By Kimberly Fu, Vacaville Reporter -- Christmas is coming early this year to all 837 students at Markham Elementary School. But instead of dipping into a sleigh filled with toys, Santa's helpers -- California Medical Facility staff wearing jolly red hats -- will be doling out goods from 24-foot U-Haul trucks rented for the occasion.
Jammed by neglect
San Francisco Chronicle -- California officials have failed and failed to reduce the burdens on our stressed prison system, so three federal judges are about to do it for them. After years of jamming too many prisoners into too few prisons - thanks, in large part, to the decisions of California voters, who rarely seem to meet a lock-em-up proposition they didn't like - the state is on the losing end of two lawsuits.
Medical center causes fire response concern in Chino Valley
By Joe Smilor, Inside Southern California -- A top fire official -- echoing the uneasiness of area hospital executives -- says that a new hospital at the California Institution for Men prison could overburden the Chino Valley's resources. The worry comes as the Chino Valley Independent Fire District provides near daily response to emergency calls from the existing Chino-area prisons. The California Prison Health Care Receivership plans to build seven state prison hospitals, including one at CIM, to provide an appropriate level of inmate medical care.
Two Inmates Escape From Ben Lomond Camp
By Jennifer Squiers, Santa Cruz Sentinel -- Two inmates escaped from the Ben Lomond Conservation Camp late Sunday, prison authorities reported Monday morning. William Boggs, 36, and Lawrence McGuire, 38, were last seen during a bunk check at 10 p.m. Twenty minutes later, they were gone. The two men, both convicted of property crimes, walked away from the minimum-security facility between 10-10:20 p.m., according to Lt. Pat Jackson.
Trilochan Oberoi Wins Discrimination Suit
India Journal -- In a significant decision of first impression, the California State Board of Personnel’s administrative appeals court recently held that California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) discriminated against a Sikh man, Trilochan S. Oberoi, who applied for a correctional officer job in 2004. The CDCR refused to hire Oberoi because he would not shave his religiously-mandated beard for a gasmask fit test, despite many efforts by Oberoi and his counsel to seek accommodations to the test that are offered to other CDCR employees.
Prison Plans: Vacaville right to scrutinize expansion proposal
Vacaville Reporter (Opinion) -- After years of inadequate medical care at California state prisons, a proposal is finally being rolled out that would add up to 5,000 beds throughout the state. But is Vacaville ready to take 1,400 of them? That was the question posed last week when the court-appointed receiver and his team came to town to take public comment.
San Quentin Wrong for New Death Row
Modesto Bee (Opinion) -- For the last several years, Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, has pushed to move California's Death Row somewhere less expensive than San Quentin Prison in Marin County. His idea has gotten little support, but the response could be different this legislative session with the state mired in money woes.
Death for Choyce
By Scott Smith, Stockton Record -- A San Joaquin County Superior Court judge on Monday affirmed a jury's decision to send convicted serial killer William Jennings Choyce to California's crowded death row. At San Quentin, Choyce will live alone in a 4-by-9-foot cell alongside about a dozen other condemned inmates from San Joaquin County. A total of 677 inmates there await execution in California.
Suspect arrested in upcountry burglaries
Amador Ledger Dispatch -- On Dec. 3, members of the Amador County Sheriff's Office, the Jackson Police Department, the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office, and agents from the U.S. Marshall's Office and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's fugitive apprehension team, went to a residence in West Point in Calaveras County to arrest Dirk Anthony Caviglia. Caviglia led law enforcement on a short foot pursuit before being apprehended.
Calif. men arrested in officer's fatal shooting
The Associated Press -- Los Angeles police say two men have been arrested in the fatal shooting of a sheriff's deputy who died as he was getting ready to go to work. Police say 20-year-old Guillermo Hernandez and 24-year-old Carlos Velasquez, both of Los Angeles, were arrested on murder charges Friday night. They are being held without bail.
'The Black Hand' by Chris Blatchford
By Miles Corwin, LA Times (Book Review) -- He was a 16-year-old inmate doing time at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif., who came up with the idea of forming a Latino "gang of gangs" inside the prison walls. These convicts would put aside Mexican American street gang rivalries, protect themselves from overzealous guards and band together to battle black and white inmates. The year was 1957, the inmate was Luis "Huero Buff" Flores from Hawaiian Gardens and the ragtag clique of about a dozen teenagers he assembled were the first members of the Mexican Mafia. The gang soon metastasized, spreading to institutions throughout California and then the nation.