Friday, August 30, 2013

Daily Corrections Clips


Rim Fire: Prisoners Helping to Battle Massive Blaze
California inmates provide crucial front-line help to fire department.
Katya Cengel, National Geographic

On their third day on the job fighting the California Rim Fire, Alan Jackson and his team were near Groveland, a small town just outside Yosemite National Park in central California, cutting containment lines.

"It was so smoky nobody could see nobody," says Jackson. "You couldn't see where you were driving."

Firefighting felons: Hundreds of inmates battling the Yosemite blaze
Tracy Connor, NBC News

They swing the same Pulaskis, buzz the same chainsaws and face the same dangers.
But 673 of the wildland firefighters battling the ferocious blaze around Yosemite National Park have something that other hotshot crew members do not: a prison identification number.

Garberville man linked to weapons cache case sentenced to state prison: Stolen tractors, chainsaws, and more found on rural property
Lorna Rodriguez, The Times-Standard

A Garberville man found with more than 100 weapons hidden in a cave on his rural property that was littered with stolen property ranging from chainsaws to tractors was sentenced to seven years and eight months in state prison on Thursday.


Gov. Jerry Brown's prison plan clears Assembly committee
If approved by the full Assembly, Brown's plan to transfer inmates to other facilities would be headed for a showdown in the Senate, where it is opposed by Democrats.
Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown's plan for reducing the prison population cleared its first legislative hurdle Thursday when the Assembly Budget Committee approved his request for $315 million for alternative housing.

California's prisons plan no worry for credit rating agencies
Jim Christie, Reuters

Aug 29 (Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown's plan to expand the state's prison capacity, heavily criticized by some lawmakers, is not a major concern for credit rating agencies despite its cost of more than $1 billion over three years.

Kern County could play big role in governor's prisoner reduction plan
Carol Ferguson,

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Kern County could be the destination for a lot of state prison inmates under the governor's latest plan to comply with a federal order.

On Thursday, the Assembly budget committee approved Gov. Jerry Brown's latest plan that calls for leasing more private jail space, including more than 2,000 beds in eastern Kern County.


Agent honored for response in courtroom attack
Dana Littlefield, U~T San Diego

A state investigator who rushed to the aid of a San Diego defense attorney last year when the lawyer was slashed in the face by his own client was awarded a Silver Star medal Thursday.
Special Agent Steve Epperson was honored during the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s annual Medal of Valor ceremony in Sacramento. He was among seven recipients of the Silver Star, the department’s third highest award for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances.

Movers & Shakers: San Quentin State Prison chief psychiatrist given Mental Health Employee of the Year award
Megan Hansen, Marin Independent Journal

Dr. Gregory Tarasoff has been given the Mental Health Employee of the Year Award by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Tarasoff is the chief psychiatrist at San Quentin State Prison. He helped create telepsychiatry services that allow psychiatrists to see an inmate remotely from anywhere in the state. 

Inmate Shift to Fire Camps Would Free Up Jail Beds
Leon Worden, Santa Clarita Valley News

The county will gain 528 inmate beds by transfering 528 of the “low-risk” prisoners it got from the state to the county’s five fire camps, if the Board of Supervisors approves a proposal Tuesday from Sheriff Lee Baca and county CAO William Fujioka.

Ex-con from California held in Las Vegas in knifepoint schoolgirl abduction, sex assault case
Ken Ritter, Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A four-time ex-convict from Southern California was expected to face a Las Vegas judge Friday on multiple felony charges after he was accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a schoolgirl at knifepoint, authorities said.

‘Operation Thumbs Down’: FBI Arrests Rollin’ 30s Harlem Crips in South Los Angeles
Hews Media Group

LOS ANGELES—Over 800 hundred law enforcement officers and agents served dozens of arrest and search warrants this morning in Operation Thumbs Down, an 18-month investigation that targeted members and associates of the Rollin’ 30s Harlem Crips, a South Los Angeles street gang that ranks among the Los Angeles Police Department’s top targeted street gangs, announced André Birotte Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles; Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of FBI in Los Angeles; Charlie Beck, the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department; and Mike Feuer, the City Attorney in Los Angeles.

Years after California OK'd $1.2 billion for new jails, not one has yet been completed
Brad Branan, Sacramento Bee

Recognizing that California counties were fast running out of space to lock up offenders, state lawmakers authorized $1.2 billion for jail construction in 2007.

Since then, demand for county jail space has spiked due to a 2011 California law that redirected lower-level offenders to counties rather than state prisons.

In Effort to End Prison Rape, Questions About a Monitor’s Independence
Joaquin Sapien, Pro Publica

After more than a decade of national legislative efforts to end prison rape, this month was supposed to produce a significant victory: formal audits of prisons and jails around the country that would more reliably chronicle incidents of sex abuse and the consequences for its perpetrators.


Our View: Brown should negotiate prison settlement, not move prisoners around

The Modesto Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders still are not facing reality about California’s prison overcrowding mess.

With a Dec. 31 federal court deadline looming to reduce population in the state’s 34 prisons to 137.5 percent of design capacity, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez says the state has only two choices: Release prisoners or go along with Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to “find additional places for incarceration” both in and out of state.

Brown’s Prison Solution Conflicts with AG Holder’s ‘Smart on Crime’ Plan

Charlotte Dean, IVN

After a Supreme Court order to release an additional 9,600 prisoners from the California state prison system by year’s end, Governor Jerry Brown has been reluctant to follow through, citing substantial progress that has already been made in prison health care. He claims the Supreme Court picked a number arbitrarily with “no evidence that I think is credible that says we are over capacity.”

Editorial: Prosecutor asks right question on Naso case
Marin Independent Journal

HOW MANY TMES can you execute someone? That's the question a prosecutor asked when he was queried whether he would seek the death penalty for Joseph Naso, the 79-year-old who was recently found guilty of serial murders between 1977 and 1994.