Thursday, July 11, 2013

Daily Corrections Clips


California asks high court to stay order to reduce prison crowding

Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

(Reuters) - California officials petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to release the most populous state from a court order demanding it reduce its prison population by about 10,000 inmates this year to ease crowding.

California makes last bid to delay releasing 10,000 inmates, seeks stay from US Supreme Court

Don Thompson, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, California — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday made one final bid to delay a federal court order requiring the state to release nearly 10,000 inmates by year's end to improve conditions in California prisons, saying it would jeopardize public safety.


Hunger Strike by California Inmates, Already Large, Is Expected to Be Long
Jennifer Medina, New York Times

LOS ANGELES — Nearly 29,000 inmates in California state prisons refused meals for the third day Wednesday during a protest of prison conditions and rules. The protest extended to two-thirds of the 33 prisons across the state and all 4 private out-of-state facilities where California sends inmates, corrections officials said. 

Calif. corrections secretary says hunger strike will only harm inmates' cause, delay releases
Don Thompson, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, California — Inmates who are refusing meals to protest the state's solitary confinement program for gang leaders are harming their own cause, California's prison chief said Wednesday in his first comments on the subject.

California Inmates, Family Members Speak Out Against Solitary Confinement 'Torture'
Robin Wilkey, The Huffington Post

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa Dewberry has seen real sunlight only four times in the last 28 years.

Dewberry, an inmate at Pelican Bay State Prison, has been locked up since 1985 for murder. A few years into his 25-years-to-life sentence, he was admitted into the prison's Secure Housing Unit (SHU), a controversial solitary confinement unit designed to isolate prisoners suspected of gang affiliation. 

What Happens to Your Body During a Hunger Strike
Ian Chant , Geekosystem

This morning in California, nearly 30,000 inmates in prisons throughout the state’s penitentiary system entered the second day of an apparent hunger strike. While the beginning of Ramadan — during which Muslim prisoners do not take meals during daylight hours — has complicated an exact count, it’s becoming clear that thousands of the prisoners who refused meals yesterday did so not out of religious obligation, but in solidarity with prisoners at the Pelican Bay State Prison who are protesting what they call abusive policies that can find prisoners suspected of gang ties locked in solitary confinement for decades at a time. While this isn’t an official hunger strike yet — the state’s policy is not to deem a prisoner on hunger strike until he or she has missed 9 meals — this looks a lot like the beginning of the largest one seen in America in some time. With that in mind, we bring you this primer on what happens to the body during a hunger strike. Just a warning: It’s not pretty.

Lawmakers call for investigation into sterilization of female inmates
Corey G. Johnson, Center of Investigative Reporting

State lawmakers called today for an investigation of the physicians involved in the sterilization of women inmates and raised questions about a federal prison overseer's role in handling the matter.


Probation officers have more to do as prison realignment advances
Part two of a two-part series
Darleen Principe, Thousand Oaks Acorn

Besides filling Ventura County’s two jails with state prisoners and pushing the system to near capacity, realignment has also heaped a greater workload on the county’s 202 probation officers.

Realignment repeat

Despite need elsewhere, California pays for local police to do the same job as probation officers
Raheem F. Hosseini, Sacramento News & Review

Police and probation will now overlap and be watching the same offenders; a Sacramento State University research proposal to study rehabilitation efforts locally stated that supervision programs “may even increase recidivism” when applied exclusively.


Gov. Brown Drops Appeal Of 3-Drug Execution
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California prison officials said Wednesday that they are dropping the state’s three-drug execution method to pursue a single-drug protocol recently adopted by other states.

San Rafael videographer's documentary on execution earning awards
Vicki Larson, Marin Independent Journal

AS A RESIDENT of San Quentin Village for many years, S. Kramer Herzog had already experienced what happens to the sleepy village of 100 before an execution.


Body of fallen firefighter Christopher MacKenzie returned to Hemet
Hemet native Chris MacKenzie was killed while battling the Yarnell Hill wildfire
Blake Herzog, The Desert Sun

HEMET — Hundreds of residents clustered along Florida Avenue on Wednesday afternoon to await the arrival of the procession carrying the body of one of the 19 firefighters killed June 30 while battling a wildfire outside Yarnell, Ariz.

Aging prisoners' costs put systems nationwide in a bind

This 'national epidemic' includes packed prisons, high-cost medical care and dwindling resources. This all begs the question: Should frail, incapacitated inmates be there?
Kevin Johnson and H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY

ANGOLA, La. — For decades, the Louisiana State Penitentiary has taken great pride in its vast farming operations, as well as its reputation as one of the toughest lockups in America.


Editorial: California's sad history of sterilizing prisoners

Los Angeles News Group

The revelation that California women's prisons conducted coerced -- or, at least, vigorously suggested -- sterilization of inmates as recently as 2010 raises disturbing images and questions.

Jerry Brown’s George Wallace Moment on Prisons

Steven Greenhut, Bloomberg

The fight between many states and the federal government over carrying out the health-care law figured to be the most significant states’ rights blowup of the decade. Yet the most colorful battle of this sort may be taking place in California over prison overcrowding. 

Marc Klaas and Abel Maldonado: Spend more on prisons, don't release felons
Marc Klaas and Abel Maldonado, Special to the Mercury News

With one signature, Gov. Jerry Brown turned California's entire criminal justice system on its head. To solve the problem of prison overcrowding, Brown undid decades of public safety progress championed by the majority of Californians and managed to make the overcrowded conditions of California's jails worse. Rather than choosing to preserve the safety of our communities, he threw caution to the wind and enacted a complete system overhaul.