Friday, March 23, 2018

Daily Corrections Clips


Teri Figueroa, The San Diego Union Tribune

An inmate at the state prison in Otay Mesa was dead for days last April before prison staffers realized it, according to a recently released autopsy report.

Staffers blamed the smell on the sewer system. And during that time, the man’s cellmate discouraged people from checking on the already dead inmate, who was under a blanket on his bunk at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

And the cellmate, it turns out, was serving time for homicide related to the death of his own father, whose decomposed body was found under a mattress in his home.

CBS Los Angeles

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – A 23-year-old convicted robber who removed his GPS tracking device and escaped in Long Beach last week has been captured.

Christopher Pinon was taken into custody peacefully just before midnight Tuesday in the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Monterey Park, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) reports.

He has been booked into the California Institution for Men in Chino.


Alix Wall, The Jewish News

Prisoner C27182 walks toward me in his blue prison uniform at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. James A. White Jr. is easy to spot, with his distinctive long white beard and hair — he recently cut off his ponytail to donate to Locks of Love — and is something of a legend in the state penal system, where he has been locked up for 37 years serving life without parole for murder.

It has not been time wasted.

White is nearly 80, a highly decorated Jewish Vietnam vet, and the person credited with establishing a college education program at Ironwood State Prison, allowing inmates to work toward an associate’s degree while behind bars. Some 1,500 Ironwood prisoners have graduated from the program since its start in 2001, a personal achievement that many of them never thought possible.


The Ceres Courier

Richard Dean Morris, 56, formerly of Ceres, was found unsuitable for parole during a Feb. 27 hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings at San Quentin State Prison.

In 1985 Morris was convicted of first-degree murder and was ordered to serve a 25 years-to-life prison sentence. He was also convicted in 1986 of stabbing another inmate causing great bodily injury and is serving a consecutive term of nine-years-to-life for that crime. Morris's brother, Robert, who was also convicted for participating in the same murder, was granted parole in 2016.


Uptick partly due to new reporting practice
Melissa Simon, Simi Valley Acorn

For the second year in a row, Simi Valley’s overall per capita crime rate increased slightly, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the police department.

Overall, the city had 15.9 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2017 compared to 13.7 per 1,000 in 2016, an increase of about 16 percent, the Simi Valley Police Department announced earlier this month. Simi Valley has an estimated 126,788 residents.

The number of violent crimes went up from 174 in 2016 to 184 last year, while property-related crimes jumped from 1,576 in 2016 to 1,831.


KMPH Fox 26

FRESNO, Calif. (FOX26 NEWS) —  Central Valley business owners, anti-human trafficking groups, crime victim advocates and local law enforcement officials joined Assemblyman Jim Patterson to announce a new ballot initiative.

It's called the Keeping California Safe Initiative which is intended to make changes to Propositions 47, 57 and Ab 109.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Daily Corrections Clips


How a group of students hundreds of miles from California took on the cause of an aging prisoner
William Fox, Voices of Monterey Bay

“When I found out that students would have an opportunity to advocate on a ‘live’ case from California, I jumped at the opportunity,” Ryan Thompson says when asked why he signed up for the “Law and Minorities” class at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The class investigates real cases that are still active, he says, and he especially liked that the case would be from California, where he had lived for 20 years. The focus would be on legal, racial and social justice controversies involving minorities, indigenous groups and other vulnerable populations in the United States. And of all the cases to choose from, the story of John Clutchette interested Thompson the most.


Paul Hammel and Joe Duggan, Omaha World-Herald Bureau

LINCOLN — The founder and top executive of a prison rehabilitation program in Nebraska resigned Wednesday amid a published report that she inflated her program's success and sexually harassed employees.

Catherine Hoke, CEO of Defy Ventures, said in her resignation letter that allegations described in a report last week in the Daily Beast website are "absurd, false and defamatory." She stepped down, however, because she said it would be best to distance herself from the organization.

Defy Ventures wants to turn ex-cons into entrepreneurs. Former employees say its leader fostered an abusive work environment, misled benefactors, and may have ripped off clients.
Kelly Weill, Daily Beast

Defy Ventures brings the gospel of entrepreneurship to an unlikely place: prisons.

The nonprofit company founded by Catherine Hoke says it is dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated people start their own businesses and stay out of prison. “Transform the hustle,” the company’s tagline encourages.

Defy has received grants from Google and the conservative Koch brothers. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote a foreword to Hoke’s new memoir. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called Hoke’s work “incredibly inspiring” on his podcast. Hoke’s project even has White House interest: She had a call with Jared Kushner’s office in January to discuss a visit about prison reform.

Fired chief investigator alleges inappropriate actions by district attorney
Rachel Rosenbaum, Appeal-Democrat

Editor’s Note: This is the first of two stories concerning a claim and allegations made by the former Sutter County district attorney’s chief investigator against the county. The second part, concerning additional allegations of instances of improper behavior, will be published in the Friday edition.

Sutter County rejected a claim for $1 million filed by a former chief investigator with the district attorney’s office.

Jason Parker’s claim alleged he was unfairly treated and that retaliatory measures were taken against him for whistleblowing. Parker’s attorney, Chris Carlos, has indicated that a second claim will be filed and that if it is rejected there will be further litigation.

Kristina Bravo, KTLA

A man has been arrested for a series of bank robberies in the San Fernando Valley earlier in March, officials announced Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Police Department said the so-called “Ginger Bandit,” 42-year-old Patrick Robert Day, was apprehended Tuesday.

Investigators said Day targeted three banks on March 5 in west San Fernando Valley: one in the 21800 block of Sherman Way at 2:20 p.m., another in the 22800 block of Victory Boulevard at 2:30 p.m., and finally, a bank in the  in the 22000 block of Ventura Boulevard at 2:40 p.m.

Billy Kobin, The Sacramento Bee

Criminal and juvenile justice reform has been a key part of Gov. Jerry Brown's time in office, and his final proposed budget calls for keeping more youth offenders in juvenile detention facilities instead of prison.

Brown's 2018-19 proposed budget calls for $3.8 million to allow youth offenders longer stays in juvenile justice facilities, a step the governor and some advocates say would lead to lower recidivism rates and better outcomes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Daily Corrections Clips



The cremated remains of notorious cult leader Charles Manson were scattered on a California hillside following a Christian funeral on Saturday, nearly four months after his death.

The burial came one week after Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman, won the right to his grandfather’s body after a court battle that began shortly after Manson’s death on November 19.

The family “acted like ninjas” to keep the funeral in Porterville, California, from gaining attention, Freeman said.


Jennifer Iyer, Redlands Daily Facts

An April parole hearing has been set for John Wilton Zenc, who murdered 15-year-old Paula Hernandez in Redlands in 1977.

A suitability hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. April 19 at California State Prison, Corcoran located between Bakersfield and Fresno, according to the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation website.

Zenc was first eligible for parole in August 1996; he was most recently denied parole in May 2015.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Daily Corrections Clips


John Rogers, The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Manson was cremated and his ashes scattered following a brief, private funeral four months after the death of the man who gained worldwide infamy for the 1969 Los Angeles killings of actress Sharon Tate and others that he hoped would spark a race war.

The memorial occurred Saturday at a funeral home in the California city of Porterville, according to Mark Pitcher, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene.

Pitcher, who presided, told The Associated Press on Monday that about 20 to 25 people attended, among them Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman, and Freeman’s wife, Audrey.


Jason Kotowski, The Bakersfield Californian

Commercial drones are typically used to capture aerial footage, but some inventive criminals are using the unmanned craft to drop contraband into prison yards.

Authorities have documented multiple incidents where drones carrying contraband ranging from cellphones to methamphetamine and hacksaw blades have flown inside the perimeter of Delano's Kern Valley State Prison, according to court documents.


Ann Lauricello, FOX 31 News

BOULDER, Colo. — A suspect in 19 bank robberies in San Diego was reportedly hiding in Boulder before hitting a Bank of the West branch in Northglenn on Friday, the FBI said Monday.

Daniel David Courson, 45, approached a teller at the bank at 10393 Huron St. about 9:45 a.m., demanded money, fled on a bicycle and then in a vehicle with Utah license plates.

Sara Friedman, GCN

When it comes to managing parolees, field agents work to provide  high-quality supervision while also tracking and logging information on each case.  The Virtual Integrated Mobile Office app aims to make the process simpler for parole officers, saving them time and paperwork.

A collaboration between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the San Diego County Probation Department, VIMO builds on  county's Probation Utility Mobile Application. PUMA, which was built for the county by DXC Technology,  allows agents using Android, iOS or Windows devices to update their case files from their smartphones with information on each contact while in the field.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Daily Corrections Clips


Beatriz Valenzuela, The Mercury News

A missing inmate from the California Institute for Men in Chino was found early Saturday morning, March 17 on prison grounds, according to Chino police.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials were quick to point out the man, later identified as Juan Guzman, had not escaped and never left the prison property.

Posted by Toni McAllister,

Law officers asked for the public’s help Sunday to find a 23-year-old convicted robber, who walked away from a re-entry facility in Long Beach.

An emergency search for Christopher Pinon began around 3:25 p.m. Friday, when authorities were notified that Pinon’s GPS device had been tampered with, according to Vicky Waters of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.


Amber Sandhu, Record Searchlight

Three men in Redding are under arrest after officers found a number of weapons and drugs in a vehicle search shortly after midnight on Saturday, according to the Redding Police Department.

Officers went to the area of Fell Street and Akard Avenue after receiving reports that several vehicles in the neighborhood were driving recklessly. When officers arrived at the scene, they found one of the vehicles parked.


The Tustin, Calif. Police Department warns a parolee at large for 19 bank robberies in San Diego could head east from Colorado.

Police say they received a tip Friday that Daniel David Courson was living under the alias of Adam Scott Hopkinson in Boulder Colo. They say he's still driving a silver 2007 Toyota Tacoma with TRD emblems on the side panels, small lift with black rims and a Utah license plate of EO48HU. Police say he stole the truck when he was in Utah and could have changed the plate.

They say Courson has a history of changing the appearance of his vehicles once the news broadcasts photos.


Jessie Fetterling, Correctional News

Correctional News is pleased to announce both our new and returning editorial advisory board members. Our members are carefully selected based on their background, dedication in the industry and passion of sharing this information with others. Their qualifications are exemplary and give our publication the added insider information that our readers have grown to appreciate. Our board members are able to provide industry knowledge to our editorial department and also report on current trends seen first-hand throughout the country. We would like to give a special thanks to those who have served on the board in previous years, and a big welcome to those serving in 2018.
Returning Members

Manteca Bulletin

GARDEN GROVE  (AP) — A homeless man found dead with three others in a parked van outside a Southern California strip mall had a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for conspiracy to murder and child abuse, authorities said Saturday.

Phunyouphone Kanyavong, a woman believed to be his girlfriend and their two young children were found dead in their pajamas Thursday night inside a van with blankets covering the windows in the city of Garden Grove, police said.