News Releases

Kern Valley State Prison Officials Investigating Death of an Incarcerated Person as a Homicide

DELANO ― Officials at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) are investigating the March 30, 2022 death of Juan E. Mendoza, 26, as a homicide.

At approximately 4:46 p.m. on Wednesday, staff were conducting a security check when Juan E. Mendoza was found unresponsive in the cell he shared with Jorge L. Mendoza, 26, during a routine security check. 

An emergency medical alert was immediately issued when staff noticed visual injuries to Juan E. Mendoza. Medical staff and emergency services quickly responded and attempted life-saving measures on Juan E. Mendoza. He was taken to the institution’s Treatment and Triage Area for medical treatment; however, he was pronounced deceased a short time later. His next-of-kin has been notified.

Jorge L. Mendoza was removed from the cell, and has been rehoused at the institutions Administrative Segregation Unit pending the outcome of the investigation.

Juan E. Mendoza was admitted in February 2020 from San Bernardino County with a six-year sentence for second-degree attempted murder and personal use of a dangerous weapon.  

Jorge L. Mendoza was admitted from Monterey County in August 2018 with a life-with-parole sentence for second-degree murder with the use of a firearm by a second-striker.

The Kern County Coroner’s Office will determine the official cause of death. The Office of the Inspector General has been notified.

KVSP opened in 2005 and houses more than 3,200 minimum-, medium-, and high-security custody inmates. KVSP offers academic classes and vocational programs and employs approximately 1,500 people.   


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