Friday, December 19, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

New Program Offers Women ‘Lifers’ More Hope of Being Paroled
Sasha Khokha, KQED

For most of her three decades in prison, Joyce Largo told herself she didn’t commit murder. She was only the driver, while other teenagers she was with kidnapped and killed a paraplegic man whose van they stole. But now she’s graduating from a program that made her spend months really mapping out all the people affected by her crime.

“We had to write an impact letter, an impact statement, and it really opened my eyes to my crime. Before, I only saw it in a shallow way,” says Largo. “After I wrote it all out, I was shocked that I had more involvement than I thought I did.”
 

Inmate dies after being found stricken in cell at DVI
Stockton Record

TRACY — Deuel Vocational Institution, a state prison near Tracy, is investigating the death of an inmate who died after being found unresponsive in his cell.

Custody staff responded to a “man down” call around 2:45 p.m. Sunday and found 46-year-old Floyd Finks without a pulse.

His cell mate told medical staff Finks had just vomited, said Lt. Arnel Bona, public information officer at Deuel.

CDCR NEWS

Authorities arrest 20 probationers during Ontario sweep
Greg Cappis, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

ONTARIO- Officers arrested about 40 percent of the 51 probationers they contacted during a compliance operation Thursday, according to authorities.

More than 60 officers from Ontario, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Justice participated in the sweep, targeting probationers and sex offenders living in Ontario.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS 


Chicano Correctional Workers Association practices 'Somos Familia'
Palo Verde Valley Times

BLYTHE, Calif. - The Chicano Correctional Workers Association has a motto, "Somos Familia" (We Are Family). In keeping with this statement, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and Ironwood State Prison chapters celebrate this Thanksgiving tradition of giving back to the local community.

This year, CCWA helped feed 10 families, by providing a complete turkey dinner. The families who received dinners were selected by the staff at Riverside County Mental Health and Substance Use Clinic in Blythe. CCWA wishes all of these families a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

REALIGNMENT

Deputies: Stolen ATV rider in custody after chase
Record-Searchlight‎

REDDING, California - A 40-year-old man is in custody after he allegedly fled Shasta County Sheriff's deputies on a stolen ATV.

The man, later identified as Michael Allen Harvey, was spotted riding the off-road vehicle on the roadway by members of the Sheriff's AB 109 team, deputies said.

CORRECTIONS RELATED
 

Police stop pursuing nearly 79,000 fugitives
Accused rapists, murderers are allowed to escape, and the victims aren't told
Brad Heath , USA TODAY

YUCAIPA, Calif. – For a time, the intruder charged with pressing a revolver to Armando Botello's forehead truly was a wanted man. When he disappeared, the police promised to pursue him anywhere in the United States.

No longer. Last year, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department notified the FBI that it would pursue the accused armed robber only as far as the state border, even though investigators suspected he had long since left California.

Transitional housing in North Richmond helps previously incarcerated women
Jennifer Baires, Contra Costa Times

NORTH RICHMOND -- It took nearly $250,000 and help from multiple county agencies, but this week two women trying to overcome their criminal pasts are moving into a transitional home in North Richmond -- and taking the first steps to getting their lives on track.

"People like us don't have many opportunities to get back on our feet," said Aesha Johnson, 36, a mother of four and one of the first to move in.

Prop. 47 to change the criminal landscape
Charity Maness, Calaveras Enterprise

Despite strong opposition from law enforcement personnel throughout California, Proposition 47 became a state statute after it passed with 59 percent of the statewide vote Nov. 4.

The initiative will now reduce the classification of most “nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” from felonies to misdemeanors, including personal drug use, forgery, fraud, robberies and thefts in which the value of the property is valued at less than $950. Counties are also now tasked with reviewing each inmate’s request for early release on a case-by-case basis.

Polanski lawyers accuse prosecutors of misconduct
Linda Deutsch, The Washington Times

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The seemingly endless quest by Los Angeles authorities to extradite film director Roman Polanski has taken a new twist with the 81-year-old director renewing his fight to be free of his prosecutors.

Polanski, who has been fighting this battle for nearly four decades, took action this week through a new legal team headed by high-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz. He accuses U.S. and Los Angeles authorities of lying to Polish officials in an effort to extradite him from that country and says a judge secretly planned to put him behind bars if he voluntarily returned to California.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips

CDCR NEWS

Folsom’s prisons raise $4,000 for families of fallen officers
Folsom Telegraph

Employees at Folsom State Prison and California State Prison-Sacramento, held a fundraiser in support for the families of the two fallen officers of Sacramento and Placer counties.

On Oct. 28, Sacramento County Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Deputy Michael Davis were both fatally shot in the line of duty, said California State Prison-Sacramento Lt. Joseph Tuggle.

REALIGNMENT

North Richmond celebrates first-of-its-kind transitional home for formerly incarcerated women

Mike Aldax, Richmond Standard

Naomi House, a first-of-its-kind transitional home in North Richmond for formerly incarcerated women and their young children, had a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.

The newly renovated duplex at 1724 Fred Jackson Way, formerly owned by the Contra Costa County Housing Authority, had been vacant for many years but will soon house up to eight women and their young children. The families will receive a number of social services including case management, job training and life skills.

30 jailed during San Gabriel Valley AB 109 compliance sweep
Brian Day, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY- A task force charged with monitoring convicts released from jail under AB 109 guidelines arrested 30 people during a compliance check throughout the western San Gabriel Valley early Wednesday, officials said.

The task force visited the listed homes of 88 people who are free on Post-Release Community Supervision, under the 2011 state prison alignment plan, Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores said in a written statement. The probationers were contacted at 61 of the homes, while the remaining 27 were either not home or not longer living at their listed addresses.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Vacaville police arrest man suspected of assault
Jessica Rogness, The Reporter

Police arrested a Vacaville man after he allegedly assaulted a business owner with a large piece of wood Tuesday evening.

At about 7 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to the 1000 block of East Monte Vista Avenue where, according to witnesses, an assault had occurred.

DEATH PENALTY
 

Executions in US at 20-year low, report finds
Michele Richinick, MSNBC

The United States saw the lowest number of executions in two decades in 2014, a year in which intense focus was placed on several high-profile botched executions and questions were raised about new drug cocktails that were used in lethal injections.

Thirty-five people were executed in 2014, according to a year-end report released Thursday by the Death Penalty Information Center. In 2013, 39 people were executed. And the 72 new death sentences handed down this year marked the lowest level since 1974, according to the report. In 1996, there were 315 death sentences.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

 
Effects of Prop. 47 brought to light
Potential release of inmates, essential cite-and-release policy within impact
Lydia McNabb, The Folsom Telegraph

Folsom and the surrounding areas may soon see the effects of the recent passage of Proposition 47. Labeled as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” Proposition 47 was passed on Nov. 4 by a significant margin and took effect immediately.

At the Folsom City Council meeting on Dec. 9, Police Chief Cynthia Renaud delivered a presentation explaining the effects that Proposition 47 would have.

Police chief: Suisun crime up 3 percent in 2014
Ian Thompson, Daily Republic

SUISUN CITY — Crime in Suisun City climbed 3 percent from November 2013 to November 2014, Suisun City Police Chief Ed Dadisho told the City Council in his last appearance before them Tuesday night.

That covers the city’s major crimes such as murder, assault, robbery, car theft, larceny, rape and arson.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Sentencing reform clouds California's inmate firefighting corps

Steve Gorman, KDAL

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Battling one of California's first major wildfires of the year, Kevin Black suddenly realized the only way to keep from being engulfed by flames roaring up a hillside toward his team was to finish the buffer line they were hacking through drought-parched brush.

"Either we get this line in, or we burn," Black, 54, recalled shouting as he and his fellow crew members - all prison inmates clad in orange fatigues - hurried to cut a 6-foot-wide (1.8 meter-wide) fire break with hand tools in the thick scrub.

Soldier testifies against alleged Nuestra Familia CEO
Allison Gatlin, The Salinas Californian

Here’s the thing about the Carnales of the Nuestra Familia — they don’t do the dirty work themselves.

Luis Francisco Barrios testified that much Monday during the trial for Vincent “Chente” Garcia, the alleged chief executive officer and regiment commander of the Nuestra Familia in Monterey County. Garcia was one of 47 arrested during Operation Snake Eyes in May 2013.
 

What led to 1980 double-murder may shock you
Jon Swaner, WTHI‎

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Next month, a former Terre Haute man will receive his sentence from a judge for murdering two women.  The killings happened back in 1980.  61-year-old Harry Rowley is already serving two life terms for killings he committed in California.

The lead investigator in this cold case says past investigators put him in a position to bring justice that was three decades in the making.

Detective testifies about deadly shooting in west Modesto
Rosalio Ahumada, The Modesto Bee

Enrique Garcia Jr. was followed from Vintage Faire Mall to a west Modesto neighborhood, where a gunman walked up to his car and shot him, according to a detective’s testimony.

Modesto police Detective Ra Pouv testified Tuesday in a preliminary hearing for Angel Del Villar, who is accused of murder in the shooting of Garcia. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will determine whether there is enough evidence for the defendant to stand trial.

REALIGNMENT

San Bernardino to purchase police body cameras
Ryan Hagen, The San Bernardino Sun

SAN BERNARDINO- Police Chief Jarrod Burguan plans to launch a pilot program of body-worn police cameras within one or two months and buy enough for most other patrol officers within four to six months.

Burguan was reporting to the City Council, which voted 6-0 on Monday to approve $250,000 for the cameras and technology, along with other police spending funded by an AB 109 grant.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Rare resentencing hearing begins in 1997 Watsonville murder case
Jessica A. York, Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ- In a first-of-its-kind case for Santa Cruz County, a convicted murderer facing life without parole is petitioning for a new sentence under a relatively untried state law aimed at juveniles tried as adults.

The resentencing hearing for Francisco Marquez, 34, of Freedom, began Monday in front of Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Timothy Volkmann. Marquez was 17 when he and another man kidnapped and carjacked an 18-year-old Cabrillo College freshman, forcing him to drive 10 miles outside of Watsonville before shooting and killing the student.

REALIGNMENT

Victorville man among dozens arrested
Gang members accused of crimes in Highland, San Bernardino
Anneli Fogt, Daily Press

Note: The author has been informed that no prison inmates were released under AB 109.


HIGHLAND — San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said Monday afternoon that more than 30 people have been arrested throughout San Bernardino County since March in connection to violent crimes occurring in San Bernardino and Highland.

Among the suspects arrested was 20-year-old Victorville resident Cory Thomas, a reputed California Garden Crips gang member who authorities said was arrested last month on suspicion of killing 19-year-old Highland resident Michael Martinez in August.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Sex offender had GPS bracelet removed and went unmonitored
Emily Fohall, Paige St. John, The Los Angeles Times

A high-risk sex offender now charged with raping and murdering four women had his GPS tracking bracelet removed and went unmonitored for nearly two weeks as the string of killings continued in Orange County, according to court records reviewed by The Times.

Steven Gordon is one of two men accused of luring women from the streets of Orange County, killing them and disposing of their bodies in trash bins in an Anaheim industrial neighborhood.

OPINION

Romero & Biddle: We need to address the school-to-prison pipeline
Gloria Romero and Rishawn Biddle, OCRegister


Note: Both the OC Register and author have been informed that CDCR does not look at elementary school reading levels or literacy scores to project future prison bed needs.

The deaths at the hands of police of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, and the decisions not to prosecute officers in either case, should jolt reformers into demanding transformation of both our failing public education and criminal justice systems – whose dysfunctions disproportionately affect poor, minority communities.

If we do not educate, we will incarcerate. Some school reformers have embraced the moment; too many have not. For example, a respected American Enterprise Institute reform leader, Rick Hess, tweeted that Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, Mo., was “not his beat.”

Lauren Smoot: How are we going to pay for Kern's newest jail addition?
Lauren Smoot, Bakersfield Californian

On Dec. 2, the Kern County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to continue with the design/build process for an 822-bed addition to Lerdo Jail ("Supervisors OK new jail contract"). The financial foundation for this decision is troublesome. Kern County will now be building a new jail with no plan to pay for it.

This new facility will cost $27.1 million annually to operate. The construction process will cost $100-127 million, with $100 million coming from the state of California through AB 900. By accepting the state's AB 900 money, we agreed to staff and operate the jail for 30 years. That is $813 million that Kern County will pay to operate the new jail, not including cost of living and other adjustments that arise over time.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Prop 47 already freeing inmates
The courts are wading through thousands of requests for misdemeanor reductions
Kristina Davis and Dana Littlefield, U-T San Diego‎

SAN DIEGO — Alisa Griego still had two weeks to serve on her sentence. She had spent half a year in a county jail for stealing from a store, one of a handful of convictions in a past filled with unhealthy relationships and drug addiction.

But when she appeared before a judge late last month, she was told her felony conviction was now a misdemeanor, that she’d served her time. She was out of custody by the next morning, one of more than a dozen offenders in San Diego County who have been resentenced and released in the wake of Proposition 47.

Folsom prison therapist faces smuggling and conspiracy charges
Thom Jensen, News 10

Thirty-year-old Kimberly Vickers wiped away tears as she was called to face the charges against her.

Vickers is accused of smuggling cellphones, heroin and needles into California State Prison, Sacramento between May and August.

Will Private Prisons Finally Be Subject to the Freedom of Information Act?
Alex Park, Mother Jones

Anyone can use the federal Freedom of Information Act to request records about prisons owned and operated by the government. Information about prisoner demographics, violent incidents, and prison budgets are all obtainable. But privately run facilities—even those that hold federal prisoners—are exempt from the law. Last week, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced legislation to change that. On December 10, she introduced a new bill, the Private Prison Information Act. If passed, it would force any nonfederal prison holding federal prisoners to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

In 2013, 41,200 federal convicts—19 percent of the entire federal prison population—were housed in private facilities. That year, Corrections Corporation of America, the largest prison contractor in the United States, collected more than $584 million from the federal government.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips

CDCR NEWS

Cambi Brown, CBS Sacramento

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Inmates are making a difference and helping Santa even though they’re behind bars.

A new program is letting inmates make gifts for kids in need. Santa has elves everywhere, even behind bars.

“The inmates were able to knit 700 pieces,” said Diane Shepherd, CEO of Correctional Workers Who Care.



REALIGNMENT

Anneli Fogt, Victorville Daily Press

It’s been three years since California legislators passed Assembly Bill 109, a prison realignment measure that aimed to reduce state prison overcrowding by mandating that some convicted felons serve time in county jails or be released to the supervision of county probation departments.

The bill also extended PC 4019 to county jails, meaning that inmates convicted of non-violent crimes would serve only half of their sentence if they maintained good behavior.


CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Tony Saavedra, OC Register

Jessica’s Law, the ballot measure to harness sex offenders, began eight years ago with a promise – one that parents whose daughters have disappeared, as well as law enforcement experts, now say lulled California into a false sense of security.

The voter-approved statute promised to keep paroled sex offenders in check, in part, by forcing them to wear Global Positioning Satellite bracelets. Yet two of those offenders were wearing GPS bracelets when, according to prosecutors, they killed Kianna Jackson, 20, and three other women in Orange County.



CORRECTIONS RELATED

Mary Ann Tomin-Miller, Peninsula Press

Prosecutors and public defenders across the region have been scrambling to identify prisoners eligible for release, after the drug possession and nonviolent property crimes for which they were convicted were reduced from felonies to the lesser category of misdemeanors with the passage of Proposition 47 in November.

The highest priority is to free inmates eligible for release, according to Assistant District Attorney Morley Pitt, the San Mateo County prosecutor in charge of processing release petitions.

University of California-San Francisco

UC San Francisco’s Brie Williams, MD, was one of five faculty members across the entire University of California system — and the only one from UCSF — to receive the President’s Research Catalyst Awards, chosen from a pool of almost 200 proposals. UC President Janet Napolitano made the announcement on Dec. 10.

The projects involve multi-campus, multi-disciplinary efforts, incorporating research, teaching and learning for undergraduate and graduate students. The awards are designed to stimulate UC research in areas that could benefit California and the world.

Debbie L. Sklar, MyNewsLA

The co-leader of a Mexican Mafia-controlled gang that operated in a Los Angeles neighborhood near USC is expected to be sentenced to federal prison Monday.

Vianna Roman — daughter of imprisoned Mexican Mafia member Danny Roman — pleaded guilty in May to racketeering, narcotics and weapons offenses as a result of a plea agreement that recommends a prison sentence of no more than 20 years.

The 39-year-old Los Angeles woman admitted that she acted as a conduit for her father’s orders as he exercised control over the Harpys gang from his state prison cell.

Rich Greene, Daily News

Red Bluff — The Tehama County Board of Supervisors authorized Tuesday the purchase of the former Red Bluff Garden Center at 766 Antelope Blvd.

The 3.86-acre property will be used as a work farm for probationers and offenders assigned to work in alternate custody programs.

Joe Nelson, The Sun

Adelanto has given the green light for a $327 million, 3,264-bed private prison expected to relieve Los Angeles County of its inmate overflow, but has postponed voting on a 1,000-bed private prison proposed by another company until January.

On Wednesday, after the swearing-in of newly elected Mayor Rich Kerr and councilmen John Woodard and Charley Glasper, the City Council voted 4-1 to approve the prison planned on the northeast corner of Violet and Emerald roads. Councilman Jermaine Wright was the lone dissenting vote.



OPINION

Mandy Feder, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Where I lived last the jail was adjacent to the animal shelter. Some good-behavior inmates were allowed to volunteer next door — walking the dogs and playing with the cats. It was the highlight of the day for all the incarcerated involved. Canines and convicts — felines and felons — have forged bonds across the country with the advent of various programs.

Unwanted people and animals are often unruly and in need of compassion, care and structure. Enter a Washington state foster care project for cats.

Steve Hunt, Victorville Daily Press

I have been thinking a lot about prisons recently. There are many types, I believe.
There are the literal prisons, which house people who have been convicted of crimes and have been sentenced to various terms to pay the penalty for their offenses.

There are prisons of our own making, too.

Some would say alcoholism or drug abuse is a type of prison, as it can be extremely difficult to break the grips of either. You’re free in the literal sense of the word, because you’re not locked up in a cell, but you’re imprisoned by your need to use alcohol or drugs.

Inimai Chettiar, Reuters

In the aftermath of the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, protesters across the nation are looking to Washington for action and answers. This seems a strange disconnect, however, because policing is regarded as a local matter. The federal government, the public is told, has no jurisdiction over local law enforcement issues.

Yet Washington can and should take the lead on criminal-justice reform. The federal government can wield great influence in setting nationwide criminal-justice policy.

Leticia Perez, Bakersfield Californian

The Community Corrections Partnership is a legislatively established body that oversees implementation of the Public Safety Realignment Act, AB 109, which became effective in October 2011. The act brought major changes to our criminal justice system. AB 109 was prompted by data that showed California's decades-long commitment to dramatic increases in prison spending were producing highly disappointing results.

Indeed, about 40 percent of people released from prison were reincarcerated within three years. And, many persons committed to prison were coming out more troubled than when they entered the prison system. Historically, the sheriff, probation chief and district attorney joust for the majority of AB 109 growth funds, with the small remainder divided among other departments and Community Based Organizations that focus on substance abuse treatment and job placement.



CALIFORNIA INMATES


Paige St. John, LA Times

California prison officials have agreed to allow minimum custody inmates who provide the bulk of the state prison system’s menial labor force to be eligible for early release.

The settlement agreement, filed in federal court Friday, would affect an estimated 4,300 inmates in the state’s crowded prison system, inmate lawyers said. If federal judges concur, those inmates could in January start earning sharply reduced sentences.


The Associated Press

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana — A California prison inmate is pleading guilty in connection with the shooting deaths of two Terre Haute women more than 34 years ago.

The Tribune-Star and WTHI-TV report 61-year-old Harry Rowley pleaded guilty to murder charges during a Vigo County court hearing on Monday.


Tom McGhee, Denver Post

Kay Martley remembers cousin Gary Hinman lowering his lanky, adolescent frame onto a bench and ripping through a classical piano repertoire as he entertained at family gatherings in his Fort Collins home.

It isn't easy to reconcile that vibrant image with the autopsy report describing the multiple knife wounds and decomposing body after the musician became the first known fatality tied to Charles Manson and his followers.

Note: Numerous reporters, including the Associated Press, contacted CDCR regarding this story. They were informed that Inmate Manson has not married his fiancée and no wedding date has been set.
Ashley Collman, Mail Online

A 'superfan' of Charles Manson appears to have carried out her vow to marry the 80-year-old notorious mass murderer.

Afton Elaine Burton, who calls herself Star, was spotted outside her home on Saturday proudly flaunting a new ring on her wedding finger.

The 26-year-old has been writing to the killer since she was a teen and even moved from her home in Illinois to the California town where he is imprisoned.