Friday, July 22, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado, The Fresno Bee

Guns and ammunition were among the items confiscated during an operation targeting at-large parolees in Fresno on Thursday, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

Seven parolees, four of whom were fugitives, were also taken off the streets during Operation Heat. Special parole agents from Fresno and Tulare counties joined the Fresno Police Department in the sweep administered by the CDCR.


Allison Weeks and Alecia Reid, KRON

SAN RAFAEL (KRON)—A youth program inside San Quentin State Prison is changing lives.

It’s giving some inmates a new lease on life.

KRON4’s Alecia Reid went behind the prison walls for a closer look at their rehabilitation.


Your Central Valley

A 70-year-old Visalia man who is in prison for attempting to murder a judge 25 years ago has been denied parole.

According to a statement released by the Tulare County District Attorney's Office, Harry Bodine's parole request was denied by the parole board on Wednesday, at the San Quentin State Prison, for the fifth time.


Pablo Lopez, The Fresno Bee

A Fresno man initially sentenced to life in prison without parole was resentenced Thursday to 80 years to life in prison in connection with the 2006 killing of a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Jose Angel Perez accepted his new punishment in Fresno County Superior Court, hoping that an appellate court will reduce his sentence under a new California law that gives youthful offenders a chance at parole after serving 25 years in prison, said Fresno defense attorney Peter Jones, who represents Perez.

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri City Herald

A California man on trial for the 2011 home invasion and kidnapping of a Kennewick jeweler’s family said Thursday that investigators made a mistake.

Vicente Guizar Figueroa, 21, denied knowing anything about a plan five years ago to hold the family of Mark Welsh hostage while the robbers took the Touchstone Jewelers owner to his store so they could steal $500,000 in merchandise.

Figueroa testified that he’s only been to the Tri-Cities twice in his life, while visiting his mother in Yakima County. Those occasions were just to go to the mall, he said.


Rex Dalton, Voice of OC

In a new way to assist clients, the Orange County Public Defender's Office is planning to hire social workers to help people reenter the community after criminal offenses.

The agency hopes to hire four social workers to assist public defenders in integrating clients back into the community -- as a part of California’s broader effort to help offenders lead productive lives and save taxpayer dollars.

A proposal for one year of funding totaling nearly $330,000 is to go to the county Board of Supervisors by autumn.


Argus Courier

A majority of respondents to a recent Argus-Courier online poll said they would not vote to repeal the death penalty in California, when the question comes up on the November ballot. About two-thirds of respondents said they would vote “no” on the measure, while one-third said they would vote to end the death penalty.

Here are some comments:

“Absolutely not. If an individual is convicted of murder, they deserve the death penalty. Our tax dollars should not be spent taking care of these people while they sit comfortably in prison getting free health care and other ridiculous rights. Get rid of them.”

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Megan Burks, KPBS News

Southwestern College in Chula Vista will begin offering the federal Pell Grants in the fall to Donovan prisoners as part of a pilot program started by the Obama administration.

About two dozen inmates at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa will receive federal Pell Grants and classes in business administration in the fall.

Pell Grants have been off limits to prisoners since 1994, when Congress enacted a ban on financial aid for inmates as part of several tough-on-crime policies. Last year, President Barack Obama superseded the ban with a temporary pilot program to offer the grants to about 12,000 inmates. Under the Higher Education Act, the secretary of education can waive such restrictions to conduct pilots.

Cathy Locke, The Sacramento Bee

Q: Has Christopher Schulz been sentenced for a 2014 shooting on Fruitridge Road?

Rick, Sacramento

A: Christopher Schulz, 25, was convicted in May of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle and being a felon in possession of a firearm.


Rex Dalton, Voice of OC

Weekly through the winter in Santa Ana, a group of about 20 young men and women would meet in a circle to share their experiences about leadership.

The lessons they learned, however, weren’t from traditional sources but from the mean streets of Orange County or the corridors of California prisons.

The group was a mix -- some who had spent a short time incarcerated, but turned their lives around, and others who spent decades behind bars.

In June, they graduated from the community leadership program created by Project Kinship, a small Santa Ana-based non-profit organization that helps the formerly incarcerated successfully reenter the community.


The Los Angeles Times

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday threw his support behind a ballot measure that would repeal the death penalty in California, saying the criminal justice policy did not deter crime and was fundamentally immoral.

In a statement, he said Proposition 62 would abolish a system "that is administered with troubling racial disparities." Newsom, who publicly supported a 2012 failed measure seeking to end capital punishment, said the initiative would also save the state millions of dollars. He cited statistics showing that California has spent $5 billion to execute 13 people since 1978.

R.W. Dellinger, Angelus

“In 1978, my dad and I worked very hard to pass the Briggs initiative, which is today’s death penalty law here in California,” his son Ron Briggs, then a supervisor in El Dorado County, declared at an outdoor press conference at Grand Park near Downtown L.A. on July 14.

“We thought back then that we would deliver swift justice, that we would take care of the victims’ families and survivors and provide them closure. We thought we would save California money. We believed then a broad death penalty would act as a deterrent to crime,” Briggs explained.

“We couldn’t have been more wrong,” he said. “What we did is we created an ‘industry of death’ in California, costing tax payers $187 million a year. We have spent over $5 billion in California since 1978 doing 13 executions. That’s a staggering $384 million per execution.”


The Sacramento Bee

In 1978, California enacted today’s California death penalty statute, the so-called Briggs Initiative. Now, Ron Briggs supports repealing the statute his “family wrote,” but his argument reads more like a surrender to death penalty abolitionists (“Death penalty is destructive to California”; Forum, July 10).

Instead of waving a white flag, Briggs should endorse Proposition 66, the Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act of 2016, as a worthy successor to his family’s work. This initiative deals with the concerns Briggs raises about California’s death penalty system.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Rory Appleton, Chowchilla News

CHOWCHILLA — For 40 years, strangers from around the world have asked Jennifer Brown Hyde about her kidnapping.

“People find out and are fascinated,” Hyde said. “And that’s fine. I don’t mind sharing it because the world stopped and was on its knees praying for us. And I feel, 40 years later, that I owe it to those people to share where I am at in life.”

Hyde was one of 26 children abducted July 15, 1976, during a summer school bus ride in Chowchilla. The students and their bus driver were taken at gunpoint and eventually were piled into a moving van and buried in a Bay Area quarry. They escaped without any physical injuries after less than a day in captivity.


Hillel Aron, LA Weekly

Erika Rocha spent her 35th birthday— her last birthday — at California Institution for Women (CIW), the smaller of the state's two female-only prisons. In the yard of the Chino Valley facility, about an hour east of downtown L.A., her friends threw her a Tinker Bell party.

"For two weeks Erika was asking what kind of party she was having," one of her friends, nicknamed Grumpy, would later write in a booklet distributed at Rocha's memorial service. "Everyone kept telling her, 'You're just having a private little dinner with your honey.' She came up to [another friend] Dreamer and was all, 'I know you can't hold water, so what are you guys doing for my B-Day?' [Dreamer] can't keep those kinds of secrets so [she] just smiled and was like, 'You're having a little dinner like you wanted.'"


Alison Vekshin, Bloomberg

Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names are pouring money into an effort to overturn California’s death penalty as support for capital punishment has declined to the lowest in decades.

Reed Hastings, the billionaire chief executive officer of Netflix Inc., donated $1 million, and Inc. CEO Marc Benioff gave $50,000 to support a measure on the November ballot that would replace death with a life sentence without parole. Seven wealthy donors from technology companies have contributed the bulk of the $4 million raised so far.


Rachel Cohrs, The Sacramento Bee

Between June 1 and July 2, 15 state employee bargaining units’ contracts expired. So far, only one of them has come to an agreement with the governor.

This round of negotiations is particularly sticky because California Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to chip away at nearly $72 billion in retiree health benefit obligations over the next 30 years by getting state employees to contribute from their paychecks. With certain units, that strategy hasn’t gone over smoothly.

International Union of Operating Engineers representative Steve Crouch said while the union agrees with the concept of pre-funding retiree benefits, it disagrees with the amount of money that should be taken out of workers’ paychecks.

Kathryn Skelton, Lewiston Sun Journal

AUBURN — After a rough start and years in federal prison, Titan Gilroy took an entry-level job at a machine shop and learned the trade — then built his own company.

With a few smart moves, it took off like a shot.

"I went from $1 million (the first year) to $1 million a month for the next 24 months — 55 employees, 20 Haas (high-tech) machines," Gilroy said.

Correctional News

SANTA MARIA, Calif. — Now that the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors awarded construction contracts in early July for the Northern Branch jail in Santa Maria, final state approval is required before continuing with plans to build the facility. That includes review by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), State Public Works Board and Pooled Money Investment Board.

The $77.7 million construction bid package was awarded to Costa Mesa, Calif.-based SJ Amoroso Construction Inc., and locally based Spiess Construction Co. Inc. was awarded the $2.9 million bid package for off-site utility and road improvement work, according to Noozhawk.


The Turlock Journal

Forty-five years ago in a bone-chilling, blood-curdling cover story for The Los Angeles Free Press about California’s gas chamber (“How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?,” December 4, 1970), author, musician, and beatnik activist Ed Sanders, decried state-sponsored, tax-payer funded executions as a “ritual of filth.” Sanders exhorted: “Isn’t it time to crush that cruel nose-cone at San Quentin in the jaws of the nearest auto compactor or in the nearest junk yard?”

Close to half a century later – but, better late than never – when Californians head to the polls on November 8, 2016, we can do just what Ed Sanders suggested: We can toss out what former Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun called our broken and vile “machinery of death,” relegating it to the dust-heap of our shared, dark, wayward humanity.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Theo Douglas,

An inmate at North Kern State Prison died last week, the Kern County Coroner’s Office said in a news release on Monday.

Inmate Eddie Lee Chapman of Delano was found unresponsive in his jail cell at 7:51 a.m. July 12 and was pronounced dead two minutes later, according to KCCO.

He was 43 and his next of kin has been notified. Prison officials declined to discuss Chapman’s death because it is under investigation by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Sierra Sun Times

July 19, 2016 - Los Angeles, CA – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) special agents apprehended inmate Daniel Perez, 34, Monday morning, approximately eight days after he was discovered missing from the minimum security Baseline Conservation Camp in Jamestown, Tuolumne County.

Perez, 34, was taken into custody at 11:30 am in Rosemead, Los Angeles County, by CDCR Special Service Units without incident.  Perez walked away from Baseline camp sometime after a routine security check at 10:30 pm, Sunday July 10, 2016. 


Shirin Rajaee, CBS

EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) – Seven years after Jaycee Dugard was rescued from the hands of a convicted sex offender, Phillip Garrido is now eligible for release some 400 years early.

“He went and abducted an 11-year-old and held her in captivity for many years, we shouldn’t even be talking about the potential for release for him,” says Vern Pierson, El Dorado County’s District Attorney.


Catholic Herald

The bishops released a statement to coincide with the launch of the Yes on 62 campaign

The California Catholic bishops announced their support last week for Proposition 62, a voter initiative on the November ballot that would repeal the death penalty.

The bishops timed their statement to coincide with the launch of the Yes on 62 campaign that took place at a Los Angeles news conference. Speakers there included former death penalty advocates, victims’ families, law enforcement officials, faith leaders and wrongfully convicted former death-row prisoners.



NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CCA (NYSE:CXW) (the "Company" or "Corrections Corporation of America"), America's largest owner of partnership correctional, detention, and reentry facilities, announced today that it received an award from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to house up to 120 residents as part of The Male Community Reentry Program (MCRP) at CCA's 120-bed CAI-Boston Avenue residential reentry facility in San Diego, California.

The MCRP was designed by the CDCR to provide a range of community-based, rehabilitative services that assist with substance use disorders, mental health care, medical care, employment, education, housing, family reunification and social support to help participants successfully reenter the community and reduce recidivism.

Rosemary Ponnekanti, The News Tribune

ACOMA, Wash. – It’s not your typical yoga class. There are no chic leggings, no feel-good decorations. Instead, there are gray lockers, institutional carpet, a noisy fan.

Oh, and a locked door with a guard behind it.

But while the women reaching into mountain pose are wearing state-issued gray sweats, their faces radiate peace. It’s a class at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Purdy, Wash., taught by Yoga Behind Bars, a Seattle-based nonprofit.