Stephanie Sumell, Thousand Oaks Acorn
Patrick Jefferson assured teens at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility that it was OK to smile during a milestone some may have thought they would never experience: their high school graduation.
The speaker said men, especially those of color, too often hide their emotions in an attempt to look tough in front of their peers.
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Nic Coury, Monterey County Weekly
A 35-year-old convicted murderer already serving a life sentence pleaded guilty today to killing another inmate with a homemade weapon at Salinas Valley State Prison in 2012.
Just after 11am on September 15, 2012, Gregory Hoenshell and Barry Storey, 37, stabbed 42-year-old Edgar Sultan to death in a maximum security yard. According to a press release from the California Department Corrections and Rehabilitation, the attack on Sultan set off a riot after thirty other inmates started attacking each other.
Patrick Kearns Leach, 29, showed up to his sentencing a day early and got 15 years for rage-filled shooting of a neighbor.
Paige Austin, Patch
A son of the creator of the children’s character “Barney” was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for shooting and wounding his neighbor after an argument in January 2013.
Patrick Kearns Leach, 29, of Malibu, pleaded no contest May 28 to one count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and shooting from a motor vehicle.
Vivian Ho, SF Gate
Homicides, robberies and overall violent crimes fell statewide in 2014 to levels not seen in decades, according to a Department of Justice report released Wednesday.
The 1,697 killings last year were the fewest in California since 1971. At its bloody peak, in 1993, the state recorded 4,095 homicides.
Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil, San Jose Inside
Michael Mendoza made the worst decision of his life when was just 15 years old. He had recently joined a new family—a gang—to replace the troubled relationship with his father. Eager for approval, he went out for a ride with some of his new family members. The drive ended with a passenger in the front aiming a gun out the window and killing a rival gang member.
“At that moment, I was totally ignorant,” Mendoza says. “I didn’t consider the impact that this decision would have, not just on this man, but on his family, on my family and on the community. All I cared about was me—all I could think about was me.”
What comes after mass incarceration? Local incarceration.
Anat Rubin, The Marshall Project
Indio, California – In this desert city halfway between Los Angeles and the Arizona border, a small monument to the state’s prison downsizing experiment is materializing in a shopping center storefront, where former felons will soon have access to health screenings, substance-abuse treatment, job training, therapy, and probation officers who look and sound more like social workers than law enforcement officials.