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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 12-10-2008, 07:19 PM
Bread-N-Water Bread-N-Water is offline
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Talking Info regarding 90-day diagnostic evalutions

I have received a number of questions regarding 90-day diagnostic evalutions from concerned loved ones. So, here's the low down on these court requested evaluations of which I have done hundreds. When your loved one is convicted of a crime the judge has 90 days in which to sentence them. If he or a good attorney feels this person can benefit from a CDCR diagnostic eval they will ask the judge to order one. This DOES NOT mean this person will spend 90 days in state prison. Usually, they are in and out (In-N-Out----couldn't help that! Sorry!) within 20 days. However, some judges will order him or her to stay the full 90. Happens RARELY. When they come to us they will have independent interviews with a Counselor and a state licensed Psycholgist. They will be asked several questions. Remorse is ALWAYS a big question. Their prior arrest history (if any) will be reviewed. If they had several prior grants of probation it isn't good. Violence, ofcourse, is critical. Based on their response, the facts of the case, their willingness to accept responsibility, and their arrest history a recommendation of probation, or incarceration will be submitted back to the court. Keep in mind this report carries no legal weight. The judge makes his/her own mind up. It's simply an opinion they may take under consideration. Our reports are sent to the Associate Warden's office for final review. He/she will side with one or the other if there is a difference of opinion, and that face letter will also go to the court. Ok?

Last edited by Bread-N-Water; 12-10-2008 at 08:13 PM..
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2008, 10:33 PM
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Thanks, Darlin', and good to see you!
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:47 PM
Bread-N-Water Bread-N-Water is offline
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I retired in May '07, and thought I was going to "take it easy!" Ha! Ya! Right! Been busier than a cat in a roomfull of rockers! LOL! Merry Christmas to you & yours BTW!
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:25 PM
W8NG4MYLOVE W8NG4MYLOVE is offline
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Default Question about diagnostic evaluation

My husband was not ordered by the court to get an evaluation. However, I feel that I would have been very helpful for him to have been evaluated, because i feel that alot of his violent behavior stems from other problems, one being his alcohol abuse, but I feel that he may have some mental disorders as well, that escalate with his substance abuse. Can he ask for an evaluation, if he took a plea bargain, and is already doing time in the prison? Thanks
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:34 PM
Gryphon Gryphon is offline
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No. This is a pre-sentence evaluation. If he is obviously ill or CDCR is having a hard time keeping him calm, he might get a mental health evaluation while in prison.

90 day observations haven't been at all useful when my clients received them (other than to eat up some credits by spending more time in the county awaiting final sentencing. The evaluation seems to be written from the perspective of CAN the inmate be housed in prison whether than IF the inmate should be housed in prison. I've had a couple of reports where the primary report writer seemed like they wanted to say a few nice things, but the person supervising the report seemed to be calling the shots and redirected the focus of the report.
Given the original poster's comments, it appears that much depends on luck of the draw when a report writer is assigned.



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Originally Posted by W8NG4MYLOVE View Post
My husband was not ordered by the court to get an evaluation. However, I feel that I would have been very helpful for him to have been evaluated, because i feel that alot of his violent behavior stems from other problems, one being his alcohol abuse, but I feel that he may have some mental disorders as well, that escalate with his substance abuse. Can he ask for an evaluation, if he took a plea bargain, and is already doing time in the prison? Thanks
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:26 PM
nickanine nickanine is offline
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My fiance was sent to SQ for the 90 day observation and I received a letter from him saying that he saw the psychiatrist and it went well. I guess he said that he thought my fiance deserves another chance and he doesn't think he is a career criminal and said he was going to recommend a year program. He asked about his career goals and what he was going to do when he was on probation and said it sounded like he had a good plan, etc.

The judge had been prepared to give him prison time at his last court date, I guess mostly because of his record (it's all drug related/running with one or two theft things on his juvenile...this is his first felony conviction, residential burglary, no one was home), but probation decided they wanted to SOR him and give him a chance to prove himself which changed the judge's mind a little and so he decided to send him on the 90 day. He's never been on formal probation before.

I know it's ultimately up to the judge and there's really no way of telling, but I'm wondering the rate of success with these... Anyone have any experiences they can share?
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:54 PM
Gryphon Gryphon is offline
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It's hard to say from the outside looking in.
For instance, if the Judge was really all set to send him to prison the 90 day diagnostic probably wouldn't have been ordered in the 1st place.
Also, the final report has to be signed off by the interviewer's supervisor. I've seen reports that were turned 180 degrees after the supervisor was finished with revisions.
It is common for inmates to think that the interview went great when in fact the results are horrible. Inmates often aren't the best judges of how it went.
The 90 day observation remains a relatively rare thing to be ordered. When I see it, it's usually a case where the court wants to provide a "taste" of prison and then impose a probation grant, lots of county jail, and often an imposed but stayed CDCR term (aka suspended prison).

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Originally Posted by nickanine View Post
My fiance was sent to SQ for the 90 day observation and I received a letter from him saying that he saw the psychiatrist and it went well. I guess he said that he thought my fiance deserves another chance and he doesn't think he is a career criminal and said he was going to recommend a year program. He asked about his career goals and what he was going to do when he was on probation and said it sounded like he had a good plan, etc.

The judge had been prepared to give him prison time at his last court date, I guess mostly because of his record (it's all drug related/running with one or two theft things on his juvenile...this is his first felony conviction, residential burglary, no one was home), but probation decided they wanted to SOR him and give him a chance to prove himself which changed the judge's mind a little and so he decided to send him on the 90 day. He's never been on formal probation before.

I know it's ultimately up to the judge and there's really no way of telling, but I'm wondering the rate of success with these... Anyone have any experiences they can share?
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  #8  
Old 05-31-2009, 01:11 AM
nickanine nickanine is offline
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Quote:
For instance, if the Judge was really all set to send him to prison the 90 day diagnostic probably wouldn't have been ordered in the 1st place.
That's what I was thinking, why waste the time?

Quote:
Also, the final report has to be signed off by the interviewer's supervisor. I've seen reports that were turned 180 degrees after the supervisor was finished with revisions.
It is common for inmates to think that the interview went great when in fact the results are horrible. Inmates often aren't the best judges of how it went.
That's pretty scary...

Quote:
The 90 day observation remains a relatively rare thing to be ordered. When I see it, it's usually a case where the court wants to provide a "taste" of prison and then impose a probation grant, lots of county jail, and often an imposed but stayed CDCR term (aka suspended prison).
...but that's good to hear.

We're all just hoping for anything but prison. He's willing to do whatever they want in terms of county time, suspended sentence, programs, etc, he just wants a chance to prove himself before prison. Hopefully he gets the chance.


Thanks for all your helpful info!
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2009, 08:09 PM
Gryphon Gryphon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickanine View Post
That's what I was thinking, why waste the time?
To get him as many local credits as possible (because he's returned for a send sentencing hearing), to increase the chance that he might get medical care in prison (because problems can be identified by CDCR staff, and then those reports can be atttached to the local sentencing report and sent to Reception), to increase the chance that he'd end up with better prison housing. There are a few reasons.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:13 PM
nickanine nickanine is offline
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Ohh, I see. Thanks.
Well I hope they are just trying to show him what it's like and give him a chance. Hoping for the best...
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:50 PM
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Well I got a letter from him today saying he spoke with the counselor and that it was VERY quick and he didn't really get to talk much :/ The counselor said he recommends prison 99% of the time over probation...but that he can also recommended the sentence to be suspended if he "finds the right words" to say in the report or something. He recognized that my fiance doesn't have any violence really (at all I think) in his record and it's his first felony so hopefully he'll see fit to do that.

At least I know he'll be coming back in a week or two now probably and I'll get to visit him.

Gryphon, if you happen to read this, we were planning on getting married while he was in county just in case he gets sent to prison to avoid the headache of trying to get it done in prison...would that look bad for his sentencing? I don't want them to think he's resigned himself to being in prison or anything. I'm thinking it's probably best to wait until after the sentencing and see what happens as he probably wouldn't be shipped out too quick... I'm planning on asking his pub. defender her opinion as well but just thought I'd ask.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:17 PM
Gryphon Gryphon is offline
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Frankly, the Judge will look at getting married while in custody as behavior that's just plain odd. How that feeling impacts sentencing is hard to say, but it wouldn't be a huge factor. The biggest drawback is that the judge may question the stability of his relationship with you, since he will view your getting married at the jail as something that is very hard to understand and likely shows symptoms of a troubled relationship.
That's not what you want to hear, of course, but I don't know a Judge who's see it differently than that. The judge will question both of your judgement if he finds out about the jail wedding.
Perhaps ask the defense attorney, who'll no doubt know the judge. I'd agree that being perceived as acting like a con is to be avoided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickanine View Post
Well I got a letter from him today saying he spoke with the counselor and that it was VERY quick and he didn't really get to talk much :/ The counselor said he recommends prison 99% of the time over probation...but that he can also recommended the sentence to be suspended if he "finds the right words" to say in the report or something. He recognized that my fiance doesn't have any violence really (at all I think) in his record and it's his first felony so hopefully he'll see fit to do that.

At least I know he'll be coming back in a week or two now probably and I'll get to visit him.

Gryphon, if you happen to read this, we were planning on getting married while he was in county just in case he gets sent to prison to avoid the headache of trying to get it done in prison...would that look bad for his sentencing? I don't want them to think he's resigned himself to being in prison or anything. I'm thinking it's probably best to wait until after the sentencing and see what happens as he probably wouldn't be shipped out too quick... I'm planning on asking his pub. defender her opinion as well but just thought I'd ask.

Last edited by Gryphon; 06-05-2009 at 08:19 PM..
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:00 PM
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Ok that's good information, thanks so much. I had a feeling it might not look too great, even if it doesn't factor too heavily in sentencing. I'll run it by his PD, but I think we will definitely wait to see what happens at sentencing. My gut was telling me to anyway.

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:25 PM
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Thought I'd post an update in case the info is useful to anyone:

The reports for the 90 day did end up coming back favorable for my fiancee from San Quentin. The psychiatrist recommended no prison and treatment/probation, and the counselor recommend a suspended sentence and probation, the (associate) warden agreed. This changed probation's mind and they ended up changing their recommendation from 6 yrs prison to probation/6 yr suspended sentence/treatment on the updated report.

The judge went along with it except changed the 6yr sentence to 4yrs. So all in all he got a year in county, treatment (doesn't have to stay for the whole yr in county if a bed in rehab becomes available first), 4yr suspended sentence, and 3yrs felony probation.

I'm so relieved!

Thanks to Gryphon and everyone who gave me helpful information. It was very appreciated.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:40 PM
sflores sflores is offline
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Exclamation Please i need advice asap!!

My cousin just recently went in for 90 day diagnostic but heres the thing, the day the psychologist was coming to interview him he was threatened by other inmates, they threatened that if he talked to or cooperated in any way with the psychologist they were going to hurt him or worst, so fearing for his life he had to deny speaking to her which led the psychologist to put him down as uncooperative so when he went to court the judge told him if he was sentenced that day he was going to get 2 years in prison instead of 3 year probation with 1 year of time served, my cousin postponed sentencing to see if he can get his attorney to request another order for the psychology and emotional part of the diagnostic because he couldnt cooperate the first time since he feared for his life. Here is the thing, the happened way back in july and we had been trying so hard to contact his private attorney since then so he could go see him and try and get another court order for the psychology test but the attorney never returned our call in 2 months so when we went to court the judge wasnt aware of what had happened, thats why my cousin asked for his sentencing to be changed to November. Now his attorney is asking us for another $3,000 just so he can try and get the judge to make another court ordered psychology exam. We dont have that money, and we feel the attorney is taking advantage of the situation, if he would have taken the time back in july to contact us or my cousin (the inmate) he would have had more then enough time to at least try and make something happen! We need advice desperately since days fly by and my cousin needs a resolution or guidance on what to do before his court day on 11/5/13!!!
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:36 PM
Gryphon Gryphon is offline
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3000 for a court appearance and a motion is pricey, but it might also include the psych evaluation costs.
If the Defendant can't afford the attroney, he can ask for a Public Defender to step in.
The story about being threatened to not cooperate with the psychologist sounds like BS. I have never heard of such a thing. Still, prison can be an odd place and there is a first time for everything I suppose. The fact taht it wasn't reported until well after the fact sounds suspicious. maybe the defendant has postmarked leters where he was complaining to family?
The defense can hire an expert to prepare a senteencing report in lieu of the non-existent 90 day observation report. There are a few companies that do such things (usually retired parole, prison, or probation officers); or a forensic psychological exam and report could be used for the same purpose. Also, the court could rely on EC 720 and request a non -confidential report that the court pays for, but the defense would have to agree because of the non-confidentiality.



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Originally Posted by sflores View Post
My cousin just recently went in for 90 day diagnostic but heres the thing, the day the psychologist was coming to interview him he was threatened by other inmates, they threatened that if he talked to or cooperated in any way with the psychologist they were going to hurt him or worst, so fearing for his life he had to deny speaking to her which led the psychologist to put him down as uncooperative so when he went to court the judge told him if he was sentenced that day he was going to get 2 years in prison instead of 3 year probation with 1 year of time served, my cousin postponed sentencing to see if he can get his attorney to request another order for the psychology and emotional part of the diagnostic because he couldnt cooperate the first time since he feared for his life. Here is the thing, the happened way back in july and we had been trying so hard to contact his private attorney since then so he could go see him and try and get another court order for the psychology test but the attorney never returned our call in 2 months so when we went to court the judge wasnt aware of what had happened, thats why my cousin asked for his sentencing to be changed to November. Now his attorney is asking us for another $3,000 just so he can try and get the judge to make another court ordered psychology exam. We dont have that money, and we feel the attorney is taking advantage of the situation, if he would have taken the time back in july to contact us or my cousin (the inmate) he would have had more then enough time to at least try and make something happen! We need advice desperately since days fly by and my cousin needs a resolution or guidance on what to do before his court day on 11/5/13!!!
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:21 PM
sierrasurf sierrasurf is offline
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My son 21 was sentenced to a 90 day Diag for a dirty drug. 3 yrs ago when he just turned 18 he was in a high speed chase and got caught with a gun. Since then he went to a 6 month rehab Dec 2014 and when he got out he enrolled in Outpatient rehab. While he was there they found out he was dual diagnosed: had chemical imbalance so needs medication.
What I am in need of help is:
A. what can he expect at Tracy Prison Deuel Vocation Institution (DVI)?
B. what is set up for phone calls? visitation?
C. Most important any information regarding the evaluation process itself? What will be asked? What are they looking for? What criteria will get a Prison recommendation?
D. any thing that might help me as a parent.

God speed to all on this site and even more so for all incarcerated. USA is the worse for prisons. So many other countries do such a much better job w/ our men and women incarcerated.

thanks
sierrasurf
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