Pleasant Valley State prison is located in rural Coalinga, California. The State Prison provides long-term housing and services for minimum, medium and maximum custody inmates.PVSP was opened in November 1994, and covers 640 acres. Number of custody staff =730; total number of prisoners=5188. With an annual operating budget of $173 million. The soil that this prison was built on is contaminated with the fungus known as Coccidiodomycosis.The technical name for Valley Fever is Coccidioidomycosis, or “Cocci” for short. It is caused by Coddidioides immitis, a fungus somewhat like yeast or mildew which lives in the soil. The tiny seeds, or spores, become wind-borne and are inhaled into the lungs, where the infection starts. Valley Fever is not contagious from person to person. It appears that after one exposure, the body develops immunity.Valley Fever is a sickness of degree. About 60 percent of the people who breathe the spores do not get sick at all. For some, it may feel like a cold or flu. For those sick enough to go to the doctor, it can be serious, with pneumonia-like symtoms, requiring medication and bed rest.Of all the people infected with Valley Fever, one or more out of 200 will develop the disseminated form, which is devastating, and can be fatal. These are the cases in which the disease spreads beyond the lungs through the bloodstream – typically to the skin, bones, and the membranes surrounding the brain, causing meningitis.I have numerous reports/medical records that indicate several state prisoners have been infected with Valley Fever and they are NOT getting proper treatment. Somehave died due to suffering complications from this disease. The state of California has done nothing to remedy this very serious and life threatening situation. I feel it is my responsibility to call attention to this. Please help me and others to spread the word in regards to whats going on there.I have been working on this issue now for over a year. In that time, I personally know of two men who have died due to Valley Fever, which can be prevented and treated. There are more that have been infected as everytime the soil is disturbed, the fungus becomes airborne. Here is a letter from a prisoner dated August 2006-I am currently being housed at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, CA. I guess I don’t make enough money to live in a luxurious cell suite so I am one of many stuck on the E-beds. Living on the E-beds really sucks but it’s much better than living in the gym day-care center. We have had our hands full with our shower program as well as staff. Staff hates us so bad, most of us just want to do our time and go home but there are a few kunckleheads here who don’t belong here and staff knows that.
We have been reading in the newspapers statewide that the prison system is under investigation. I am so glad somebody has finally taken an interest in our well being. Since this has all been happening we are getting less and less program and showers are harder to come by. It almost makes no sense to go to school or vocation because getting a shower right away is a thing of the past. The quality of food is at its all time low. I really doubt it has any if at all nutritional value. Our lunches are ridiculous.
We have a warden who was run off at Corcoran state prison for corrupt activities and now he is allowing it over here. How the hell do they get away with this? We have a tower Corrections Officer who has been run off everywhere he has been and now he is doing the same things here. This man is a real idiot. Everything they can possibly do to us to mentally abuse us they do. The Green Wall is alive here. These people are criminals and they get paid to be.
Many people here have got Valley Fever, some have died from it, it’s in the soil and they know it. We have tried to contact people on the outside but everybody is afraid of CCPOA. This is a mafia that needs to be stopped.
- a California prison, August 2006
I want the public and media to know whats going on at Pleasant Valley State Prison and I would like to see some action to prevent the spread of Valley Fever.
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Prison Reform is NOT soft on crime
“If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people.”–Tony Benn in Sicko
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Prison releases ‘DOA,’ foe says
Dems, Republicans blast governor’s inmate budget cut.
By Andy Furillo – _afuri…@sacbee.com_ (mailto:afuri…@sacbee.com)
Published 12:00 am PST Saturday, December 22, 2007
A Democratic legislative leader and a firebrand Republican promised tough
going Friday for a Schwarzenegger administration proposal to cut the state’s
prison population by 28,000 over the next two years.
Early releases are “DOA” with Assembly Republicans, said Jose Solorio,
D-Santa Ana, chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee. He said Democrats’
reaction would range from raising questions to outright opposition of the
administration’s budget proposal.
“Many of us are going to have some very strong concerns about whether it’s
the direction we want to begin taking,” Solorio said.
Meanwhile, Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, one of his party’s leaders on
criminal justice issues, said the proposal to release the so-called
nonviolent, nonserious, non-sex offenders in the final 20 months of their terms would
undermine Assembly Bill 900. The $7.9 billion measure was enacted this year
to add 53,000 prison and jail beds and more fully establish rehabilitation as
the philosophical underpinning of California’s correctional system.
“By letting people out 20 months early, which is supposed to be when they get
their re-entry skills, they’re not going to get them at all, so recidivism
is going to get worse,” Spitzer said. “This budget plan is a forfeiture of AB
900 principles, which was supposed to change how we treat criminality in
Gubernatorial spokesman Adam Mendelsohn said Friday that the administration
still has not made a final decision on the budget proposal that would save the
state $1.112 billion over the next two fiscal years. The governor has called
for 10 percent spending cuts in every agency, which in the $9.9 billion
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, almost certainly would require
substantial reductions in the inmate population of about 172,000 and the parolee
population of 127,000, and in a labor force of 64,000.
Mendelsohn said that, with the state facing a $14 billion deficit, the
governor faces difficult decisions as he prepares to unveil his budget proposal
“With raising taxes not being an option,” Mendelsohn said, “you have to look
at very severe cuts.”
Schwarzenegger was re-elected to office last year on a campaign that included
a no-new-taxes pledge. Republicans in the Legislature have vowed – and have
the numbers – to block any tax increases, which require two-thirds support of
Also on Friday, Schwarzenegger’s office announced that the state is $3.3
billion in the hole in the current fiscal year and that the governor is calling
for a special legislative session to begin Jan. 10 to address what he has
declared a “fiscal emergency.”
According to details of the corrections budget proposal made available to The
Bee, the administration’s plan calls for the release of lower-risk offenders
in the final 20 months of their terms to reduce the prison population by
22,159 in the 2008-09 fiscal year.
Schwarzenegger’s budget writers also are proposing a shift to a “summary”
parole system that would result in far fewer offenders being sent back to prison
on technical violations and criminal infractions, but still would subject
them to searches by local police. That plan would reduce the prison population
by another 6,249 inmates.
Combined, the two proposals would reduce the payroll in the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation by 5,854 employees. The two proposals
would require legislative approval. The budget bill requires a two-thirds
Under the state Penal Code, about 35 crimes are listed as “serious” or
“violent” for the purposes of the state’s “three-strikes” law. Those offenders –
convicted on charges ranging from murder to rape, robbery, burglary or sex or
firearm offenses – would be excluded from the early releases.
Victims’ advocates say that the exclusions aren’t wide enough and that other
convicts serving time for elder, child and spousal abuse, stalking, false
imprisonment, weapons and other charges could still get out before their
statutory time is up.
San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos said local law
enforcement leaders have demanded that the administration “add exclusions” to the
definition of a lower-risk offender. As for early releases, Ramos said they
“won’t happen without a fight” from county sheriffs and district attorneys.
Republican political consultant Ray McNally said that if the proposals go
through, Schwarzenegger’s political career will be all but over.
“It’s pretty clear, the governor has decided not to run for U.S. Senate or
other political office,” said McNally, whose clients include the California
Correctional Peace Officers Association. “You can’t release 22,000 people from
prison and expect to ever get elected to another office again. I think he’s
made his decision to retire from politics.”
The budget proposal came amid motions filed in two federal class-action cases
to cap the prison population because overcrowding is hindering the state’s
effort to provide inmates with constitutionally adequate medical and mental
Inmates’ rights lawyer Don Specter of the Prison Law Office, who is
representing plaintiffs in both suits, said the proposed early releases amount to
“nothing” as far as the federal cases are concerned.
“If and when it’s part of the budget, we’ll deal with it at that point,”
Trial on the motions had been scheduled for February, but the date was
vacated last week by a three-judge court that first must decide whether to order
the state to turn over thousands of documents to the plaintiffs.
Schwarzenegger proposes to release 22,000 prisoners
By Andy Furillo – email@example.com
Published 6:22 pm PST Thursday, December 20, 2007
In what may be the largest early release of inmates in United States history, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration is proposing to open the prison gates next year to some 22,000 low-risk offenders.
According to details of a budget proposal made available to The Bee, the administration will ask the Legislature to authorize the release of certain non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenders who have less than 20 months to go on their terms.
The proposal would cut the prison population by 22,159 inmates and save the cash-strapped state $256 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1 and more than $780 million through June 30, 2010. Besides reducing the inmate population, the proposal also calls for a reduction in more than 4,000 prison jobs, most of which would involve correctional officers.
A gubernatorial spokesman said no final decisions have been made.
The administration, which is looking at across the board budget cuts to stem a budget deficit pegged as high as $14 billion, is looking for more savings in prison spending by shifting all lower-risk parolees into what officials are describing as a “summary” system. The shift also would require legislative approval.
Under “summary” parole, offenders would remain on supervised release and still be subject to searches by local law enforcement at any time, but they would not be returned to prison on a technical violation. It would take a new crime prosecuted by local law enforcement officials to return the offenders to prison.
A summary parole system would cut the daily average population of released offenders by 18,522 in the next fiscal year and result in a further prison population reduction of 6,249, according to the proposal. It would save the state $98 million in the 2008-09 fiscal year and $329 million through 2009-10. The number of job cuts in the parole proposal will hit 1,660.
Gubernatorial spokesman Adam Mendelsohn declined to confirm the proposal outlined to The Bee, but reaffirmed the administration’s belief that all departments need to cut spending across the board by 10 percent next year. Schwarzenegger “has not made any decisions” on where the cuts will take place, Mendelsohn said, including whether they will involve the early release of inmates or staff cuts.
“He has not made any final determination on what his January budget will look like, but there are many, many scenarios that have been presented to the governor, and he is working extremely hard to figure out how we manage this budget situation through cuts and reduced spending,” Mendelsohn.
The corrections budget proposal outlined Thursday would not cut any of the prison department’s bond funding, including the recently enacted, $7.9 billion Assembly Bill 900 spending, nor would it affect the expenditures of the federal medical receiver, who is in charge of $1.5 billion of the agency’s total portfolio. The Corrections Standards Authority and the Division of Juvenile Justice would also be excluded from the proposed cuts.