Katherine Proctor, Courthouse News
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The Ninth Circuit dismissed as moot an appeal of a federal judge's order requiring California prison officials to provide sex reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate, since she was recently released.
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar's landmark ruling that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation violated Michelle-Lael Norsworthy's constitutional rights by denying her surgery while she was in prison would have led to the first sex reassignment surgery on a prison inmate in California history.
The case occurred alongside the circuit's recent revival of a similar action brought by California inmate Mia Rosati and the state's agreement to pay for the sex reassignment surgery of transgender inmate Shiloh Quine.
The Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla celebrated its 25th anniversary on Thursday with a special ‘thank you’ to staff who helped open the prison.
Forty-four staff members were recognized for their commitment to their job. Warden Deborah Johnson also thanked the employees’ families for their patience over the years.
Promise Yee, kpbs
A group of students at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility is taking arts classes designed to create an environment where inmates can connect and share.
On a recent Tuesday, about 20 inmates in light blue uniforms moved folding chairs and tables into place for the night's art lesson in the Donovan state prison gym.
The class was on figurative drawing. Inmates start by practicing to draw faces, then sit face to face to draw portraits of each other.
Inmate James Fox has been coming to Project PAINT classes since sessions began two and half years ago.
ELK CREEK, Calif. - Authorities are searching for an inmate who walked away from a conservation camp in Glenn County.
Jorge Macedo, 32, reportedly walked away from the Valley View Conservation Camp sometime between 11:30 p.m. Sunday night and 12:30 a.m. Monday morning.
Joe Nelson, The Sun
In an effort to reduce San Bernardino County’s misdemeanor caseload by upward of 25 percent, the District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices are proposing a diversion program for nonviolent misdemeanor offenders.
The Board of Supervisors will consider the request during its meeting today.
The proposal calls for the board approving a three-year contract with San Clemente-based CorrectiveSolutions Holdings, a for-profit company, to run the four-month classroom-style behavior modification program. The cost would be $400, plus any additional fees for drug testing, alcohol monitoring or for additional classes. The fee for indigent offenders would be based on a sliding scale.
The Fresno Bee
Given politicians’ predilection to appear tough on crime, a bipartisan compromise to possibly reduce draconian sentences for nonviolent drug offenders is a big deal.
The long-awaited agreement, announced Thursday by eight key U.S. senators, would put into legislation some of the criminal justice reforms that President Barack Obama seeks to leave as a legacy. The bill deserves to move forward in Congress.
Among other changes, the measure would shorten mandatory federal sentences for repeat drug criminals, give federal judges more discretion to make sure that low-level dealers don’t get the same punishment as drug kingpins, and bring 6,000 inmates under a 2010 law that reduced the racially skewed disparity between sentences for crack and powder cocaine.
Despite a new settlement that bans indefinite solitary confinement in California, prisons are finding new secondary excuses to lengthen time in the SHU.
Sarah Shourd, Daily Beast
A change in policy in California just last month could result in an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 prisoners being released from solitary confinement into the general prison population.