Monday, June 23, 2014

Daily Corrections Clips


TEDx Goes to Prison
Starring Richard Branson, Hill Harper, a congressman, and lots of inspiring convicts.
Michael Mechanic, Mother Jones

Somewhere along the line, our justice system lost sight of the fact that prisoners are just people, and that most people are capable of redemption. Yes, there are some who probably should be locked away for life, but I would imagine that's a small minority.

 As for the rest, holding them indefinitely does nobody any good. Plenty of prisoners are desperate to change, to get out and make a positive contribution, given the opportunity. But dumping a parolee back onto the streets with no education or prospects or support network or realistic means of earning a living is hardly a second chance.

Prison Inmates Offer Captive Market For Gadget Makers
Bill Briggs, NBC News

Even in the cooler, Americans are hot for tech.

U.S. inmates are increasingly buying gizmos from prison commissaries, including MP3 players and flat-screen televisions -- spending about $750 million annually on their gadget habits as several companies quietly seize this massive, captive audience and take niche marketing to an entirely different place.

Appliances built for purchase at most prisons do, however, carry one (literally) clear distinction: They are encased in transparent plastic, allowing guards to routinely inspect them for drugs, weapons or other contraband.


California inmate charged in 1980 double slaying
The Associated Press

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A man imprisoned in California has confessed to the shooting deaths of two women nearly 34 years ago, Terre Haute police said Tuesday.

Harry L. Rowley, 61, was arrested on a warrant in January charging him with two counts of murder in the slayings of Lucinda Farmer, 29, and Mary Quillen, 28, police said. WTHI-TV and the Tribune-Star report their bodies, each with a single gunshot wound to the head, were found in an alley on July 4, 1980.

DNA links inmate to 1980 homicide of Silver Lake woman, LAPD says
Richard Winton, The Los Angeles Times

More than three decades after a woman was sexually assaulted, beaten and stabbed to death in a Silver Lake apartment, Los Angeles police cold case detectives Friday said they have arrested the man responsible.

Harold Anthony Parkinson was taken into custody Wednesday at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe, where he already was serving a life sentence for murdering his roommate seven months after the August 1980 slaying of the young woman, said Robbery Homicide Det. Michael Pelletier.

Caught with shiv, Soledad prisoner adds more years to life without parole
Monterey Herald

SALINAS -  A Salinas Valley State Prison inmate serving a life-without-parole sentence faces another 25-years-to-life term after he was convicted of possessing a makeshift knife.
Jesse Traver, 44, was found guilty by a jury of felony possession of a dirk or dagger that could be used as a stabbing weapon in the correctional facility in Soledad. Traver had concealed the item in boxer shorts on a string from his waistband.


3 Chino guards injured in attack by inmate, prison reports
Greg Cappis, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

CHINO- Three corrections officers were injured when an inmate attacked them at the California Institution for Men, prison officials said.

Two of the guards where treated and released Friday, said Dana Simas, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, in an email exchange. The third was discharged from the hospital Saturday after being monitored for a possible concussion, Simas said.



Convicted of murder for two deaths, Napa motorist denied parole
Kerana Todorov, Napa Valley Register

A motorist convicted of killing a father and son from New Zealand in 2000 on Highway 29 near Bothe-Napa Valley State Park will remain in prison for at least another decade.

Eligio Ruiz Ortiz, who is serving 15 years to life in state prison, was denied parole recently at the conclusion of a hearing at the Southern California prison where he is incarcerated. His next hearing will be in 10 years, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Parole denied for man convicted in 1990 Knights Landing murder
Daily Democrat

A parole board has denied the release of convicted murderer Thomas Branscum, convicted of the 1990 killing of Lewis Scholes in Knights Landing.
Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced the decision Thursday of the Wednesday Board of Parole Hearings.

Branscum is now 52 years old and was living in Woodland at the time of the murder on Nov. 27, 1990.


Realignment: States cram county jails: ‘There’s just not enough money’: Jails left underfunded and underprepared for influx of inmates
Andrew Creasey, Appeal Democrat

It's been about three years since California turned the justice system on its head and told counties that many of the prisoners they usually sent to the state would have to stay put.

It was called realignment. It was meant to help balance the state budget after the recession gutted California's economy. And while the state's budget appears to be bouncing back, realignment has created a mountain of additional costs for county jails and probation departments — costs the county is being asked to bear on its own.

Gov. Jerry Brown's prison reforms haven't lived up to his billing
Paige St. John, The Los Angeles Times

Nearly 15 months after launching what he called the "boldest move in criminal justice in decades," Gov. Jerry Brown declared victory over a prison crisis that had appalled federal judges and stumped governors for two decades.

Diverting thousands of criminals from state prisons into county jails and probation departments not only had eased crowding, he said, but also reduced costs, increased safety and improved rehabilitation.

Yolo County facing reduction in realignment funding
Sarah Dowling, Daily Democrat

Yolo County supervisors will be finalizing a $307.8 million spending plan in the coming months, preparing to give final approval in September.

One area of uncertainty, however, in the multi-million dollar document is how much money the county will receive for prison realignment.

Under AB 109 — signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April 2011 and taking effect that October — realignment refers to the shifting of criminal justice responsibilities from state prisons to the local parole board to local county officials and superior courts.

"Overall, we are going to see up to a 10 percent reduction in AB 109 funding," said Pat Blacklock, county administrator, earlier this week. "Whether we will be able to offset that with competitive grant programs, we are hopeful that we will be able to do good work there."

Men’s Central Jail overcrowding crisis could cost $1.7 billion to fix
Christina Villacorte, Los Angeles Daily News

Sheriff’s Capt. Daniel Dyer, commanding officer of the downtown Men’s Central Jail, couldn’t help but grimace during a recent inspection of Dorm 9500.

More than 200 low-security inmates were crammed inside the room, every now and then tripping over each other’s bunks spaced a foot apart.


Grieving mothers hope to educate CTF prisoners, parents
Allison Gatlin, The Salinas Californian

Debbie Aguilar’s pain is evident and, she hopes, transformational.
It’ll be 12 years this Nov. 16 since she lost her son, Stephen, in a drive-by shooting. Detectives told her the shooting wasn’t gang-related, but may have been “an initiation, a random hit.”

Stephen was 18 years old and recently graduated from Mt. Toro High School. He drove a little blue used car his parents bought him as a graduation present. On his way to an Alvin Drive convenience store, a single bullet flew through his car and struck him in the head.

What California state workers earn Prison and parole officers
Jon Ortiz, The Sacramento Bee

Perhaps no agency in all of California’s vast state government has seen more change in the last three years than the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

On the labor side, Gov. Jerry Brown and the correctional officers union reached a 2010 contract agreement after years of impasse and terms imposed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Last year the union negotiated another contract with Brown.