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Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Retirement of CDCR Secretary James Tilton, Appoints Matthew Cate as New CDCR Secretary

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today praised California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary James Tilton for his service and announced the appointment of Matthew Cate as secretary for CDCR effective May 16, 2008.

“Public safety is my top priority and we have made great strides in improving our adult and juvenile corrections systems. I appreciate James Tilton’s tireless service, especially his work in helping to negotiate key reforms to our parole system and rehabilitation programs. Matthew Cate’s experience as Inspector General will be a tremendous asset in continuing the implementation of the AB 900 reforms,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

Cate has most recently served as Inspector General of the Office of the Inspector General since 2004. As Inspector General, Mr. Cate has been responsible for public oversight of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Since 2007, he has also served as the chairman of the California Rehabilitation Oversight Board and in that capacity has been responsible for reporting to the Governor and state legislature on the progress made by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in fulfilling its obligation to provide effective rehabilitative programs to California’s inmates and parolees. Previously, he served as a supervising deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice from 1996 to 2004. In that position he supervised a team of prosecutors, managed a criminal caseload of political corruption matters, provided counsel to grand juries and advised local law enforcement concerning public corruption. From 1994 to 1996 he served as a deputy district attorney for Sacramento County. Prior to joining the public sector, Cate worked as an associate attorney with the Sacramento law firm of Downey, Brand, Seymour & Rowher from 1992 to 1994. His experience also includes several positions as an instructor of a variety of legal and law enforcement related topics including, standards training for peace officers.

“I am extremely proud of our accomplishments over the last two years and I am confident in the Department’s continued success under Matthew’s leadership. I thank Governor Schwarzenegger for his fortitude in pushing for reforms in our adult and juvenile justice systems,” said CDCR Secretary James Tilton.

“I am honored to be asked by the Governor to build upon the progress made by Secretary Tilton,” said Cate. “I believe strongly in the men and women who work for CDCR. We have an unprecedented opportunity to work with our state and local partners to create a model system that is committed to holding offenders accountable, reducing overcrowding, making our facilities safer, providing opportunities for rehabilitation and reducing recidivism.”

Cate, 41, of Elk Grove, CA. He earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Oregon School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Linfield College. He is a member of the California State Bar. This position requires Senate confirmation and the statutory salary is $225,000. Cate is a Republican.

On May 10, 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 737 abolishing the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency (YACA), and creating in its place CDCR.

CDCR is California’s correctional agency, consisting of the Division of Adult Operations, the Division of Adult Programs and the Division of Juvenile Justice. Additionally, CDCR oversees the functions of the Correctional Standards Authority, the Board of Parole Hearings, and the Commission on Juvenile Justice, the Council on Mentally Ill Offenders, the Prison Industry Authority Board, and the Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision, the Joint Venture Policy Advisory Board, and the Prison Industry Board.

CDCR consists of 33 adult prisons, 38 conservation camps, 8 youth facilities, as well as various boards and commissions.