Valley State Prison Inmate Family Council 

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NEWSY NOTES

A note from staff RE:  AC in Family Visit Unit 1 & 4

FV Unit 4 AC unit is working. However, I was informed yesterday that FV Unit 1 AC unit may need to be service and a work order was placed.  In addition, I spoke with maintenance staff  yesterday and currently the unit is working. Additionally, I spoke with staff regarding potential causes, I was then informed by staff that if the AC is running while having the doors open to the outside.  This will keep the cool air inside the room and keep the temperature moderate. In addition to cooling efficiency, leaving the door open will also put stress on the air conditioner. This is because the open door let’s warm air inside. This extra stress may cause the air conditioner to become faulty prematurely.  As a result the unit is freezing over.  Air conditioners work best by cooling air in confined spaces, and open doors are areas either let cool, conditioned air drift outside or bring in hot air from the outdoors.  Please inform the visitors that although their visit is temporary, they play a vital role in maintaining the upkeep for future families. So each visitor may be able to connect with their love ones strengthening family relationships for inmates and their families.  

posted 06-18-2019

THIS HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION ONCE AGAIN BY THE OFFICER AT THE GATE.  

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES.  THANKS!!!



You will not be allowed on prison grounds until 8:00 a.m.   You can wait at places such as Pilot Travel Center at Hwy. 99 and Ave. 18 1/2, Jack-in-the Box at Hwy. 99 and Ave. 24, Starbuck's at Hwy. 99 and Robertson Blvd., McDonald's also at Hwy. 99 and Robertson Blvd and Carl's Jr. behind McDonald's.

Please read updated Visiting OP manual below regarding the procedure for entering prison grounds no earlier than 8:00 a.m.

reposted 05-18-2019

May 17, 2019 - IFC Officers were nominated today, they are as follows:


Sage S. - Chair

Angela H. - Co-Chair

Amy M. - Secretary

Pat S. - Webmaster


Please give these ladies a warm welcome.  If you have an issue please be respectful and do not interrupt their visit with their loved one.  Find a convenient time to approach them with your concerns or post a message here on the web under "contact me."  A big thank you to Kim W. who has been our trustworthy Chair for the past three plus years.  If you would like to join the IFC please fill out a form (under the IFC glass window in Visitor Processing) and place in the mailbox (also under the glass.)  You can also download a form on this site and scan it to "contact me." 

Lt. Barksdale is now the PIO, so please welcome Lt. Guthery that has replaced Lt. Barksdale in Visitor Processing.

posted 05-17-2019

There has been a lot of concern over vending price increases.  

Attached is a letter sent from the IFC to DOR (Department of Rehabilitation.)

April 17, 2019


Luis Rodriguez

2550 Mariposa Mall, Room 2000

Fresno, CA 93721-2270


Re: Adam’s Vending Price Increases


Dear Mr. Rodriguez,


Recently, Adam’s Vending posted a Notice of Price Increase effective 4/20/19. This increase is the 3rd one in the last year and is causing concern from families over the affordability of visiting their loved one at Valley State Prison.


Over the last six years, VSP IFC has worked with Adam’s Vending and Department of Rehab to reduce the costs to the families in visiting. In late 2014/early 2015, VSP IFC, VSP Administration, Department of Rehab BEP representative and Adam’s Vending met to discuss the concerns of families and prices of items. The VSP IFC presented documentation regarding vending markups and the costs of a visit from data obtained from families at VSP and other facilities. The results showed 59% of the families had an annual income of less than $30,000. On a scale from 1 – 5 with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest score, the overall vending experience was rated at 2.14.

Department of Rehab BEP staff was given survey results and comments from families. This information was reviewed and prices were reduced and held steady until March 2018. Since March 2018, there have been three new price increases including the one effective 4/20. Adam’s Vending notices have tried to explain the rationale behind the increases. Below is a list of questions based on the reasons for the price increases.


  1. Each increase is in 25 cent increments. Since VSP participates in cashless vending, we do not understand why increases are not smaller amounts. 
  2. Vehicle costs to deliver items to the visiting areas. At VSP, Adam’s Vending gave up the Snack Bar and only services the vending machines. If this cost is detrimental to Adam’s Vending and causing expenses to be passed to the families, perhaps the vending contract should be given to the Vendor running the Snack Bar at VSP who would not incur these additional costs.
  3. Adam’s Vending states they have had significant cost increases. IFC requested copies of Adam’s Vending Monthly Operating Reports (MOR) from December 2018, January and February 2019. When we have questioned these in the past, we were told they were not Profit and Loss statements. However, BEP website states these are Profit and Loss reports. We would like to review these with you so we can obtain a better understanding of the reasons for price increases. For example, December shows a net income of $46,000, January $20,000 and February $16,000. Even though these are declining, they are still very healthy for a business.
  4. Cashless Vending card purchases and amounts on the cards are not reflected in the MOR. Adam’s Vending has monies not reported as income. Is there anywhere that shows the amount put on the cards and the amounts not spent? For example, each card has a $2.50 value that is to be refunded when the card is turned in. Therefore, if cards are lost or not submitted for refunds, Adam’s Vending receives unearned income.


The last item we would like to address is customer satisfaction with Adam’s Vending. To measure the satisfaction/dissatisfaction another Vending Survey was conducted in August/September of 2018. Annual income for families in the less than $30,000 bracket dropped to 33%. However, the amount spent on each visit in the less than $40 doubled from 18% in 2014 to 36% in 2018. The overall vending experience increased to 2.39 from 2.14 in 2014. Comments were very negative and similar to the 2014 results. Most businesses could not survive with these scores. Copies of the results are included with this letter.


Families are very dissatisfied with prices, variety and quality of food. We, VSP IFC would like to schedule a meeting with you and your supervisor, Mr. Adams and VSP Administration to address these concerns.


Sincerely,

Kim Wallace

VSP IFC Chair


cc: Lt. Barksdale, VSP AA/PIO

S. Pottratz, VSP Correctional Business Manager I

Thank you so much for all of you that participated with your input.

posted 04-27-2019

Staff continues to receive numerous checks/money orders that are not in compliance with the attached. 
Failure to adhere to this notice may result in the disallowance of funds.  

California Code of Regulations

Title 15 Section 3140 Funds Enclosed in Correspondence


Subsection 3140 (a)(1) states:


“The personal check, money order, cashier’s check, certified check, or any other negotiable instrument shall be made payable to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation with the inmates last name and departmental identification number. This information, along with the sender’s name and address, shall be on the face of the negotiable instrument.”


Funds sent to inmates must include the following information on the face of any personal check, money order, cashier’s check, certified check, or any other negotiable instrument: 


  • Made Payable to CDCR
  • Inmate’s Last Name
  • Inmate’s CDCR Number
  • Sender’s Name
  • Sender’s Address

posted 04-17-2019

Notice of Price Increase

Effective April 20, 2019

 

Due to significant cost increases, prices on items in two categories of products will be increased by 25 cents:

Canned sodas will be $1.50


Sandwiches which currently sell for $4.75 will increase to $5.00 and sandwiches which currently sell for $5.75 will increase to $6.00.  


This limited price increase is to help account for the rising cost of goods and the increasing cost of getting those goods into the vending machines.  For example, the cost of a product includes the additional amount suppliers add to deliver the products to the institution. The price at the vending machine includes sales tax (required on all vending machine sales) and CRV for applicable beverages. In addition other factors, such as labor costs to clean, stock and service the machines before visiting days and stocking and servicing on visiting days, are also part of the vending price. Vehicle costs (purchase, maintenance, repair, insurance, licensing, etc.) for delivery to visiting area also factor in, as well as other expenses. 


We try to keep unnecessary expenses down and keep prices stable. As here, we try to minimize the impact by adjusting only two groups of products and maintaining prices in all others.


Thank you for your understanding.


Attached you will find the current price list with the price change noted for those items affected at this time. 

posted 04-04-2019

The refund machine will not be repaired.  

All refund requests will need to be mailed to the address on the card (see below).

To receive a refund by mail, send the card with a self addressed envelope to:

Adams Vending
11230 Gold Express Dr., Suite #310
Gold River, CA 95670

A check will be mailed to you.

If you wish to check on the status of your refund, you may e-mail Adams’ Vending at the following address:  avcardrefundstatus@gmail.com.  

PLEASE keep track of the number on your vending cash card.  It is in the upper right hand corner.  Take a photo of it, jot it down and keep it in a safe place, etc.  This will be very helpful if a problem should arise, especially with a refund.

posted 03-20-2019

MARRIAGE COORDINATOR

There is a new Marriage Coordinator, her name is Mary Silveira and her extension is 5710. If you call the main number 559-559-665-6100 and dial ext. 5710. Mary has graciously answered numerous questions asked by future brides. If you look under the tab RESOURCES then MARRIAGES you will find a lot of help with your upcoming nuptials.

posted 03-11-2018