Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


LA Forum Encourages Employers to Hire Former Offenders
Anna Buss, Pasadena Independent

Last month, the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA), the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC) hosted the Los Angeles Employer Forum at LATTC, encouraging business owners to hire trained former offenders.

Also partnering with this event are the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, The City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department and the California Workforce Investment Board.

Governor Brown Announces Appointments

Imperial Valley News

Sacramento, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments:

Michele Minor, 53, of Galt, has been appointed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Board of Parole Hearings. Minor has been project manager at the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center since 2013 and has served in several positions at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 1985, including deputy director at the Office of Rehabilitative Programs, program administrator at the Stockton Training Center, lieutenant at the Division of Juvenile Justice, sergeant at the California Youth Authority and officer at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility. This position requires Senate confirmation the compensation is $117,504. Minor is a Democrat.


HUNNEMAN: Decision to parole Macias in 1992 fatal crash to be reviewed
A parole review will occur after the man, who killed six in 1992 collision near Temecula Valley High School, was involved in a prison fight.
John Hunneman, The Press-Enterprise

The decision by the California Parole Board to grant the petition of a man convicted of killing six people in a horrific collision near Temecula Valley High School in 1992 will be reviewed.

The review – set for Tuesday in Sacramento – comes after Jesus Sandoval Macias, 38, was involved in a prison fight Sept. 16.


Prisons balk at Sovaldi’s $84,000 cost for hepatitis C treatment

Stephanie M. Lee and Joe Garofoli, The San Francisco Chronicle

In San Francisco’s jails, no inmates with hepatitis C are receiving Sovaldi, the breakthrough pill that can cure most patients in an unprecedented amount of time.

In California’s prisons, the drug, made by Gilead Sciences of Foster City, is being given to less than 1 percent of the 17,000 inmates with the virus.

Sovaldi could wipe out what has long been an intractable disease. But its $84,000 cost for a 12-week supply doesn’t fit into lean government budgets.

The Rehabilitation of California’s Ballot Measure

Vauhini Vara, The New Yorker

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s prisons, which were then at nearly two-hundred-per-cent capacity, were so overcrowded that detaining anyone in them was a form of cruel and unusual punishment and a violation of constitutional rights. The state legislature passed a law, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown, requiring that sentences for certain low-level felonies be served in county jails rather than state prisons; today, the prisons house about a hundred and seventeen thousand inmates, down twenty per cent from this time four years ago. But California prisons still contain many more people than they were built for and more than the courts will allow; the state has been given until 2016 to bring its population down to 137.5 per cent of its capacity.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Major 500lb. Meth Bust Linked to Mexican Cartel

Highland Community News

SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the takedown of a transnational criminal organization based in Contra Costa County, including the arrest of 22 individuals and the seizure of 500 pounds of methamphetamine and over $700,000 in U.S. Currency.

The takedown, named Operation Road Trip, represents the culmination of several related investigations targeting California-based Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) connected to Mexico’s Sinaloa Federation drug cartel. These investigations, which were led by California Department of Justice task forces that include federal, state and local law enforcement partners, have to date, resulted in 67 arrests and the seizure of $40 million of methamphetamine and $1.82 million in U.S. Currency over the past six years.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Californians Vote on Lighter Penalties to Relieve Prisons
Michael B Marois, Bloomberg

California voters are being asked to lighten criminal penalties for low-level drug possession and nonviolent thefts such as shoplifting, to help ease crowding in the state’s prisons.

Support for the ballot initiative is uniting billionaires on opposite ends of the political spectrum, from financier George Soros and Netflix Inc. Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings to Republican donor B. Wayne Hughes Jr., son of the founder of Public Storage, the largest self-storage business.

UCSC professor honored for prison research
Solitary confinement worsens mental health, says Craig Haney
Kara Guzman, Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ- For nearly 30 years, UC Santa Cruz psychology professor Craig Haney has toured U.S. prisons, interviewing around 1,000 inmates kept in solitary confinement.

Haney will deliver a public lecture in April on his research, an honor bestowed by the UCSC Academic Senate. He will be among several recognized Oct. 25 at UCSC's Founders Day dinner.

New Los Angeles Program Working To Divert Mentally Ill, Homeless From Jail

Stephanie Stephens, California Healthline

LOS ANGELES -- Court. Jail. Homelessness. Repeat. That cycle so familiar to many Californians with mental illnesses may soon be interrupted thanks to the new Third District Diversion and Alternative Sentencing Program in Los Angeles County.

Designed for adults who are chronically homeless, seriously mentally ill, and who commit specific misdemeanor and low-level felony crimes, the demonstration project could help reduce recidivism by as much as two-thirds, Third District Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said.


15 people arrested in compliance check sweep in Indio
Rich Tarpening, KESQ

Indio -Indio Police say 15 people were arrested during a compliance check sweep operation on Thursday.  According to a news release sent out on Friday, Indio Police confirm they teamed up with P.A.C.T  (Post-Release Accountability and Compliance Team) and conducted the operation.

Approximately 72 law enforcement personnel participated in the operation. The operation resulted in compliance checks of 67 locations and the arrest of 15 individuals.  Drugs, drug paraphernalia, weapons, and stolen property were recovered as a result of the operation.


Why Alabama can't pull a California and wait for the feds to force prison reform: opinion
Wesley Vaughn, AL.com

Alabama's prison overcrowding is such a hot topic right now because of the recent federal intervention in California. Alabama's prisons have hovered around 200 percent capacity for years, but California's situation and a declaration of unconstitutional conditions at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in January by federal officials have brought the state's prison problem to the forefront.

Although the state legislature created the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force to propose legislation during the next session, letting the feds force the issue could be politically convenient for legislators whose constituents do not care much for prisoners.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Solano College approves agreement with prison
John Glidden, Vallejo Times Herald

With unanimous approval by the Solano Community College Governing Board Wednesday night, the district will begin teaching academic transfer curriculum to inmates, taught by district faculty.

The agreement between the district and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California State Prison-Solano will allow inmate students to earn college credit but also have access to counseling, placement, and disability support services, according to a district press release.


State prisons on the right path: Stay the course

SACRAMENTO, Jeffrey Callison, Press secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: The Register says “California should get serious about fixing prisons” [Opinion, Oct. 9]. The fact is, California has been working hard for years towards making its prison system a national model.

Yes, our institutions were once chronically crowded. But thanks to smart policy decisions, intense focus and billions of dollars of investment, California’s prisons are very different today.


California agencies at odds over counting new crimes

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's attorney general has released a statewide definition of recidivism — a term used for ex-cons who commit new crimes — that conflicts with one being developed by a corrections-related board overseen by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The disagreement is important because it will help determine whether the governor's sweeping changes to the criminal justice system are considered a success. The emerging conflict also has the potential to create confusion among California's local law enforcement agencies.


‘Perhaps less than Shakespeare’
Duncan Hall, The Argus

CALIFORNIA prisoners can read werewolf erotica in their cells following a two-year court case about a novel penned by a Brighton-based writer.

Now Mathilde Gregory is telling her story as part of the Brighton Comedy Fringe, from the genesis of The Silver Crown – the second in her werewolf erotica trilogy published by Black Lace – to the judgement which was reported across the world.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


California State Prison-Solano and Solano Community College Partner to Provide Classroom-Based Education to Inmates
Dana Simas, CDCR Today

SACRAMENTO—Last night, the Solano Community College District Governing Board approved an agreement with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to provide college credit courses to qualifying inmates at California State Prison-Solano. The inmates will receive instruction from faculty at Solano Community College.

This is the first agreement between CDCR and a California community college since Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1391 last month.

SB 1391 allows California Community Colleges to receive full funding for course instruction offered on-site in state prisons and will expand the courses offered to inmates.


California Foodways: Prison Dairy Gives Job Training, Pride to Inmate Workers

Lisa Morehouse, KQED

Making license plates is the stereotypical job for a prisoner, but in the Central Valley there’s a group of inmates doing very different work — supplying milk to almost all the prisons in the state system.

The low wages for the work may be shocking to people on the outside, but inmates say the job gives them something else.

Pilot funding returns arts to California prisons
Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press

NORCO, Calif. (AP) — Christopher Bisbano leaps onto the stage and his body transforms: He cries out for his true love, and then contorts his face into a droopy pout as the audience bellows with laughter.

"I loooooove yooou, Is-aaaa-bell-aaaa!" he cries, drawing out each syllable for extra laughs as his hat slips jauntily to the side.


San Bernardino County’s inmate fire crew program is successful
Janice Rutherford, Fontana Herald-News

About a year and a half ago, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department launched an ambitious pilot program to train inmates to work as firefighters.

Since then, the county has opened an 8-acre inmate fire camp, and there are three inmate fire hand crews with a total of 45 members. A fourth crew is in training and another is expected to begin training shortly.

Faith Leaders Unite to Support Prop. 47, Help California Families
Julian Do, New America Media

Not unlike the Jean Valjean character in Victor Hugo’s novel Les Miserables, the real life story of Jose Osuna gives credence to the idea that a second chance is sometimes all a person needs to turn their life around.

A second chance is essentially what California’s Proposition 47, if approved by voters, would provide – the law would reduce prison terms for offenders like Osuna who were given long sentences for minor and non-violent offenses. The law would also reclassify many non-violent felonies, such as drug possession, as misdemeanors.

Fresno County inmate with TB returned to state prison
Pablo Lopez, The Fresno Bee

A Fresno County jail inmate who was suspected of having contagious tuberculosis has returned to the Coalinga State Hospital because he longer exhibits signs of active TB, the county’s interim heath officer said Wednesday.Steven Reyes, 60, had been in isolation at the county jail since July 18.

He was accused of violating California’s Health and Safety code — a misdemeanor — for refusing a public health officer’s order to take a chest X-ray to check for tuberculosis.Friday, Dr. Kenneth Bird, the county’s interim health officer, appeared in Fresno County Superior Court and withdrew his order for the X-ray.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Police: Roseville woman brought drugs for sale to San Quentin
Marie Kathrine Allison faces slew of charges
Michelle Schultz, KCRA

ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KCRA) —A 63-year-old Roseville woman is accused of smuggling drugs into San Quentin State Prison to be sold to inmates, police said.

Marie Kathrine Allison was arrested Saturday, according to a Roseville Police Department news release issued Tuesday.

A vice and narcotics enforcement team learned several weeks ago of the allegations that Allison had been smuggling in drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana, officers said.


Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab
Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

Barry Hazle was paroled after a one-year prison term for methamphetamine possession in 2007 and was ordered to spend the next 90 days in a residential drug treatment program. When he arrived, officials told him it was a 12-step program, modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous, that required participants to confess their powerlessness and submit to a “higher power” through prayer.

Hazle, a lifelong atheist, had asked for a secular treatment program. He said he was told this was the only state-approved facility in Shasta County, where he lived, but that it wasn’t a stickler for compliance.


Pair seeks repeal, revision of sex-offender laws across California
Joe Nelson, San Bernardino Sun

A crusading civil rights attorney and a registered sex offender have partnered in a legal battle that has prompted dozens of California cities to repeal or revise what the pair believe are unconstitutional ordinances restricting the activities of sex offenders.

Since March, Santa Maria attorney Janice Bellucci and Frank Lindsay, a 62-year-old water-treatment specialist from Grover Beach and registered sex offender for 35 years, have filed 18 lawsuits in federal court challenging ordinances in cities from Stockton down to National City.