Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Inmate Fire Crews Key To Battling Blazes Like King Fire, Work To Shave Sentences
Leigh Martinez, CBS Local

EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — Inmate fire crews battle on the front lines along professional firefighters. One group at the king fire is lucky to be alive after having to deploy fire shelters when flames went over top of them Monday.

“They know what hard time is,” said Cal Fire Capt. Rick Vallejo of his team of 16 prisoners. “We get them at the fire camp and they’re on they’re best behavior. We’re 24/7 365 days with these guys.”

Inmates graduate with job certifications
Credentials offer chance at better life after prison
Laura Newell, Folsom Telegraph 

Recently 55 female offenders at the Folsom Women’s Facility received certifications during graduation ceremonies after completing programs through the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA).

The majority of women graduated on Sept. 9 from career technical education programs in computer-aided design, pre-apprentice construction labor, pre-apprentice carpentry and facilities maintenance. Some graduates completed customer service and warehouse logistics training.

How Gangs Took Over Prisons
Originally formed for self-protection, prison gangs have become the unlikely custodians of order behind bars—and of crime on the streets.
Graeme Wood, The Atlantic

On a clear morning this past February, the inmates in the B Yard of Pelican Bay State Prison filed out of their cellblock a few at a time and let a cool, salty breeze blow across their bodies. Their home, the California prison system’s permanent address for its most hardened gangsters, is in Crescent City, on the edge of a redwood forest—about four miles from the Pacific Ocean in one direction and 20 miles from the Oregon border in the other. This is their yard time.

Most of the inmates belong to one of California’s six main prison gangs: Nuestra Familia, the Mexican Mafia, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Black Guerrilla Family, the Northern Structure, or the Nazi Lowriders (the last two are offshoots of Nuestra Familia and the Aryan Brotherhood, respectively). The inmates interact like volatile chemicals: if you open their cells in such a way as to put, say, a lone member of Nuestra Familia in a crowd of Mexican Mafia, the mix can explode violently. So the guards release them in a careful order.

Salinas Valley State Prison inmate in critical condition after being stabbed multiple times.
Monterey County Weekly

A 27-year-old inmate was stabbed multiple times in the torso Tuesday afternoon at Salinas Valley State Prison.

Just after 3:15pm, the inmate walked up to a staff member in the D building dining hall and asked to go back to his cell. The staffer noticed him bleeding, and then the man collapsed.


5 Ways California Can Imprison Fewer People

In 2009, overcrowding in California’s prisons had gotten so bad—140,000 inmates crammed into prisons built to house just 80,000—that federal judges ruled it violated prisoners’ civil rights. Under order to reduce the state’s prison population, Governor Brown introduced realignment in 2011, a plan to send nonviolent inmates to county jails and probation departments rather than prison.

This year, a federal court gave California two more years to reduce the inmate population of its 33 prisons to 112,100. Along with shifting responsibilities to the county, the state is looking at other measures to move people out of prison, including good-behavior credits to shorten sentences and quicker parole for people deemed suitable for release.


Monterey County Jail medical contract gets $1.35M boost
Allison Gatlin, The Salinas Californian

Monterey County, Behavioral Health and the Community Corrections Partnership will unequally split a $3.03 million funding request to ameliorate health services at the jail in the wake of prison realignment.

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved the $3,037,736 request Tuesday during a 10-minute discussion.


Jail suicide settlement reached as new case filed
Leah DeAnda, Record Bee

LAKE COUNTY- A $732,499 settlement between various county departments, the hospital and the family of Jimmy Ray Hatfield has been reached. Hatfield committed suicide at the Lake County jail following his arrest during a mental health breakdown in 2010. The settlement came after the suicide of jail inmate James Ellis Smith prompted a similar lawsuit against the county.

Following several years of litigation, the Lake County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) settled for $630,000, Clearlake Police Department (CPD) for $30,000, California Forensic Medical Group (CFMG) for $25,000, Lake County Department of Mental Health for $15,000 and Adventist Clearlake Hospital for $5,000.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Black Fire Day 3: Crews continue toward containment
Adam Randall, Ukiah Daily Journal

The Black fire situated on Black Bart Trail in between Redwood and Potter Valleys is 50 percent contained after burning across 417 acres, Cal Fire said Monday morning.

Several theories of how the fire started have been circulating around social media pages even though the cause is still under investigation by Cal Fire. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said Monday that Cal Fire hasn't requested the Sheriff's Office to look deeper into any criminal circumstances which may have caused the Saturday afternoon flames.

Solano College board set to approve deficit budget
Board will also review agreement with prison
John Glidden, Vallejo Times Herald

The Solano Community College Governing Board — facing a $1.3 million deficit — will meet Wednesday to discuss and approve the 2014-15 fiscal year budget.

In early August, Yulian Ligioso, Vice President of Finance and Administration at SCC, reported to the governing board that the district was headed toward a $2.6 million deficit for 2014-15.

Ligioso updated the board in September that he had trimmed around $1.6 million from the deficit by freezing the hiring of new personnel for several vacant positions, reducing the amount of overtime available and working with the adjunct faculty budget.


Sheriff's Department Crime Classification Given OK By County Inspector

Perry Smith, KHTS

The independent office investigated how Sheriff’s Department officials were classifying crimes, following the news Los Angeles Police Department officers were downgrading assaults.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich called for a closer look in an effort to increase transparency, he said.
The news came amid a report Los Angeles County report supervisors are expected to review on AB 109, a prison re-alignment law passed by the Legislature that took effect in 2011.


Number of Prisoners in U.S. Grew Slightly in 2013, Report Finds
Erik Eckholm, The New York Times

Breaking three consecutive years of decline, the number of people in state and federal prisons climbed slightly in 2013, according to a report released Tuesday, a sign that deeper changes in sentencing practices will be necessary if the country’s enormous prison population is to be significantly reduced.

The report by the Justice Department put the prison population last year at 1,574,700, an increase of 4,300 over the previous year, yet below its high of 1,615,487 in 2009. In what criminologists called an encouraging sign, the number of federal prisoners showed a modest drop for the first time in years.

Coming to America
Louis A Scott,  KALW

Sam Wuji is a 41 year old man from Nairobi Kenya who came to America to further his education. But the lesson he would learn regarding race relations and survival in the California prison system was far more educational than he imagined. He did not come from a broken home that’s typically associated with most criminals; His parents are successful people, and with Wuji being the only child, he has always had issue with finding community amongst his peers. “I grew up in a good home, my dad and mom, are good hard working folks, loving folks. My dad is an engineer, architect and my mom is self-employed. My family was very deep into education and pushed me to excel in education, and work hard in that direction.” he says.

It was the slums of Nairobi where Wuji was exposed to crime at a young age, learning how lucrative stolen electronics can be. He says, “I started to hang out with older guys who were already in that risky lifestyle of crime and everything, so I got a little exposure to negativity."

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Firefighters battle 250-acre blaze near Alta Sierra
Auburn Journal

A wildfire that started Saturday afternoon near Alta Sierra had grown to 250 acres Saturday night and destroyed three buildings. During the afternoon, the plume of smoke from the Dogbar Fire was visible in Nevada and Placer counties including Auburn.

According to, the blaze was burning off Dog Bar and Taylor Crossing roads.


Avenal could run out of water
City might burn through Aqueduct allocation by December
Seth Nidever, The Sentinel

AVENAL – One of the mottos of this small city in western Kings County is “Oasis in the Sun.” But that oasis could be without water by the end of the year, officials said at an Avenal City Council meeting Thursday night.

Council members and staff discussed the possibility that the city, Avenal State Prison, a rest area on Interstate 5 and a truck stop could run out of water, leaving residents, prisoners and travelers high and dry until February, when the next water allocation from the California Aqueduct is released.


Valley jails get boost in funding thanks to realignment
Marc Benjamin, The Fresno Bee

Valley counties will get more money in coming years for jail programs after negotiations led to a change in the state prison realignment funding formula.

Among the issues new to the state formula were poverty and the effects of state prisons on counties where they are located. San Joaquin Valley counties are home to about one-third of the state's penitentiaries.

The new formula will bring millions of dollars to Valley counties, according to the California State Association of Counties.


Man convicted of 1990 murder denied parole for fourth time
Lake County News

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – The state Board of Parole Hearings this week once again denied parole to a man convicted of a 1990 Clearlake Park murder.

Parole was denied to convicted murderer Kevin Coy Iloff, 49, following a hearing this past Tuesday, according to Lake County Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who attended the lifer hearing at California State Prison in Corcoran to argue against Iloff’s release.


Leonard Gilroy: Local, state focus helps lower prison recidivism
Leonard Gilroy, OC Register

The jury is still out on how well California’s Public Safety Realignment is performing at improving public safety and reducing recidivism.

The 2011 realignment plan devolved responsibility for handling low-level criminal offenders from the state prison and parole system to county-level jail and probation systems, which opened the door for a significant degree of experimentation in smarter sentencing and more effective rehabilitation programs for incarcerated inmates.

A recent report by the Public Policy Institute of California examined the first year of results and found that counties that implemented realignment policies focused on re-entry services – such as mental health, substance abuse, cognitive behavioral therapy, housing, employment and education services – saw lower rates of felony re-arrests and re-convictions than counties that focused realignment spending toward jails and enhanced law enforcement.


Author Spends Ten Years Inside California's Nuestra Familia Gang
Patricia Guadalupe, NBC News

Known as the Salad Bowl Capital of the World, northern California's Monterey County is famous for its bountiful produce and for its famous son, Nobel prize-winning "Grapes of Wrath" author John Steinbeck. It is also home to one of the nation’s most brutal and violent gangs. Investigative journalist Julia Reynolds dives in deep, offering a compelling first-person account of a group that has turned a largely Hispanic community upside down and is expanding its reach far away from its start in sleepy Salinas, California.

“It was always the farmworkers who found the bodies as they lumbered into their workdays, whether in a sunny spot on Old Stage Road or, in the case of Sal, in a ditch between rows of artichokes," reads one passage in Blood in the Fields: Ten Years Inside California’s Nuestra Familia Gang. Reynolds, an award-winning investigative journalist, spent a decade researching and reporting on Nuestra Familia (Our Family), a criminal enterprise that was founded in the 1960s in San Quentin prison in northern California. It was started by five inmates and originally called La Familia Cinco. It expanded to another California prison – Soledad, about 25 miles from Salinas, before spilling out into the streets.

Man accused of cooking, feeding ex-girlfriend's dog to her
Paul Janes, KXTV

An apparently jilted boyfriend was arrested on stalking and animal cruelty charges after his ex-girlfriend claimed he told her via text message that he killed and cooked her dog before feeding it to her.

The woman contacted Redding police Sept. 9, telling them she was a victim of domestic violence and stalking by her 34-year-old ex-boyfriend Ryan Eddy Watenpaugh of Palo Cedro. She said she had been physically assaulted numerous times during their relationship which lasted several months, police Sgt. Todd Cogle said.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


A unifying field of dreams
The biggest question of the day was: Is there a fundamental difference between the guys in the drab Dodger grays and the guys in the colorful Giants home uniforms?
Stewart Sallo, Boulder Weekly

The note with a subject line “The Q – Summer Prison Baseball” came out of, shall we say, left field, right after New Year’s.

Guys, Each year we play a doubleheader at The Q and I’m organizing the trip this year.

We usually fly in Friday night, play a doubleheader of real baseball on Saturday and head home Sunday morning.

Ex-NFL Linebacker Convicted In California Millionaire's Murder Loses Appeal
R. Scott Moxley, OC Weekly

A California Court of Appeal this week rejected a four-prong effort by Eric Naposki, a former NFL linebacker with the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, to overturn his July 2011 conviction for the 1994, ambush murder of an ultra-wealthy Newport Beach businessman in a financial gain plot.

An appellate lawyer working for Naposki told a three-justice appellate panel based in Santa Ana that there were four errors in the trial, including the government's 15-year delay in filing charges, faulty jury instructions, biased jury and improperly excluded evidence.


Majority of Californians still back death penalty, but support slips after court ruling

Juliet Williams,  Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, California — Support for California's death penalty has fallen to its lowest level in more than 50 years after a judge ruled it unconstitutional, according to a Field Poll released Friday.

The poll found 56 percent of registered voters support keeping the death penalty, a decline of 12 percentage points in just the last three years, when Field found 68 percent support for the death penalty. The new survey found 34 percent of respondents support abolishing it and 10 percent have no opinion.


Report details pros, cons of Placer County justice system
$318,000 study commissioned by Board of Supervisors in wake of AB 109

Gus Thomson, The Auburn Journal

Placer County supervisors were told Tuesday that the justice system is already working on a blueprint for changes in the wake of Assembly Bill 109.

The blueprint is being sparked by a $318,000 study by David Bennett Consulting assessing the county’s criminal justice system and developing a system master plan.

While the study opined that Placer is “fortunate in many regards,” including a lower-than-statewide average for violent crime, a foundation of court based programs that serve as jail alternatives, and a new detention facility in Roseville ready to open, it also noted that challenges lie ahead.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


Both SCV teens deny charges in criminal threats cases
Jim Holt, Signal

Both Santa Clarita Valley teens arrested within a week for allegedly making criminal threats have denied the charges against them and face further action in juvenile court, a District Attorney’s office spokesman said.

A 13-year-old Canyon High School student who allegedly texted a message about school violence to a friend, who then posted the message on Instagram, entered his denial to the charge this week, spokesman Greg Risling said.

Both the 13-year-old and another local teen, a 15-year-old, were arrested during a harrowing week of threats made in the SCV via social media.


San Bernardino/Riverside county supervisors to meet on regional issues

Joe Nelson, The Sun

A joint public meeting between supervisors in San Bernardino and Riverside counties is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Riverside County Administrative Center.

Supervisors will discuss topics of regional significance including the local impacts of the Affordable Care Act, prison realignment and the future of L.A./Ontario International Airport.


Civil rights activist group sues South Pasadena over ‘arbitrary and discriminatory’ sex offender ordinance
Zen Vuong, Contra Costa Times

SOUTH PASADENA - A civil rights activist group filed a lawsuit against South Pasadena this week, alleging the city’s sex offender ordinance strips “a socially outcast minority” of their First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Attorney Janice Bellucci, president of the California Reform Sex Offender Laws organization, called South Pasadena’s Title 20E-1 through 20E-10 municipal code arbitrary and discriminatory. The regulation was passed in 2009.