California Prison Industry Authority, Rehabilitation

Incarcerated CALPIA participants come to rescue at Folsom State Prison

Two incarcerated men stand beside a CALPIA digital services sign.
Robbie Williams, left, and Jeffrey Thomas helped CALPIA supervisor Jeff Snoozy after he collapsed.

It was supposed to be a normal morning for California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) Prison Industries Manager Jeff Snoozy, until he suddenly started not feeling well.

Snoozy, who oversees the CALPIA Braille Program at Folsom State Prison (FOL), thought he was having a heart attack. After barely managing to get into his office, Snoozy dropped to his knees trying to call the emergency line, but never got the opportunity.

“I grabbed a water bottle and threw it at the door for someone to hear me because the door was closed.” said Snoozy.

Incarcerated individual Duane Lewis, a member of the CALPIA Lead Braille Team, initially came to the door and saw Snoozy on the floor. Immediately, multiple Braille Program participants came to Snoozy’s aid.

Robbie Williams, a CALPIA Braille Program participant with medical experience, rushed to Snoozy’s side. Prior to being incarcerated, Williams was a Nursing Assistant and In-House Paramedic for over 30 years. He acted quickly, checking Snoozy’s pulse, pupils, and providing him rolled up sheets to support his head. He also used wet rags to keep him cool.

“Jeff is the kind of supervisor that everybody wants. He takes an interest in everybody and what’s going on with them,” said Williams. “All of the things that I did for Jeff were instinctual. There wasn’t anything that I needed to think about.”

While Williams was attending to Snoozy, another CALPIA Braille Program participant of three years, Jeffrey Thomas, noticed there was a delay of response to the personal alarm being activated. He ran to the CALPIA Sign & Print Shop where he informed Officer Hailey of the situation. Immediately Officer Hailey got on the radio.

Soon after, Sgt. A. Frankina responded to Snoozy’s office, where he saw Williams kneeling next to him. With the extreme pain in Snoozy’s back and chest, Williams kept him comfortable until help got there.

“I am very grateful to the incarcerated individuals that came to my aid. Digital Services is very remote and without their help, there is a good chance that I would not be here today,” said Snoozy. “I’m lucky they responded and I’m lucky they were there.”

When Folsom State Prison Fire arrived at the scene, Williams calmly relayed all pertinent medical information and observations to the Fire Captain.

Snoozy was rushed to UC Davis Medical Center and immediately went into an 11-hour open heart surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery.

“Jeff is a great boss, but we would have done this for any other human being in distress,” said Thomas. “But it was a plus to be able to help him. We have made great strides in prison. We had an opportunity to help someone and make a difference. You can’t put a price on that.”

By Stephanie Eres, Information Officer, California Prison Industry Authority

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