Monday, July 27, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


Josh Thompson, Chino Champion News

The number of former inmates returning to state prison in California has dropped for the fourth straight year, according to a report released July 8 by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“Reducing recidivism and making our communities safer is a top priority for us,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “We are committed to providing inmates and parolees with the tools they need to turn their lives around and we will continue to implement innovative and evidence-based programs to sustain this downward trend.”

Courtenay Edelhart, The Bakersfield Californian‎

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ruled that a black former prison inmate can allege violation of a hate crime law in litigation over becoming infected with valley fever while incarcerated in Kern County.

It’s a novel and unprecedented use of the Bane Act, California’s civil rights statute.

The lawsuit, filed April 2, argues the state “recklessly” exposed Glenn Towery to valley fever by placing him in facilities known to have high infection rates among racial minorities. Towery served 15 years in North Kern State Prison and Kern Valley State Prison, both in Delano.


The Reporter

The California Medical Facility in Vacaville invites the public to attend a memorial and dedication ceremony for the 35th anniversary of fallen Correctional Officer Albert “Al” Patch.

The ceremony will take place at 12 p.m. Aug. 17 on the grounds of the front entrance to the facility, 1600 California Drive, Vacaville.

Sharon Cotliar, People Magazine‎

Rather than dwell on the sorrow of losing their beloved dad, Robin Williams' children celebrated what would have been his 64th birthday on July 21, by remembering the fun they always had with him at a private dinner with family and friends.

"We try to focus on the joyful moments and memories," Robin's son Zak tells PEOPLE.


Themes of time and community resonate in inmates' hopeful drawings.
Maddie Crum, The Huffington Post

When Laura Pecenco and Kathleen Mitchell began giving art lessons to the men incarcerated at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Southern California, they had trouble selling the merits of self-portraiture. A particular inmate grew physically agitated in response. He threw down his pen, yelling, “I don’t do introspection!” But, weeks later, he crafted a thoughtful reflection of his own image.

Pecenco founded Project PAINT: The Prison ArtsINiTiative as a way of studying masculinity and creativity in prisons -- the topic of her dissertation -- but found the project to be more rewarding than expected. Though much of the work produced by the men, who are guided through exercises in crafting charcoal drawings and 3D mobiles, centers on the passage of time, themes of transformation ripple throughout, too.

The Guardian

A single word changed Michelle Norsworthy’s life forever. Until she heard it, she had no way to express herself and her emotions always came out wrong. She would explode in anger, or in desperation cut herself until the blood flowed.

Then in 1994, at the age of 30, she met a psychiatrist who gave her the gift of that one word: transsexual. “I’d never heard it before,” Norsworthy said. “I looked it up in a dictionary back in my cell and it clicked – a person who strongly identifies with the opposite sex.”

Norsworthy, who is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder, said the word was like a “magical incantation”, a “liberation”. “It gave me a language. Every opportunity I had to say the word I would, it made me feel so much better.”

Phil Helsel, NBC News

California firefighters have made progress in fighting a large wildfire west of Sacramento that has scorched 6,900 acres, officials said.

The so-called Wragg Fire was 55 percent contained by Saturday, three days after it broke out in steep and rugged terrain in Napa and Solano counties, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The fire destroyed one outbuilding and a tent trailer, and damaged another structure. Some 140 structures are threatened, fire officials said. All mandatory evacuation orders were lifted by Saturday. Napa County is known as wine country, but no wineries were threatened, officials have said.


The Sacramento Bee

A man imprisoned for a 1992 gang-related slaying in West Sacramento has been denied parole.

Harold Rigsby, 38, was denied release at a parole hearing Thursday at RJ Donovan State Prison in San Diego. This was his third denial of parole, according to Yolo County District Attorney’s Office news release.

On Dec. 14, 1992, Rigsby and several identified members of the Broderick Boys street gang met at a home of a young woman. Rigsby told authorities that they lured 23-year-old Pierre Fortier to the home because he had made disparaging remarks about the Broderick Boys. After beating Fortier, Rigsby shot and killed him with a sawed-off shotgun.

Daily Democrat‎

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced Friday that convicted murderer Harold Rigsby, 38, was denied release at a parole hearing this week at RJ Donovan State Prison in San Diego.

This was Rigsby’s third denial of parole.

On December 14, 1992, Rigsby of West Sacramento and several identified members of the Broderick Boys street gang met at the home of a young female.


Sandy Mazzahe, Daily Breeze‎

On a street corner in a city where they aren’t welcome, a handful of convicted sex offenders continues to press the city of Carson to change its ways.

In March, the group held its first protest timed to coincide with the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights march to Selma. And they were back again last week before a City Council meeting, clutching placards demanding their full constitutional rights from a city that refuses to allow them anywhere near its parks, libraries and other public facilities frequented by children.

EXCLUSIVE: Javier Limon's Family Speaks to KCOY About New Arrest
Oscar Flores and Nia Wong, KEYTTV

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Detectives have arrested 21-year-old Bryan Rios of Santa Maria, as a fifth person to have allegedly played a direct role in the death of Javier Limon.

Limon's body was discovered by a group of field workers on August 19, 2014 near the entrance to Guadalupe Dunes. Authorities determined that Limon had been murdered and immediately launched an investigation.

Monica Vaughan, AppealDemocrat

The Sutter County justice system launched a new program Friday that creates an immediate incentive for defendants to complete drug treatment programs.

In the first case under the new agreement, Brandon Michael Fuller now has the threat of 10 years and four months in prison hanging over his head if he fails a one-year residential treatment program.

Charles McNulty, The Los Angeles Times

With reports of police abuse, racial unrest and murderous hate crimes in the news on a daily basis since Ferguson, has Anna Deavere Smith, whose solo work has long grappled with issues of social justice, become discouraged?

"Oh, no!" she said, almost taken aback by the idea. "Because I'm a dramatist, I like moments when there's something unsettled. I'm in this business of looking at conflict. Conflict is never absent. It's just that when it gets exposed, more people are concerned about it."

Andrew Holzman, The Sacramento Bee

very day, California government officials are looking for people to fill thousands of full-time vacancies. Their recruiting is heating up. Forty percent of state employees are eligible to retire, and only about 10 percent of the workforce is under age 30, compared to about 25 percent of the overall workforce in California in that age group.

The state’s human resources department, CalHR, is looking for new ways to reach out to people. For those willing to wade through the complicated public-sector employment process, including exams and a difficult-to-use website,, the trends provide more opportunities for a stable job with benefits.

Here’s some information about a few of the jobs available as of last week and some tips on how to land one.

Tony Bizjak, The Sacramento Bee

Drew Mendelson is a writer, a Vietnam vet, and a former consultant to some of the state’s big-name politicians. What he’s not is a scofflaw or scam artist. Neither is his wife or son.

So no surprise that Mendelson was taken aback recently when his son was pulled over while driving Mendelson’s wife’s car and issued a $1,000 citation for defacing the car’s license plate.
This license plate’s protective coating has peeled away. If police believe the car owner tampered with the plate to avoid camera detection, they can issue a $1,000 citation.