CDCR Investigating Incident at High Desert State Prison Resulting in Death


SUSANVILLE – There is an ongoing investigation regarding the death of an incarcerated person who was involved in a physical altercation and later succumbed to injuries.

On June 5 at approximately 7:18 a.m., correctional staff observed Jarray D. Birdon and another incarcerated individual in a fight. Staff quickly responded, first issuing verbal orders to stop and get down, which were ignored. As the altercation continued, Birdon was struck several times in the face and head area by the aggressor’s fists and knee before falling to the ground. Staff used one less lethal 40mm direct impact round and chemical agents to stop the fight.

During the altercation, Birdon also had injuries consistent with being hit in the head with the 40mm round. The other incarcerated person sustained a fractured right hand. No staff were injured during the incident.

Staff quickly summoned emergency services. Birdon, 38, was transported to an outside hospital where he remained until June 7, 2024. At 12:41 p.m. Birdon was pronounced deceased.

The officer who deployed the 40mm impact round is currently on administrative leave consistent with CDCR policy. The officer’s name is being withheld due to the ongoing investigation.

The Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Internal Affairs were notified.

Birdon was sentenced on Nov. 29, 2007, in Sacramento County and received by CDCR on Jan. 23, 2008. He was sentenced to four years for possession of a controlled substance. He was released to Post-Release Community Supervision with the Sacramento County Probation Dept. on Oct. 27, 2010, after serving his full sentence as defined by law.

Birdon was received from Sacramento County on June 7, 2013. He was sentenced to sixteen years four months for assault with a firearm likely to cause great bodily injury, a second-strike offense, possessing/owning a firearm by a felon or addict, a second-strike offense, criminal threat to cause great bodily injury/death, a second-strike offense, with enhancements for having a prior felony conviction of a serious offense.

Activated in 1995, HDSP is a high-security prison in Susanville that houses Level I – IV
incarcerated individuals and employs about 1,700 staff. The institution houses those serving long-term sentences, those requiring specialized mental health programming, and incarcerated people with high-risk medical concerns. The institution also provides work, career technical education, academic, self-help, art, religious and other rehabilitative programs.

Jarray D. Birdon



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