Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Jim Guy, The Fresno Bee

California prison officials are searching for a minimum-security inmate who walked away from the Sierra Conservation Center, Mount Bullion Conservation Camp in Mariposa County on Monday.

Blake Castro, 31, was reported missing during an inmate count. He was last seen at 2 a.m. Monday in his assigned housing unit.

Local law enforcement and the California Highway are assisting in the search for Castro.


Jenny Day, CW 6 News

CW6’s Jenny Day went beyond the barbed wire to give us a look at the “Playwrights Project” – a program that’s allowing prisoners to express themselves on paper and on stage.

For the prisoners, their days are predictable, but their list of activities are short.  Wake up, eat, work out; but now, some inmates at this maximum security prison are writing plays that will be performed at San Diego State.


Bob Egelko, The San Francisco Chronicle

Sex offenders in California who have completed their prison sentences must comply with strict monitoring conditions while on probation, including undergoing lie-detector tests about their conduct and receiving treatment from therapists who can reveal their secrets to a probation officer, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.

Although offenders must take part in the lie-detector interrogation and therapy, none of their answers can be used to file or prove new criminal charges against them, the court said. The goal, instead, is to monitor the former inmates and prevent future crimes, the justices said.

Jazmine Ulloa, The Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers on Monday said they have filed a package of bills in an attempt to divert children from a school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately affects low-income and black and Latino families.

Sens. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) have introduced eight proposals that would extend protections for children facing arrest or detention and ease punishment and burdensome fees for those inside the juvenile justice system.

In a news conference at Sacramento’s Leataata Floyd Elementary School, home to what lawmakers called model educational programs meant to empower children, Mitchell and Lara said they wanted their legislation to center on prevention, rehabilitation and keeping families together.

Karina Ioffee, East Bay Times

A Bay Area politician wants to tax companies that do business with California prisons as a way to raise money for preschool programs and reduce incarceration rates.

Assembly Bill 43, authored by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, aims to restore some of the $227 million previously promised to preschool programs that is on hold because of state budget challenges. Without that money, nearly 3,000 children will not be able to attend subsidized preschools next fiscal year and possibly beyond. It also limits the reimbursement rates for childcare providers.

Redding Record Searchlight

There is little doubt about who killed Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer in late winter, or how he died: Authorities quickly identified ex-convict Michael Christopher Mejia as the culprit, also suspected of killing his cousin and stealing the cousin’s car.

But there is plenty of debate over who and/or what is responsible for Boyer’s death. “There’s blood on the hands of Gov. Brown,” trumpeted Republican state Sen. Andy Vidak of Hanford in a press release two days after the incident. He blames Brown and other Democrats for “early-release laws that ended in the…preventable death of Officer Boyer.”

Monday, March 20, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Paul Gaita, The Fix

The waiving of a California law now allows LVNs to administer naloxone without a doctor's permission.

In an effort to stem the tide of overdose deaths among inmates, a federal judge has waived a California state law that prevents licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) from administering the opioid overdose antagonist drug, naloxone, without permission from a doctor.

The waiver was requested by California Correctional Health Care Services federal receiver J. Clark Kelso, a law professor and associate dean of strategic initiatives at the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. As the receiver, Kelso facilitates the health care system for inmates in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the behest of federal judge Thelton Henderson of California's Northern District.


Teri Figueroa, The San Diego Union Tribune

A documented Escondido gang member accused of murder could face the death penalty in the fatal shooting of a woman who was headed home from church when she was struck by bullets that police say were intended for a rival gang member.

Dionicio Crespin Torrez Jr., 24, pleaded not guilty in a Vista courtroom Friday in the murder of Cathy Kennedy, 55, who was shot as she drove eastbound on East Grand Avenue about 9 p.m. March 7, not long after leaving a weekly bible study at the Church of St. Timothy. Kennedy died at a hospital a short time later.


The Recorder

An investigation into gang and criminal activity led to four arrests Thursday afternoon by Porterville Police Department detectives.

Detectives began an investigation after receiving information that alerted them to the possibility that Brandon Gonzalez, 29, who is an active criminal street gang member and on active California Department of Corrections Parole, was in possession of multiple firearms, a stolen motorcycle, and narcotics.

At approximately 1 p.m. on Thursday, Porterville Police Narcotics Unit Detectives learned that Gonzalez was at a residence in the 2000 block of West Morton Avenue. Detectives from both the Narcotics Unit and Special Investigations Unit responded to the residence to conduct further investigation.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


FOX News

Each year behind the walls of San Quentin, inmates train with volunteer coaches for a marathon. Every year people serving sentences for serious crimes run 26.2 miles around the state's oldest prison (within the walls of the prison).

The marathon is extremely difficult because it consists of 105 laps around a quarter mile course in the lower yard of the prison.

Kevin Rumon, Assistant Coach of San Quentin 1,000 Mile Club, tells KTVU there are six 90 degree turns on the course. "While it might seem easy to be running this on a closed course - it's very hard and it's also - unlike the San Francisco Marathon - I might be 10, 20 miles from home. These guys pass by their 'home' every lap so that temptation to quit is particularly difficult."

The Altruist, Constance Hale

When Steve McNamara ’55 steps out of his silver BMW coupe in a Northern California parking lot, he looks like the average alum of his vintage. His vanity plates spell out the name of the company that defines him (THE SUN). His uniform is as preppy as permissible in Marin County: charcoal slacks, green-and-blue plaid oxford shirt, black Patagonia down jacket, gray Nikes, and baseball cap that says “Mill Valley.”

He walks briskly up a long ramp to an imposing entrance marked by large columns, flashes a badge, and makes a beeline toward a collection of wood-and-stucco fortresses jutting into San Francisco Bay. He signs in at a formidable metal gate, greeting the guard by name. He’s also on a first-name basis with a gardener stooping over plants near the chapel, to whom he reports on geraniums the gardener recently gave him.


Jess Sullivan, Fairfield 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 appeared in court briefly Thursday.

It was the fourth court appearance for Sherman Dunn, 45, and Percy Robinson, 28, since murder charges were filed against them in December 2016. Dunn has been locked up since 2015, Robinson since 2012.

Brian Johnson, abc 30 News

TULARE COUNTY (KFSN) -- Court records and a new press release from a Los Angeles law firm reveal Tulare County has settled two lawsuits filed by women who say they were sexually and emotionally victimized by a former Tulare County sheriff's deputy. But the county claims settlements have not yet been finalized with the five plaintiffs.

A press release written by the public relations company for the law firm Kabateck Brown Kellner says Tulare County will pay $2.2 million to settle two civil lawsuits against the county, the sheriff's office, and former deputy William Nulick.

Alexa Renee, KXTV

The Manson Family is arguably the most infamous cult in U.S. history.

Charles Manson, leader of the group and mastermind behind the gruesome 1969 murders of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate and the LaBianca family, sits behind California bars for his crimes.

Manson was convicted for conspiracy to commit murder for his involvement in the bloody summer of 'Helter Skeltor' and has sat in a prison cell for decades.

He was initially sentenced to death in 1971 along with several other members of his commune family for participating in the murders, but their sentences were reduced to life with the possibility of parole in 1972 after the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional.


Sandra T. Molina, Whittier Daily News

WHITTIER >> Standing in front of City Hall adjacent to the Whittier Police Memorial Thursday, Assemblyman Ian Calderon introduced a bill that would require jailing probationers who violate the terms of their supervision at least three times.

The bill would be the first state legislation to address issues local police forces have with prison reform bills like AB 109 following the death of Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer in February.

Calderon, D-Industry, said the bill, AB 1408, is “a result of intense discussion with the law enforcement community.” He said he and believes the bill “will help prevent tragedies like what we witnessed on Feb. 20.”

In Idaho, prisoners roast potatoes. In Kentucky, they sell cattle
The Economist

SILICON VALLEY mavens seldom stumble into San Quentin, a notorious Californian prison. But when Chris Redlitz, a venture capitalist, visited seven years ago, he found that many of the inmates were keen and savvy businessmen. The trip spurred him to create The Last Mile, a charity that teaches San Quentin inmates how to start businesses and code websites, for which they can earn up to $17 an hour. One of the first people it helped was Tulio Cardozo, who served a five-year sentence after a botched attempt at cooking hashish, which also left him with severe burns across half his body. Two years after he was released, he got a job as a lead developer in a San Francisco startup.

Such redemptive stories are the model for what the prison system could be. But they are exceptions—the rule is much drearier. Prison labour is legally required in America. Most convicted inmates either work for nothing or for pennies at menial tasks that seem unlikely to boost their job prospects. At the federal level, the Bureau of Prisons operates a programme known as Federal Prison Industries that pays inmates roughly $0.90 an hour to produce everything from mattresses, spectacles,road signs and body armour for other government agencies, earning $500m in sales in fiscal 2016. Prisoners have produced official seals for the Department of Defence and Department of State, a bureau spokesman confirmed. In many prisons, the hourly wage is less than the cost of a chocolate bar at the commissary, yet the waiting list remains long—the programme still pays much more than the $0.12-0.40 earned for an hour of kitchen work.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Officials say six prison guards and one inmate were injured at California Correctional Center in Susanville in a riot Wednesday.
The Associated Press

SUSANVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Officials say six prison guards and one inmate were injured in a riot at California Correctional Center in Susanville.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says an inmate attacked an officer Wednesday in the dining hall and about 30 other prisoners rushed to the scene and began punching and kicking the officers and hurled food trays or broke them over the heads of staff.

Officers used physical force, pepper spray and non-lethal projectiles to quell the riot in minutes.

New Times, Karen Garcia

Inmates from the California Men's Colony have collaborated with the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) to raise $2,000 in an effort to give back to their community.

CALPIA is a self-supporting business that provides productive work assignments for about 7,000 offenders within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation institutions. Inmates make about 35 to 95 cents and contribute 40 percent of their wages to pay court-ordered restitution and fees.

Michele Kane, chief of external affairs for CALPIA said, 169 men from the California Men's Colony that participate in CALPIA pulled their wages together and choose Jack's Helping Hand as the recipient of the donation. More than 60 inmates donated $20 each and one inmate donated $100.

Digital Journal

TEDxDonovanCorrectional will take place at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF) on Sunday, May 21, 2017. This is the first such event in San Diego's state prison.

SAN DIEGO, CA, March 16, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In the spirit of world-renowned TED Talks, TEDxDonovanCorrectional - a unique gathering focused on inspiration, transformation and interaction - will take place at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF) on Sunday, May 21, 2017. This is the first such event in San Diego's state prison.

The process of organizing TEDxDonovanCorrectional has fully engaged the prison inmate population. A Core Team of ten RJDCF inmates is strategizing, planning, and facilitating the event from beginning to end. The Core Team is supported by a group of local TEDx volunteers.


Christopher Zoukis, Huffington Post

Johnny Cash may have talked about time “draggin’ on” at Folsom Prison in his ‘60s-era hit song, but times at California’s second oldest prison have changed.

Folsom State Prison first opened in 1880 and has come a distance from its harsh, punitive roots, increasingly offering a wide range of rehabilitation and re-entry programs. The facility houses primarily medium-security males but also contains minimum-security facilities for both males and females, and offers programs that not only build inmate’s skills, but that also have a direct impact on the community outside of the prison.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation recognizes that programming opportunities are the best way to prepare an offender for success upon release, ensuring that programs are available at all stages while in prison, and upon parole. These programs benefit the community in numerous ways including reducing recidivism, which contributes to lower taxes and costs, and increasing numbers of ex-offenders that can effectively re-enter society and contribute to it.


Coyote Chronicle

The CSUSB Department of Art was awarded $15,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), to use towards a program of their choice until December of 2018.

The grant was given earlier in 2016, and will be used for allowing selected individuals to have the opportunity to teach inmates about painting, drawing, writting and printmaking through the Community- Based Art Program (CBA).

.According to Annie Buckley, an associate professor of visual arts who is the founder of the CBA, says that the NEA awards are are not easy to achieve.

Mike Sprague, Whittier Daily News

WHITTIER >> Following the death of Whittier police Officer Keith Boyer in a Feb. 20 shootout with a gang member who was on probation, council members Tuesday vowed to lead a drive to reform state laws they said have allowed violent criminals to remain on the street.

Council members blame AB 109, which is now law, and Proposition 47 for an increase in property and violent crimes in cities across the state.

Both the council and Whittier police officials said the reform laws are the reason the suspect in Boyer’s killing, 26-year-old Michael Mejia of Los Angeles, wasn’t still in prison, despite being a documented gang member who was arrested five times in the past seven months allegedly for violating his probation.

Ed Lopez, Alexa Valiente

The last time Debra Tate ever saw her sister Sharon Tate alive, they were watching a major news event.

"We had a lovely barbecue day," Debra Tate told ABC News. "We all piled in her bed to watch the moon walk ... and that was the last time that any of us would ever see her."

Later that summer, the story of Sharon Tate would become its own major news event.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Maureen Cavanaugh, Brooke Ruth, KPBS

The impact of addiction is the subject of two plays that will be performed by San Diego State University theatre students Thursday through Sunday.

One of the plays, "Finding Our Way," was written by inmates at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. The inmates are in the Out of the Yard program, which is facilitated by the Playwrights Project.

The play is a series of reflections along the path of addiction.

Kelsey CastaƱon, Refinery 29

It doesn't take a snow day watch party of the Locked Up series or Shawshank Redemption to understand why male prisons rarely feature beauty enterprises. There's no Sophia Burset toiling over other inmates' hair at the salon, and there certainly isn't a Lorna Morello making eyeshadow from instant coffee like you see on Orange Is The New Black. In real life, things are a bit...different.

To wit: A new cosmetology school has cropped up inside the walls of Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California. But it's not the stuff of a scripted plot line — it's an actual education program for incarcerated men. There, students must take two years and 1,600 hours-worth of skin care, hair care, and nail care classes to be qualified to for professional certification — all of which will translate outside jail walls.


Evan Sernoffsky, The San Francisco Chronicle

If Frank Carlson had died any other way, his family said they could have mourned his loss, treasured their memories of the young husband and moved on.

But when Angelo Pavageau tortured and killed the 25-year-old aspiring journalist before sadistically raping and beating Carlson’s wife in their home in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, he plunged his victims’ families into a lifelong trauma that continues 43 years later.

Pavageau, now 68, was scheduled for a parole review in April, and as with the 12 previous times he had gone before the panel, Frank Carlson’s family was ready for a fight.


Doug Saunders, San Bernardino Sun

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> A multi-agency probation compliance operation netted 11 arrests Saturday.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s along with county probation officers and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation agents broke up into eight two-person teams and served more than 60 warrants in Rancho Cucamonga in an attempt to find 10 probationers wanted for various offenses, according to a sheriff’s news release.