Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Louis A. Scott, KALW

More than two-thirds of the inmates in California's state prisons are Latino or African American, according to the most recent census. More than 1,000 military veterans are admitted annually.

All have a personal stake in the debates surrounding Colin Kaepernick's protest against the national anthem.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Alma Fausto, Orange County Register

SANTA ANA – Two men were arrested by police linked to the case of a a woman found dead in an apartment Monday morning, Sept. 19 – one on suspicion of murder.

Mark Lewis Amacher, 39, was detained for questioning and later arrested on suspicion of murder of the woman, who was in her 50s; police have not released her name yet, pending notification of her family.

OPINION

The Los Angeles Times

To the editor: I found Linda Deutsch’s opinion regarding the proposed release of convicted murderer Leslie Van Houten both naive and offensive. (“Release Leslie Van Houten. If she hadn't been a Manson follower, she would have left prison long ago,” Opinion, Sept. 17)

I remember the terror of the summer of 1969, wondering what monsters were on the loose looking for more victims. The coroner indicated Rosemary LaBianca, the woman Van Houten was convicted of killing, was stabbed 41 times.

Orange County Register

Re: “Should Manson follower Leslie Van Houten be paroled?” [Opinion, Sept. 19]: I don’t know who will answer yes to this ridiculous question other than someone who was born after 1969 or did not live in Southern California at the time this horrific murder took place. I remember it. I was a teenager. This event happened one weekend and at the end of that week, there was Woodstock. Love, peace and hate all in one week to close out the ’60s.

Ms. Van Houten was sentenced to death then spared by a liberal court that said putting a pillowcase over someone’s head and holding them down while others repeatedly stabbed them — and then taking a few stabs herself — was way too harsh for a homecoming princess. So she and her friends were given a permanent reservation in California’s prison system.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CDCR NEWS

Connor Letourneau, The San Francisco Chronicle

Midway through the second quarter, with the home team up 30-29, a voice blared over the loudspeaker: “Alarm on the yard! Alarm on the yard!”

The couple hundred inmates who had gathered Friday for San Quentin State Prison’s most anticipated sporting event — even those in blue Adidas jerseys with “Warriors Basketball” across the chest — crouched to the pavement.

A handful of civilian visitors dressed in mesh green pinnies exchanged puzzled glances, seemingly unsure whether to fall to the ground or climb the nearest razor-wire fence.

CDCR News

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) honored 113 employees today during its 32nd annual Medal of Valor Ceremony. The Medal of Valor is earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. It is the highest honor CDCR bestows upon its employees.

“These individuals have demonstrated valor and courage in the face of real danger,” said Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., who gave opening remarks at the ceremony. “The Medal of Valor we give today is given to people who in the face of danger for their own lives met the test and did what they had to do. They let duty prevail over fear.”

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Cal Fire suspects the fire was started by a lighting strike.
Dave Boyce, The Almanac

The Skeggs fire, reported to be 100 percent contained as of 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, burned about 50 acres of underbrush and leaf litter in the hills west of Woodside and east of Skyline Boulevard over several days.

The fire, which Cal Fire suspects was started by a lightning strike on the evening of Monday, Sept. 11, brought together Peninsula and state firefighters and "hand crews" of inmates from around Northern California to work around the clock for four days. A few trees were "torched," Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox of the Cal Fire told the Almanac, but mostly it was underbrush that burned.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Gina clugston, Sierra News Online

MADERA COUNTY — The District Attorney’s Office has extended the deadline for anyone wishing to submit letters in opposition to the release of Alice Waterman, convicted in 2014 for her part in a string of fires in the Yosemite Lakes Park area.

Waterman was found guilty on six counts of arson and one count of conspiracy after more than 30 suspicious fires occurred in the YLP area in May and June of 2013. She was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months, with credit for time served, and is already eligible for parole.

OPINION

Orange County Register Editorial Board

Leslie Van Houten, convicted of murder as a member of the Charles Manson “family” cult, has been recommended for parole by a state panel. The decision must be reviewed by the Parole Board and Gov. Jerry Brown. Last year, Brown said no to releasing Van Houten.

Is it time to parole Leslie Van Houten?

That’s our Question of the Week for readers.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CDCR NEWS

Imperial Valley News

Sacramento, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments:

Charles Callahan, 56, of Blythe, has been appointed warden at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, where he has been acting warden since 2017 and served as chief deputy warden from 2013 to 2016. Callahan was chief deputy warden at Valley State Prison for Women from 2012 to 2013, where he was an associate warden from 2008 to 2013 and correctional business manager from 2005 to 2007. He held several positions at Centinela State Prison from 2007 to 2008 and from 1995 to 2005, including associate warden, correctional business manager, procurement and services officer and vocational instructor. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $149,808. Callahan is a Democrat.

Lewis Griswold, The Fresno Bee

A correctional officer at Avenal State Prison allegedly kicked a feral kitten, injuring the animal so badly that it had to be taken to a veterinarian.

The kitten is now being cared for at the home of a female correctional officer and the allegation of animal abuse is under investigation, said Lt. Michael Tuntakit, a prison spokesman.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Seventeen years into a ludicrous 35-year sentence, one California felon has made peace in the most literal way possible.
Joshua David Stein, Fatherly

For the last seventeen years, John McDaniel has been inmate K98517 in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. As a 20-year-old, McDaniel held up a McDonald’s, a crime for which he received a 35-year sentence.  But McDaniel, who grew up in South Central Los Angeles, is much more than a number, of course. He is also a wonderful father and, since 2009, the co-director of The Place4Grace. The organization, which he founded with his wife Karen McDaniel, develops programs that help incarcerated fathers to be fathers. The Place4Grace runs a number of programs within the criminal justice system from Camp Grace, a five-day music and art program that allows incarcerated fathers to spend an extended period of time with their children, to Family2Child, a literacy project where fathers read and record books for their kids.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

State prison officials said about 270 inmates are serving life without parole in California for crimes committed as minors.
Don Thompson, The Associated Press

California inmates sentenced to life in prison without parole for crimes they committed as teenagers would get a second chance under a bill lawmakers sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday.

The legislation would align state law with recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions by automatically giving youthful offenders a chance at parole after 25 years. About three dozen offenders would be eligible for hearings over the next three years under the measure, though there's no guarantee they would be paroled.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Kristine Phillips, The Washington Post

In what appeared to be an act of defiance against President Trump and to the dismay of many in law enforcement, California lawmakers took a significant step toward making the state a so-called “sanctuary state.”

The California Senate on Saturday passed Senate Bill 54, controversial legislation that would protect undocumented immigrants from possible deportation by prohibiting local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from cooperating with federal immigration officials. It also forbids law enforcement from inquiring about a person’s immigration status.

Patrick McGreevy, The Los Angeles Times

After an emotional debate, state lawmakers on Saturday gave final legislative approval to a controversial bill that would end the lifetime listing of many convicted sex offenders on a public registry in California.

The bill, which was shelved then revived, was sent to the governor on the last day of the legislative session with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) calling it one of the most difficult votes she has cast.

“It’s not an easy thing to do, but sometimes we have to make hard votes,” Gonzalez Fletcher told her colleagues, adding that being a mom made it difficult to change a system aimed at tracking rapists and child molesters.

Gale Holland, The Los Angeles Times

California’s new “sanctuary state” bill limiting local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents drew support Saturday from Los Angeles officials, but a stinging rebuke from the Trump administration, whose Justice Department said the measure “undermines national security and law enforcement.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was “grateful” to the legislature, while Police Chief Charlie Beck said the bill built on 40 years of the city’s efforts to foster trust in immigrant communities.

“We are committed to reducing crime through community partnerships and constitutional policing,” said Beck.

Sara Rubin, Monterey County Now

Former Salinas City Councilman Jose CastaƱeda was sentenced to eight years in state prison on Aug. 22, and three days later, filed a notice of intent to appeal his conviction.

Since his sentencing last month, he's remained lodged at the Monterey County Jail to facilitate another court appearance this Thursday, Sept. 21, for a restitution hearing; after that, he's likely to be transferred to the custody of the California Department of Corrections and relocated to a state prison.

OPINION

Linda Deutsch, The Los Angeles Times

As a young journalist in 1969, I was assigned to cover the highly sensational trial of the so-called Manson family. They were accused of the gruesome murders of, among others, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Almost 50 years after the killings here in Los Angeles, former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten is again eligible for parole, and a state panel recently recommended her release. But the ultimate decision rests with Gov. Jerry Brown, who in 2016 said Van Houten posed “an unreasonable risk to society.”

That wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now. I believe that Van Houten, who was just 19 at the time of the killings and is now 68, has earned her freedom.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips

CDCR NEWS

Erin Tracy, Modesto Bee

Correctional Officer Kevin Machado was shopping at the Modesto Costco with his girlfriend and his 11/2-year-old son on a Thursday afternoon last year when an alarm began to sound in the store.

He asked employees, “ ‘What’s going on’ and they said ‘There’s a guy in here with a knife trying to stab people’ and I said ‘OK I’m a peace officer. Where’s he at’.”

Imperial Valley Press

Sacramento, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments:

Charles Callahan, 56, of Blythe, has been appointed warden at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, where he has been acting warden since 2017 and served as chief deputy warden from 2013 to 2016. Callahan was chief deputy warden at Valley State Prison for Women from 2012 to 2013, where he was an associate warden from 2008 to 2013 and correctional business manager from 2005 to 2007. He held several positions at Centinela State Prison from 2007 to 2008 and from 1995 to 2005, including associate warden, correctional business manager, procurement and services officer and vocational instructor. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $149,808. Callahan is a Democrat.


CALIFORNIA INMATES


Cathy Locke, Sacramento Bee

Q: I went to Rutter Middle School in Sacramento in 1992-94. I remember one day our school counselor delivered the really bad news that a new student had been killed by her stepfather. I’ve always wondered who this young girl was, her name, anything known about her family and if her stepfather was convicted of the crimes allegedly committed against my classmate.


PAROLE

Associated Press

California lawmakers have sent Gov. Jerry Brown legislation to free more elderly inmates.

Federal judges in 2014 ordered California to consider releasing inmates age 60 or older who have served at least 25 years in prison.

AB1448 by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego would lock the federal court order into law.


OPINION

Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

The grief and anger caused by the horrific killing in February of Officer Keith Boyer has moved policymakers to seek three changes in laws dealing with how criminals are punished and then supervised after their release from incarceration. But grief and anger seldom turn into good criminal justice policy and in fact too easily push in the opposite direction. Such is the case with these responses to the Whittier killing — a bill in Sacramento moving toward the governor’s desk, a resolution being taken up by California’s cities and a commission formed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, all aimed at least in part at rolling back important criminal justice reforms.

John Phillips, Orange County Register

Just when you think California officials can’t get any worse, they go ahead and vote to let one of the most violent, remorseless and deranged Manson family killers out of prison.

The bloodthirsty monster that I’m referring to is Leslie Van Houten, who was granted parole last week by a panel of state commissioners in Chino.

This is the second time — out of 21 attempts — the parole board has voted to release the now grandmotherly-looking, 68-year-old murderer from the pokey.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

ABC 7 News

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A prisoner who walked away from a community reentry program in Los Angeles on Sunday was recaptured Tuesday morning, officials said.

Rolando A. Pineda, 21, walked away from the Male Community Reentry Program Sunday night.

He had been scheduled to be released for parole supervision on March 4, 2018.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Agnes Constante, NBC News

Jimmy Wu had been behind bars for nearly a decade when he received heartbreaking news in 2005: His younger brother had developed a severe case of pneumonia that doctors said he was unlikely to recover from.

“When I returned to my cell after that phone call, it was with an extremely heavy heart,” Wu, 37, told NBC News. “Being in that cell literally was driving me crazy with my own thoughts, just the tremendous sense of guilt and remorse for not being the brother that I was supposed to have been for my brother.”