Preston School of Industry

Summary

The Grand Jury visited Preston School of Industry on September 25, 1997 to review its operation and security. Part of the reason for the visit was to review the progress toward completing the recommendations of the previous Grand Jury. The Grand Jury concluded that the staff intends to comply with the recommendations from last year’s Grand Jury.

Findings

    1. The institution is clean and well maintained. The lodgings for the wards are exceptionally clean.
    2. The California Youth Authority (CYA) provides education leading to a GED and some vocational training.
    3. The fence recommended by the 1996/97 Grand Jury is in the state’s budgetary process. Construction is pending approval of the budget request.

Conclusions

    1. Preston intends to construct the fence recommended by the 1996-97 Grand Jury upon approval of their budget request. The staff implemented all other recommendations of the 1996/97 Grand Jury.

Recommendations

None

Comment Requirements

None

Authority to Investigate

Penal Code Section 919(b) provides that the Grand Jury shall inquire into the condition and operation of public prisons within the county. As required by Penal Code Section 916, at least twelve Grand Jurors voted to review the operations of Preston School of Industry.

Method of Review

Members of the Grand Jury conducted interviews with the following people:

Members of the Grand Jury also visited the facility.

Background

Preston is located in Ione. Established late in the last century as a school for truant boys, Preston is now a prison for youthful offenders. Sentenced for felony convictions and referred to as wards, these offenders range in age from 14 to 25 years. The CYA operates Preston.

Preston has a staff of approximately 500. The staff supervises the training, education, and discipline of 830 wards at Preston School of Industry.

During its review of the prison, the 1996/97 Grand Jury found several security problems. This jury noted these issues in its’ report. Because of its findings, the jury concluded these issues created security problems. The 1996-97 Grand Jury recommended three improvements to improve security at this facility. These recommendations were:

The staff at Preston agreed with these recommendations. In their response to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, they indicated that:

During its visit, the 1997/98 Grand Jury found all but the fence completed.

Supplementary Information

1996/97 Amador County Grand Jury Report