Thursday, October 30, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


3 arrested in local AB 109 sweep
The AV Times

LANCASTER – Multiple firearms, several hundred rounds of ammunition and drugs were seized Wednesday during a local operation that targeted AB 109 offenders.

“Multiple teams hit 15 different locations looking for 10 absconders,” said Lancaster Community Relations deputy Miguel Ruiz. He said absconders were AB 109 offenders who were in violation of their post-release conditions. (Read more on AB-109 here.)


Homeless sex offenders suspected in rape, killings of 4 O.C. women plead not guilty
Steven Dean Gordon, 45, and Franc Cano, 28, are accused of felony counts of special circumstances murder in the commission of rape, kidnapping and lying in wait in the deaths of four women thought to have had ties to prostitution.
Sean Emery, Orange County Register

Two registered sex offenders recently indicted by a grand jury for the kidnapping, rape and killing of four women from Anaheim and Santa Ana denied the charges Wednesday.

During an arraignment at the Santa Ana courthouse, Steven Dean Gordon, 45, and Franc Cano, 28, pleaded not guilty to four felony counts of special circumstances murder in the commission of rape, kidnapping and lying in wait.


College behind bars
Dagmar Kuta, The Tempest

Don’t worry, you won’t be seeing any striped jumpsuits on campus.

Solano College has finally approved a proposal from the California State Prison that will create distance education correspondence courses available to inmates at the California State Prison located in Vacaville. The courses will also be available to all students.

But maybe you should worry about this: a large concern regarding initiation of this program is whether adding it will constitute substantive change in relation to accreditation. According to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), “substantive change requires prior Commission approval. … Implementing a substantive change without prior Commission approval may result in a Commission decision to re-evaluate the college’s accredited status.”

Aging Prisoners Shackle State Budgets
The nation’s graying prison population will strain the corrections system. There are ways to keep costs down, but they’re not often used.
Mike Maciag, Governing

Nearly 10 percent of inmates housed in California state prisons were age 50 or older in 2003. About a decade later, that percentage has doubled. Thanks to an aging prison population and a 2011 prison realignment bill that sent lower-level and typically younger offenders to county jails, about 21 percent of the total state prison population today is over age 50.

While the circumstances in California are unique, the predicament is not. As baby boomers age nationally, America’s prison population is graying. What’s less understood, though, is the full extent of the demands an older prison population will place on corrections systems and just how much it will end up costing.

Why A Conservative Billionaire Wants To Reduce Sentences For Drug And Theft Crimes In California

Katia Savchuk, Forbes

Malibu billionaire B. Wayne Hughes, Jr., loves Ronald Reagan, is building an evangelical camp for kids, and has given nearly $40,000 to elect Republicans to Congress this year.

He’s also one of the top backers of Proposition 47, a California ballot measure that would reduce penalties for most minor drug and property crimes. Hundreds of millions of dollars in expected annual savings – money currently spent on convicted criminals in prisons and jails – would flow into treatment programs, truancy prevention and victim services.


California Leads on Justice Reform

Prop 47 Could Take the State a Step Further in Reducing Overcrowding
The New York Times

For a long time, the conventional political wisdom was that no one ever lost an election for being too tough on crime. That wisdom has been turned on its head in recent years, as both politicians and the public are realizing how much damage the lock-’em-up mind-set has caused.

In recent polls asking about the most important problems facing the country, crime ranks way at the bottom. That’s because crime is at its lowest levels in decades, even while overstuffed prisons cripple state budgets.

Vote no on Prop. 47
Napa Valley Register

Carrying a stolen handgun. Possession of a date-rape drug. Carrying stolen credit cards. Financial elder abuse.

If these sound like minor, misdemeanor-level offenses to you, then you'll be interested in voting for Proposition 47.

But if they strike you as being the serious felonies that they are, then vote no on Prop. 47.

Shifting From Prisons to Schools: Redemption in California
New America Media

New America Media, Commentary, Raj Jayadev, Posted: Oct 30, 2014
In 1999, about this time of the year, I was hanging billboard-size banners off freeway overpasses with a bunch of people I just met that morning. The spray-painted bedsheets read “No on Prop 21!” and “Stop Criminalizing Youth of Color.”

We were part of California’s burgeoning youth movement – mainly twentysomethings who were coming of age at a fork-in-the-road moment for the state in terms of how it viewed, responded to and served its young people.

Guest View: ‘No’ vote proposed for Proposition 47
Patrick McGrath and Steven Durfor, Appeal Democrat

Proposition 47, which is on your ballot next Tuesday, calls itself the "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act." If you take the time to actually read it — instead of simply looking at the ballot summary — we think you will see that it will do anything but make the Yuba-Sutter area safer.

Prop 47 would immediately do two things.

First, it would reclassify a wide range of theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to a misdemeanors. These theft crimes are not minor — they include stealing firearms, automobiles, possession of stolen property, commercial burglary, and the theft of agricultural crops and livestock.

Rabbi Melanie Aron, Beth Gonzales and Raj Jayadev: Prop 47 is an investment in people, not prisons

Rabbi Melanie Aron, Beth Gonzales and Raj Jayadev, Mercury News

Our communities need justice. We believe in positive investments. Do you?

As a rabbi, a Catholic community leader and the director of a community organization, we see the troubles that come from substance abuse. We see families torn apart and lives destroyed. Our current approach of criminalizing addiction and mental health problems has not been effective in changing the behaviors of the individuals or reducing the negative impact.

We support Prop 47 — the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act — because our communities need both safety and justice. Our current system of mass incarceration -- based on the criminalization of poverty and race -- violates the standards of justice held by our different religious traditions. The Bible and Torah teach "Justice, justice shall you pursue." That is justice in the pursuit of justice; just laws and just implementation; justice that restores.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


2014 Cybersecurity Awards: Winners Succeed in a Growing Threat Landscape
Winners of the 2014 Cybersecurity Leadership and Innovation Awards have demonstrated they are serious about cybersecurity defense by putting into place systems, practices and policies that keep information safe for citizens.
Colin Wood, Government Technology

The best in all fields lead by example. And winners of the 2014 Cybersecurity Leadership and Innovation Awards marked those in state and local government and education who have, in recent years, driven forward cybersecurity efforts in their own communities, and also led American government at large. The Center for Digital Government, the research arm of Government Technology's parent company, e.Republic Inc., recognized the best public-sector cybersecurity professionals in the nation at the FOCUS 14 Security Conference in Las Vegas on Oct. 28.

City probation sweeps results with three in jail
Palo Verde Valley Times

BLYTHE, Calif. - During probation compliance checks handled by Riverside County Probation, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the United States Border Patrol on Oct. 22, Crystal De Sousa Dias, Christine De Sousa Dias, and Francisco Valenzuela face a slew of drug and other felony charges.

On special assignment with a special enforcement team for probation, Blythe Police Detective Terry Reynolds approached a home in the 900 block of West Barnard where he found Crystal, 33, and Christine, 36, both of Blythe. As Reynolds spoke to the women at the locked door, Valenzuela, 39, of Blythe, ran out the back door. At the sight of CDCR officers and Border Patrol agents, Valenzuela threw a dark-colored object he had in his hand and ran back inside the residence.


NOTE: The Times has been informed that the policy changes described in the proposed settlement were implemented in May.

There is no justice in prisons' race-based punishment
The Los Angeles Times

The incident in 2006 was in some ways typical: A group of inmates at High Desert State Prison near Susanville attacked two corrections officers, and prison officials responded with a race-based lockdown, keeping African American prisoners confined to their cells for 14 months.

Governmental discrimination by race is, of course, generally banned in the United States, but California prisons had long been an exception. Why? Prison officials explained that they were responding to the reality that was presented to them: Many inmates are affiliated with gangs, and gangs generally self-segregate by race. In prisons, where tensions can run high and are intensified by overcrowding, officials have said they do what they must to prevent isolated incidents of violence from becoming large-scale race riots. At High Desert, the practice after an incident of violence was to lock down all the members of the race of the perpetrators.

Rand Paul and B. Wayne Hughes Jr.: Republicans should back Prop. 47
Rand Paul, OC Register

We’re surprised at how many people ask why we, as Republicans, are working to change our criminal justice and prison systems. Why wouldn’t we?

We must change our current system – a system that drains tax dollars, destabilizes families and, worse, isn’t making us any safer. That’s why we have joined other Republicans, law enforcement officials, crime victims and many others in support of Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative that will prioritize incarceration resources for serious and violent crime, while investing savings in proven crime-prevention approaches.

Sheriff Larry Jones: Prop. 47 and the issues it may create
Larry Jones, Appeal-Democrat

As the chief law enforcement officer of the county, I wish to urge the voters of Glenn County to vote "no" on Proposition 47.

Referred to as the "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act," which I feel is a collection of ill-conceived ideas, I believe this measure will actually make our neighborhoods and our schools less safe.

Our Current Justice System Is Tearing Apart Families
The Huffington Post

Family is everything. I've always felt that way, but having a baby this year really drove that truism home.

Being a mother has reinforced and refined my thinking on many issues, including -- believe it or not -- our criminal justice system. That's why I'm supporting Proposition 47, a California voter initiative that will restore balance to how we approach community safety.

Commentary: District Attorney says nothing safe about Prop. 47
Lisa Green, Tehachapi News

Proposition 47 is an initiative that will significantly reduce the criminal penalties for numerous crimes including drug possession, theft of a firearm, and possession of date rape drugs. The so-called "Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act" will not make our neighborhoods or our schools safer. In fact it will achieve the opposite. It is opposed by every major law enforcement organization and victim group in California.

Under current law, the theft of a firearm is punishable by imprisonment in state prison. Under Proposition 47, the theft of virtually all handguns will be reduced to misdemeanors. People who steal guns aren't adding to their gun collections; they're stealing in order to commit serious crimes.


2 charged in shooting death of Anaheim girl, 9
The Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Two Orange County men were charged Tuesday with killing a 9-year-old girl who was struck by a stray bullet in a gang attack as she played near her home.

Alfredo Aquino, 20, of Anaheim and Ricardo Cruz, 19, of Buena Park were charged with murder, street terrorism and other felonies.


California’s Prop 47 could free one in five inmates from state prisons
Free Speech Radio News

A ballot initiative in California could result in the early release of one in five of the inmates in the state’s prison system. Supporters of Proposition 47 say it could save the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year by reducing the prison population and diverting the money to drug treatment and education. Prop 47 represents the most sweeping challenge yet to the sentencing law known as Three Strikes, which many progressives say is unfair and disproportionate, and which some conservatives and many fiscal conservatives say is unaffordable. FSRN’s Larry Buhl has more from Los Angeles.

Prop. 47 would reduce some non-violent crimes to misdemeanors
Joe Szydlowski, Record-Searchlight

REDDING, California - Come Nov. 4, California voters will decide whether to pass Proposition 47 and reduce penalties for certain low-level drug and property crimes.
Supporters say it would refocus law enforcement on more serious crimes while freeing up cash to fund drug treatment and other programs to keep offenders from committing more crimes.

But opponents say it would overload an already strained criminal justice system as offenders try to have their records, and in some cases sentences, reduced. An estimated 10,000 people would be released from prison statewide, they have said.
According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office with a few exceptions, Prop. 47 would mandate that theft, shoplifting, which can be charged as burglary, receiving stolen property, writing bad checks and check forgery be charged as misdemeanors if they involve less than $950.

Prop 47: what local chiefs think

Jack Barnwell, Tehachapi News

Voters have a decision to make on the Nov. 4 ballot regarding the future of crime, albeit with a ambiguous title.

Proposition 47, titled "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools" Act, would reduce sentencing penalties of certain non-violet property and drug crimes like drug possession, forgery and check fraud, grand theft and stolen property.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


HP Awarded $116 Million Contract Extension to Enhance California Offender Management System

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 28, 2014) - HP Enterprise Services today announced that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has signed a $116.5 million agreement for HP (NYSE: HPQ) to continue managing the state's Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS), one of the largest electronic corrections system in the United States.

Salinas Valley State Prison investigating inmate's fatal stabbing

SOLEDAD, Calif. - An inmate at Salinas Valley State Prison was stabbed to death early Sunday morning, prison officials said.

Investigators are looking into the homicide, which occurred at 12:30 a.m. in Facility B, one of the institution's maximum  security yards. Staff approached the cell after observing movement late in the evening. Inside the cell, they found a man lying on his bunk, bleeding from multiple stabbing wounds.


Meet the San Quentin Giants
Jasmine Watkins, Sporting News

While the San Francisco Giants are in a battle with the Royals in the World Series, the San Quentin Giants face battles each day.

Since 1920 San Quentin State Prison has had a baseball league consisting of the Giants and the A's. Teams from visiting prisons come and play but in between those times the two teams face off against each other. It's more than a game to them and The New York Times created a video displaying how important it really is.



Were parole agents told not to respond in Friday’s shooting?
Union for parole agents investigates Sacramento case
Richard Sharp, KCRA 3

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —The union for parole agents is looking into whether some of its investigators were told not to respond during Friday’s deadly shooting.

Sacramento County Deputy Danny Oliver had been working on a parole operation an hour before he was shot in the line of duty.


Criminal justice changes stir debate over safety
Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As Gov. Jerry Brown seeks re-election next month, Republicans say decisions he made to reduce prison overcrowding are endangering the public by putting more criminals on the streets.

About 13,000 inmates a month are being released early from crowded county jails while they await trial or before they complete their full sentences. More than 5,000 state prisoners had earlier releases this year because of federal court orders, legislation signed by the governor and a recently approved state ballot initiative.

Prop. 47 can help fix prison mental health crisis
Darrell Steinberg and Rusty Selix, The Sacramento Bee

Facts are facts. And when it comes to mental illness within our criminal justice system, the facts tell a damning story – one for which we must rewrite the ending.

Proposition 47 on the Nov. 4 ballot is an important step in that process. It can help rebuild our mental health and community infrastructure by reducing waste in the very place – prisons – that has swallowed up those resources over the years.

Proposition 47 will make neighborhoods unsafe
Gary Lieberstein, Napa Valley Register

Supporters of Proposition 47 call it the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” This is the ultimate Trojan horse. It will have the absolute opposite effect. Under the guise of protecting schools and neighborhoods, Prop. 47 would make all cases of drug possession, regardless of the amount, a misdemeanor offense. Even possession of date-rape drugs could not be charged as a felony unless the individual has a prior conviction for murder, rape or child molestation. This is simply not good public policy despite whatever the best intentions of those who drafted this ill-advised initiative.

Change in Our Justice System Is Long Overdue; Pass Prop 47!
The Huffington Post

The right to vote is central to any movement for social change.

In the 1960's, voter registration drives were a central strategy to the civil rights movement and today voting continues to play a pivotal role in our democracy.

As someone who cares deeply about education, I felt compelled to make this video increase voter participation and raise awareness of the need to stop the growing school-to-prison pipeline.


Ballot measure could reduce criminal penalties

abc 7 News

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -Proposition 47 gives California voters the chance to decide whether the state should ease up on sentences for some low level drug and property crimes. Supporters say it will save money and reduce crime. Opponents say it will make our communities more dangerous.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon is one of the driving forces behind the measure. More than 60 percent of people released from prison in California are back inside within three years, and Gascon thinks Prop 47 will change that. "When you have a system where 6 times out of 10 you are failing, I would say that is not a working system."

Ex-con returns to court as business owner to thank judge
Cathie Anderson, The Sacramento Bee

For years now, people have told Cornell Battle that he should meet with the judge who gave him his second felony strike – and delivered a stern but ultimately transformative admonishment.

Last week, Battle got that chance. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Gary Ransom shook Battle’s hand, and then they walked side by side down a hallway to chat in a room near Ransom’s court. A new business owner, Battle handed the judge a thank-you card with the Serenity Prayer on its cover.

Voters set to reduce numbers of criminals in California prisons
Shawn Baldwin, Richmond Confidential‎

California voters appear ready to further scale back the state’s extensive prison system 20 years after they passed the controversial three strikes law, which sentences third-time felons to 25 years to life.

Proposition 47, also known as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” would downgrade six felony crimes: drug possession, grand theft, shoplifting, check forgery, receiving stolen property and writing bad checks – as long as the stolen items or bad checks total less than $950.

Locals voice support for Prop 47 at rally in Salinas
Union, ACLU, community members hold rally
Ana Ceballos, Monterey County Herald

SALINAS >> With more than 2,000 felony convictions in the county last year, local community members are touting a statewide proposition that would reduce some non-violent felonies to a misdemeanors.

Dubbed The Safe Schools and Community Act, the Nov. 4 ballot measure would funnel an estimated hundreds of millions in prison savings to substance abuse treatment, mental health programs, truancy prevention and victims' services across California. Several community members, including representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union and Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, rallied behind the measure Monday in Salinas.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


‘San Quentin’s Giants’
Clayton Worfolk, The New York Times

This September, as the San Francisco Giants were lumbering toward their eventual World Series date with the Kansas City Royals, another team of Giants took the field for the final game of their regular season. They wore hand-me-down jerseys and swung bats pulled from an equipment closet under lock and key. As a trumpeter sounded the opening notes of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the team circled the pitcher’s mound with their green-and-yellow-clad counterparts from the A’s. The last game of the San Quentin State Prison baseball season was underway.


Opinion: Has crime faded away as big issue?
Dan Walters, The Sacramento Bee

Crime – or the fear of crime – dominated California’s politics for a quarter-century. Proposition 47, which would reduce punishment for some crimes, tests whether that era has passed.

During its heyday, Republicans rode the crime issue hard and successfully, such as the 1982 election of Republican George Deukmejian, a death penalty champion, as governor.


California Prison Changes Largely Unnoticed in Gubernatorial Race
Scott Shafer, KQED

It’s not the focus of this year’s campaign for governor, but under Jerry Brown the state’s approach to criminal justice has gone in a dramatically new direction.

Underlying it all: too many inmates and too few cells.

In 2006, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger warned the state Legislature that the prisons were powder kegs.

“Our prisons are in crisis,” the governor said. “We have inherited a problem that has been put off year after year after year.”

Guns, drugs and cash found during police raids in Salinas.

Nic Coury, Monterey County Weekly

Four people were arrested on multiple drug charges after Salinas police and other agencies searched four residences in Salinas Thursday.

Officers from Salinas Police’s Violence Suppression Unit found nearly 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine, five guns, 16 marijuana plants, 24 grams of heroin and cocaine, and nearly $7,000 in cash.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Prison donates confiscated cellphones to San Jose-based domestic violence advocacy group


SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California state prison has donated more than 200 contraband cell phones to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to help survivors of domestic violence.

The phones were confiscated from inmates at Chuckawala Valley State Prison. This week, Santa Clara County prosecutors brought the phones to Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence.


With panache, reforming prisoners perform for U.S. attorney general

Mary Milliken, Reuters

NORCO Calif. (Reuters) - In a prison on a hill in California, 18 inmates came face to face with the nation's top law enforcement official. And they came in full makeup.

What the prisoners wanted to show U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday was how two months of acting workshops allowed them to gain control of their emotions, develop self-esteem and prepare themselves for re-entry in society. Many have been behind bars for decades.

Half the Firefighters Battling the California Wildfires Are Prisoners
Alongside professional and volunteer firefighters, residents of the state's penal system are beating back the blazes—or at least trying to
Gabriel Bell, Vocatv

A record drought and soaring heat have made this wildfire season a particularly bad one for California. Not only have thousands of acres and dozens of homes been lost, but also lives. Earlier this month, the pilot of an air tanker died when his plane crashed as he battled a blaze near Yosemite National Park—and the season’s not over yet.

In California, there are fewer jobs more important or deadly than fighting wildfires. Among those brave enough to put on their gear and step into the danger zone are the hundreds of volunteers from California’s prison system—a crew of convicts that makes up almost half of the state’s on-call wildfire-fighting force.

Fourth penalty phase underway for man convicted of raping, killing woman outside bar in 1983
The Associated Press 

SANTA ANA, California — A prosecutor on Wednesday portrayed a convicted rapist and killer as a knife-wielding misogynist who deserves the death penalty.

A defense lawyer countered during opening statements at the sentencing retrial of Richard Raymond Ramirez that his life should be spared due to a dysfunctional childhood with an alcoholic father.

Supreme Court to hear 1985 murder case
Three men were shot execution-style in a San Diego auto repair shop
Kristina Davis, UT- San Diego

SAN DIEGO — It’s been 25 years since Hector Ayala was sentenced to death in the execution-style murders of three men. The victims, with hands bound behind their backs, had been shot in the head in an auto repair shop off 43rd Street in southeastern San Diego.

But an issue over whether blacks and Hispanics were unfairly kept from sitting on the jury has continued to languish in the appeals process, and is now being revived by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Note: The reporter was asked to update an earlier version of the story to make it clear that the new lockdown policy has been in place since May. While he did add that information, it is further down in the story which means that many readers will still be under the wrong impression that the changes still need to be made.

California prisons to take new balance after riots

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -California prison officials will have to balance safety concerns with the need to avoid racial stereotypes after the state agreed to end a long-standing policy that had been challenged in court and deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Under a court settlement made public Wednesday night, the state will drop its practice of attempting to prevent further violence by segregating inmates by race after riots involving racially based prison gangs.


Overcrowded: The Messy Politics of California's Prison Crisis
Zach Weissmueller, Reason

"A prison that deprives prisoners of basic sustenance, including adequate medical care, is incompatible with the concept of human dignity and has no place in civilized society," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority in a Supreme Court ruling against Governor Jerry Brown and the state of California in the 2011 case Brown v. Plata.

The Supreme Court had just affirmed what lower courts had been telling California for decades: The prisons are too crowded. It's time to fix the problem.

Bakersfield Police to add 15 new employees

Carlos Correa, KERO

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield City Council voted to approve a plan that will add more than a dozen new positions to the Bakersfield Police Department.

The plan is a multi-year process that may start as early as January 2015.

Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson plans to make big improvements within the department.


Greg Munks and Steve Wagstaffe: Prop 47 will result in increased crime, less safety in neighborhoods

Greg Munks and Steve Wagstaffe, Mercury News

As the elected San Mateo County district attorney and sheriff, we respectfully request that you join us in opposing Proposition 47, the so called Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. Between us we have 74 years of experience in the criminal justice system. We believe this ill-conceived proposition will not lead to safer communities but instead will result in increased crime and less safety in our neighborhoods.

Proposition 47 inappropriately takes away the discretion of the district attorney to determine whether criminals with serious and violent records should be prosecuted as felons when they commit certain crimes against victims in our community. This is bad public policy and should be rejected.

Mental Health Matters: California’s Prop 47 deserves a ‘yes’ vote
Andrew Whyman, Tahoe Daily Tribune

California citizens have an opportunity to do good and right, both for themselves and their fellow citizens on November 4, by voting for the passage of Proposition 47.

Nevada folks should also pay attention, because the same issues affect them.

Proposition 47, called the Safe Neighborhoods and School Act or the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative, would, if approved by the voters, reduce the classification of most “non serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” from a felony to a misdemeanor.


Redemption Is The Key To An Unlikely Friendship Two Musicians Shared

Kevin Kniestedt, KPLU

How exactly does a man in his 70s — a man who spent most of his adult life in and out of prison and constantly battling a drug addiction — become friends with a 14-year-old girl?

They find a common bond. And in the case of Frank Morgan and Grace Kelly, that bond was music.

Your Call: How do you re-enter society after prison?
Becca Hoekstra,    

On the October 23rd, 2014 edition of Your Call, we'll hear stories of people who turned their lives around after over a decade in prison or jail.  Two thirds of people released from California's prison system will return within 3 years. What obstacles prevent people from getting out and staying out?  How does incarceration impact families, especially children?  What kind of support do formerly incarcerated adults want?  It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you. 

“Note: The text above was published on a webpage to promote an interview on a KALW Local public radio station. The archive audio of the discussion can be found by clicking on the link.”

Cutting Prison Crowding
Michael B. Marois, Bloomberg Businessweek

Proposition 47 The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act

The Essentials
1. On Nov. 4, Californians will vote on Proposition 47, which would lighten penalties for some crimes to ease crowding in state prisons. Drug possession for personal use, writing bad checks under $950, shoplifting, and petty theft would become misdemeanors. As many as 10,000 people now serving time could apply for sentence reductions. According to a May report from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 39 percent of inmates are serving time for drug or property crimes.