Governor Schwarzenegger Proposes Constitutional Amendment for Prison Funding
During his January 6 State of the State address, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed a constitutional amendment to ensure prison funding never exceeds higher education funding. Acknowledging that this budget year will pose many challenges, the Governor called for a historic realignment of California’s priorities. The Governor called on the Legislature to help make California’s education system a higher priority than prisons as well as asking CDCR to continue to look for ways to cut operating costs.
New warden to take charge at San Quentin Prison
By Gary Klien, Contra Costa Times -- Vincent Cullen takes over as San Quentin State Prison warden on Monday, Jan. 11. The second-in-command at San Quentin State Prison will become first-in-command on Monday. Vincent Cullen takes over the 157-year-old prison, the state's oldest, after spending a year as chief deputy warden. His annual salary will be $107,493. "I always wanted to work at San Quentin, but I never honestly believed it would come to fruition," said Cullen, 47, a Vacaville resident who will soon move to the prison grounds.
Chino prison inmates complain of being incarcerated outdoors
By Steven Cuevas, KPCC -- Rumors of violence swirled for days before the riot exploded inside the Chino prison’s Reception Center West. Guards had taken to serving meals to small groups of inmates, rather than entire dorms. “The tension, you can feel,” said former inmate Sterling Werner, who talked about the riot while he smoked hand-rolled cigarettes on the balcony of his Anaheim apartment recently. “And when officers are doing controlled feeding one building at a time two days prior to the riot, you know. Something is wrong."
Life in Prison: California Medical Facility
By Joanne Faryon, KPBS -- As part of our ongoing investigation into prisons, we spent a day at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California. CMF is a prison that houses aging, infirm, and ill inmates. It also has a hospice unit for terminally ill inmates.
Treatment Facility for Female Inmates (Video)
Machado aiming to change minds about prison plan
By Scott Smith, Stockton Record -- Mike Machado, a former state legislator from Linden, dove headfirst this week into the fray over building a large prison medical facility just outside of Stockton. On Wednesday he went to work in a room filled with 70 influential business leaders gathered at Le Bistro restaurant. His job: turn local ill will toward prison health care receiver J. Clark Kelso and plans for the 1,734-bed California Health Care Facility, Stockton.
3 in 25 juveniles in detention are sexually abused, study finds
By Nicole Santa Cruz, L.A. Times -- A federal report identifies 13 detention centers with high rates of abuse. It's a 'systematic problem,' a human rights activist says. About 3 out of every 25 youths in state and privately run juvenile correctional facilities have experienced at least one incident of sexual victimization, according to a federal study released Thursday.
By Ellen Ratner, Talk Radio News Service -- Another shocker was the widely reported study released this week on sexual abuse in juvenile facilities. The Justice Department’s statistical bureau issued the report. The findings looked at 26,550 adjudicated youth in confined facilities. Approximately 91 percent of the youth were male, and nine percent were female. It is really alarming that 12 percent of all youths reported sexual abuse while in the facilities.
Steep rise in sex offender parolees living on the street
By John Simerman, Contra Costa Times -- Less than a year after state corrections officials tightened a $22 million spigot of free apartments and motel rooms for paroled sex offenders, the number of parolees who say they are homeless has nearly doubled, adding fuel for critics who say the tight living restrictions under Jessica's Law threaten public safety more than bolster it. More than 2,200 paroled sex offenders were registered as transient in November, state figures show, up from 1,257 a year ago and 88 in September 2007. That was just before parole officials began enforcing a ban on sex offenders living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children "regularly gather."
US Marshals track down convicted sex offender in South Weber
By Cleon Wall, KSL News Radio -- A man convicted of lewd conduct with a child in California was finally caught Wednesday in Utah for not registering as a sex offender. David Lynn Young had three different aliases and had started a new life with a new family in South Weber, but that was his downfall. Deputy U.S. Marshal Bob Arness said someone came asking for him at work.
Governor's budget would strip city, county cash
By Marisa Lagos, Rachel Gordon, S.F. Chronicle -- Matthew Cate, head of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, acknowledged Friday that the proposal to shift inmates to local jails would burden sheriff's departments with extra costs. It could also force counties to do something state lawmakers have been unwilling to do: turn some prisoners loose early.
Proposed constitutional amendment would guarantee funds for UC
By Donna Hemmila, Media Newswire -- Vowing to protect higher education funding, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed a bold proposal Wednesday (Jan. 6) to amend the state constitution to shift money from prisons to higher education. The amendment he introduced in his State of the State address would limit the state correctional budget to no more than 7 percent of state general fund revenue and guarantee that the University of California and California State University together would receive no less than 10 percent. The funding shift would begin in the 2011-12 fiscal year and be fully realized in 2014-15.
The Universities and the Prisons: Another “Never Again” From Arnold
By Peter Schrag, California Progress Report -- But last week Schwarzenegger went completely over to the dark side, proposing a constitutional amendment that would require the state to spend at least ten percent of its general fund on its four-year universities. “Spending 45 percent more on prisons than universities,” he said, “is no way to proceed into the future.” His amendment would guarantee “that never again do we spend a greater percentage of our money on prisons than on higher education.”
California Deficit: Arnold Has to Make "Sophie's Choice
By Kevin O'Leary, Time -- Arnold's choice is clear: to protect he state's vaunted higher education system. In the same week that Schwarzenegger revealed his budget proposal, which calls for deep cuts to health care, social services and public transit, he also proposed a constitutional amendment (yes, another amendment) that would guarantee the state would spend no less than 10% of its general fund on public universities and no more than 7% on state prisons. In his State of the State address, he declared that the state's future economic well-being is dependent on education. "Thirty years ago, 10% of the general fund went to higher education and 3% to prisons," he said. "Today almost 11% goes to prisons and only 7.5% goes to higher education. What does it say about any state that focuses more on prison uniforms than on caps and gowns?"
CDCR Related & Miscellaneous:
Life After Murder
A Radio Documentary
This spring Radio Producer/Reporter and 2009 Soros Justice Media Fellow Nancy Mullane will present Life After Murder, a two-hour, four-part radio documentary that takes listeners behind prison walls and inside a world where people struggle to redeem themselves amid diminishing hope they will ever be granted parole. January 8–14, 2010, tune into Chicago
Alleged white supremacist charged with killing convicted sex offender
My Valley News -- An alleged white supremacist has been charged with using California's Megan's Law registry to track down and kill an convicted sex offender, it was reported today. Steven Banister, 28, had been free from prison less than one month when he killed a 75-year-old Palm Springs man in his house on Aug. 28, according to Palm Springs police quoted in the Desert Sun. The victim, Edward Keeley, had apparently been convicted in years past of an undetermined sex crime.
Sex offender in storage unit must change address to federal prison
By James Clark, KCBD -- The unregistered sex offender who was staying inside a storage unit will instead be staying in a federal prison. Virgil Lane pleaded guilty back in October to a charge of failing to register as a sex offender.
Another nail in death penalty's coffin
By Bruce Maiman, Sacramento Bee -- Capital punishment is one of those subjects where everything that needs to be said has pretty much been said by anyone who's got anything to say about it. People for it or against it have pretty much dug in their heels, rarely budging from their positions.That's why it's astonishing that the American Law Institute this week officially decided to abandon its longtime support for the death penalty – an institution of our criminal justice system that this group helped shape.
Prisons still eat into California budget
By Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee -- Last August, in a screed about the Legislature's political cowardice on prison reform, this column pointed out that California spends a far higher percentage of its state budget on corrections than any other state and that if we reduced costs just to the average of other large states, it would save $4 billion a year. Someone in Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration must have been paying attention. The governor cited the same data last week during his State of the State address in comparing California prison costs ($50,000 per inmate per year) to those of other states ($32,000).
Letters: Muskegon's prisoner re-entry program: Why it works
By Roger Rapoport, Muskegon Chronicle -- Pennsylvania’s decision to move 1,000 inmates to the Muskegon Correctional Facility is great news for Michigan and yet another embarrassment for California’s Gov. Schwarzenegger. Last August, his Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Matthew Cate, turned down Gov. Granholm’s offer to move 2,000 inmates to prisons here and in Standish.