Riverside County reports first swine flu-related death
By Lora Hines, Press-Enterprise -- The state's most recent report, from July 23, shows that 61 people across California have died from swine flu-related illnesses. More than 580 people have been hospitalized statewide. A total of 30 people with confirmed cases of swine flu have been hospitalized in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Meanwhile, state prison officials on Wednesday said, eight state prisons, including three in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, had isolated or limited the movement and visitation privileges of hundreds of inmates because of suspected and confirmed swine flu-like cases. Since July 16, more than 730 inmates at Chino State Men's Institution at Chino have been quarantined after 13 men became ill with flu-like symptoms, said Luis Patino, spokesman for California Prison Health Care Services. Seven of the sick inmates were confirmed to have swine flu, he said.
Healthcare At Local Prisons
By Kristen Castillo, 10 News -- Prisoner healthcare is a hot topic in the debate over whether or not to follow a proposed decision by the federal court to let thousands of California state prison inmates go free. The ruling was based on what some called cruel and unusual conditions, so the 10News I-Team went behind prison walls to see what medical treatment prisoners receive. There are six medical clinics at Richard J. Donovan prison in south San Diego county. On the day the I-Team went behind prison walls, 90 inmates had already been examined for a variety of ailments.
Governor approves new San Quentin Death Row
By Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has given the go-ahead for construction of a new Death Row at San Quentin State Prison by vetoing legislative restrictions, an action that a Marin County lawmaker called both unwise and illegal. While announcing $489 million in cuts Tuesday from the state's 2009-10 budget, Schwarzenegger said he was saving additional, unspecified amounts by rejecting language added to the budget that would have delayed the Death Row project.
Rethinking Juvenile Justice
By Sam Levin, East Bay Express -- This is McCullum Youth Court, a diversionary program for first-time offenders that offers an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system. For fifteen years, the program has sought to stop offenders from pursuing a path of crime that could have been avoided with proper intervention. The program's philosophy holds that when wayward adolescents take on the responsibility of judging others who have made mistakes similar to their own, they gain a sense of self-worth while reevaluating the consequences of their own actions. McCullum Youth Court is one of two innovative East Bay alternatives to a juvenile justice system that has been proven to fail first-time offenders. The other program, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, seeks to change society's notions of juvenile justice by looking closely at the needs of victims.
High Profile Cases:
Phil Spector + Charles Manson = Jailhouse BFFs?
By Sarah Marie Pittman, Pollstar -- After being transferred to the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran late last month, legendary music-producer Phil Spector has apparently already made a new friend – none other than cult leader and criminal mastermind, Charles Manson. Even locked up behind bars, he still finds a way to surround himself with the famous. At least, that’s what the New York Post is reporting. The Post writes that Spector was “recently transferred to Corcoran State Prison in central California, where Manson … is housed in a separate wing.” Manson does reside in Corcoran State Prison – that is true. But Spector is staying at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran, which is located just south of Corcoran. According to Mapquest, the prisons are located 2.51 miles apart from one another.
CDCR Related and Miscellaneous:
Suspect in Burk's death had pass to visit DMV on day that staffers were furloughed
By Richard Winton and Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times -- The man charged in the kidnapping and murder last week of a teenage girl had been given permission to leave a residential drug program in order to visit a Department of Motor Vehicles office, even though the office was closed, state officials confirmed Wednesday. Charles Samuel, a 50-year-old transient, is accused of abducting 17-year-old Lily Burk on Friday afternoon as she ran an errand for her mother, and then slashing her neck after she was unable to withdraw cash from an ATM. Records obtained by The Times show that since early June Samuel had been enrolled at Menlo House, a residential drug treatment program south of Koreatown, which he entered after being arrested in April for violating the terms of his latest parole. Officials from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation declined to identify Menlo House specifically, but acknowledged earlier this week that Samuel had been given a day pass from a state-licensed residential drug program on the day Burk was killed.
Services set up for Billy Martinez
Woodland Daily Democrat -- Services have been scheduled for the 17-year-old youth shot and killed Sunday by a man who is still being sought by local law enforcement officials. William "Billy" Martinez, of Woodland, was shot in the head and later died of his injuries. Also on Wednesday, friends and family protested briefly outside the Yolo County Probation Office on Court Street at Third Street to get Robert Anthony Tayborne, 23, released from jail so he could attend Martinez's funeral. Detectives arrested Tayborne, a parolee, Sunday for obstructing the investigation in Martinez's murder. Meanwhile, police are still searching for the alleged shooter, Marclino "Mo" Michel Jr., 29. Michel allegedly shot and killed Martinez at the Crossroads Village Apartments, 555 Matmor Road. Woodland police report Michel is a convicted felon, and considered armed and extremely dangerous.
Parolee arrested in theft of judge's car
By Scott Smith, Stockton Record -- A 32-year-old parolee is suspected of ransacking a San Joaquin County Superior Court judge's home and leaving with a car from the garage. Quentin Brandon Hermance was arrested in an early Tuesday traffic stop on the Highway 99 frontage road in Acampo at Jahant Road, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office reported Wednesday. Sheriff's spokesman Les Garcia would not say who owned the home and car, but The Record has confirmed through other sources that they belong to Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss.
A State of Confusion editorial: Prisons are too crowded, costly
Sacramento Bee -- In 2004, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lamented that the state prison population was too large and still growing. "If we imprisoned people at 1994 rates," he said then, "we'd have 145,000 prisoners. That is a doable goal." Schwarzenegger promised that California could reduce crime and downsize its prison system. Unfortunately, the prison population today remains the same as when Schwarzenegger made those remarks: 167,000. The current budget situation, however, should force long-overdue changes.