Monday, July 21, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Official: State can send inmates to medical site
Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California can once again send sick inmates to an $839 million prison medical complex that was closed earlier this year amid staffing, supply and other problems at the site intended to help end years of federal court oversight, an overseer said Monday.

J. Clark Kelso, a court-appointed official who controls prison medical care, said he was pleased that most problems have been corrected at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton and his office will keep monitoring the facility to make sure progress continues.

California corrections officer dies in single-vehicle crash along southern Oregon coast
Aimee Green, The Oregonian

Oregon State Police are investigating the cause of a Saturday morning car crash that killed an off-duty corrections officer from California.

Police were notified at 7:15 a.m. that a 2007 Dodge Caliber driven by Joel Ramos, 29, of Brookings, had crossed an oncoming lane of traffic along Oregon 101. The car went off the road and crashed head-on into a tree, about one mile north of the state border.

CDCR deputy leaving for Stockton administration job
Jon Ortiz, The Sacramento Bee

Scott Carney, who sometimes endured withering criticism from lawmakers for his department’s perceived inefficiencies, is leaving his administrative post at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to become a deputy city manager for Stockton. He begins his new job on Sept. 2.

Carney is stepping down from state job that paid him $143,774 last year as director of Corrections’ Division of Administrative Services to take a city job with an annual salary of $192,000.


California prison program expects profit this year

Jon Ortiz, The Sacramento Bee

A state system that uses inmate labor to provide goods and services will see its revenues jump 15.6 percent in fiscal 2014-15, according to a plan recently approved by the board of the California Prison Industry Authority.

The self-sustaining program will take in an anticipated $196.3 million this year that will fully fund its operations at 34 Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities. The authority oversees inmate training programs that operate manufacturing, service, and agriculture industries


San Quentin’s Prison Arts Project on Display at YBCA

Matthew Harrison Tedford, KQED

Several years ago, when artist Henry Edward Frank was asked about his availability in a job interview he said he was only busy Friday mornings. “If I can’t have Friday mornings off, I don’t want the job. Those are my block printing hours,” Frank recalls saying.

Frank, at the time an inmate at San Quentin State Prison, learned about the the prison’s block printing classes almost immediately after transferring from California State Prison, Corcoran. An inmate Frank knew from Corcoran told him about the classes offered by the William James Association’s (WJA) Prison Arts Project and Frank jumped at the opportunity to take them.

San Rafael killer will have court-ordered parole hearing in September

Marin Independent Journal

Responding to a court order, the state prisons department has set a Sept. 19 parole hearing for a man convicted of murdering a Terra Linda couple in 1975.

Charles David Riley, 59, has been denied parole about a dozen times, most recently in 2011. Riley appealed the last denial, saying there is no evidence he continues to be a danger to the community, that the parole board did not consider his age, and that his sentence has been unconstitutionally excessive.


Stanford program gives ex-cons boost in starting businesses
Meredith May, SF Gate

Ted Stanton lives in a 120-square-foot subsidized room in the Tenderloin, which he has converted into an incubator for his candy startup, Good Karma Karamels.

There's barely room to sleep among his kitchen equipment, where the 63-year-old Vietnam veteran beta-tests new chocolates and dreams of reinventing himself from a guy who just served a decade in prison to an entrepreneur in a city where anything is possible.

"I want to have wooden candy pushcarts on the sidewalks of San Francisco," said Stanton, who honed his skills in the prison bakery.

Criminal sues state for restitution over wrongful conviction
State denies compensation for wrongful conviction
Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle

Charles Herbert Holmes is an example of what prosecutors call a career criminal: He has bounced from one prison to another, from the East Coast to the West, for crimes that include drug possession, burglary and the molestation of a 7-year-old girl.

His past, however, also includes six years in a California prison for a sentence he never should have served - an erroneous conviction that qualified him for more than $200,000 in taxpayer money from a state fund that compensates wrongly imprisoned individuals.

From Promise Keepers, to prison, and back for Longmont man
Jeff Wilson says his story is exactly why men need accountability
Pam Mellskog, For the Times-Call

Promise Keeper staffer Jeff Wilson today freely shares the story of how he came to cherish a Porta Potty as a prayer closet when he lived behind bars in an overcrowded prison.

A 2005 arrest in California for igniting materials in a hotel dumpster after over-imbibing on alcohol that evening led to his felony arson conviction.

Crack Cocaine Crimes: Sentencing Commission Approves Sentence Reduction Amendment for Thousands of Drug Offenders
Shawn Raymundo, Latin Post

“Note: This only affects inmates in federal prison, not state prisons.”

The U.S. Sentencing Commission on Friday approved an amendment allowing tens of thousands of inmates who are currently serving time for drug related crimes to apply for reduced sentences.

The seven-member commission, which sets criminal sentencing policies throughout the nation, unanimously voted in favor of the reduction and said it would apply to most drug offenders in federal prisons.

Gangs: History of gang activity in SLO County

Matt Fountain, The Tribune   

Street gangs have existed in San Luis Obispo County since the 1960s.
The county has been historically populated by Sureño-related gangs, an umbrella term that describes loosely affiliated members who trace their origins to Southern California, according to a March report on transnational gangs published by the California Department of Justice.

Sureños — meaning “Southerners” —are historically aligned with the Mexican Mafia prison gang, an association of convicts within the U.S. prison system formed in the 1950s in California to protect themselves from other prison gangs.

Griswold: Kings County to start jail construction
Lewis Griswold, The Fresno Bee

Construction of the Kings County jail addition in Hanford is slated to begin July 28.
Officials say the 252-bed project will relieve overcrowding caused by prison realignment.
It's believed to be the first jail to break ground under phase two of AB900, the jail construction law of 2007.

Meanwhile, other new jails in the region are in the planning stages.


A Lifetime on California’s Death Row
The New York Times

“How has it gone on this long?” Justice Antonin Scalia asked a lawyer for the State of Florida during oral arguments in March on a condemned inmate’s appeal. The legal issue in that case had to do with how states define intellectual disability, but Justice Scalia was troubled that Freddie Lee Hall had been on Florida’s death row for more than three decades.

In that same session, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that the last 10 people executed by the state had spent an average of 24.9 years on death row.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Career fair for correctional officers scheduled at Hanford campus
Bonhia Lee, The Fresno Bee

Brandman University's Hanford Campus will hold a career fair for correctional officers on July 30.
Recruiters from the California Department of Corrections will attend to review resumes and answer questions. The department is looking for people to fill 7,000 positions.

Suit charges California prison program discriminates against men
Denny Walsh, The Sacramento Bee

A California prisons program meant to expedite the reunification of inmates with their families – but which excludes male prisoners – is being challenged in federal court as discriminatory and short-sighted.

Lawyers for inmates are seeking a preliminary injunction to force prison officials to include men in the program.


Inmate dies after assault at prison in Susanville

SUSANVILLE, Calif. (AP) — California corrections officials say a 28-year-old inmate died after he was attacked by three other inmates using homemade knives.

The inmate died shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday at High Desert State Prison in Susanville, near the Nevada border. His name was not released because relatives had not been notified.


Solano grand jury looks at realignment
Barry Eberling, Daily Republic

FAIRFIELD — Solano County should expedite the construction of a permanent Fairfield day reporting center for former inmates, according to a 2013-14 grand jury report.

The county has plans to construct a day reporting center near its Health and Social Services complex at 275 Beck Ave., the report said. This permanent center would replace a temporary day reporting center in the county Probation Department offices at 475 Union Ave. in downtown Fairfield.


Editorial: Plan to restore inmate fire camp a positive move
Ventura County Star

Fire protection always rates as a high priority in Ventura County. Time and again, firefighters have saved local communities from destructive wildfires propelled by fierce Santa Ana winds.

NOTE: The full editorial is available to Ventura County Star online subscribers only.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Solano County grand jury sees vital need in Deta Conservation Camp and its inmate firefighters
Melissa Murphy, The Reporter

Delta Conservation Camp was praised by the Solano County grand jury in a recent report as being an effective and efficient way for fire suppression in the county.

However, the grand jury is still concerned that the inmate-staffed fire camp could close due to the implementation of AB 109, the Public Safety Realignment Act.

The Delta Camp in Solano County is one of 39 facilities statewide to house inmates that have been specially trained for wild land firefighting and public community conservation work. Inmates who volunteer for the program are carefully screened by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and CAL-FIRE.


Inmate walks away from Eel River Conservation camp
The Times-Standard

Press release from the California Correctional Center- A minimum-security inmate from California Correctional Center walked away from Eel River Conservation Camp (CC #31) on July 16, 2014.

Inmate Ga Dakota Moss, 19, is a White male, 5' 11" tall, 175 pounds, with green eyes and blonde/strawberry blonde hair. He was committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on February 28, 2013, from San Bernardino County for Second Degree Burglary. He was scheduled to be released from CDCR custody on December 13, 2014.



California death penalty ruled unconstitutional
Bob Egelko, SF Gate ‎

A federal judge declared California's death penalty unconstitutional Wednesday, saying delays of 25 years or more in deciding appeals and carrying out occasional executions have created an arbitrary and irrational system that serves no legitimate purpose.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney of Santa Ana was limited to a single case and had no immediate impact on executions statewide, which have been halted by federal courts since 2006 because of multiple problems in lethal injection procedures.

“Note: For more coverage of this issue, please follow these links.”


Canyon Lake: No downtime for 73-year-old skydiver
Ivan Henery has so much going on, you’ll get tired just reading about what he does in a single day.
Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise

At a time in life when many people are slowing down, 73-year-old Ivan Henery is just getting started.

Henery is a former San Quentin prison guard, Riverside County sheriff’s deputy, Riverside Police Department sergeant and skydive photographer (with more than 4,000 jumps).

Changes to sex offender ordinance worries parents
Greg Lee, KESQ News

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors deferred action on a proposal to repeal a Riverside County ordinance restricting where convicted sex offenders can reside and loiter, directing county staff instead to modify the law so that some of its provisions can be preserved.

"I'm against repealing it entirely,'' said board Chairman Jeff Stone.  "There are parts of it we need to keep intact. I want to protect constituents from sexual predators.''

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Western wildfires gaining ground on firefighters
The Associated Press

(AP) — A handful of new wildfires, some started by lightning, grew dramatically Tuesday in central Washington, and several threatened homes even as firefighters made progress against a destructive Oregon blaze.

A brush fire that jumped containment lines Tuesday night temporarily closed a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 90 in the central part of the state, said Washington State Transportation Department officials. The highway reopened late Tuesday night.

Man arraigned in 1986 golf pro's death
CT Post

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A California convict charged with strangling a Vermont golf pro nearly 30 years ago pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree aggravated murder and was ordered held without bail.

David Allan Morrison, who recently was extradited to Vermont from a California prison, is charged in the death of Sarah Hunter, a golf pro at the Manchester Country Club.


Alleged gun causes prison lockdown
Allison Gatlin, The Salinas Californian

Yard privileges and visitation at Salinas Valley State Prison are on temporary hiatus as investigators search for a .22-caliber Derringer one inmate claimed to have smuggled into the facility.
Lt. Darren Chamberlain confirmed Tuesday the “modified program” was instituted June 27 at the Soledad facility after an inmate told officers his family snuck him the gun during visitation.


Stanford Law Professor Says California's Prison Realignment Plan Needs Adjustments
Clifton B. Parker, Sierra Sun Times

California's shift of thousands of criminals from state prisons into county jails was intended to ease overcrowding, reduce costs and improve rehabilitation while ensuring public safety. But new research from Stanford Law Professor Joan Petersilia shows how realignment's record so far is mixed. She suggests ways to improve it.

When California embarked on a sweeping prison realignment plan in 2011, The Economist described it as one of the "great experiments in American incarceration policy."

Grand jury sites areas of improvement for public safety realignment in Solano County
Melissa Murphy, The Reporter

An investigation by the Solano County grand jury into the county's implementation of Assembly Bill 109, the state's Public Safety Realignment Act to reduce prison overcrowding, shows areas of improvement, according to a report released Tuesday.

The grand jury investigated the implementation plan of the AB 109 Realignment Act and the impact it will have on the county. It also reviewed the County of Solano 2011 Public Safety Realignment Implementation Plan.


Riverside County moves to keep some sex offender limits
Barrett Newkirk, The Desert Sun

RIVERSIDE – Riverside County supervisors indicated Tuesday they would continue to limit where convicted sex offenders can live while repealing an ordinance saying offenders cannot go near schools and other places children gather.

Lawsuits successfully challenging local sex offender ordinances prompted Riverside County to consider repealing its own rules, which supervisors approved in 2010.

How '6 Californias' creates a state of confusion
Carla Marinucci and John Wildermuth, SF Gate

Voters may have a chance "to reboot and refresh our state government," if Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper's plan to split California into six states makes the November 2016 ballot, but the wealthy investor's vision of California's future is longer on enthusiasm than on details.

"We are ready to make a change," Draper said Tuesday as he delivered 44,000 of the estimated 1.3 million signatures collected for his constitutional amendment to the Sacramento County registrar of voters. "We're saying, make one failing government into six great states."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Kale Williams, SFGate

Families are often the keepers of dark secrets. For some it might be the youthful indiscretion of a black sheep cousin. For others, it’s that uncle who always has one too many drinks at family functions.

For some, the most closely held family secrets may lie hidden in the deluge of records recently unearthed by, with help from the California secretary of state’s archives department, from the state’s two earliest prisons.

“What’s really interesting about these records is that they come from the two oldest prisons in California, Folsom and San Quentin,” said Michelle Ercanbrack, family historian with  ”It’s really kind of a chronological history of the state.”

The Associated Press

KINGSBURG, Calif. (AP) — A guard at Avenal State Prison is in jail after being arrested in an investigation of sex crimes involving two teenage girls.

Online records show 39-year-old Chad Jerome Shaddon of Kingsburg was booked Monday into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of two offenses.

Kingsburg Police Sgt. Hardin Weaver says Shaddon posted bail after he was arrested Friday on suspicion of misconduct with a 15-year-old girl. He was arrested again Monday after a 14-year-old girl came forward with a similar complaint.


Ken Stone, Times of San Diego

Two crews of a dozen young women each hiked toward Kwaay Paay Peak on Sunday in Mission Trails Regional Park, carrying chainsaws and shovels. They were paid $2 a day, and grateful.

Hailing from Cal Fire’s Rainbow Conservation Camp near Warner Springs, the female firefighters were a part of a decades-old program that saves California taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

They are prison inmates.

Hamed Aleaziz, SFGate
What does ‘containment’ mean?
Fire crews create a boundary around the fire to keep it from spreading. They use hand tools and equipment, such as chainsaws, bulldozers and shovels, to clear any grass, brush, trees or other vegetation to draw a line of bare dirt around the fire.

The goal, said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (now known as Cal Fire), is to keep the blaze within that line. “Even if it keeps burning,” he said, “it gets to the line and it will stay within that line and no longer move.

Patrick McArdle, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus

MANCHESTER — After almost 30 years, David Allan Morrison is expected to be charged with the murder of Sarah Hunter in Bennington criminal court today.

Bennington County State’s Attorney Erica Marthage said Morrison, 54, was taken to the Rutland jail Sunday. He is scheduled to be arraigned today on a charge of first-degree aggravated murder.

Members of Hunter’s family have been informed about the arraignment so they can attend if they choose, Marthage said. 



SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — The California Highway Patrol has reopened Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near San Quentin State Prison in Marin County where a big-rig that contained two gasoline tank trailers overturned on Monday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver of the big-rig, Christopher Knight, 30, of Sacramento, tried to recover the sliding trailer but completely lost control and crashed around 7 a.m. Monday, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.

According to the CHP, the road reopened shortly before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.