Aerial photo of Kern Valley State Prison.

Kern Valley State Prison.

By OPEC staff

On Friday, Sept. 14, Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) Correctional Officer Armando Gallegos died unexpectedly in a Hanford hospital. Gallegos, 56, had worked at KVSP since graduating from the Basic Correctional Officer Academy in 2005. He remained at the prison until April 21, 2018, when he, along with a second officer, sustained injuries during an attack by inmates.

Officer Armando Gallegos

Correctional Officer Armando Gallegos

“Our hearts are heavy from the passing of Officer Armando Gallegos. Correctional officers like Armando put their lives on the line every day to keep our prisons and communities safe. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Irma, his family and friends, as well as our CDCR community, during this difficult time,” said CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz.

“The Kern Valley State Prison family is deeply saddened by Armando’s sudden and unexpected death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gallegos family and all who were fortunate enough to have known Armando. He will truly be missed,” said KVSP Warden Christian Pfeiffer.

The Peer Support Program has been activated across the state. The program ensures CDCR employees involved in work-related critical incidents are provided with intervention and resources to cope with the traumatic effects.

For seven of those inmates involved in the April 21 attack, CDCR previously recommended attempted homicide charges to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. Information on possible additional charges is pending, per results of Officer Gallegos’s autopsy.