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California Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events + 3 Strikes Do you have news relating to California's Prison or Ciminal Justice System and related efforts? Post them here! Also discuss 3 Strike laws.

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  #1  
Old 10-13-2003, 11:29 PM
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Default Prison in lockdown after inmate killed in riot

Prison in lockdown after inmate killed in riot
The SF Chronicle
Oct. 13, 2003

Inmates at Pleasant Valley State Prison faced lockdown conditions Monday after a riot that left one prisoner dead, authorities said.

The riot started at about 6:45 p.m. Sunday in a prison yard, said Lt. Paul Sanchez, and quickly escalated into a melee involving 300 inmates.

One inmate was shot to death by a guard, Sanchez said. The prisoner's name has not been released.

The guard, whose name has also not been released, was placed on paid administrative leave while the Fresno County Sheriff's Department investigated the incident.

"We are still undetermined right now as to the cause of the incident and why it escalated so quickly," Sanchez said. "It's hard to tell when you have that many involved. There are a lot of witnesses and a lot of statements that need to be gathered."

Sanchez said the riot occurred in an overcrowded Level III housing unit for maximum security prisoners. Sanchez said the prison was designed to hold about 2,500 inmates. It currently houses some 4,900.

"We turned our gyms into dormitories," he said. "We often place Level III inmates into areas conformed into dormitories. And any time you place Level III inmates in gyms or dormitories, the anger level increases and the potential for violence is there."

Sanchez said the high-risk inmates are supposed to be housed in cells and under "constant gun coverage."
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2003, 11:48 PM
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Keep me Posted on this One Christy!

Love
Kathy
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2003, 12:15 AM
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I'll post when it comes in!!!
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2003, 12:41 AM
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thanks for the info.
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Old 10-14-2003, 05:13 AM
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What a day this is going to be. My older son has court in Sac this morn so of course I've been planning on being there.

My youngest son is here at PVSP in the A-Gym!!!!!! -and- a level III. Did you by any chance hear what yard the gym is on? I'm going to have to leave hear about 6:45am to get to Sac in time. If you see this right away would you get right back to me if you know anything else?
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:21 AM
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Christy I am so glad you posted about the riot. I haven't been home much the last couple of days and I won't be again today. If it would have been my son....I wouldn't even have been able to find out! Until I read todays Fresno Bee on-line all I could think was....I should have gone and visited him over the weekend, I could have at least seen him one last time. This type thing makes me sooo sick I can't stand it. No, it wasn't my son (it happened on b yard) but it was somebody's son. Thanks again, if I heard about this once I got out of town there would have been nothing I could do to find out anything until I got back. (Kept trying to call but the phone was constantly busy).
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:36 AM
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Whoever's son it was, I feel your pain. Violence is not a good thing, no matter where or how it happens.
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:00 AM
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2500 but housing 4900....this is insane....

kath
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:22 AM
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My first thought was the same as Kath's. Insanity to house that many men built for 1/2 that much.

The first pen pal I got (I am very fond of this young man - same age as my son) finished his time at PVSP. I was just so relieved he wasn't there

Jus'Mom, if that is how I felt for my pen pal, I can only imagine how you are feeling. My prayers are for you and the others that men there.

My sympathies and prayers for the family of the one killed.
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:05 AM
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Default Overcapacity

Got news for ya . . . most of the California facilities are operating at about a 200% capacity level. Some a bit less some actually more!

And we've already trippled the amount of prisons in this State just in the last two decades.

What changed is not the fact that crime suddenly went up that much (although the incredible gang explosion and crack/methamphetamine explosion didn't help), what really did this were the insane sentencing laws such as the "three strikes law".

This is a mess that will not change from within the CDC structure as they are compelled by Penal Code to accept every single prisoner that comes in whether there's a bed or not!

Where this has to change is with the people of this state who demand that some sanity in sentencing be restored to the Legislative and Court structures. Those are the entities that created this nightmare.

Like I said and predicted in an earlier controversial thread . . . these things occur and spread like fire as other facilities sadly follow suit with "get backs" of their own, and we're sadly seeing that play out right now. First DVI then PVSP . . . there may be more.

Unless that happens you will see a growing number of these tragic events and you may yet see a real "FULL FLEDGED RIOT" where an actual prison and control are totally lost, i.e. Attica or New Mexico . . . it is coming . . . just a matter of time.
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:13 AM
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I agree, Cobra, that a full-fledged riot is around the corner. When I took my CJ classes years ago, we were taught that building more prisons isn't the answer, because the more prisons you build, the more prisoners the courts are going to fill them up with and it's a never-ending thing. As long as there's the idea that prisons are the answer, there will never be enough. Overcrowding, cutting out education and other programs, cutting mailroom staff so the mail slows down, cutting budgets so the food gets worse----all these things that are coinciding with the overcrowding----it's a disaster waiting to happen. And when a real riot happens, it's headed up by older cons who have nothing to lose because they're not gonna get out anyway except feet first and they know it, so it's not some skirmish that one guard's bullet will put an end to.

I posted an article awhile back about what we can all do, and it included getting busy trying to educate the public about this issue. About the real facts, not what the politicians push-----have any of our PTO people read that and tried to start public education? Even making some leaflets to put on a table at a public function is a start. Voters have to be educated by those of us who know what's what or they're going to keep voting for more prisons and stiffer sentencing. They need to be educated so they start demanding that things be turned around.

Last edited by toi_ama; 10-14-2003 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:21 AM
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Default Amen!

So well said toi_ama !!!

I worked directly with the Attica inmates a few years after that disaster. The conditions that they described to me that existed just prior to that "RIOT" are frighteningly present within CDC. Maybe not as bad just yet . . . but we are heading there full speed ahead and it ain't gonna be pretty folks.
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:23 AM
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How can we find out who was killed??? I am so worried about Joey... It's been a year but this is the first time I have gone through a riot... I am praying hard for all of us Mom's and loved ones... Patty
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:40 AM
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JoeysMom, there's an old saying that "no news is good news". If you haven't been notified that something has happened to Joey, then it hasn't. I'm sure there's been plenty of time gone by that you would have been notified by now.

Am I right, Cobra?
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:56 AM
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Thanks I know your right... Patty
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