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CDCR - What You Need to Know Information relating to the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. Q&A for those new to the CDCR system should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 06-03-2018, 03:22 PM
Halo527 Halo527 is offline
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Default Contacting Prison Counselor

Hi,


My son is currently at Wasco Reception. He told me that I should contact his Counselor and discuss Mainline placement with them that it could help with where he ends up.


Is this something that I should be doing? If so, what should the discussion be? I don't want to say anything that would also give the Counselor any wrong impressions about my son either.


Thank you,


Halo
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:11 PM
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You'll hear both sides. Some people contact and have a positive experience, others do not. It's a flip of a coin. I've chosen not to contact the prison unless it had to do with me (visiting, marriage). But, my husband has been in a long time and knows far better than I how to get things done. It's rare that he's stumped when it comes to that stuff.

I'm assuming he's in PC now and would prefer to go mainline? This is what I know about that and it may or may not help. When they transfer to their home prison, PC (or SNY) wear a different color jumpsuit than others. That's so staff can easily identify inmates at risk. They all ride the same bus and come in together. So even if he goes mainline, people will know that at some point he was SNY. That includes everyone he was at reception with, transferred with and who was on the yard when he arrived. Hubs said they don't let you out of that easily because people already know and if there's going to be trouble, you've just made their job harder by requesting to walk right into it.

Now...will that apply to your son? I can't say. That's just our experience. Thought I'd pass that on so you can factor it in.
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by miamac View Post
You'll hear both sides. Some people contact and have a positive experience, others do not. It's a flip of a coin. I've chosen not to contact the prison unless it had to do with me (visiting, marriage). But, my husband has been in a long time and knows far better than I how to get things done. It's rare that he's stumped when it comes to that stuff.

I'm assuming he's in PC now and would prefer to go mainline? This is what I know about that and it may or may not help. When they transfer to their home prison, PC (or SNY) wear a different color jumpsuit than others. That's so staff can easily identify inmates at risk. They all ride the same bus and come in together. So even if he goes mainline, people will know that at some point he was SNY. That includes everyone he was at reception with, transferred with and who was on the yard when he arrived. Hubs said they don't let you out of that easily because people already know and if there's going to be trouble, you've just made their job harder by requesting to walk right into it.

Now...will that apply to your son? I can't say. That's just our experience. Thought I'd pass that on so you can factor it in.
He is not in PC and I don't think they'll put him in SNY. Currently he's at Wasco Reception waiting to see where they'll put him. I think he thinks that if I talk to the counselor, they will put him where he wants to go, which is Jamestown. But i don't think he'll be eligible for that. My biggest fear is that they will send him out of state, which will make it hard to visit. I'm also concerned about his being put at Level 3. He's an immature kid from a good home and has never had to deal with gang members or a criminal element. I'm afraid that he won't know the ropes and will end up stabbed. Aside from this current incident, he's never been in trouble either. And he didn't actually hurt anyone in the current incident.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:11 PM
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Ahh, my mistake. I took the inclusion of "mainline" in your OP to mean that he was housed otherwise now.

There's no getting out of your classification level until you've been around long enough to prove good conduct. And, level overrides are new. About two years. Those are recalculated once a year at his annual committee meeting. So he'll have at least a year at his home prison before that can be discussed. As far as out of state, they're under a fed mandate to bring those guys back in. So I wouldn't worry too much about that. They've failed to renew their contract in AZ and they've been shipping Miss. folks back in.

Truly, Level 3 isn't that bad. Things happen, yes, but for the most part he'd have to go looking for it. There are always mentors on the yard. Older men who don't get into politics and stay away from drugs/gambling. If your son stays quiet and to himself, he'll find others like him.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Halo527 View Post
Hi,


My son is currently at Wasco Reception. He told me that I should contact his Counselor and discuss Mainline placement with them that it could help with where he ends up.


Is this something that I should be doing? If so, what should the discussion be? I don't want to say anything that would also give the Counselor any wrong impressions about my son either.


Thank you,


Halo

Since this is a counselor at reception. I would not bother calling. Counselors at R.C. just go through the motions, they get you endorsed to a facility that meets you classification score no matter where it maybe.
Your son will learn fast what is going on (he probably already has learned more then he cares to say in RC. already)It is easy for me to say . " It isn't all the war stories that you have heard inside". They just don't come by your cell and drop a note saying you will stab someone. That isn't how it is done. If the person wants to play that game it can be found inside. Your son has been in county long enough to know the games by now
Keeping a low profile, minding your own business and choosing your own associates. You will go a long ways on the inside. It is doing what is called "Your own program" When is reality you are just doing your time and not anyone else's. Save you counselor calling for when you will really need it ( if you should ever need to in the future).
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:49 PM
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My internet went down right before I was going to post this, but I've noticed that miamac has posted since then and answered your questions. I'll just post my original one in case it will help as well. This is what it said:

I just responded to your first post and somehow lost it before I was finished. I didn't think he was SNY, but assumed that he was hoping some input from you might affect where he would be mainlined. We actually did write to Wasco (where our son was in reception) and asked that he be placed as close to home as possible - we live in OC - for a variety of reasons like age, distance, etc. We did receive a reply and they said they couldn't guarantee any placement at all. Shortly after that, he was sent to FSP - almost 450 miles away - so much for keeping families close! The inmates are usually given a couple of choices as well, but I think they usually end up where there is room and depending on what their points are.

It sounds like your son has already received level 3 points. I wouldn't worry too much because it's way better than level 4. I'm just finding that out the hard way unfortunately. However, my son went in as a level 3 and he managed fine. He also said that he preferred cell living so he could avoid all the politics and drama that can occur in a dorm setting. I remember him telling us that when the bus arrived at Folsom he was scared to death - that was a lot for our son to admit! However, he learned quickly what to do and what not to do and it didn't take long to settle in. I'm sure the same thing will happen with your son. As long as he keeps to himself and stays as busy as possible, he will be fine. Make sure you write a lot especially at this time. Mail and knowing that you are there for him will mean a lot to him. It will help you, too!
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:52 PM
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Ahh, my mistake. I took the inclusion of "mainline" in your OP to mean that he was housed otherwise now.

There's no getting out of your classification level until you've been around long enough to prove good conduct. And, level overrides are new. About two years. Those are recalculated once a year at his annual committee meeting. So he'll have at least a year at his home prison before that can be discussed. As far as out of state, they're under a fed mandate to bring those guys back in. So I wouldn't worry too much about that. They've failed to renew their contract in AZ and they've been shipping Miss. folks back in.

Truly, Level 3 isn't that bad. Things happen, yes, but for the most part he'd have to go looking for it. There are always mentors on the yard. Older men who don't get into politics and stay away from drugs/gambling. If your son stays quiet and to himself, he'll find others like him.
Thanks Mia, that makes me feel alot better. Kind of in a funk today seeing the 12/2028 earliest parole date on the inmate locator.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:56 PM
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My internet went down right before I was going to post this, but I've noticed that miamac has posted since then and answered your questions. I'll just post my original one in case it will help as well. This is what it said:

I just responded to your first post and somehow lost it before I was finished. I didn't think he was SNY, but assumed that he was hoping some input from you might affect where he would be mainlined. We actually did write to Wasco (where our son was in reception) and asked that he be placed as close to home as possible - we live in OC - for a variety of reasons like age, distance, etc. We did receive a reply and they said they couldn't guarantee any placement at all. Shortly after that, he was sent to FSP - almost 450 miles away - so much for keeping families close! The inmates are usually given a couple of choices as well, but I think they usually end up where there is room and depending on what their points are.

It sounds like your son has already received level 3 points. I wouldn't worry too much because it's way better than level 4. I'm just finding that out the hard way unfortunately. However, my son went in as a level 3 and he managed fine. He also said that he preferred cell living so he could avoid all the politics and drama that can occur in a dorm setting. I remember him telling us that when the bus arrived at Folsom he was scared to death - that was a lot for our son to admit! However, he learned quickly what to do and what not to do and it didn't take long to settle in. I'm sure the same thing will happen with your son. As long as he keeps to himself and stays as busy as possible, he will be fine. Make sure you write a lot especially at this time. Mail and knowing that you are there for him will mean a lot to him. It will help you, too!
Thanks for the info. I figured the points out by looking at the cdcr form and came up with the 38 which is a level 3 security level.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:06 PM
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Thanks Mia, that makes me feel alot better. Kind of in a funk today seeing the 12/2028 earliest parole date on the inmate locator.


Halo527:
That would make anyone in a funk to read that. At least he has a release date that is obtainable .
I am working with guys that they have 50 years until their first board. They are in their thirties now. I helped a guy out a few years with an appeal. I was disappointed with the results. There was sentencing error. They had to take off 35 years off of his original sentence. Which left him with still 40 years to due. He sent word back through his attorney thanking all of us for doing something that no one else would even look at. I till this day feel I let him down.
Remember you always have friends and support here. Feel free at anytime to vent. If you don't want to vent publicly. Feel free to P.M and vent all you like. I will listen and try to do what I can for you so will most of the other people here
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:32 PM
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Halo527:
That would make anyone in a funk to read that. At least he has a release date that is obtainable .
I am working with guys that they have 50 years until their first board. They are in their thirties now. I helped a guy out a few years with an appeal. I was disappointed with the results. There was sentencing error. They had to take off 35 years off of his original sentence. Which left him with still 40 years to due. He sent word back through his attorney thanking all of us for doing something that no one else would even look at. I till this day feel I let him down.
Remember you always have friends and support here. Feel free at anytime to vent. If you don't want to vent publicly. Feel free to P.M and vent all you like. I will listen and try to do what I can for you so will most of the other people here
Thank you Patrick. Just coming on today helped quite a bit. So nice to have friends who understand.

On another note, what do you think about asking the govenor for a commutation of sentence for my son? I would just be asking for them to shorten the sentence to one that is similar to what others have received for doing the same thing. I thought I would do one now while Brown was still in office and if not approved, I could wait a few years so my boy has time to show them that he can be rehabilitated.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:06 PM
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On another note, what do you think about asking the govenor for a commutation of sentence for my son? I would just be asking for them to shorten the sentence to one that is similar to what others have received for doing the same thing. I thought I would do one now while Brown was still in office and if not approved, I could wait a few years so my boy has time to show them that he can be rehabilitated.
There's a LOT of commutation talk on the yards right now because of Brown's exit. What we're hearing is that if there was use of a deadly weapon/firearm, it's almost dead in the water unless you can try to prove that it wasn't a factor in the crime. Meaning, it was present but never used in any way and that because of that reason, he was unreasonably sentenced. My husband was charged with attempted murder by firearm even though no evidence showed he possessed or fired a gun at the victim-- no physical harm, no shell casings, no bullet holes anywhere. For a commutation to happen, we can't go that route because it was his entire charge. We'd have to do as you said which is prove that his 16 yeas inside have lead to rehabilitation and that another 16 years isn't warranted.

I don't really know what the rate of approval will be, but I know a lot of people have their eye on the deadline.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:24 PM
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There's a LOT of commutation talk on the yards right now because of Brown's exit. What we're hearing is that if there was use of a deadly weapon/firearm, it's almost dead in the water unless you can try to prove that it wasn't a factor in the crime. Meaning, it was present but never used in any way and that because of that reason, he was unreasonably sentenced. My husband was charged with attempted murder by firearm even though no evidence showed he possessed or fired a gun at the victim-- no physical harm, no shell casings, no bullet holes anywhere. For a commutation to happen, we can't go that route because it was his entire charge. We'd have to do as you said which is prove that his 16 yeas inside have lead to rehabilitation and that another 16 years isn't warranted.

I don't really know what the rate of approval will be, but I know a lot of people have their eye on the deadline.
What about the fact of others getting so much less of a sentence for the same thing or worse? In my son's case, he got an AWD (3 years) and a 10 year enhancement, plus some other minor charges totalling 14 years, 4 months, but he never laid a hand on anybody, although he did discharge the gun into the air. I know of similar cases that got between 1 and 6 years and some cases where someone was actually murdered and got 10 years. Dont they take unfair sentencing into account in a commutation? If you're correct about the use of a weapon then there's no use in filing one now. We would have to wait for time to pass for him to prove he was rehabilitated. I also read that the BOP could also request a reduction of sentence.
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:51 PM
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Thanks Mia, that makes me feel alot better. Kind of in a funk today seeing the 12/2028 earliest parole date on the inmate locator.
That is an overwhelming number, but he should be eligible to earn milestones eventually and that will help the date change for the better. My son didnít have them available until fairly recently so he spent a lot of time feeling somewhat hopeless. He now feels like thereís something positive to work towards. Itís slow-going for sure, but knowing that he can knock off a week or two here and there has motivated him and his attitude has changed for the better. That, in turn, makes me feel better. Hope that helps a little bit!
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:12 PM
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What about the fact of others getting so much less of a sentence for the same thing or worse? [...]Dont they take unfair sentencing into account in a commutation? [...] I also read that the BOP could also request a reduction of sentence.
My husband?

7 years for attempted murder
30 in enhancements
No shot fired, no one hurt.

Yes, fair sentencing does factor in but it would be the case that he would still need to have some time under his belt in order to be considered. Mine has done nearly 16 of his 37. Six years without a write-up, level override, programming successfully. I still don't think they'd do it. That firearm thing is sticky in CA. I'm not saying it's not worth trying, but I have to be realistic about the odds.

BOP is federal, so that wouldn't apply here. CDCR cannot affect sentencing, only credits as tglsmom has listed. And those are a good thing. They can make a difference for most people.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:44 PM
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My husband?

7 years for attempted murder
30 in enhancements
No shot fired, no one hurt.

Yes, fair sentencing does factor in but it would be the case that he would still need to have some time under his belt in order to be considered. Mine has done nearly 16 of his 37. Six years without a write-up, level override, programming successfully. I still don't think they'd do it. That firearm thing is sticky in CA. I'm not saying it's not worth trying, but I have to be realistic about the odds.

BOP is federal, so that wouldn't apply here. CDCR cannot affect sentencing, only credits as tglsmom has listed. And those are a good thing. They can make a difference for most people.
Mia, that is so crazy on that amount of time for no one getting hurt. I think there is a new bill they are trying to pass where if you were an accessory to a murder that you don't get all the enhancements. I'm glad to see that things are changing. The enhancements are ridiculous. I was hoping that the judge would drop the enhancement for my son but he's a former prosecutor and has given many strict sentences, so he didnt. I'm afraid there are too many who wont. I do wish they had clarified "in the interests of justice" in SB620.
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