L.A. County may pull its own handoff when state inmates arrive
By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times-- Los Angeles County officials are exploring an unconventional solution for handling the prisoners the state is passing off to them: passing them off to someone else. By year's end, hundreds of criminals who would have done their time in state prisons are expected to go instead to county lockups as part of the governor's plan to thin the population in California's chronically overcrowded prisons.
State's inmate release nears
By Nannette Miranda, News 10-- A prisoners' rights group says 50,000 inmates are within six months of their release date and early release can immediately meet the court-ordered reduction. "These prisoners were going to get out anyway," said Don Specter with the Prison Law Office. "It's been proven scientifically that the advancement of their release date by just a few weeks or a month wouldn't have any adverse effect on public safety."
California Won’t Meet Court Deadline To Reduce Prison Overcrowding
By Doug Sovern, KCBS-- California’s plan to reduce prison overcrowding won’t meet the deadline set by the U.S. Supreme Court. The state has until June 2013 to reduce its prison population by about 34,000 inmates. Currently the prisons are 80 percent above capacity. The cornerstone of the state’s plan is the governor’s realignment measure. It would shift thousands of lower-security prisoners to county jails.
Officials say more inmates coming to jails, but paying for it is a problem
By Teri Figueroa, North County Times-- The county's top law enforcers warned Tuesday that massive, head-spinning changes coming this fall that will shift the responsibility for many inmates from the state prisons to the county jails will be exceedingly expensive. And if the state doesn't provide enough money, they said, public safety could be at risk ---- among the notable concerns is the worry that county jails could be full by next summer.
LAO Publishes Status Report, Recommendations on Prison Overcrowding
By Gabriel Coan, KQED-- The Legislative Analyst Office has released its recommendations for how California can comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's May ruling requiring the state to "reduce overcrowding in its prisons to 137.5 percent of its 'design capacity' within two years." The top-level bullet points from the executive summary are…
Report: 'Realignment' of prisoners won't meet cut
By Nannette Miranda, ABC 7-- The state could be in a bind, trying to reduce prison overcrowding by some 34,000 inmates. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling ordered the cut in two years. A review of the state's efforts came out Friday. Governor Jerry Brown believes his plan to reduce the state's prison population is on the right track, but will it be enough to satisfy the courts? The new budget Governor Jerry Brown signed in June included a plan called "realignment" to shift tens of thousands of inmates to local jails starting October 1. It aims to fulfill orders by a three-judge panel and the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce California's prison population by 34,000 over two years.
State should seek more time to ease prison crowding, report says
By Patrick McGreevy, The Los Angeles Times-- California is unlikely to meet a federal court mandate to reduce its prison population by 34,000 inmates in two years, so state officials should ask for more time, the top advisor to the Legislature said Friday. The report by the Legislative Analyst's Office says a recently approved realignment plan that would shift many low-level offenders to serve their sentences in county jails instead of prisons could significantly help meet the order of a three-judge panel to reduce overcrowding.
State will miss prisoner reduction deadline says report
Central Valley Business Times-- Current state plans to reduce prison overcrowding to conform with a federal court order will fall short in meeting deadlines, according to a report from the nonpartisan Legislative Analysts Office. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May requires the state to reduce overcrowding in its prisons to 137.5 percent of its “design capacity” within two years. That would mean moving about 34,000 felons out of state prisons in some fashion.
California unlikely to meet federal court mandate to reduce prison population, report shows
San Jose Mercury News-- Gov. Jerry Brown's realignment plan to shift thousands of inmates from state prisons to county jails will have a significant effect on prison overcrowding, a new report finds, but will still fall short of the court-imposed deadline requiring the state to reduce its inmate population by 34,000 over the next two years. As a result, the state should heed the U.S. Supreme Court's suggestion that it ask for an extension of the deadlines to reduce prison populations, a report from the state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office concludes.
Prisoner release program timing questioned
Cal Coast News-- The Legislative Analyst’s Office is calling on state lawmakers to get more involved in plans to reduce the number of inmates in California’s overcrowded prisons. [California Watch] In a report released Friday, the analyst’s office recommended that the Legislature ask the federal courts for more time to bring down the prisoner population, work to put new prison construction on hold, and change state limits on the number of prisoners who can be incarcerated out of state — currently at 10,000 inmates.
Report suggests more legislator involvement in prison overcrowding
By Ryan Gabrielson, California Watch-- The Legislative Analyst’s Office is calling on state lawmakers to get more involved in reducing the number of inmates in California’s overcrowded prisons. In a report released Friday, the analyst's office recommended that the Legislature start by asking federal courts for more time to bring down the prisoner population. The U.S. Supreme Court in May upheld an earlier ruling that the state’s prisons are unconstitutionally overcrowded, compromising inmate health care.
Report: Prison population reductions insufficient
By Marisa Lagos, The San Francisco Chronicle-- Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to keep tens of thousands of low-level offenders in county jails instead of state prisons won't reduce the inmate population enough to fully comply with a federal court order, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said Friday. A report released by the analyst's office said the state will likely fall several thousand inmates short of the 34,000-man reduction ordered by the court. The report urges officials to ask a judge for more time, look at other ways to reduce crowding and consider sending more prisoners to private prisons in other states.
Jail Time Yields a Clash on Vegetarian Meals
By Scott James, The New York Times-- What started as the dubious drug bust of a beloved, elderly Mill Valley merchant — a case that rattled many in this bucolic burb — is morphing into a clash about vegetarian rights. Dave McDonald, 70, of Mill Valley, has been a vegetarian for 42 years. But when he was jailed recently for 99 days on drug-related charges (most of which were later dropped), Mr. McDonald was denied vegetarian meals. He refused to eat anything that he did not know was animal-free, and as a result, his weight plummeted nearly 50 pounds to 155.
Search for 2 teenage inmates near Studio City
The Associated Press-- California corrections officers and sheriff's deputies are searching for two teenage inmates who walked away from a brush clearing project near Studio City. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says the two were part of a crew from the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility that was clearing brush Friday near Mulholland Drive and Laurel Canyon Boulevard as a fire prevention project. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials who were supervising the crew noticed they were missing at about 2:30 p.m. Friday.
2 teen inmates on work detail escape in Laurel Canyon Park near Studio City
Contra Costa Times-- Two teenage inmates escaped while on a work detail this afternoon in Laurel Canyon Park, police said. The youths slipped away on a fire road in the 8400 block of Mulholland Drive near Fryman Canyon Park, said Richard French of the Los Angeles Police Department. The two were part of a crew from the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility that was clearing brush as a fire prevention project, according to a statement released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
2 Teen Inmates Reported Missing From Work Crew In Hollywood Hills
CBS 2-- Two teenage inmates are unaccounted for after working with a crew in the Hollywood Hills. The two teens were reported missing around 2 p.m. Friday after a supervisor noticed they were gone, Los Angeles police said. The prisoners were last seen at 8400 Mulholland Drive while working on a fire road in the Fryman Canyon area. Authorities are currently searching for the two identified as Pablo Ladislow Ontaneda, 18 and Christopher Ochoa, 19. The prisoners were from a Ventura Youth Correctional Facility who was working in the hills clearing brush.
Police Searching California's Hollywood Hills for Two Escaped Prisoners
FOX News-- The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for two prisoners who escaped Friday into the Hollywood Hills while doing supervised work on a remote road, KNBC-TV reported. The prisoners, who were part of a work release program, were last seen at 1:45pm near the famous Mulholland Drive and Fryman Canyon Park, the station reported. The prisoners' criminal records were not disclosed, but a police spokesperson told the station that supervised work release is only available to inmates with "lesser charges."
Inmates Bring Down The House With 'Twelfth Night' Performance
KTVU-- Laughter filled an auditorium in San Quentin State Prison Friday afternoon as 13 inmates performed a musical version of Shakespeare's comedy "Twelfth Night" for a crowded room of staff, guests and fellow prisoners. First-time actor Perry "Spike" Simpson said he had butterflies in his stomach but was hiding it well. On the outside, "I'm like Denzel," he said. "But inside I'm going crazy." Marin Shakespeare Company director Suraya Keating called the cast together for a pre-show pep talk and did her best to ease the actors' nerves.
By Susan Cohn, San Mateo Daily Journal-- ANOTHER TWELFTH NIGHT. On Aug. 5, inmates at San Quentin State Prison watch 13 of their peers perform Twelfth Night. The inmates, under the direction of Marin Shakespeare Company’s Suraya Keating, have been studying the play, creating characters, learning lines, practicing songs and dance moves, and preparing for the performance for the past 10 months. The script, adapted by Marin Shakespeare’s managing and artistic directors Lesley and Robert Currier, is set in the 1960s and features music from the Beatles, Rolling Stones and others. The Marin Shakespeare Company, which performs at Dominican University’s Forest Meadows Amphitheatre each summer, added the Shakespeare program at San Quentin to their array of education programs eight years ago.
In Photos – San Quentin Prison, ‘Twelfth Night’
By Clinton Stark, Stark Insider-- It was an emotional performance, and one that will go down as such in my memory forever. Inmates at San Quentin performed Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, an annual tradition in partnership with Marin Shakespeare Company. The standing ovation at the end of the play was moving, and well deserved. No matter how you feel about these people, it was a moment for them to perhaps find some form of redemption through the arts, through performing. San Quentin, a maximum security prison located on the Bay, just a stone’s throw from San Francisco, is the oldest prison in California (1852).
San Quentin Inmates to Perform Shakespeare
By Erika Heidecker, NBC Bay Area-- "If music be the food of love, play on ..." are perhaps not words one expects to hear in the halls of San Quentin State Prison. This Friday, however, 13 inmates will perform one of Shakespeare's most popular romantic comedies in front of more than 300 of their peers. Marin Shakespeare Company's Suraya Keating has worked with the inmates once a week for two hours a day over the past 10 months. The performers practiced songs, learned dance moves, and rehearsed lines for an adaptation of "Twelfth Night."
Marin Shakespeare Co Directs Inmate Twelfth Night Performance
Broadway World-- On Friday, August 5 at 11 a.m., inmates at San Quentin State Prison will have the rare opportunity to see thirteen of their peers performing in Shakespeare's romantic comedy "Twelfth Night." The inmates, under the direction of Marin Shakespeare Company's Suraya Keating, have been studying the play, creating characters, learning lines, practicing songs and dance moves, and preparing for the performance for the past 10 months. The script is adapted by Marin Shakespeare's Managing and Artistic Directors, Lesley and Robert Currier, and is set in the 1960's with music from the Beatles, Rolling Stones and others.
San Quentin prisoners steal show with Shakespeare
By Kevin Fagan, The San Francisco Chronicle-- Talk about contrasts. And transformations. For an hour and a half Friday, 14 murderers, robbers and other criminals doing time at San Quentin State Prison got to be defined by more than the ugly nature of their offenses - they got to be actors. Shakespearean actors, no less. And they were pretty darn good at it.
Offenders must move from Vacaville complex
By Catherine Bowen, The Reporter-- For years, Vacaville apartment landlord Darius Mohsenin has worked with state parole officials to place registered sex offenders in his units because it was one of the few local complexes that seemed to meet all the dozens of state compliance criteria. Now the Leisure Town Road apartment complex has been ruled "out of compliance," because of a previously unknown school -- Heritage Peak Charter School on Orange Drive -- that moved into the area three years ago. Seven tenants have been given just one week to scramble to find other suitable housing before being found in violation of the terms of their parole, Mohsenin is left with vacant units, state parole officials say their hands are tied, and local law enforcement is questioning the wisdom of putting such offenders into transient status.
An apology to Giovanni Ramirez?
By Sandy Banks, Contra Costa Times-- It was one of those phone calls a defense attorney could go an entire career and never receive: You might want to talk to this guy, Tony. I think he might be innocent. The guy was Giovanni Ramirez, a gang member and ex-convict arrested by an LAPD SWAT team on suspicion of the beating of a Giants fan in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. Tony is Anthony Brooklier, a blue-chip lawyer in Los Angeles whose clients have ranged from Mafia dons to petty thieves.
Update: Covelo fire now 80 percent contained
The Ukiah Daily Journal-- A large vegetation fire burning near Covelo was reduced to 600 acres Friday, and was 80 percent contained by Saturday morning, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported. According to CalFire spokeswoman Julie Cooley, the "Pass Fire" is located near Hams Pass Road in the Hull Mountain area of Mendocino County about five miles northeast of Covelo.
Our View: Chance to reform three-strikes law
Pasadena Star-News-- THE recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling mandating that California reduce its prison population by 30,000, along with the high cost of incarceration, have put great pressure on state officials to find ways to find a solution. Also, public attitudes toward sentencing are changing largely because of the state's budget crunch. As a result, public support for the state's three-strikes law is waning. In a recent poll, 60 percent of respondents said they would support reducing life sentences for prisoners whose third strike was for a property crime or theft. This change of attitude opens the door for needed reform of the three-strikes law.
California lets the mentally ill refuse treatment -- until it's too late
By Dan Morain, The Sacramento Bee-- Donovan Phipps sat in a visiting room at Salinas Valley State Prison, dressed in a state-issue blue work shirt and baggy jeans. He had stubble of beard, buzzed hair and was overweight, a side effect of medication he must take to harness his bipolar disorder. He spoke in monotone, twitched and buried his head in his hands when the subject turned to Juan Lugo, a 21-year-old Chico State University student who had taught himself to speak Portuguese and play piano.
Sentencing reform should be a conservative priority
By Pat Nolan, San Jose Mercury News-- At long last, California will have to deal with our bulging prisons, where 140,000 inmates are crammed into facilities designed to hold 80,000. The Supreme Court found conditions that are profoundly troubling, and these prison conditions could turn a short sentence for a nonviolent offense into a death sentence because of inadequate medical care. Certainly our prisons hold many folks who are very dangerous and need to be locked away from society, even for the rest of their lives. However, we also send many low-risk offenders to prison. As a conservative Republican, that makes no sense to me, as it is very costly and can sometimes turn low-level offenders into hardened criminals.