Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


Prison officials — including victim — shocked by shooting
Christine Bedell, The Bakersfield Californian

The 52-year-old correctional officer shot  on a North Kern State Prison yard from outside the facility’s security perimeter is “still kind of in shock that this happened to him,” authorities said Tuesday.

The officer, an 18 1/2-year veteran of the state corrections department that officials declined to identify for security reasons, was said to be resting at home and in good spirits after suffering a minor wound in the freak incident Monday evening.


San Quentin coders
Robert Galbraith, Reuters

Prisoner Larry Histon looks at a computer following a graduation ceremony from a computer coding program at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California April 20, 2015. The program, called Code.7370, was administered by Silicon Valley's technology business community, as prisoners learned to stimulate live-coding in an offline computer lab.

Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to people who killed Sacramento mother in 1990s as child watched?
Cathy Locke, The Sacramento Bee

Q: What happened to the people who shot and killed Margaret Fanning as her 5-year-old daughter witnessed it?

Elinor, Sacramento

A: Two people were sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the shooting death of 29-year-old Margaret Fanning at a midtown Sacramento apartment.

According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, Fanning was shot the night of June 29, 1995, as her 6-year-old daughter looked on and her 2-year-old daughter slept in an apartment next door. Sacramento police said the shooting followed an argument Fanning had earlier with the longtime girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend.

What Care Do Prisons Owe Transgender Inmates?

A California case may decide.
Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project

Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, allows Michelle-Lael Norsworthy a single bra, if she pays for it herself. She has permission to grow her hair long, but she is issued men’s underwear and clothing. She cannot buy makeup at the commissary, so she uses colored pencils as “makeshift makeup,” as she described it in a court deposition earlier this year. As an inmate at a men’s prison, she is constantly referred to as a man. “They use a lot of sirs and misters,” she said. “I should be referred to as I am. It does no harm to allow me to be a little bit of myself.”

Since 2000, Norsworthy has been taking feminizing hormones and seeing therapists in prison to help her manage her gender dysphoria — the psychological disconnect between her body and her gender identity — which she described as “agony.”


Samuel's House opens its doors
Joseph Luiz, The Sentinel

LEMOORE — A multi-year journey to provide rehabilitation and housing for men in Kings County has finally reached its end.

Champions Recovery Alternatives Inc. opened the doors of its new 49-bed Samuel’s House facility in Lemoore last month. The house currently has 24 residents, all men 18 and older who have committed non-violent and non-sexual crimes.

“It’s been going great,” said Champions Executive Director Sue Weisenhaus. “We have a great team of people who made this miracle happen. It’s truly a blessing.”

Audit says California jail releases jumped 37 percent after realignment
Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO -- The number of inmates being released by county jails increased by 37 percent statewide during the first three years after California began sending lower-level offenders to local lockups instead of state prisons, state auditors said Tuesday.

The number of local inmates freed early in one month increased from about 10,200 in September 2011, just before the change in state law, to more than 14,000 in June 2014, the most recent available date. The June 2014 release rate was slightly higher than previously reported.


High Anxiety: Family struggles to keep woman’s killer behind bars

Dan McDonald, Plumas County On line

As Ed Ward talks about his older sister his smile is laced with tears. It has been 24 years since she died, but his fond memories of Linda are very much alive.

“She was the only one of nine kids who didn’t have her own children...” Ward said, pausing to regain his composure. “But she was the mother to all of our children.

“She was the backbone of our family. She was the sunshine.”


VIDEO: John Legend praises California’s Prop. 47 as model for criminal justice

Alexei Koseff, The Sacramento Bee

Evoking at times the civil rights struggle, Grammy-winning singer John Legend praised California’s Proposition 47 on Monday as a model for the rest of the country to rectify what he considers misguided tough-on-crime policies.

“Mass incarceration doesn’t make us safer. It actually makes us all more vulnerable” by breaking up families and communities, Legend told a crime victims conference in Sacramento organized by Californians for Safety and Justice, which coordinated the Proposition 47 campaign. “That’s what we’ve failed to grapple with over the past 40 years, as we’ve criminalized more and more acts, and enacted harsher and harsher punishments.”

San Diego DA Says Proposition 47 Doesn’t Apply To Juveniles
San Diego minors get felonies when adults don’t
Megan Burks, KPBS

Since November, the San Diego Superior Court has ruled nearly 2,000 adults are eligible to have their low-level felonies reduced to misdemeanors under Proposition 47. At the same time, the court has slapped juveniles with felonies for the same class of crimes.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in an earlier legal filing the law, which voters passed in 2014 to reduce the prison population and reform the state's approach to rehabilitation, doesn't apply to juveniles because it only uses terms related to the adult criminal justice system.

Charges to be dropped against longest-serving wrongfully convicted man
Veronica Rocha, The Los Angeles Times

Prosecutors are expected to ask a Ventura County judge Wednesday to dismiss charges against a man who spent 36 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

Michael Ray Hanline was freed Nov. 24 after a judge overturned his 1980 conviction in the death of J.T. McGarry, who was shot to death two years before. At the time, Hanline was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Danville, Richmond churches mark five years of friendship, cooperation

Beth Jensen, San Jose Mercury News

A special relationship between two different churches -- one in Danville and the other in Richmond -- was celebrated Friday night as new friends shared bowls of soup, enjoyed live music and discussed how best to mentor troubled youth.

The "Sax and Soup" party at Community Presbyterian Church in Danville marked the five-year anniversary of an ongoing friendship between that congregation and members of Christian Home Missionary Baptist Church, located in the violence-prone Iron Triangle district of Richmond.

Gaines' jail-overcrowding bill heads to committee
David Benda, Redding Record Searchlight

REDDING, CALIFORNIA - A public safety bill whose sponsor State Sen. Ted Gaines says will help ease overcrowding in California jails is scheduled for a committee hearing next month.

SB 171 would authorize the sheriff of a county to contract with any state, county, private jail or prison system in the United States to transfer inmates to those facilities, if the county is over 80 percent capacity.


Apple and the chance to work

Gary “Malachi” Scott, The San Francisco Chronicle

If Apple would have held to its policy to not allow individuals who were convicted of a felony to work on its construction site, it would have perpetuated the cycle of harmful discrimination against valuable returned citizens — like me.

Arrested at 15 years old, tried as an adult, sentenced to 15 years to life in prison, I had no high school diploma, no job experiences. During incarceration, I earned an associate’s degree, but without job skills and with a criminal record, I knew finding employment would be extremely challenging.