April 30,2001

TO: Ted Sakai, Director

VIA: Marian E. Tsuji, DEP-C

Edwin Shimoda, IDA

Nolan Espinda, HCF Warden

Eric Tanaka, HCF Deputy Warden

FROM: Cheryl Zembik, Contract Monitor




Quarterly inspection was done from Tuesday, April 17, to Thursday, April 19, 2001


This is a medium security facility located in Florence, Arizona approximately 45 miles from Phoenix. CCA financed, designed, built and manages the Florence Correctional Facility in Florence and its construction was completed in 2000. The 1,100-bed medium security institution houses adult male offenders from Hawaii and INS female detainees. Presently there, are 557 Hawaii inmates housed at Florence.


The audit team consisted of the following individuals:

Cheryl Zembik, Social Worker IV, Contract Monitor (HCF)

John Martinez., Operations Captain (HCF)

Patrick Kawai, Gang Intelligence Officer (HCF)

Robin, Health Care Manager (HCF)


There were a few concerns from the previous audit as follows:

• Gang activity

• Discrepancies with inmate classifications.

Problems of miscalculations, lack of legible documents, date of misconducts, etc.

• Inmate complaints

Inmate XXXX dissatisfaction with reclassification results. Note: Inmate was given detailed explanation

of classification in a letter in March 2001.

Inmate XXXX possible transport to Hawaii for SOTP

Inmate XXXX request to "max out" in Arizona (Note: Inmate was given a response in writing noting

his request prior to monitoring trip

Problems with inmate phones

Lack of available programs i.e.: substance abuse, SOTP

Inmates XXXX should return to Hawaii (Note: Inmate XXXX recently returned to Hawaii)

• Staffing (Correctional Officers lack of experience)

• Medical issues (Need for medical personnel to monitor)

• Serving of inmate food through a trap door


The inspection team proceeded to the office of Warden Pablo Sedillo where they met the facility team members. The team expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to become involved in the inspection/monitoring process. The formal entry meeting was conducted and the following individuals were in attendance:

Mr. Pablo Sedillo Warden

Mr. Dick Smelser Deputy Warden

Mr. Carl Stansel Chief of Security

Mr. Sanchez Assistant Chief of Security

Mr. Gary Churich Program Manager

It was explained that the goal of the visiting team was to be helpful and assist the facility and staff in all areas of the inspection. The entrance interview began with the introduction of the visiting team and their backgrounds in corrections. The members explained the process to be used during the inspection and informed staff that they would be posted as to the progress of the inspection and any potential problems should they arise. The inspection schedule was also discussed at this time. It was noted that due to the hostile environment female team members would not be touring the facility until it was determined to be safe,


Due to the hostile environment Contract Monitor Cheryl Zembik did not tour the facility.


On this monitoring trip, Captain John Martinez and Sgt. Pat Kawai were involved in monitoring security procedures, They were also involved in obtaining intelligence information regarding an "STG" (Security Threat Group) known as the "USO" (United Samoan Organization). Per reports, this gang is involved with drug trafficking, sex with INS female detainees and violent acts towards staff and other inmates. Please refer to reports completed by Captain Martinez and Sgt. Kawai.

There were six reported cases of inmate assaults and two inmate deaths during the month of April. A riot occurred involving inmates and staff Two staff members were assaulted resulting in one officer to require six stitches. One inmate drank a bottle of cleaning fluid and another claimed to have attempted suicide by hanging. Both inmates were seen by medical personnel and released without further incident. In regards to the suicide attempt, medical staff could not verify that an attempt was made. There were no physical markings noted.


No tour was conducted due to the hostile environment.

Sanitation services are provided by the inmates assigned to worklines under the supervision of facility staff.


The Arizona State Fire Marshal on November 6, 2000 conducted an inspection.


The Pinal County Health Department in January 2001 conducted an inspection.


Initially FCC only offered a Basic Mental Health course to Hawaii inmates. Recently they have implemented Anger/Stress Management, Substance Abuse Level II and Cognitive Skills. In March 2001, education programs were implemented with 33 inmates currently assigned to this program. Substance Abuse Level II has 12 inmates enrolled, 4 drop outs and 15 inmates participating in the In-Cell Hobby Craft Program. Additionally an Electromechanical program was also implemented. The goal is to have 100 inmates participating in these programs. However, due to the limited class size there is a waiting list for inmates to attend.

It should be noted that numerous inmates were either dropped from these classes or refused to participate in their correctional programming.

On March 26, 2001 Hawaii inmates gathered to celebrate Prince Kuhio Day. Approximately 100 inmates participated in live music, cultural dancing and stand-up comedy routines. All inmates were served a special noon time meal with sodas and ice cream.


Due to the hostile environment a tour was not conducted in this area.


Counselors conduct interviews and group meetings to address the inmates’ specific needs. The counselor also does case management work and is scheduled to be in the housing unit several days a week to meet with inmates and maintain communication. There were three counselors for the Hawaii inmate population. FCC recently hired 4 more case managers and 2 unit managers to accommodate the growing inmate population.


Hawaii inmates should receive regular classifications every six months. Special classifications are to be completed when there is a change in custody prior to the scheduled classification such as guilty dispositions for high and greatest misconducts. The case managers assigned to the Hawaii population appeared in need of clarification regarding the reclassification instrument. Inquiries were made regarding a case manager only known as "JB" on reclassifications sent to the Contract Monitor for review. This writer stated that in past reviews of inmate reclassifications there were numerous errors in calculations and documentation of misconducts. In previous conversations with Program manager Gary Churich, it was noted that FCC utilized Hawaii’s classification instrument. At that time it seems that a number of factors contributed to the high error rate i.e.: lack of information, poor calculations, instrument flaws, etc. However, this was easily rectified. This writer was also informed on this visit that case manager "JB" was no longer employed at FCC. this possibly contributed to the decline in error rated in inmate classifications. Program Manger Churich was commended for his staff’s work in resolving some of the discrepancies involving inmate classifications.

Inquiries were made as to the status of inmate XXXX classification. Per a letter from inmate, he did not receive a classification for more than a year. Upon review of inmate’s file, his reclassification was past due. His case manager was instructed by Gary Churich to update his custody status. Upon completion, this writer reviewed the instrument and noted that inmate’s custody decreased from Close to Medium. It should be note that inmate XXXX was informed of his current reduction in custody during an interview by this writer.

It was requested that in the future, copies of incident reports and adjustment hearing dispositions be sent to this writer for review and tracking. In the past, numerous requests were made to no avail. Gary Churich indicated that he would forward copies of pertinent information to this writer.

Shortly, FCC will utilize the classification instrument used by Prairie Correctional Facility.

Questions were raised regarding housing inmates according to custody level. Per Warden Sedillo, he has recently implemented this procedure.


No tour was conducted due to the hostile environment. FCC affords inmates a variety of food products on the Commissary order list. (Refer to Commissary order forms.) Inmates are allowed to purchase $50.00 worth of items from the Commissary.


No tour was conducted due to the hostile environment.

The facility provides employment Opportunities for inmates in all aspects of institutional operations. These worklines include facility maintenance, food service, ground maintenance, laundry, barbershop and recreation. The work experiences gained at this facility afford the inmates the opportunity to obtain marketable job skills and good work ethics.

A Job Board meets every Friday to screen inmate workline requests. The process involves inmate sign-up, job tracking and classification review.


No tour was conducted due to the hostile environment.

Inmates can watch television in their housing units. The facility provides indoor and outdoor exercise areas.


No tour of the Medical Unit was conducted due to the hostile environment. Robyn Kalahiki was assigned to conduct the inspection of the Diamondback’s medical facility. Refer to her attached report for details.

Inquiries were made into inmate XXXX allegation of mistreatment XXXX while in transport to Minnesota from Los Angeles in January 2001. Medical staff provided documentation that in 1996 inmate had XXXX however, there was no record of a complaint of injuries or mistreatment in transit upon arrival at Prairie Correctional Facility in Minnesota. Records indicate that on April 4, 2001, submitted a sick call request. On April 5, 2001, inmate XXXX refused to see medical personnel subsequently canceling his sick call request.


No tour was conducted due to the hostile environment.

Hawaii inmates do utilize the library for recreational and litigation purposes and appear content with materials and literature.

Inmates housed in Segregation receive legal materials through a paging system,


No tour was conducted due to the hostile environment.

The facility has a chapel facility but does not have a chaplain at this time. All religions are recognized at this facility. Volunteers and clergy of various denominations provide religious services and spiritual guidance at the facility. There is a sweat lodge for Native American inmates. Hawaii inmates of various ethnicities have requested access to the sweat lodge. XXXX .


No tour was conducted due to hostile environment. Visits for Hawaii inmates are few. Although Hawaii inmates are afforded visits, very few inmates have had visits.

Segregation inmates are afforded weekly visits on Wednesdays providing it is requested.


No tour was conducted due to the hostile environment.


FCC grievance procedures involve three steps:

1. Informal: To be handled through staff

2. Grievance Officer: Answers grievances unresolved informally

3. Warden: Addresses appeals; decision is final

Hawaii inmates generate numerous grievances. However, the majority of complaints are generated by only a few. There has been an increase in grievances since the transfer of inmates to FCC from Minnesota.


FCC staffing increased by 20 correctional officers graduating from the academy on March 19, 2001. 4 case managers and 2 unit managers. Two more Correctional Officer academies were added consisting of 30 more officers and 5 more Administrative personnel.


Inmate Interviews

The team interviewed numerous inmates throughout the facility. The team heard complaints regarding the hostile environment and fear for their personal safety. Inmates informed the team of a gang (USOS) that formulated and later increased in numbers with the recent transfer of inmates from Minnesota. Recently there have been numerous assaults on inmates and staff resulting in serious injuries and Airvacs to nearby hospitals. Inmates related that staff was not approachable and felt that their needs involving personal safety were not being addressed. Complaints were also noted regarding inmate mistreatment by staff i.e.: threats, racial slurs, etc. However, favored were the recent implementation of programs.

Inmate XXXX had concerns for his personal safety as well as the safety of other inmates and staff. Due to the recent riot and assaults, he fears future acts of violence are inevitable if nothing is done to break up the gang.

Inmate XXXX fears for potential confrontations with "USOS" that may cause him physical harm and potentially deferring his return to Hawaii for Parole. Inmate stated that if confronted by a gang member, he would not "back down."

Inmate XXXX as concerns for his personal safety due to the recent riot and assaults on staff and inmates by gang members. He wants to return to Hawaii to help care for his ailing mother. His recent classification was discussed and that his return home will be deferred until his custody level reduces to Minimum. Then he will be considered for transfer to KCF and placement in SOTP. Inmate stated that he has received letters from Dr. Coyne, but could not produce these documents during the interview.

Inmate XXXX wrote a letter requesting to return to Hawaii to participate in SOTP. However, he did not follow, protocol with Sex Offender Director Dr. Barry Coyne. When it was explained to him, inmate recanted his request to return home for SOTP and opted to remain in Arizona until discharge.

Note: Team members requested to interview inmate XXXX he refused and stated that the team needed to speak to the judge in Hawaii. Since he has written numerous letters regarding his status and objections to be housed in mainland facilities, another request was made by Contract Monitor Cheryl Zembik to interview inmate and address his issues. The response was negative and that I needed to speak to the judge.

Staff Interviews

Due to the hostile environment staff interviews were limited to Cheryl Zembik and Robyn Kalahiki. However, Captain Martinez and Sgt. Kawai did interview numerous security personnel throughout the facility.


The exit interview was conducted in Warden Sedillo’s office. Due to the hostile environment, the focus of the exit interview was on security issues involving gang activity addressed by Captain Martinez and Sgt. Kawai.

Contract Monitor Comments/Recommendations:

During this monitoring trip, it appeared that members of the team appeared frustrated at times due to the hostile environment and inability to conduct a through inspection of FCC. However, even with all the obstacles the members faced, collectively they rose above and persevered and remained objective throughout their assessment.

Florence Correctional Center faces continuous staffing problems, due to competition with other state and federal facilities within the area. Staff appear stressed and reluctant to speak about their work environment for fear of retaliation from administration and inmates. In light of the recent riot inmate death and assaults on staff, the level of tension remains high. It appears that morale is declining along with the frustrations of lack of administrative control within FCC. Staff’s commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for Hawaii inmates appears strained at this time. XXXX

It is recommended that warden Sedillo be given additional support to assist him in maintaining order. One man cannot do it alone. He is like the captain of his ship and willing to go down fighting. If the security of a facility is compromised, every other of monitoring is of little importance.

It is also recommended that the issues of gang involvement be seriously addressed, as it appears many inmates are living in fear. Those not involved in the gang population know that in time they will be approached by these individuals and are afraid to retaliate for fear of the repercussions, i.e.: being seriously injured, possible death, parole being deferred, being labeled as a "rat," etc. With additional support to the staff at FCC, this facility has a chance to obtain the highest level of functioning that is an integral part of CCA’s mission of excellence.

Special note: It has been a learning experience to attempt to monitor a facility in turmoil. However, if not for experiences, good or bad one could not learn and grow. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this team, whose members took their roles seriously and maintained an extreme level of professionalism. This is what is referred to as "teamwork."

State Of Hawaii

Department of Public Safety

Contract Audit Team

Captain John Martinez

Sergeant Patrick Kawai

Cheryl Zembeck, CM

Robyn Kalahiki, CSA


April 16 - 20, 2001



The most interesting interview we had was with inmate XXXX . There was more than reasonable cause to believe that the September 12, 2000, incident was due to Hawaii inmates attempting to make a name for a new prison gang that was formed. The XXXX gang started the incident on September 12, 2000. Since that day we can identify a total of three (3) factions or so called Hawaii prison gangs established in FCC, Arizona.

Today there is only one gang in FCC, Arizona. Inmate XXXX is the leader of the Hawaii gang known as XXXX. All other Hawaii prison gangs were disbanded. Most Hawaii inmates joined freely, others were physically forced to join XXXX. Inmate XXXX and myself had quite a lengthy discussion regard XXXX and their reason for existing. After a while I asked if he fully understood the role he played as the identifiable leader of XXXX. Inmate XXXX responded cool, calm, and collectively, that he would die for XXXX.

Based on the current trip to Arizona, the above appears to has drastically increased. It was discovered that there now appears to be bona fide Security Threat Group, (STG) comprised of Hawaii inmates. They call themselves ‘USOs.’ This STG has become a defiant force in FCC. They are currently responsible for majority (if not all), of the violence and disturbances in FCC. If this issue is not immediately addressed and corrected by Warden Sedillo and his staff, Hawaii will have a serious problem to deal with.

The following are reasons of why the Hawaii contingency believes this issue must be addressed immediately:

1. Hawaii contingency obtained a list of approximately ninety-five members of the USO family. (Thus contradicting the packet received on April 17, 2001 from FCC administration regarding limited gang activity since the September incident.) USOs are causing bodily harm throughout the facility on both inmate and staff

2. Hawaii contingency made aware by "other" Hawaii inmates, that, there is an uneasy feeling and that they feared for their safety. This appears to be an apparent result of the prominent presence of USOs throughout the facility.

3. Recently there appears to be widespread drug introduction into the facility by (FCC) staff members, who are "working" for the USOs. (During our visit we witnessed an FCC staff member openly admit to "bringing in drugs." When questioned why he did this? The staff’s response was "for protection from the USOs."

4. A death occurred recently of one of the USO members. It appears this was due to an attempt to promote or traffic prison contraband (drugs) that went sour (the bags of drugs "busted" in the stomach of the inmate). XXXX

5. Currently it appears that FCC staff lacks the confidence, and experience to effectively deal with this problem. (Warden Sedillo’s administrative team is "new" to the facility. Warden Sedillo cannot do this by himself.)

For additional related information see attached report by Sgt. Kawai.


This appears to be a rather simple solution. Lock the jail down. Identify all the USOs members. Utilize CCA’s SORT team to extract and isolate all USO members (move them one-at-a time).


This allows for the jail to stabilize.

This allows FCC staff a chance to re-enforce awareness and control tactics.

This allows FCC staff to regain a sense of confidence,

This allows FCC policy makers time to review, adjust and implement more strict inmate movement rules.

This allows Hawaii avoidance of liability issues we are about to face, if this is not corrected.

Submitted for your review

John Martinez, Captain

State of Hawaii

Department of Public Safety

Halawa Correctional Facility

Contract Monitoring Trip

Florence Correctional Center

April 16-20, 2001

To: HCF Warden Nolan Espinda

Via: Operations Captain John Martinez

From: Gang Intelligence Investigations Sergeant Patrick Kawai

Subject: Summary of identified Security Threat Group (STG) at Florence Correctional Facility (FCC)

Subsequent to the de-briefing held in Warden Espinda’s office on Monday, April 23, 2001 and the obvious problems created by the STG known as the "USO Family" at FCC; the following report is what was established concerning the monitoring trip to Florence, Arizona, specifically with the STG "USO Family":

The monitoring team that was sent to FCC consisted of the following members:

Captain John Martinez

Sergeant Patrick Kawai

RN Robyn Kalahiki

CM Cheryl Zembik

Although the above-mentioned auditors were there to inspect different areas of the facility it was found that the "USO Family" was an aspect of all areas of the facility.

What is Known: The "USO Family" or United Samoan Organization appears to be the prominent STG identified at FCC. XXXX I was not aware of exactly how powerful this STG has become until my arrival at Arizona and FCC itself.

Referring to the September 12, 2000 riot that bad occurred at FCC it had appeared that there might have been a riot for power between up and coming STG’s. The STG’s identified at the time were "Thugs for Life," "War Party," and "The USO Family." At present time I believe that the smaller STG’s have been filtered out and The USO Family is the STG in control of the facility.

This STG has approximately 100-plus members that control the trafficking, use, sale of illicit drugs, making and use of "swipe," sex with INS female offenders, and violent acts to inmates as well as staff. This group has at least one member on each workline in the facility and this person is very instrumental in getting other members on the worklines. The significance in this is that when a member of the USO family wants a job on a certain workline the member currently employed on that specific workline will "arm" or threaten the other non-member workers into quitting so that their other players can get the jobs. We’ve identified much of the USO family’s players by their "monikers" or gang names (see attached). Although at present time all players names are not known we are actively working on positively identifying the players by cross referencing with FCC officials as well as our own department’s officials.

It is known that every recent major assault that happened was related to the USO family. These incidents involved both inmates as well as staff. Every interview that was performed by myself as well as Captain Martinez with inmates at FCC mentioned or otherwise acknowledged that the USO family does in fact exist.

While at FCC at least a five-gallon bucket of "swipe" was discovered approximately 15-17 feet above the kitchen floor where they prepare meals for the population. The bucket was discovered directly above the kitchen’s refer door. Inmate XXXX openly admitted that he was drunk off of swipe that was prepared in the kitchen when he assaulted the officers and other inmates while in the Recreation yard on April 11, 2001.

Inmates openly communicate with the females while out in the recreation yard. XXXX It was found that inmate XXXX was communicating with a female inmate when he got assaulted by a known USO family member. Quite possibly for communicating with a female inmate without permission from the USO family.

What was observed: During my first observations of the facility, which occurred on the the very first night, XXXX The general atmosphere appeared tense and hostile. The officers that I observed wear no restraints on their person should the need occur to restrain a hostile inmate. I never once while at FCC observed an officer frisk search or strip search an inmate. I never once observed an officer go through any inmate’s property, or search anything an inmate was carrying. The lack of these simple security measures allows for more passing of contraband. Furthermore, it would appear that the inmates have no fear to transport anything on their person.

Movements are made on the hour and in great numbers with lack of personnel on the floor, allowing the inmates to "cluster" in the halls, making it difficult for the officers to control and observe possible passing of contraband. Officers in the pods do not know where any one inmate is at any given time of the day.

During our meetings I felt as though our counterparts at the facility were being careful of what they were disclosing and generally had the feeling that they were withholding information from us. The packet that I had requested for a week prior was not completed when we arrived and was done very poorly. In my opinion the packet was just a pacifier, to have something to give to us but of little use to us. The inmates had more information than we did.


XXXX The officers’ fear of the Hawaii inmates. Warden Sedillo’s administration pointed that out to us. An officer admitted to bringing in marijuana to us because he was afraid of the Hawaii inmates and traded drugs for protection.

XXXX We have identified approximately 100 plus inmates that represent approximately 20 percent of that facility’s Hawaii inmate population.

The inmates at FCC do in fact know that a bona fide prison "gang" or STG truly does exist. Some are joining the USO family just to be protected by it. Other innocent non-members are simply just getting beat on for no reason at all. All in all, the USO family does exist and is creating great tension in the general population of the facility and it is this tension that may explode into a full blown riot. Inmates are afraid in FCC and, I have had more than one inmate come up to me and request to return to Hawaii or to move to another facility just to get away from the USO family.

At this point we know that the USO family runs the facility. During an interview with inmate XXXX we asked him what would happen if he wouldn’t intervene in some incidents. His reply was simply, "they would bum this place down." With the control that this STG has, I could not doubt his claims.

Suggestions: Some immediate suggestions to deal with this STG:


The officers need to be trained better and exercise that training daily. I also believe that possibly a class in Hawaiian culture and "slangs" may be helpful. Give the officers more confidence by making them work in numbers, one pod or even one cell at a time. WEED OUT THE DIRTY OFFICERS

-Divide to Conquer

Dividing the STG group is feasible. Take away the predators from the population to run the facility harmoniously. Make an example of this group to make known that this type of activity will not be tolerated.

-Give the Warden some help

A team can be sent up to FCC to act as a liaison to the Warden and assist in carrying out the plan. Allow the Warden to run and direct the facility from the Warden’s desk and not the officers.

-Separate the predators from the prey

Separation of custody levels needs to be enforced. The lower custody level inmates are getting "armed" into doing illicit activity by the STG.


Need to be more restricted and controlled. Allowing the STG to cluster and congregate only gives them more power and authority. They have strength in numbers.

Conclusion: The monitoring team has identified FCC as a hostile environment due to the presence of the STG USO family. This group has grown quickly and to great numbers. Their power and control is getting bigger and bigger. We need to actively take our role to dissipate this group now. The State may be held liable in the future by actions done by this group.

Attachments: Attached you will find the following that was collected by our monitoring team:

Attachment A—Summary of the gang or STG activity prepared by FCC

Attachment B—Hierarchy of the USO family leaders

Attachment C—List of Monikers or gang names provided by FCC

Attachment D—List of Monikers or gang names provided by inmate XXXX

Attachment E—Summary of the workings of the USO family provided by inmate XXXX

Submitted for your perusal and use.

By Sergeant Patrick K. Kawai







May 6, 2001

TO: Ted Sakai, Director

Marian Tsuji, Dep-C


Christi Keliipio, CSBA

FROM: Robyn Kalahiki, CSA


1. Purpose

a. Contract compliance-No ACA or NCCHC accreditation at this visit.

b. Preparedness for accreditation-No documentation available upon request per Warden Sedillo. NO Health Care Administrator available. Charge nurse unsure of progress regarding accreditation due to recent employment.

c. Solution-Warden Sedillo to fed-ex all available documentation regarding upcoming ACA accreditation within 1 (one) week of my return.

2. Patient Interviews






3. Chart Reviews




4. Critical Incidents during April 2001














6. Conclusion

Alarming number of serious assaults in a one-month period. Concern is raised when discuss personal patients refrain from voicing medical concern, and instead choose to safety issues. I was disappointed by the lack of readily available information regarding ACA/NCCHC accreditation.

7. Recommendations

a. Increased and much improved communication between FCC and FSD/HCAO related to injuries, incidents and follow-up care,

b. Appointment of a medical contact person to join the current FCC monitoring team to handle all incidents, and medical concerns. Currently the CHCA handles the approval of all off site service requests. These requests should include a copy of the actual incident documentation.

c. FCC to contact the leader of the monitoring team anytime an incident occurs, and the leader should contact the necessary discipline involved for information sharing as well as action planning.

d. Information sharing between team members to track trends, and make recommendations,

8. Conclusion

Thank you for this rare opportunity. I was not able to do as much as I had planned to do because of the obvious security risk, but I was able to accomplish several important items on my agenda. Again, I was alarmed by the number of critical assaults, and deaths that took place just before and right after we left. I was very disappointed with the lack of readily available information. I will submit an additional report once I review the documentation that I requested from Warden Sedillo.

Captain Martinez is an excellent contract monitor and took every precaution necessary to ensure the team’s safety, We were indeed in the middle of a hostile situation, but he along with Sgt. Kawai made every effort to help us do what we were sent to do. I found that information sharing between disciplines (ie: medical, residency, security, etc.) allowed our team to piece together many seemingly unrelated incidents.

Overall, a very productive and unforgettable experience. Again, thank you.

State of Hawaii

Department of Public Safety

Arizona Contract Monitoring Trip

Florence Correctional Center

April 29-May 3, 2001


To: HCF Warden Nolan Espinda

Via: Operations Captain John Martinez

From: Gang Intelligence/Investigation Sergeant Patrick Kawai

Subject: Follow-up report of Florence Correctional Center (FCC) in retrospect to contract monitoring trip

Upon arrival at FCC Monday April 30, 2001 approximately 0800 hours, Captain Martinez and myself met with Warden Pablo Sedillo to discuss the actions that he and his staff were taking to address the known problem of the identified Security Threat Group known as the "USO Family." Warden Sedillo first stated that the facility was and has been on lockdown status following the death of inmate Kia, John. He added that inmate XXXX had been transferred to another Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) facility. During the lockdown period his staff had conducted "sweeps" of the facility at which time known players of the USO Family had been separated from the general population and sent to the segregation unit.

Warden Sedillo stated that a select team of CCA officials as well as a corrections solutions specialists contracted by the CCA were en route to assist in addressing the STG problem at FCC. Warden Sedillo and his staff were making a conscious decision to address the STG problem. He requested some feed back as to what we would like to see accomplished during this trip and any input we could give to resolve the STG problem at FCC. Captain Martinez and myself offered suggestions made known in our previous after action report of the FCC. Upon arrival it was found that the CCA officials were their corporation’s peak officials and experts on STGs.

It was determined that due to the length of the lockdown period all Hawaii inmates should be addressed at which time they will be told of their expectations. This was done by both Hawaii and CCA officials, namely Captain Martinez and Warden Sedillo, to express the combined efforts of halting the STGs activities. The inmates were told that the lockdown would be lifted progressively where movements were going to be more controlled. During the next days that followed many interviews and assessments of the inmates and facility were made. Captain Martinez, Warden Sedillo and myself worked closely as a team while the CCA officials worked amongst themselves in small teams and we would meet to brief each other of our findings.

Summarizing the week’s activities, much of the suggestions made during the initial trip to FCC were honored. The divide to conquer theory was initiated where "violent" USO Family members were being segregated from population. From the numbers of this group we identified many of the violent players who were segregated. However, there were many members that were passive and involved in the group by intimidation. This group was allowed to stay in population and will be monitored of any illicit activity: The program monitor Gary Churich addressed the issue of separating inmates by their custody levels. We expressed very clear and grave concerns with this issue. Stressing the fact that we cannot combine the "predator and the prey." The movements at the present time are restricted and in the future are going to be monitored more closely giving FCC staff the ability to identify where inmates are at any given time.

While at FCC Captain Martinez and myself endorsed and taught a cultural diversity class to the staff and officers of all watches on Wednesday May 2. 2001. I believe that the STG problem at FCC has a lot to do with the misunderstandings and differences in culture from the Hawaii inmates and staff at FCC. Hawaii inmates are using these misunderstandings to promote conflicts with the rules. Stating issues of religion and culture to sway officers from enforcing rules. However, the tactics of some officers may be questionable. Many inmates have expressed that they have been called "beach niggas" by staff. Warden Sedillo was made aware of this term and stated that he did not know of this term, and would not tolerate his staff using this term. Warden Sedillo is still actively pursuing "dirty officers" hoping to prosecute anyone caught with criminal charges.

In conclusion, Warden Sedillo, his staff and, CCA officials are addressing the STG problem at FCC. Providing a safe and humane environment for all inmates at FCC is the main concern for him at this time.

Submitted for your information,

By Sergeant Patrick K. Kawai May 7, 2001

State of Hawaii

Department of Public Safety

Arizona and New Mexico monitoring trip

Florence Correctional Center and Torrance County Detention Facility

June 4-8, 2001

To: Warden Nolan Espinda

Via: Operations Captain John Martinez

From: Gang Intelligence/Investigations Sergeant Patrick Kawai

Subject: Follow-up after action report

Date: June 13, 2001

Florence Correctional Center

On Monday, June 4, 2001 at approximately 2200 hours, Captain Martinez, CM Cheryl Zembik, and myself arrived at Florence Correctional Center where a Captain Goddard greeted us and notified his superiors. Captain Martinez made reference to our initial trip and our late night tour of the facility and expressed that we wanted to tour and get a "feel" of the facility. Captain Goddard stated that he notified his warden of our arrival and the warden would be at the facility shortly, however, we were welcomed to begin our tour of the facility. As we breached the crash door to the main hall I observed fresh paint and paintings on the walls. Paintings were of Hawaii scenic views and underwater scenes giving the facility a homely feel. While on tour I observed minimal movement in the facility and inmates were confined to their respective pods. However, I counted at least six hall porters stripping the wax off the floors in preparation to re-wax, this issue of inmates working at that late hour has been brought up in the past. We continued into Delta pod and conversed with some inmates. Shortly thereafter Warden Frank Luna arrived on the scene and introduced himself to us.

After our introductions Warden Luna proceeded to escort us through the facility and spoke of his intentions for the facility. He continued to showcase the changes he implemented at the facility; such changes were the relocation of the warehouse, new program rooms, including a computer room, and chapel. In conclusion of the tour I was impressed by Warden Luna’s sincere desire to eradicate past practices by Warden Sedillo and improve on the communication between the State of Hawaii Department of Public Safety and Corrections Corporation of America. Although the movement of 41 known USO Family STG members was implemented it is believed that many members are still at Florence Correctional Center. However, it was conveyed by Warden Luna that no STG affiliation would be tolerated. He stated that approximately 7 inmates identifying themselves with "808" tattoos and markings on their identification cards were immediately placed in segregation, enforcing their zero tolerance philosophy relating to STG affiliation.

During the course of the next day while going through the facility XXXX I admired the way that Warden Luna handled his administrative staff and also the speed at which what was requested for was delivered. Warden Luna addressed much of our concerns however, while discussing our demands that inmates be segregated by custody levels, Warden Luna brought to our attention his desire to put into effect the "Quay" system. Warden Luna has stated that this system has been effective while implemented in past facilities that he was employed at. This system supposedly separates and classifies inmates by their behavior. This system needs to be evaluated by department staff to see if this classification system is feasible for the Hawaii population in Florence. Warden Luna has just arrived at Florence and is still implementing his administration however; I have confidence that he will conduct business with the greatest professionalism.

Torrance County Detention Facility

On Thursday, June 7, 2001 at approximately 1000 hours, our team arrived at Torrance County Detention Facility and met with Warden Taylor, Assistant Warden Rhoades and Chief French. Shortly thereafter, we proceeded to tour the facility visiting program areas and the pod where the Hawaii population is housed. The facility appears to be more established than Florence and our inmates are housed in a very secured unit. We then toured the recreation area at which time I noticed and brought to the attention of Warden Taylor "USO Fam" monikers on the recreation walls. I expressed to the Warden again the reason why the 41 inmates were there and suggested that the monikers be removed from the walls. He agreed and stated that they would be removed or covered over as soon as possible, He also added that his staff will be directed to observe the recreation yards prior to the start of recreation and observed once again upon completion of recreation. Any inmate identified as tagging a wall will be charged accordingly and a packet will be generated on that inmate. We then went to the pod where inmates XXXX to speak with both inmates. XXXX

Submitted for your information

By Sergeant Patrick Kawai

State of Hawaii

Department of Public Safety

Contract Audit Team

Captain John Martinez

Sergeant Patrick Kawai

CSW Cheryl Zembeck



June 4, 2001 - June 6, 2001



June 6, 2001 - June 8, 2001

After Action Report

I would like to emphasize at the beginning of this report that the traveling involved for this assignment detracted from the actual time needed in each facility to fulfill a more complete audit of both facilities. However both Warden Frank Luna, of Florence Correctional Center, Arizona, and Warden Ernest Taylor of Torrance County Detention Center, New Mexico, led me to believe that they are both dedicated individuals and both very involved in the actual monitoring of the Hawaii inmates.

Both wardens impressed me with their prior correctional experience and their direct knowledge of safety and security and the private sector. During our visit, in-depth discussions were held regarding the efforts CCA is making to make improvements. The Hawaii based audit team are especially concerned with the current state of the prisons due to the detection of what appeared to be Hawaii’s first bona fide prison gang, the ‘USO’ family. (See April 30 - May 3, 2001 After Action Reports)


During this trip the following issues were discussed:

Reporting of major incidents.

1. During transport of Forty (40) Hawaii inmates from Arizona to New Mexico on May 18, 2001/Approximately 1015 hours, PST

Upon being questioned by the Hawaii contingency both FCC and TCDC failed to have conclusive details or answers regarding the disturbance which occurred during the transport of Hawaii inmates from FCC to TCDC. It appears there were two FCC staff members assigned to the transport in addition to SORT members from CCA’s Central Arizona Facility. Hawaii was afforded vague preliminary reports of the incident to which chemicals were introduced to quell the situation. Additionally Warden Luna asserts there was video capacity during the transport, no video documentation is available for Hawaii’s review. It appears details are vague at best. Additional inquires regarding the entire transport are requested


a) Why was Inmate XXXX included in this transport? It appears he did not fit the requirements of an STG.

b) Why was inmate XXXX included in the transport? XXXX

(During our visit to TCDC, inmate’s XXXX mother and wife requested to speak to us. Ms. XXXX was adamant and very vocal regarding the safety and welfare of her son. She also asserted she has a very reliable source at Halawa providing her with "inside" information regarding the mainland. She questioned why is New Mexico approved to house Hawaii inmates without a contract? She also questions why did Mr. Ted Sakai blatantly approve for her son to be moved to New Mexico from Arizona with the USOs, indicating Mr. Sakai is very aware of the problems her son faces from the USOs? She asserts Mr. Sakai knowingly has compromised her son thus putting his life in danger.)

2. Rec. Yard Disturbance/April 11, 2001

During this incident preliminary reports indicate two high ranking FCC officers were assaulted. Inmate V. Oritz seriously injured. Twenty-three (23) inmates involved. XXXX

Again reports are vague and no video documentation available for review. (Note: On our last trip to FCC, Sgt. Kawai and myself witnessed two videocassettes of the incident on Warden Sedillo’s desk. It was affirmed that a copy of the tapes would be forwarded to department for review.)

3. Inmate John KIA expires/April 26, 2001. Approximately 0145 hours.



4. Inmates are indicating FCC is covering up chain of events leading, up to Iuali Amani’s death.

CCA must improve in this area.

Reference: State of Hawaii

Agreement of Services

Date: July 13, 1998

24. Security and Control (a & d)

25. Use of Force (d)

35. Discipline (Contractor)

36. Urinalysis Program

Health Care

A walk through of FCC’s Health Care Section was conducted. Health Care Administrator Brenda indicated the Health Care unit is grossly understaffed. She reported FCC did not have the following medical personnel:

a. Eight (8) nurses

b. One (1) Medical Assistant

c. One (1) Psyche Worker

d. One (1) Pharmacist Technician

e. Two (2) Mental Health Clinical Specialists

f. One (1) Administrative Assistant

g. One (1) Medical Records Clerk

Warden Luna indicated he was actively pursuing filling some of these positions.

Reference: State of Hawaii

Agreement of Services

Date: July 13, 1998

Relating to Health Care

49. General Provisions

50. Licensed Health Care Staff


Hawaii inmates are still complaining of the lack of programs offered at FCC. Sex Offenders are not afforded treatment to fulfill HPA requirements. Warden Luna has indicated he just hired a chaplain for religious programs. He has also created a hobby shop for the Hawaii inmates. He has also instilled more recreation time as another way of occupying inmate’s time. He has moved the building maintenance shop to what he believes is a more secured location He is also working on changing the logistics of the female rec. yard.


Reference: State of Hawaii

Agreement of Services

Date: July 13, 1998

33. Religious Programs

40. Programs

Parole Hearing

While visiting New Mexico, inmates stated they missed their IPA hearings.

Warden Taylor is currently working on securing videoconference capabilities.

Reference: State of Hawaii

Agreement of Services

Date: July 13, 1998

43. inmate Participation in Telephonic Hearings.


Hawaii inmates have complained flat the classification process used by FCC is unfair and not reasonable. Inmates who received minimum status here in Hawaii are now considered Close Custody. Warden Luna has suggested the QUAY System as a classification process.

Reference: State of Hawaii

Agreement of Services

Date: July 13, 1998

37. Custody Re-classification

Urinalysis Program

FCC is not providing a random UA program. Warden Luna has assured this will be incorporated ASAP.

Reference: State of Hawaii

Agreement of Services

Date: July 13, 1998

36. Urinalysis Program


Inmate XXXX writes a letter to the department claiming to have been mistreated by members of the transporting SORT team. I interviewed inmate XXXX. He continues to claim that he was mistreated during the transport. He asserts that excessive force was used and not warranted. He also asserts he did not meet the requirements to have been transported to New Mexico. He is not a "gang member."

Inmates XXXX was interviewed. He continues to claim his life is in danger. He fears an attack by the USOs is inevitable.

Inmate XXXX feels he is being targeted by Arizona because his mother made a compliant. He also shared Halawa Administration is behind all this.

Inmate XXXX appears to be a mental heft concern. He has been involved in two assaults recently. Warden Luna and myself interviewed him regarding the most recent assault. He was speaking "bubbles."

Inmate XXXX was put into disciplinary segregation for alleged attempting to strike and threatening an officer. Chemicals introduced by Sgt. XXXX Reports are very vague. Inmate XXXX claims CO XXXX is out of control and provoked the entire incident. Investigation tainted by inaccurate statement by XXXX. Grievance filed by XXXX unanswered.

Inmate XXXX suffered a seizure. Officer XXXX takedown inmate XXXX. Officer XXXX cuffs inmate while suffering a seizure. Again an inmate states Officer XXXX out-of-control.

Inmate XXXX asserts excessive force used by SORT officers.

Inmates report that inmate XXXX was introduced to chemicals by Sgt. XXXX.

Inmate XXXX requested clarification on Restricted Account. Inmates have no monies in spendable account but need hygiene items. Requested exception made for these items.

Inmates claim alleged illicit activities conducted by Officer XXXX. (Warden Luna informed.)


CCA must meet all contract agreement terms.

The Hawaii audit team does feel there has been improvement made by CCA. Warden Luna made emphasis on his style of management being fair but firm. Feedback from most Hawaii inmates regarding the state of the prison was positive (noting in particular the presence of Warden Luna).

A better communication line between FCC, TCDC and SOH must be considered a priority for success. Timeliness, Complete & Truthful reporting of major incidents also critical.

It appears a few of FCC staff members and CCA SORT members are conducting business in a less than professional manner. These individuals should be addressed immediately.

Medical staffing issues are urgent and must be addressed immediately.

Programs needs must be met.

Random UA’s required. SOH must be kept formally informed.

It appears FCC should utilize PSD’s classification process to stay consistent with Hawaii. Additionally Hawaii inmates are accustomed and knowledgeable to this process.

Department consideration for following inmate moves:

1. XXXX appeared to have established enemies throughout the Hawaii population. Warden Luna feels if released to general population it may create an unsafe environment. Either he’ll get hurt or he’ll hurt someone.

2. XXXX should be considered for movement back to Hawaii due to possible Mental Health issues.

3. XXXX should be considered for movement. Safety and Welfare concerns.

4. XXXX cannot be moved back to FCC. Rumor has it that the non USOs inmates will "hit" him. Safety and Welfare concerns.

Submitted for your perusal.

By Captain John Martinez

Arizona/New Mexico Contract Audit Team