With No Budget In Sight, Controller Warns Of IOU's
CBS 13, Sacramento -- The state Legislature on Wednesday began a sharp debate about a plan to close California's projected $24 billion deficit but showed few signs of defusing the crisis quickly. As lawmakers were debating the budget crisis, state Controller John Chiang said he would begin issuing IOUs to thousands of state contractors as soon as next week. He said that without a balanced budget, the state would be $2.8 billion in the red at the end of July, the first month of its new fiscal year. Although California adopted a budget in February, the recession has eroded a quarter of the state's general fund, its main bank account. The deficit is so wide that even if all funding for state prisons and universities was eliminated, it still would not be enough to fill the gap. Democrats and the governor remain billions of dollars apart on cuts, revenue and other solutions. Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting $15 billion from state spending. In addition to his health care, education and social service cuts, the governor has proposed closing 220 state parks and selling state assets, such as San Quentin State Prison.
State officials say they don't need Whittier's Fred C. Nelles property
By Mike Sprague, Whittier Daily News -- State officials said Wednesday that the now-closed Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility will be released for private development. For the last three years the 73-acre site has been eyed as a potential prison hospital. The statements came after a meeting of officials from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and General Services with state Sen. Ron and Assemblyman Charles Calderon and Whittier city officials. The meeting was held because of rumors that even if Clark Kelso, the federal court receiver, did not want to use Nelles as a prison hospital, the corrections department wanted 15 acres of the Nelles site for a re-entry facility for prisoners.
Daughter missing after two women escape public corrections facility in Oakland
By Sean Maher, Oakland Tribune -- Two women, one of them five-months pregnant, the other possibly with her 4-year-old daughter in tow, escaped custody when they walked away from a community inmate program in Oakland on Tuesday, officials said. The women were confirmed missing from a facility at 2551 San Pablo Ave. run by Project Pride and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation during an emergency count about 7 p.m. Tuesday, according to Terry Thornton, a corrections spokeswoman. The women were serving their sentences under the Community Prisoner Mother Program, which allows women who are pregnant or have children younger than 6, and whose prison sentences are six years or less, to live in a community-based facility so they can bond with their children, Thornton said.
One of Two Missing Inmates Surrenders to Authorities
CBS 5 OAKLAND -- One of two robbers missing from a minimum-security Oakland facility for mothers turned herself in to authorities this afternoon, a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman said. Stephanie Almeida, 27, who is 5 months pregnant, was taken into custody around 6 p.m., spokeswoman Terry Thornton said. However 30-year-old Katrice Davis and her 4-year-old daughter are still missing, Thornton said. Both women were serving sentences for second-degree robbery, Thornton said. Oakland's Community Prisoner Mother Program facility reported that the three of them were missing around 7 p.m. Tuesday, she said. The Community Prisoner Mother Program is for women who have no prior history of serious or violent offenses. The facility in Oakland houses 24 inmates and is one of three such programs in California, Thornton said. A total of 71 female inmates are in the program statewide.
CDCR Related and Miscellaneous:
Salinas Valley State Prison workers protest proposed layoffs
By Maria Ines Zamudio, Salinas Californian -- Dozens of prison workers from Salinas Valley State Prison and the Correctional Training Facility stood outside the prisons Wednesday afternoon protesting furloughs and layoffs. More than 60 employees who work inside the two state prisons as cooks, case record staff, nurses and teachers ' demonstrated for two hours between Highway 101 and the main entrance to Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad. The Service Employees International Union Local 1000, which represents the employees, voiced its opposition to the governor's plan to cut 3,700 prison jobs in the state. In the two state prisons in Monterey County, 324 prison workers have received preliminary layoff notices.
Prison Workers Protest Schwarzenegger
Turn to 23 -- Union members of SEIU Local 1000 were out picketing in front of North Kern State Prison Wednesday afternoon in protest of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed job cuts. The governor’s office said the layoff responsibilities have been passed on to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. They are responsible for sending layoff notices.
The governor’s office confirmed that they sent 3,665 layoff notices to corrections officers and entry-level positions including office technicians. They said there is still no word as to how many of them will actually be cut.
Replace death penalty with permanent imprisonment
By Jon Streeter, Bill Hing, and Diane Bellas, San Francisco Chronicle -- After spending four years on the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, we were pleased to see state Sen. Tom Harmon, R-Huntington Beach, cite our commission's report on the death penalty in his June 15 Open Forum piece, "Legal stalling packs Death Row." We are concerned, however, that Harmon did not disclose the reasons we concluded that California's death penalty is not working. He also failed to disclose that it will cost more than $230 million a year to fix it. The commission was created by the Senate to investigate the problems of wrongful convictions and wrongful executions. After issuing eight reports on the causes of wrongful convictions, we turned our attention to the administration of the death penalty. Ours was the first comprehensive analysis of the problems with the California's death penalty, the reforms needed, the possible alternatives and the costs.