Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

More than a prisoner 

Jessica Cejnar, The Triplicate      

Arts-in-Corrections gives inmates an escape from prison life through art

Marquis Louden regards his canvas, brush in hand, and squirts a dollop of purple onto his pallette.

There’s a rose on his canvas, but Louden says he doesn’t want to turn it into a typical rose. He blends the purple with white and begins to create a background as vibrant as his surroundings are neutral.

Bard behind bars: Prison inmates perform ‘Macbeth’
Amy Maginnis-Honey, Daily Republic

VACAVILLE — More than four decades had passed since retired College of Marin drama professor Jim Dunn had seen his former student Steven Drown perform.

The reunion took place recently at California State Prison, Solano where Drown was one of about 25 prisoners who brought Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” to life.

“I’m blown away,” Dunn said. “To do Shakespeare really brings the humanity in.”

Brooktrails Fire Abatement update
Adrian Baumann, Willits News

CalFire hand-crews continue to work in the Brooktrails Township greenbelt, as part of the long term project of fire-hazard abatement in the district.The Township faces a unique set of fire dangers, and challenges. Set in a dense forest Brooktrails residents are at a greater wildfire risk than most other communities. This means that the Brooktrails Fire Department must take extra measures, including substantial fire risk abatement in the greenbelt, to ensure that the district is safe.

Brooktrails Fire Department Chief Daryl Schoeppner and district staff have emphasized the importance of the recently enacted fire tax as key to mitigation and preparedness, but also important are efforts to reduce the “fuel load,” the amount of burnable stuff, in the greenbelt, undertaken by the department and by private individuals.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Stompers go yard – at San Quentin, that is
Sonoma News

For their first road game of the exhibition season, the Sonoma Stompers will jump from the minor leagues to the Big House – as our local squad travels up Highway 101 on Thursday, May 28 to face a team of inmate athletes at San Quentin State Prison.

The Stompers, looking to finalize their 2015 Opening Day roster, will face the team comprised of inmates from San Quentin’s two team, the A’s and the Giants, who play regularly at the prison’s “Field of Dreams.”

DEATH PENALTY

Governor seeks $3.2 million for more death row cells at San Quentin
Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal

San Quentin State Prison is on the verge of running out of space for condemned inmates, and Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the Legislature for $3.2 million to open 97 more cells to accommodate more death row prisoners there.

The governor’s request, part of his proposed $113 ¬billion budget proposal, has been greeted with a notable lack of enthusiasm by both those who support and oppose the death penalty.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Will Parole Keep Her From Transitioning?

Samantha Allen, Daily Beast

A 51-year-old inmate was about to make history as the first to undergo a court ordered sex reassignment surgery. How parole may affect her fate—and that of transgender inmates everywhere.

Michelle-Lael Norsworthy has been in prison for 28 years. But she only needed to stay there a few more months to establish one of the more elusive precedents in LGBT history.

Norsworthy, 51, is transgender and began her transition from male to female in the 1990s while serving a sentence for second-degree murder in a California state prison. In April, a landmark ruling from a Northern California district court judge ordered the state to cover Norsworthy’s sex reassignment surgery (SRS), which was deemed “the only adequate medical treatment for her gender dysphoria.”

REALIGNMENT

Auto theft spikes in Merced and statewide after AB 109, report says

Rob Parsons, Merced Sun-Star

A new study says vehicle thefts continue to rise California since a prison policy change in 2011 forced many local jails to release more inmates early.

The Public Policy Institute of California last week said sending low-level felons to county jails instead of state prisons created a 17 percent increase in automobile thefts in 2013. That’s similar to the spike reported in 2012.

The increase came on the heels of the 2011 Public Safety Realignment Act, commonly referred to as AB 109. The law shifted responsibility for less serious offenders from the state to the counties to help solve the state’s prison overpopulation problem.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Suspect arrested in Indio homicide
Tatiana Sanchez, The Desert Sun

Police have arrested James "Chip" Nathaniel in the homicide of Apolonio Carranza, Indio police said Friday.

Carranza was found shot in his vehicle at about 2:30 a.m. on April 19 in Indio. He died at the scene.

Program stresses rehab over jail
Monica Vaughan, Appeal Democrat

Yuba County criminal justice officials are a bit surprised by the initial success of a new defendant program, which may become a model for other counties.

The program allows some criminal offenders who would not usually be eligible for probation to attend a program, such as a residential drug or substance abuse treatment program. If they are successful, the judge will make an unusual case finding and the defendant will be sentenced to probation instead of time in jail or prison.