Thursday, August 22, 2013

Daily Corrections Clips


Five CDCR Prisons Receive ACA Accreditation
Correctional News

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The American Correctional Association (ACA) has certified five correctional facilities under the operation of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in its 143rd Congress of Correction.

According to the CDCR, an ACA certification is a national benchmark noting effective operations of correctional facilities throughout the nation. The Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, Calif., North Kern State Prison in Delano, Calif., High Desert State Prison in Susanville, Calif., and Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, Calif., received near-perfect scores from the ACA, according to the corrections department.


Making a School More Fire Safe
Mary-Justine Lanyon, The Mountain News

When the students return to classes at Charles Hoffman Elementary School next week, they will notice a big difference on the grounds. Last week Pilot Rock fire crews, under the supervision of Cal Fire, thinned the trees, opening up a path behind the school to the ball field.

Back at bat
Third-strikers get a swing at sentence reduction
Ken Smith, Chico News & Review

Rodney Poor won’t be getting out of prison any time soon.

Poor, 63, was the second Butte County convict denied a sentence reduction since voters passed Proposition 36—which reformed California’s “Three Strikes” law—last November. One inmate, Adam Parsons, was successful in his appeal.

Critics Say Force-Feeding Is Violation Of Prisoners’ Rights
Kenny Goldberg, KPBS

California — California prison officials are defending their decision to get a court order allowing them to force feed inmates who are on a hunger strike. 

Critics said the new policy violates prisoners' rights.
California legislators urge speedy inquiry into prison sterilizations
Corey G. Johnson, Center For Investigative Reporting

SACRAMENTO, Calif.– Legislators today fast-tracked an audit into why doctors under contract with the state sterilized nearly 150 female prison inmates from 2006 to 2010 without the required authorizations.


Parolees Go Straight
Santa Barbara County Reentry Program Graduates 60
Brandon Fastman, Santa Barbara Independent

After his last of 11 prison stints, Edward “Stretch” Furtado had no plan. But, as he explained during a graduation ceremony last Thursday, “The DRC [Day Reporting Center] was right there behind me like a father behind a backstop encouraging a kid to stay focused.” An impressively vivid simile without any context, his statement is even more surprising considering that he never experienced the sort of parental attention he describes. His own father was a Hell’s Angel, and as a child, he spent time in 27 different foster homes.


Probation officers clash with chief over monitoring ex-inmates

Probation officers' union is fighting an order that officers should not be armed during unannounced checks on inmates released under prison realignment.
Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County probation officers are at loggerheads with their chief over the way he wants them to monitor lower-level felons who have become the county's responsibility as a result of state prison realignment.

The officers' union is complaining that Chief Jerry Powers wants members to make unannounced visits to the homes of probationers, but without carrying weapons. Union leaders say that's too dangerous and are threatening to sue.

Inconsistent Risk Assessments in CA Jails Obstruct Realignment Accountability
Charlotte Dean, IVN

California prison realignment transferred responsibility for non-serious inmates onto each county’s Community Corrections Partnership (CCP). Similar to data inconsistency from California’s local jails, each county chooses from multiple methods of assigning detainees risk scores and recovery paths. Arrests in one county versus another could result in a harsher sentence, harsher in-custody experience, and a less relevant rehabilitation.


In Gemma, a glimmer of hope on recidivism
Jason Hoppin, The Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ -- A Santa Cruz outreach program aimed at breaking cycles of drug use and jail stints for women is reversing normal rates of offender recidivism, a new study has found.
Gemma, a program of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, has seen nearly seven out of 10 clients stay out of trouble after going through the program, a remarkable accomplishment that is far beyond normal criminal justice benchmarks. The results were hailed as a validation of the program's unique approach. 

Southern California couple charged with killing man they falsely believed molested daughter
Associated Press

BANNING, California — A Southern California couple has been charged with executing a neighbor they falsely believed had molested their 4-year-old daughter.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says Brian Matheis and Amy Daniel of Banning were charged with murder last month and remain jailed.

Kingsburg homemaker convicted of husband's murder

Pablo Lopez, The Fresno Bee

Kingsburg homemaker Kathryn Ellis was found guilty Wednesday of killing her sleeping husband last year in order to cash his life insurance policy.

Ellis, who had been stoic throughout most of the three-week trial, wept uncontrollably once the verdict was announced in Fresno County Superior Court.

Jail Guards Gone Rogue?
As Jail Conditions Fester, Two Sheriff’s Custody Deputies Face Assault Charges
Brandon Fastman, Santa Barbara Independent

Last week, after nearly two months of investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, two custody deputies were charged with assaulting a prisoner in the Santa Barbara County Jail on June 17. The Sheriff’s Office began looking into the incident when a public defender brought forward a complaint the day after the incident and turned evidence over to the District Attorney, which has accused the guards, Robert Kirsch and Christopher Johnson, of “assault by public officers.” The crime carries a maximum penalty of three years in County Jail.

San Bernardino County DA meets with governor in Sacramento

Lori Fowler, The San Bernardino Sun

SACRAMENTO >> San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos met with Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday to discuss local resources and state issues.

In a one-on-one closed-door meeting at the Capitol, the two public officials talked causally about county resources - specifically court funding and appointing new judges - and broader issues like the death penalty and prison realignment.

California bill would let DAs go easier on minor drug offenders
Jeremy B. White, The Sacramento Bee

The first time Maria Alexander's drug addiction caught up to her, the reckoning came in the form of a small chunk of crack cocaine that sent her to jail for six months.

The next time, after a small amount of heroin - "scrapings on a spoon," Alexander recalled - earned her another stint in the correctional system, she sought treatment.


Editorial: State should adopt drug sentences that make sense
The San Luis Obispo Tribune

If you want to see just one illustration of what's wrong with California's inconsistent and labyrinthine criminal sentencing system, take a look at the penalties for possessing small amounts of a drug for personal use.

Editorial: Verdict can't erase revulsion
Chico Enterprise-Record

Our view: With a quick guilty verdict after two years of waiting, we can all feel some sense of justice after a detestable crime. 

It's often hard to explain why certain stories capture the nation's attention and others do not. Why does George Zimmerman become a household name, or a random murder of a baseball player in Oklahoma become the instant focus of national news networks, but Jeffrey Menzies is spared the nation's critical eye?