we are all in the same boat. Do your job and quit complaining.

By: Vagabond on 7/15/09

Ahnold could just pardon all the nonviolent criminals and cut the guard union in half.

It might give the local guys something to do besides wait outside of bars and outside the courthouse catching suspended drivers.

By: JorgeEstrada on 7/15/09

If the prison released some of the Pot Heads and the Cops put some of the Corp Heads in prison, then maybe this state could afford some pay raises? Pay raises that would be inversly tied to pension offerings as well as the number employed.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 7/15/09

Ah to be held hostage by unions all around.