Supreme Court denies prison appeal
By Denny Walsh, Sacramento Bee -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday did exactly what it indicated it would do more than four months ago: It rejected California's appeal of a lower court's order that the state draft and submit a plan to reduce its prison population. The nation's top court also repeated it is waiting for the Schwarzenegger administration's appeal of the lower court's final order. Lawyers for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate argued the Aug. 4 ruling is an injunction against the state under the PLRA and therefore was worthy of an appeal even though the Supreme Court already indicated that would be premature.
High Court rejects state's prisons edict appeal
By Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle -- The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Schwarzenegger administration's attempt Tuesday to dismantle a judicial panel that wants California to improve inmate health care by making its prisons less crowded, but set the stage for a possible ruling on the panel's authority to lower the prison population. The Supreme Court's dismissal of the appeal Tuesday does not prevent the state from making the same arguments when challenging an order that actually requires it to lower the inmate population.
United States Supreme Court rejects California’s appeal of prison population cap
By Julie Small, KPCC -- Last year a panel of three federal judges found that overcrowding in California's prisons was the main reason inmates lack adequate medical and mental healthcare. The judges ordered California to craft a plan that would reduce the population by about 40-thousand inmates. The state appealed. For technical reasons, the US Supreme Court declined to consider that appeal. But California will get to file another appeal. In a written statement, Schwarzenegger’s legal affairs secretary Andrea Hoch confirmed the state will file its appeal today.
Inmate release starts Monday
By Troy Anderson and Rick Orlov, LA Daily News -- Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday that postponed the early release of 40,000 California prisoners, another 6,000 convicts are expected to be set free early from state prisons starting next week, alarming public safety officials and local leaders. The 6,000 are to be released under separate legislation that is not affected by the Supreme Court's decision Tuesday. State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Gordon Hinkle said the bill Schwarzenegger signed late last year, SB 18XXX, will help the prisons address the overcrowding problem.
Parolee asks to flush marijuana
By Jenifer Gee, Auburn Journal -- An Auburn man allegedly tried to “flush” away his criminal evidence after he was caught violating his parole terms. Placer County Sheriff’s deputies reportedly arrived at Burke’s home after they received a noise complaint in the area. After running a records check, deputies discovered that Burke was on parole. A California Department of Corrections parole agent reportedly advised deputies to issue a parole hold on Burke and he was subsequently arrested.
Long Beach death row case from 1977 back in court
By Tracy Manzer, Press Telegram -- A death row inmate convicted of beating two elderly women to death in their Long Beach homes more than 30 years ago was back in court Tuesday. It was 1979 when Earl Lloyd Jackson was convicted of bludgeoning Vernita Curtis, 83, and strangling Gladys Ott, 90, in 1977. That death sentence put into motion a series of appeals, which culminated with the California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2008 throwing out the special circumstance and death penalty rulings. Jurors in the new trial won't be tasked with deciding his guilt for the murders of Curtis and Ott; the court of appeals did not overturn that portion of the conviction.
CDCR Related & Miscellaneous:
Private prison must offer medical care for inmates' babies, court says
By Carol J. Williams, LA Times -- A private prison housing mothers with infant children is responsible for providing the babies with necessary medical care, a state appeals court has ruled. Six privately run facilities for incarcerated mothers house about 150 children under age 6, but half of them were created without specific provisions obligating the companies managing them to provide healthcare for the children, said Carol Strickman, staff attorney for Legal Services for Prisoners With Children.
An opportunity to reform the criminal justice system
By Harry K. Wexler, LA Times -- Most experts would agree that the system generally fails on half its mission -- rehabilitating offenders -- and is only partially successful in the other half of preserving public safety. These issues have been reported on many times in the media, yet in recent years there hasn't been any comprehensive response at the federal level. The two most critical problems include the incarceration of nonviolent offenders -- primarily drug abusers (many with associated mental health disorders) -- and the lack of meaningful rehabilitation, which contributes to very high recidivism rates. Basically, we are endangering public safety by imprisoning many nonviolent individuals while limiting space for violent criminals who should be incarcerated.
Rethinking prison problems
Press Telegram -- By every standard, moral or practical, California's prison system is an outrage. The state locks up more people than all but a few countries, jams them into facilities that are too small by half, provides low-grade medical care, and still manages to spend far more per prisoner than any other state in the nation. Yet lawmakers go into political gridlock at any mention of serious reform. Nonetheless something must be done.
CCPOA calls administration's Corrections furlough 'hypocrisy'
Sacramento Bee -- In a letter to Cate on Friday, Alexander referred to arguments from Schwarzenegger's recent petition to the 1st District Court of Appeal to keep Controller John Chiang from restoring correctional officers to full pay this month. One could reasonably deduce from the State's position in this petition, that Unit 6 correctional peace officers are critical to "the preservation of human life and safety." However, in the same brief, the State vigorously defends the continuation of furloughing these same peace officers in "self-directed" fashion, yet continues to argue that furloughs during the pay period they were earned would somehow jeopardize public safety.