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Old 09-09-2018, 10:13 PM
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Default CDCR hushes investigation results following death of inmate

Hidden Body, Falsified Records: Inmate's Death Plagues CA Prison

A year after a decomposed body was discovered concealed in a cell, questions remain despite investigations.

"It was a year ago this week Acuna died quietly in his cell, on April 21 or 22 – nobody knows for sure because his body wasn't discovered until April 24, hidden under a blanket on his bed and decayed to the point it caused an odor prison employees initially thought was a sewage problem."

"Whenever the government takes someone into custody, it bears the responsibility for that individual's safety," [Bardis Vakili, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties] said. "However harsh the conditions in prison may be, for a dead body to go unnoticed in a cell for so long that the cause of death can no longer be determined requires a shocking level of carelessness. In this case, something clearly went wrong, and a transparent investigation and public account of corrective measures to be taken are necessary."
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:04 AM
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Un-f-believable.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:26 AM
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How is it possible to miss a inmate for that amount of time. When there is multiple body counts per hour. Scary and unbelievable!
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:53 AM
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That's how prisons get away with murder!!!
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:00 AM
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seriously pathetic.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:53 AM
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A lot of people and groups saying nothing and that they can't / won't comment on an "ongoing investigation". They are hiding behind that and know more than is being released. What is it?
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:45 AM
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This is what happens when a agency as big as CDCR. Has no one other then their shelves doing the investigating of "criminal matters " against them. Anything that happens on CDCR properties is investigated by CDCR. Then their reports are forward to the local District Attorney, that agrees with the one sided facts they receive from CDCR.
Should CDRC allow an independent investigation of anything. All parties that are interviewed know what to say and not what to say. All evidence and reports are reviewed before being released to the independent investigating agency. When all else fail CDCR uses this worn out line." In the interest of the safety and security of the institution. We cannot release that information"
I do not see how they can miss a inmate for this long of a period. Every day at 5:00 P.M there is a mandatory stand count. (this means all inmates must stand up when the officer comes by your cell door to count you. If you reside in a large dorm you either sit on your bed .There is no sleeping through the 5:00 P.M. count ) Who dropped the ball here? Sounds to me that CDCR staff are not following written policy. This falls on the departments head Be it a homicide or natural death no one should go unnoticed this long
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:54 AM
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By the time they've listed all the failures to perform a duty and properly punished them, they will be out out of employees!
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:58 AM
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Be it a homicide or natural death no one should go unnoticed this long
I think that's what struck me, and probably anyone who has been an inmate or the loved one of an inmate-- how did they not know? Even if Mr. Acuna had passed naturally, someone should have known. And if it was death by violence and the cellmate wasn't charged, the odds of him being double-celled yet again are real.The fact that he had no one listed nor traceable as next of kin just makes it easier to sweep this under the rug. It was a disturbing read and even more so that it's current and I have a LO in their charge.

Last edited by miamac; 09-10-2018 at 11:01 AM..
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:33 PM
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I think that's what struck me, and probably anyone who has been an inmate or the loved one of an inmate-- how did they not know? Even if Mr. Acuna had passed naturally, someone should have known. And if it was death by violence and the cellmate wasn't charged, the odds of him being double-celled yet again are real.The fact that he had no one listed nor traceable as next of kin just makes it easier to sweep this under the rug. It was a disturbing read and even more so that it's current and I have a LO in their charge.

This matter now which they are investigating goes on way too many times.
You bring up another point which only goes to show that CDCR is doing a cover up.
When you have two people living together in little box up on a shelf. You learn to watch out for each other for the time that you are secured in that box together. If your cellmate get sick during the time you are locked together you yell your ass off. To get the attention of those in charge. Reason being anything happens to that person you got to the hole pending investigation., even if it is a natural death Now should you be the one that inflects life threatening injuries upon your cellmate. You go to the hole CDCR investigates the matter, then will due a D.A. referral on you as well as hold you accountable to their rules violation and punishment for such violation
I haven't read much on this matter which is the subject of discussion here.
Something just doesn't smell right from my expernices with CDCR, both as a resident and someone who has and still fights them on their policy and procedures. That is the policies and procedures which they allow the public access to, Trust me CDCR and each institution has a set of D.O.M ( Department Operations Manuals ) which are only used and seen by department staff.

Lets add a little more crap to the game here even though I doubt it has anything to due with this issue at hand. CDCR's Director retired out very quietly. Then they reignite the matter at hand here. Like I said just adding more crap to the game. Director Kernan, was quick to blow his own horn on his accomplishments during his term as director, yet he leaves a department which is guilty of covering up more and more of its mistakes. Yet this department makes it own policies and procedures, does changes to the California Penal Code. All of these changes make a department which is harder then it was before to investigate. This department is self investigating. Which sounds to me more like the fox guarding the henhouse
We here with love ones inside and who have been inside are concerned. Yet the general publics feelings about those incarcerated is "They get three hots, better medical care then I do"." Lock them up throw away the key."
Time for me to just be quiet for now or else I am going to get way off topic here. Reason being there has been even more staff involved killings of inmates just in the last couple of weeks at Sacramento State Prison(new Folsom)That in its self is a whole different topic
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:46 PM
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This matter now which they are investigating goes on way too many times.
You bring up another point which only goes to show that CDCR is doing a cover up.
When you have two people living together in little box up on a shelf. You learn to watch out for each other for the time that you are secured in that box together. If your cellmate get sick during the time you are locked together you yell your ass off. To get the attention of those in charge. Reason being anything happens to that person you got to the hole pending investigation., even if it is a natural death Now should you be the one that inflects life threatening injuries upon your cellmate. You go to the hole CDCR investigates the matter, then will due a D.A. referral on you as well as hold you accountable to their rules violation and punishment for such violation
I haven't read much on this matter which is the subject of discussion here.
Something just doesn't smell right from my expernices with CDCR, both as a resident and someone who has and still fights them on their policy and procedures. That is the policies and procedures which they allow the public access to, Trust me CDCR and each institution has a set of D.O.M ( Department Operations Manuals ) which are only used and seen by department staff.

Lets add a little more crap to the game here even though I doubt it has anything to due with this issue at hand. CDCR's Director retired out very quietly. Then they reignite the matter at hand here. Like I said just adding more crap to the game. Director Kernan, was quick to blow his own horn on his accomplishments during his term as director, yet he leaves a department which is guilty of covering up more and more of its mistakes. Yet this department makes it own policies and procedures, does changes to the California Penal Code. All of these changes make a department which is harder then it was before to investigate. This department is self investigating. Which sounds to me more like the fox guarding the henhouse
We here with love ones inside and who have been inside are concerned. Yet the general publics feelings about those incarcerated is "They get three hots, better medical care then I do"." Lock them up throw away the key."
Time for me to just be quiet for now or else I am going to get way off topic here. Reason being there has been even more staff involved killings of inmates just in the last couple of weeks at Sacramento State Prison(new Folsom)That in its self is a whole different topic
I believe this death occurred at RJD? My husband has been housed at RJD for 3 years now. Worst prison he has been at, in his 19 years behind bars. He says that he has never been to a prison where the officers stand and watch in mates fight and stab each other, and only step in when it gets extremely bad. And then a lot of the time they just send the inmates involved back to their cells as if nothing happened. And now with the integrating of the level 3 yards there, the violence has been almost daily. CDCR is throwing these GP guys and SNY guys together and expecting them to "get along". There have been stabbings weekly, sometimes daily at RJD for the past several weeks. I know this is a bit off topic too Patrick, but with it all happening at RJD, it is along the same lines.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:41 PM
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I believe this death occurred at RJD? My husband has been housed at RJD for 3 years now. Worst prison he has been at, in his 19 years behind bars.
Yes, it happened at Donovan.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:13 PM
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Back in the 90's when I was at CRC in Norco, I got access to the D.O.M. and I mean the one that no convict should have and I got it copied and mailed out in sections. There was night staff that didn't give a shit about what went out in the mail. I'd just take the envelope a big one to the night staff and I already sealed it they'd just initial it and out it went. CRC for the women was like dorm's but we had rooms with no doors, after 9pm count you could leave your room and go to the TV room or go visit. They didn't care what went on inside the dorms. There was a brutal rape of a young girl, first timer. It happened in the shower room several people were involved and others knew. You hear about it but this was extremely bad that finally one officer seen how this girl was walking and pulled her to the side in the cop shop and he asked her, she broke down and told what had been going on for a couple of weeks I believe. They got those involved and sent them to SHU, the women's side was locked down, yeah they acted like they were concerned but that was a joke. It should have been investigated properly and D.A. referrals should have happened but it didn't. It was covered up. That young lady had to live with it for the rest of her young life. It made me sick not just about the cover up but also that these persons are women too and to do what they did and only get SHU time for whatever shitty ass charge the could come up with. CDC covers up all the time and will continue to. I don't put the R In there because there is NO REHABILITATION in this system and refuse to acknowledge that R.
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Old 09-11-2018, 05:45 PM
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Don’t they do cell checks, lockdowns, count??? I’m really not understanding how you can miss an inmate IN HIS BED btw. There are so many prisons that need to be evaluated and reconstructed. I understand they’re in prison and it’s not suppose to be fun. They are created so they don’t WANT to come back but inmates are still people and a person going unnoticed for an entire year is just disgusting and a tragedy. Prayers to that inmate’s loved ones and I hope the state government really gets to the bottom of this.
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:15 PM
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Don’t they do cell checks, lockdowns, count??? ...and I hope the state government really gets to the bottom of this.
According to the article, "CDCR regulations require the physical counting of inmates at least "four times each calendar day" plus his daily med passing.

I'm unclear when the statements were made, but:

"Shaun Spillane, a spokesman for the OIG, said its monitoring of the Acuna case was closed last June but would not reveal whether any prison employees were dismissed as a result, saying "that investigation is still ongoing."

However, this week, Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for CDCR, told Patch the investigation had finally concluded and "appropriate action is being taken against some employees," but she would not disclose the number of employees, their positions or what specific disciplinary action was being considered, citing employees' "due process" rights."


In other words, case open or closed-- they're not telling anyone jack.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:13 PM
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Every day at 5:00 P.M there is a mandatory stand count. (this means all inmates must stand up when the officer comes by your cell door to count you. If you reside in a large dorm you either sit on your bed .There is no sleeping through the 5:00 P.M. count )

And even during the other non-standing counts, where you are allowed to lie in your bed, you have to at least have some skin showing or the guards would tap on your window until you moved or uncovered yourself. At least that's how it worked in Idaho prisons.

This isn't just a matter of inmate welfare, but it's also a security concern, for we've all seen the classic prison escape movies where the prisoner stuffs pillows or other materials under the blanket to fool the guards into thinking he's still there. The whole point of a head count is to make sure every body is accounted for, so that if anyone did escape, it would be detected within hours.

What I don't understand though, even if the guards were derelict in their duties, is how the psych techs never raised any alarm that the prisoner was non-responsive come time to take his meds? Even if a prisoner chooses to refuse medication, they have to sign a waiver. You couldn't just lie in your bunk and refuse to come to your cell door during pill call without action being taken.

It's hard to believe so many staff dropped the ball here...
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:03 AM
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However, this week, Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for CDCR, told Patch the investigation had finally concluded and "appropriate action is being taken against some employees," but she would not disclose the number of employees, their positions or what specific disciplinary action was being considered, citing employees' "due process" rights."
At a minimum serious dereliction of duty by damn near every guard / employee in that area. Typically (unfortunately) with a large powerful government agency like CDCR, people under investigation are put on paid administrative leave while investigate proceeds. So "punishment" during that time is a long paid vacation.

CDCR less than forthcoming? Other authorities refusing to release details? The body was so decomposed they could not determine cause of death? Excuse me but in "non-CDCR" investigations coroners seem quite capable of determining cause of death after far more than a few days of decomposition.

Mr Acuna did not have close family and friends demanding answers. They moved his unnamed cellmate to an undisclosed new prison so no one can talk to him. CDCR gets to investigate on their own terms at their own pace with no outside pressure. Call me a conspiracist. Circumstance afforded CDCR and all these officials time and opportunity to get their story straight. Including the guards / employees in that area. Who knows what really happened here? I believe many in that area of the prison know what happened and chose to say nothing and look the other way. Officials also know what happened and saying nothing because it's likely more outrageous than even this story portrays.

If the problem involved only inmates there would be criminal referrals and CDCR would publicize that much and probably more. Their silence is unacceptable. Sad because everyone involved is probably back at work now. Nothing more will come of it.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:29 PM
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Excuse me but in "non-CDCR" investigations coroners seem quite capable of determining cause of death after far more than a few days of decomposition.
I thought the same thing. A few days does not preclude a determination of COD. Ever. Shoot, if they can exhume a body and repeat an autopsy on what remains, they should have been able to determine COD for Mr. Acuna. Even if it was only a natural vs unnatural death. This is just sick and the fact that it didn't lead to criminal charges (that we know of, which means they didn't) means something was covered up and by a lot of people.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:38 PM
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According to the article, "CDCR regulations require the physical counting of inmates at least "four times each calendar day" plus his daily med passing.

I'm unclear when the statements were made, but:

"Shaun Spillane, a spokesman for the OIG, said its monitoring of the Acuna case was closed last June but would not reveal whether any prison employees were dismissed as a result, saying "that investigation is still ongoing."

However, this week, Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for CDCR, told Patch the investigation had finally concluded and "appropriate action is being taken against some employees," but she would not disclose the number of employees, their positions or what specific disciplinary action was being considered, citing employees' "due process" rights."


In other words, case open or closed-- they're not telling anyone jack.


Ugh this is ridiculous on another level! But this is what they do. To save themselves and the facility from being named a cemetery for the convicted they keep their mouths shut and they’ll have to take action towards the government regulations for all prisons. This is seriously sad.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:42 PM
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I thought the same thing. A few days does not preclude a determination of COD. Ever. Shoot, if they can exhume a body and repeat an autopsy on what remains, they should have been able to determine COD for Mr. Acuna. Even if it was only a natural vs unnatural death. This is just sick and the fact that it didn't lead to criminal charges (that we know of, which means they didn't) means something was covered up and by a lot of people.


The guards messed up and they are responsible whether or not the cause of his death was from another inmate. Something dirty is going on. Y’all just pray for all of our loved ones that are incarcerated because this makes me worried. Like I said before, I understand that these men did something to be incarcerated but they are still human beings and my heart is broken for this man’s family.
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Old 09-13-2018, 02:11 PM
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I thought the same thing. A few days does not preclude a determination of COD. Ever. Shoot, if they can exhume a body and repeat an autopsy on what remains, they should have been able to determine COD for Mr. Acuna. Even if it was only a natural vs unnatural death. This is just sick and the fact that it didn't lead to criminal charges (that we know of, which means they didn't) means something was covered up and by a lot of people.

This the kind of crap we get when you have a agency that does its own investigating of everything. The autopsy should have been performed at the County coroner's facility. ( if an autopsy was even done) All responsibility falls on CDCR, as well as the institution in question here.
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