California has high hopes of reinstating death penalty
By Sam Stanton and Denny Walsh, Sacramento Bee -- The last execution at San Quentin State Prison was that of Clarence Ray Allen on Jan. 17, 2006, the 13th in California since 1978. No one has been executed in California since Allen. That's largely because of two court challenges over the state's lethal injection methods and its attempt to short-circuit the procedure for revising those methods. Now corrections officials hope they are on the verge of winning approval of their rewritten lethal injection rules, which will give the rules the force of law.
Prison deal awaits approval
By Scott Smith, Stockton Record -- Local leaders today are expected to approve the final details of a settlement resolving their lawsuit against state correctional officials and prison health care receiver J. Clark Kelso over construction of an inmate medical facility near Stockton. To make sure the planned California Health Care Facility, Stockton, doesn't harm the surrounding community, the settlement calls for a citizens advisory committee to open communications between prison officials and local leaders. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation late last year announced plans to build the 1,722-bed prison for the state's physically and mentally ill inmates. It will be on the site of the Karl Holton Youth Correctional Facility southeast of Stockton.
CIM Dorms Rebuilt
Chino Hills -- Dozens of state inmates are busy with construction work aimed at undoing the extensive building damage caused by rioting prisoners at the California Institution for Men last year. As a cost-cutting measure, construction workers are being drawn from the prison system's Inmate Ward Labor force, most of whom are from the Chino prison.
High Profile Cases:
Beyond the wall: Phil Spector produces wife's album
By Kristin McGrath, USA Today -- Nearly 30 years after his last major recording project, imprisoned music legend Phil Spector has produced a new album. The project is the latest development in the saga of an icon best known for his work with music's royalty during the '60s and '70s. The songs, whose writers aren't credited on the disc, were acquired by Spector, 70, for an unrelated project years ago.
Sex offender detail results in one arrest
Porterville Recorder -- On Saturday, June 5, the Tulare County Sheriff’s SAFE Team, along with the California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Visalia Parole Office) conducted a sex registrant compliance detail for registered sex offenders in the unincorporated communities of Southeast Tulare County around Porterville. The detail focused on registered sex offenders from the Megan’s Law web site. During this detail 53 registered offenders were identified.
County hit hard by May budget revise
San Mateo Daily Journal -- San Mateo County’s programs and services will take a $116 million hit under the governor’s May budget revision, a proposal that will also shift prisoners to local jails, eliminate welfare payments for thousands of residents and could shutter the methadone clinic. The Sheriff’s Office is estimated to feel an $8.2 million pinch by keeping approximately 150 prison inmates at the Maguire Correctional Facility. Sheriff Greg Munks believes the number of inmates who qualify is closer to 250 but even at the lower number doesn’t see how the county’s already overcrowded jail can fit in any more. The Probation Department is also looking at receiving responsibility for juvenile wards released by the Department of Corrections.
CDCR Related & Miscellaneous:
Former guard sentenced in inmate-abuse case at Chino prison
By Robert J. Lopez, Los Angeles Times -- A former correctional officer at Chino State Prison was sentenced Monday to 51 months in federal prison for charges related to a 2002 incident during which he assaulted shackled inmates and then tried to cover up the crime, officials said. Robert McGowan was sentenced after a jury found him guilty on two counts of deprivation of rights under the color of authority for assaulting two prisoners.
Chino prison guard sentenced to prison in inmate assaults
By Will Bigham, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin -- A former Chino prison guard convicted of abusing inmates was sentenced today to more than four years in federal prison. Robert McGowan was convicted by a federal jury three years ago in connection with a May 9, 2002 incident in which he and two other correctional officers allegedly hurled shackled inmates to the ground and conspired to cover it up. A federal judge overturned guilty verdicts for the three officers from the California Institution for Men, but McGowan's conviction was reinstated on appeal.
States closing youth prisons
The Associated Press -- After struggling for years to treat young criminals in razor wire-ringed institutions, states across the country are quietly shuttering dozens of reformatories amid plunging juvenile arrests, softer treatment policies and bleak budgets. California's closures include a youth institution near Los Angeles that operated for nearly 115 years. Several factors have pushed states to close facilities. In stark contrast to the growing adult prison population, the number of juveniles in state lockups has dropped dramatically, partly because there are fewer juvenile arrests and more offenders in county-based treatment programs. The number of kids in state residential custody in California peaked at 10,000 in 1996 but now stands at 1,500, said state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Bill Sessa. The state has closed six institutions since 2003, most notably the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility, which had operated just outside Los Angeles since 1890.
Letters to the Editor – Death Penalty
By Judy Kerr and Al Firato, Sacramento Bee -- The death penalty in California is hopelessly flawed beyond repair. Murder-victim family members are dragged through years of painful appeals as they await what we presume to call justice, while other murder-victim family members learn that underfunded homicide investigation units can't complete investigations and killers remain on the street. Executions need not be drawn-out affairs, after completion of a reasonable appeal process. The execution itself should be straightforward and orderly: a single bullet to the head.
California Civil Commitment for Sexual Offenders: Is it working and who benefits?
By Dr. Jean Kennedy, Indy Bay -- The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation appears to be responsible for releasing higher-profile sex offenders back into the community while releasing those with lower-level offenses into the custody of the DMH, which, in turn, places a "civil commitment" on them. It appears that the more serious repeat multiple sexual violent offenders are sent to the Parole Department. However, instead of releasing individuals with lesser offenses back into society with a fitted GPS monitor or into the custody of the Parole Department, they are assigned to Coalinga State Hospital.