Inmate Health Care:
Governor kills deal for prison medical beds
By Andy Furillo, Sacramento Bee -- In saying Thursday that fiscal times are not right to spend $1.9 billion on long-term health care beds for prisoners, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration has put itself on track for a new head-on collision with the federal courts. "We cannot agree to spend $2 billion on state-of-the-art medical facilities for prisoners while we are cutting billions of dollars from schools and health care programs for children and seniors," Schwarzenegger said.
Governor dumps plan to build prison hospitals
By Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger disowned a tentative agreement Thursday to build prison hospitals to settle lawsuits over shoddy health care for inmates, saying the state won't borrow $1.9 billion for the effort while it's slashing other services. "It's just not the right time," state Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate said, four weeks after he announced the plan to build two hospitals for 3,400 inmates, refurbish existing medical centers and start returning control of prison health care from federal courts to the state. "At this time, we're going to have to live within our means."
Schwarzenegger rejects inmate health care plan
By Don Thompson, Associated Press -- The Schwarzenegger administration has rejected a plan designed to end years of litigation over inmate medical care in California's prison system. Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate tells a court-appointed receiver that the state cannot afford the $1.9 billion fix Cate agreed to last month. Cate and the court-appointed receiver, J. Clark Kelso, agreed last month to the outline of a deal intended to reform inmate medical care. The federal courts, which have ruled the care in California prisons is so poor that it violates inmates' civil rights, have threatened to take money directly from the state treasury to fix the system.
Schwarzenegger Pulls Back on Prison Health Improvements
By Shirley S. Wang, Wall Street Journal -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is bagging a plan to improve his state’s prison health-care system, which is known to be a mess, because of the $1.9 billion price tag. A month ago, state officials announced a plan to build two hospitals and improve existing medical centers for inmates, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. But now, “it’s just not the right time,” state Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate told the paper. “At this time, we’re going to have to live within our means.” He adds that the state remains dedicated to improving prison health-care and hopes to finance it under a previously approved $8 billion borrowing plan, notes the AP.
Prison escapee committed crime in Placer
Auburn Journal -- Two female minimum-security inmates — one of whom was sentenced in Placer County — walked away from the Community Prisoner Mother Program contract facility in Oakland Tuesday. Officials released Wednesday they are searching for inmate Stephanie Almeida, who is five months pregnant, and inmate Katrice Davis were found to be missing from the facility at about 7 p.m. Davis’ four-and-a-half-year old daughter Amyre Harris is also missing.
Lafayette rapist gets 2nd death sentence
The Associated Press -- A Contra Costa County judge has sentenced a 73-year-old rapist to death for the 1978 murder of a Lafayette housewife whose death remained unsolved for a quarter-century. The death sentence handed down by Judge John Kennedy Thursday was the second imposed on Darryl Kemp, who was awaiting execution for the 1959 murder of a Los Angeles woman, but that when California suspended the death penalty in 1972.
CDCR Related & Miscellaneous:
D.A.: Illegal immigrants were playing by rules
By Jaxon Van Derbeken, San Francisco Chronicle -- San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said Tuesday that half a dozen illegal immigrants whose drug convictions were expunged as part of a job training program that she oversaw were "following the rules" and deserved to be exonerated even after prosecutors learned of their status. Under the program, people between ages 18 and 30 convicted of their first drug offense undergo job training, education and counseling for one year, after which their convictions are wiped from their record. The district attorney's office says 113 offenders have successfully completed the program, while 99 have failed and been sent back into the court system.
Don't Bury the Lede: Rehabilitation via Journalism
By Caitlin Rother, In Cold -- San Quentin state prison in northern California, population 5,286, has more residents than some small towns. And although many of these small towns have daily or weekly newspapers, I was quite surprised to learn that San Quentin has one, too. As a former newspaper reporter of nearly 20 years and now a journalism instructor, I've been watching as many papers across the nation are shrinking their staffs, reducing their news hole, or going into bankruptcy, some shutting down entirely. So, I was even more surprised when I learned that San Quentin's own was launched just last year after a 20-year hiatus, bucking the national trend.