Legal Ruling Against Non-Designated Program Facilities (NDPFs)
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has historically separated General Population (GP) prisoners from Sensitive/Special Needs Yards (SNY) for safety and security. Traditionally those who were convicted of high notoriety crimes, or who suffered “past victimization” or those who were informants or former Security Threat Group affiliates were housed on SNY. Yet, over time, the SNY population skyrocketed to the point of overcrowding. SNY facilities became increasingly violent, stigmatizing those “sensitive needs” designations.
To address this, CDCR developed Non-Designated Program Facilities (NDPFs) – an inclusive housing model created supposedly to mitigate stigma and allegedly help promote and advance CDCR’s rehabilitative objectives. One brave brother filed a “writ of mandate” with the California Supreme Court for Sacramento County on 30 September 2022 ordering the CDCR to immediately cease and halt reintegrating “sensitive needs” prisoners into general population, and from transferring GP prisoners to Non-Designated Program Facilities.
I am one of many prisoners housed in Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg), solitary confinement and have been written up and now face receiving additional time and will risk being transferred to a higher security level hundreds of miles from my family. My RVR (write up) reads that i am an immediate threat to the safety of self and others and that I “endanger institution security.” Since me refusing to house on a NDPF isn’t sufficient enough to retain me in Ad-Seg lock up, now the officers are claiming that i told them that i would assault their child molesters on NDPF yard.
The court found CDCR Secretary Kathleen Allison’s enforcement of the NDPF policy in violation of the APA (the Administrative Procedures Act). Therefore the policy is an “underground regulation” that is void, entitling Villarreal to relief. The court granted his requested writ and prohibited Allison and CDCR from furthering and implementing the policy until “properly” adopted by the APA. see: Villarreal v. Allison, Cal. Super (City of Sacramento) Case NO. 34-2021-80003779.
So Allison has a non-discretionary duty to refrain from implementing the uncodified NDPF Policy, the APA mandates that “the rulemaking agency must comply with the law’s provisions” or the rule is void.
So here we have a victory. Thank you brother Israel Villarreal! Without struggle and sacrifice there can be no progress nor advancement. Allison is specifically required to examine and study prisoners before classifying them, the court said, but the NDPF Policy is analogous to the classification scheme in Stoneham v. Rushen (1982) 137 Cal. App. 3d pg 729. where prisoners successfully challenged an uncodified classification system as an invalid underground regulation.