Crash claims HDSP correctional officer

High Desert State Prison Correctional Officer Richard Bianchi died in a single-vehicle crash early in the morning on June 25 while on his way to provide security coverage at a Redding hospital, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The California Highway Patrol responded to the crash on Highway 44 four miles east of Old Station Road in the Redding area. CHP officers found Officer Bianchi’s overturned state vehicle; he was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident is being investigated by the CHP.

Bianchi, 53, began his service with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Oct. 18, 2010, and was part of the HDSP family since Feb. 4, 2011. He is survived by his wife and two adult children.

“My prayers go out to correctional officer Bianchi’s family, friends and co-workers on behalf of myself and the entire CDCR family,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said. “Correctional Officer Bianchi’s death is felt through this entire department. His service to California was largely unseen by the citizens of this state but his daily work and dedication will not be forgotten be his peers and myself.”

“Our sincerest condolences are extended to the Bianchi family, friends and loved ones,” HDSP Acting Warden Jason Pickett said. “Correctional Officer Bianchi was a consummate professional and an excellent member of the HDSP team. He and his family will be in our thoughts and we thank him for his selfless service.”


Governor issues statement

California Governor Gavin Newsom today issued the following statement regarding the death of High Desert State Prison Correctional Officer Richard Bianchi, who died in the line of duty on Thursday, June 25:

“Jennifer and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of correctional officer Richard Bianchi as they mourn the loss of this dedicated officer. He will be remembered as a consummate professional who selflessly carried out his duties to protect the public, and we are grateful for his years of service to the people of California.”

In honor of Officer Bianchi, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

CDCR houses people convicted of the most violent felonies, supervises those released to parole, and provides rehabilitation programs to help them reintegrate into the community. CDCR is mandated to provide health care services to the incarcerated population. When an inmate needs health care treatment that cannot be provided at a prison and is admitted to a hospital, they are transported and guarded by correctional officers who are responsible for their security and the safety of the public.