Friday, October 20, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Josh Copitch, KRCRTV

SUGAR PINE, Calif. - Update 5:10 p.m.: According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the missing inmate was apprehended Thursday evening. The inmate was taken into custody after he was found by a CHP helicopter.

Nick Rahaim, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

The main firefight Tuesday night was up Pythian Road off Highway 12, where crews lit backfires to block the western spread of the Oakmont branch of the Nuns fire threatening homes around Rincon Valley.

Firefighters Mark Hill and Vernon Royal were on the frontline, fighting fire with fire and cutting containment breaks where bulldozers couldn’t. Unlike most firefighters they wore orange gear instead of yellow and were only earning $1 an hour.

The two are inmates at the minimum-security Mount Bullion Conservation Camp in Mariposa County, operated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. They have traveled around the state since June fighting wildfires, logging around 2,000 hours of work.

Sid Garcia, ABC 7 News

CORONA, Calif. (KABC) -- The 24 women working diligently in a computer classroom are banking on their success. What they're learning could lead to a productive life once they're released from the California Institution for Women in Corona.

Inmate Maria Salazar said the program is important to her. "For me personally, this my third time in prison. And I actually feel going through this program is going to help me get a job and I won't be coming back to prison," Salazar said.

The program is run by an organization called "The Last Mile." San Quentin State Prison has already had inmates graduate from the program and find jobs after their release.

Will Fitzpatrick, LAD Bible

By now you're probably all over Netflix's latest crime drama Mindhunter, and rightly so - it's pretty compelling viewing. As an insight into the early days of criminal psychology, it unsurprisingly turns up some creepy and unsettling results - and we're not talking Stranger Things-style creepy, either.

One of the most memorable appearances in the whole show comes from Cameron Britton's portrayal of Edmund Kemper, also known as the 'co-ed killer', which will almost certainly have curious viewers desperate to know more about 'Big Ed's real-life back story. Well, guess what? Real-life interviews have now emerged - one from 1984, one from 1991 - and they're at least as chilling as the TV special. Take a look for yourself.



60 MINUTES, the most successful television broadcast in history, began its 49th season in September 2016. Offering hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news, the broadcast begun in 1968 is still a hit in 2016, making Nielsen’s Top 10 nearly every week.

Over the 2015-2016 season, 60 MINUTES continued its dominance as the number-one news program, drawing an average of 12.3 million viewers per week – almost twice the audience of its nearest network news magazine competitor and three million viewers ahead of the most-watched daily network evening news broadcast. The average audience for a 60 MINUTES broadcast still dwarfs the biggest audiences drawn by cable news programs.


Jeanette Marantos, The Los Angeles Times

Matthew Jonathan Luis Hurtado, a 28-year-old Latino, was shot and killed by law enforcement officers on Friday, Oct. 6, in the 700 block of Encanto Parkway in Duarte, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Hurtado was wanted in connection with an Oct. 5 shooting at a family gathering in Pasadena in which a 19-year-old man and 16-year-old girl were wounded, Pasadena Police Lt. Jesse Carrillo said. The girl was treated and released, but the man was critically injured and is still hospitalized.

A task force of officers from multiple agencies began looking for Hurtado on Oct. 6, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza said. Hurtado, a parolee, was considered armed and dangerous.

Chandra Bozelko, The Los Angeles Times

When a prison inmate prays for release from her cell, prison industries can be her first salvation. I couldn’t wait to head to work in the kitchen of the maximum-security women’s prison in Connecticut where I did six years for identity theft and related crimes. I was paid 75 cents to $1.75 a day to make and serve a lot of casserole. Yet I consider most of the criticism lobbed at prison labor — that it’s a form of slavery, a capitalist horror show — unfair, and even counterproductive in the effort to reform the justice system.

Among the firefighters on California’s fire lines this fall, 30% to 40% are inmates, paid $1 an hour to work side by side with crews making a lot more money. Some inmate firefighters have gone on the record saying they feel the same way I do about prison jobs. It’s people on the outside who rail against prison work assignments, particularly hiring prisoners to fight fires.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Chris Smith, The Press Democrat

What a scene Wednesday morning in a Santa Rosa neighborhood that’s close-up to destruction but stands intact because of a team of state prison inmates.

A team of orange-clad firefighters from the Washington Ridge Conservation Camp returned to the enclave north of the former Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital site and below Fountaingrove to meet some of people whose homes they saved a week ago Monday.

Amy Graff, SFGATE

Among the thousands of firefighters on the front lines of the blazes in Napa and Sonoma counties are 102 female inmates, some of them working 72-hour long shifts in the first days of a firestorm that engulfed California's wine country in flames.

These women are part of a partnership program between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Cal Fire that trains incarcerated men and women who choose to take part in the grueling, dangerous work of fighting fires.


At first glance, these crews battling the devastating California wildfires look like normal firefighters.

Donning orange fire-resistant suits and carrying 60 pounds of support gear on their backs, they’re on the front lines of the wildfires with chain saws and hand tools, clearing brush or setting backfires to stop the flames from spreading.

But they aren’t officially firefighters — they’re prison inmates.

With help from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation jointly operates 43 adult conservation camps, or fire camps, throughout the state, according to the corrections department.

Lauren Steussy, New York Post

Behind the wall at the maximum-security prison where Johnny Cash once sang about shooting a man just to watch him die, rival inmates serving sentences for violent crimes are setting aside their differences, linking arms and tearfully baring their innermost feelings to each other.

This unlikely act of bonding behind bars is the focus of a new documentary called “The Work,” which offers an eye-opening look at a four-day group-therapy intensive for felons at Folsom State Prison in California.


Rachel Zirin, Folsom Telegraph

The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) hosted the grand opening celebration on a new technology training center for offenders at the Folsom Women’s Facility last Thursday, Oct. 12. The morning was filled with kind words from speakers, as well as exciting discussions with various female offenders.

CALPIA worked with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to expand the high-tech programs for offenders throughout the facilities. This particular center is unique, as it’s the only Autodesk-authorized Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program housed at a state prison.


Jade Hernandez, ABC 7 News

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Simi Valley dropped a law that prevents sex offenders from interacting with trick-or-treaters during Halloween.

Two weeks before this year's holiday, city council members decided to take it off the books after the constitutionality of some aspects of the 5-year-old law came into question.

The ordinance, which was enacted in 2012, kept sex predators from interacting with children and had been enforced without any violations - but it had some problems.

Lee Romney, CALmatters

Many of the 7 million Californians with a prior arrest or conviction likely can relate to Sandra Johnson’s job hunting experience nearly a decade ago. On every employment application, she checked a box that inquired about criminal history.

“It was terribly hard,” the 59-year-old mother and grandmother said of the months she spent seeking work after completing a San Francisco drug treatment program. “I would go and apply and I would never hear back because that box was always there.”

Beatriz E. Valenzuela and Brian Rokos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

A Pomona man who decapitated his older brother with pruning shears in 1993 and was committed to a state psychiatric hospital “went AWOL” from an outpatient program last week, but was captured four days later in Ontario.

What’s known is that Charles Henry Bowshier, 50, who has been in outpatient treatment for the past year, went missing Oct. 9, a warrant for his arrest was issued Oct. 10 and he was found Oct. 13.

But the circumstances of his disappearance and how he came to be found again are unclear.

Convicted murderer used victim's white supremacist tattoos as the basis for his appeal
Chris McGuinness, New Times

Walk down any street on any given day, and you are very likely to see more a than handful of people with tattoos.

In 2017, ink-decorated skin is more prevalent than ever before, offering the public a glimpse into the tattoo wearer's personal life and beliefs. Tattoos aren't just art but often represent a personal statement to the rest of the world.

To convicted murderer Thomas Yanaga, they also represented a slim chance of getting his case appealed.

Bruce McEwen, Anderson Valley Advertiser

The Orange Angels as they are affectionately known to our readers who suggested the AVA give a great big shout-out of appreciation to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) inmates who volunteer to fight wildfires with CalFire Conservation Camps at Chamberlain Creek and Parlin Fork on Highway 20. Unfortunately, we can’t say that in every case the inmates are Mendocino locals because the volunteers are distributed throughout the state system and are just as likely to be assigned to Sonoma County or even down in San Diego County where fires are also burning at this time. But wherever they hail from here’s to you guys and gals. And let’s not forget that at least 200 are women inmates, and all are deserving of recognition as we’ve been told that as many as 1700 of them worked 72 hours straight through beginning Monday, October 9th when the midnight firestorm first broke out and swept through Potter Valley and Redwood Valley.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


M.L. Nestel, ABC News

A prison inmate doubling as a volunteer firefighter suffered smoke inhalation today while battling a blaze dubbed the Bear fire, officials in California confirmed.

Also, a professional firefighter suffered wrist and facial injuries after plunging 50 feet from a torched peak in the mountainous Boulder Creek region of Santa Cruz, California.

Each was digging in on a fire line to smother flames that started around 10:30 p.m. local time Monday, Cal Fire officials told ABC News.


Brian Tallerico, Vulture

If you’ve finished watching Netflix’s Mindhunter, you’ve seen one of the year’s most chilling and unforgettable TV performances: Edmund “Big Ed” Kemper, as played by actor Cameron Britton. But the infamous “co-ed killer” is no mere writer’s concoction. Edmund Kemper is a real serial killer, and the fictional version of him is disturbingly close to the real thing. Mindhunter even lifted some of Kemper’s dialogue directly from video interviews conducted in 1984 and 1991, which you can watch below.

Who was Edmund Kemper? The Mindhunter version of the man hews pretty closely to the truth, even down to Britton’s unique speaking pattern and immense size. Kemper is six-foot-nine and reportedly has an IQ of 145. When he was 15, he murdered both of his grandparents and was sent to the criminally insane unit of the Atascadero State Hospital, where he was held until his release at age 21. If you’ve seen Mindhunter, you know what happened next: From May 1972 to April 1973, Kemper kidnapped and killed at least eight more people — including six college students, his abusive mother, and his mother’s friend — dismembering and defiling their bodies in ways too horrible to mention here. During his 1973 trial, Kemper requested “death by torture” as punishment for his crimes; he was ultimately convicted for eight counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in the California Medical Facility.

Suspect already in jail for shooting at officers
Jesus Reyes, City News Service

INDIO, Calif. - A man accused of firing on two California Highway Patrol officers and a Border Patrol agent in 2012 has since been charged with a deadly shooting that occurred three days later in Coachella, court documents show.

Samuel Carrillo Ortiz Jr., 43, is accused, along with Hector Castaneda, 28, in the killing of Joel Lerma, whose body was found alongside Avenue 44, west of Dillon Road, about 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2012.

Ortiz is currently in custody on attempted murder charges for allegedly firing on the officers. No officer was struck by the gunfire. Castaneda has been incarcerated in Calipatria State Prison since 2014 for an unrelated, undisclosed offense. Though the cause of Lerma's death was determined
to be multiple gunshots, investigators said it appeared he had also been run over by a vehicle, according to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant.


In her second 60 Minutes story, Oprah Winfrey goes inside one of America's most notorious prisons to report on the use of solitary confinement
CBS News

Oprah Winfrey visits California's Pelican Bay State Prison and the infamous Security Housing Unit that has been controversial for years and once earned the "supermax" prison the nickname "Skeleton Bay." She reports on conditions in the "SHU" isolation unit that critics charge constitutes torture. Winfrey's report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT.

California, which long sent thousands of inmates to solitary confinement, is now on the leading edge of a reform movement aimed at curtailing the practice of limiting prisoners' human contact – which many say can cause mental illness. 


Foothills Sun Gazette

VISALIA – An Ivanhoe man serving life in prison for robbery and child molestation was denied parole last week.

On Oct. 10, the California State Parole Board denied parole for Ernie Sedillo, age 66, who is serving his sentence at the Valley State Prison in Chowchilla. This was Sedillo’s first eligibility for parole and he received a seven year denial. He is not eligible for another parole hearing until 2024.


Pam Marino, Monterey County Now

In one fell swoop on Oct. 12, teams of agents from the FBI and federal Drug Enforcement Agency descended upon and arrested five Monterey County men suspected in a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamines, the Department of Justice announced.

FBI and DEA agents performed the coordinated raids in Salinas, Greenfield, Castroville and Gonzales to arrest and serve search warrants on the five.

The men—Francisco Puga Camacho, 48, Horacio Quintana, 22, Joel Quintana Medina, 25, and Jesus Bernal Nunez, 33, all from Salinas, and Nestor Tavarez, 50, from Gonzales—were arraigned before Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins in San Jose federal court the same day.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Cynthia Hubert, The Sacramento Bee

Within the razor wire fences of Folsom State Prison, Andreawanna Clemmons stared at a computer, filling her screen and mind with architectural designs.

“I’m working on a homeless shelter,” said Clemmons, 25, who is serving time for her role in a deadly shooting in Sacramento in 2012. Beside her, inmate Terese Sheridan, 36, also incarcerated for a gun crime, was designing a hotel.

Miguel Sifuentes, KALW

For most people, spending quality time with family in the home is normal. But what happens when the only quality time is spent inside prison? This was how Demond Lewis’ life unfolded.

San Quentin Radio is a project in which KALW editors train inmates to report stories from inside prison. San Quentin officials listened to and approved the script and audio for this story prior to broadcast. Thanks to Sam Robinson and Larry Schneider for their help.


Alma Fausto, Southern California News Group

ORANGE – A minimum security inmate assigned to fight the Canyon Fire 2 walked away from his post on Sunday, Oct. 15, according to corrections officials.

Armando Castillo, 31, was last seen at around 4:45 p.m. near Peters Canyon Regional Park before crews returned to Prado Conservation Camp in San Bernardino County.

Ninna Gaenslep-Debs, KALW

Hear from two of the approximately 4000 incarcerated men and women currently deployed fighting California’s wildfires.

Michael Draebom’s firefighting crew was in trouble before they even reached the fire.

Some trees had fallen into the road, so they stopped to clear them. They were only there for a few moments when a pine tree snapped and fell down on a fire truck, injuring two firefighters.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Marianne Love, Los Angeles Daily News

As a final tribute to an Oxnard man killed in this month’s Las Vegas shooting rampage played out Friday afternoon, a team of inmates he supervised in fire suppression battled the Cuesta wildfire nearby in San Luis Obispo.

“He was a very experienced camp commander. His leadership, his experience and his expertise will be sorely miss,” said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Brooke Martell, KSBY

Ventura Conservation Camp Commander Lt. Derrick "Bo" Taylor was buried Friday at the Arroyo Grande Cemetery. 

Taylor was one of 58 people killed in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas earlier this month. Taylor, who lived in Oxnard, was with Denise Cohen of Carpinteria at the time of the shooting. She was also killed.


Inmate Walks Away While Fighting Canyon 2 Fire


CHINO – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are searching for a minimum-security inmate who walked away while fighting the Canyon 2 Fire in Orange County.

Inmate Armando Castillo, 31, who is assigned to Oak Glen Conservation Camp (CC #35) in Yucaipa, was part of the inmate crews fighting the Canyon 2 Fire near Peters Canyon Regional Park. He was last seen at 4:45 p.m. Oct. 15, before crews returned to Prado Conservation Camp (CC #28) in San Bernardino County.

Jazmine Ulloa, The Los Angeles Times

State agencies overseeing juvenile offenders, state hospitals and developmental services will no longer have to collaborate with federal immigration authorities under a new California law.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation that will repeal provisions in the state welfare code requiring the Division of Juvenile Justice, the Department of State Hospitals and the Department of Developmental Services to help facilitate deportations of people illegally in the country.



Will Bardenwerper, Newsweek

Eighty-three-year-old Steve McNamara appeared perfectly at ease. He ambled along with an unhurried gait, as if he were strolling out for a drink with a classmate from Princeton’s class of 1955. Despite his reassuring calm, the sight of hundreds of San Quentin inmates around us in the prison’s sun-splashed Lower Yard, some heavily tattooed, muscle-bound, and furiously knocking out push-ups, was a bit unsettling to me, despite my combat tour in Iraq.

Steve, a former newspaper publisher, is a San Quentin regular. He has chosen not to pass his retirement in leisure, instead he spends a few days a week with a unique sort of “men’s club,” as he calls it—the men who produce the San Quentin News, the nation’s only independent prison newspaper.


Kate Briquelet, The Daily Beast

For $2 a day or $1 an hour, scores of men and women are fighting the wildfires ravaging California’s wine country.

They’re on call 7 days a week, on the frontlines, and make up 35 to 40 percent of Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting force.

And they’re inmates serving time for nonviolent crimes. In recent years, some residents have called them “angels in orange.”

California inmates help battle raging wildfires

Matt Wotus and Monte Plott, CNN

(CNN)At first glance, these crews battling the devastating California wildfires look like normal firefighters.

Donning orange fire-resistant suits and carrying 60 pounds of support gear on their backs, they're on the front lines of the wildfires with chain saws and hand tools, clearing brush or setting backfires to stop the flames from spreading.

But they aren't officially firefighters -- they're prison inmates.

Jess Sullivan, Daily Republic

FAIRFIELD — Two inmates who face murder charges for the beating death of a 66-year-old inmate last year at the California Medical Facility prison in Vacaville agreed Friday to hold their probable cause hearings in January.

Authorities assert that Sherman Dunn, 46, and Percy J. Robinson, 29, killed Jose Garcia in the 30-man dormitory the men shared at the prison on the night of Aug. 22, 2016.

Kristin Brzoznowski, TV Real

BBC Worldwide will distribute the new true-crime series 20 Years on Death Row internationally, outside of France and the U.K., where the show has now been picked up by UKTV’s Really.

The 4×1-hour series was originally commissioned by French pay-TV channel 13√©me Rue and was shot entirely on location in the U.S. The program spotlights the story of Keith Doolin, a former long-distance truck driver with no previous criminal convictions, currently incarcerated on death row in San Quentin prison. He was convicted of the murder of two women in 1995 and after 20 years is maintaining his innocence while awaiting execution and trying to navigate California’s capital appeals system.


Brian Day, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

An attorney representing the family of a 28-year-old man fatally shot by a police task force in Duarte last week demanded more information Friday and accused the four involved officers of gunning down the man in cold blood without justification.

The task force was seeking Matthew Jonathan Luis Hurtado of Pasadena in connection with another shooting in Pasadena the previous night.

He died after he was shot by officers from a multi-agency task force about 1 p.m. Oct. 6 in the parking lot of Encanto Park, 751 Encanto Parkway in Duarte, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s and sheriff’s officials


Vikaas Shanker, Merced Sun Star

A Merced man convicted of defrauding people out of more than $100,000 had a shot at getting out of prison several months into his multi-year sentence, thanks to Proposition 57 passed by California voters last November.

But a parole board denied him that opportunity last month, according to a Merced County District Attorney’s Office news release.

Jesse Munoz, 31, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in February after he pleaded no contest to scamming more than 20 people thousands of dollars for failed contract work, authorities said.


David Warren, Citrus Heights Sentinel

Recent comments by Citrus Heights Police Department representatives assert that legislation adopted to divert nonviolent offenders to local supervision has increased the crime rate. That legislation includes Prop 36, which allows habituated individuals to obtain treatment instead of being incarcerated; Prop 57, which provided for parole of numerous inmates under local probation department supervision; and Prop 47, which returned crimes to misdemeanors that had become felonies because of economic inflation.