Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Jessica Rogness, Vacaville Reporter

California Medical Facility (CMF) will pay tribute to Correctional Officer Albert “Al” Patch on Monday by dedicating a monument in his honor at the institution where he died in the line of duty.

The dedication ceremony, commemorating the 35th anniversary of Patch’s death, will be held at noon Monday at the front entrance to CMF, 1600 California Drive, Vacaville.

Chris Hambrick, KALW

They had me at homemade shiv wall. “Shiv” is a slang term for an improvised weapon. I heard the San Quentin Museum has enough shivs to make an entire display and I want to see them all.

I go through a checkpoint and sign-in, but it's easy to forget that I'm on a prison campus, because there are manicured trees and fluffy bushes. The guard at the gate smiles and jokes as he asks for my ID and points me in the right direction.

The museum building itself is a Tudor-style house done in olive drab stucco. A sign hanging from the awning reads simply "museum open".  This is where I meet my two tour guides for the day, Jeff Craemer, curator of the San Quentin Museum and Lieutenant Sam Robinson, public information officer for San Quentin State Prison.


CALIFORNIA INMATES

Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

NOTE: The writer has been informed that the federal court plays no part in Michelle-Lael Norsworthy’s parole.

California will soon become the first state to provide sex-reassignment surgery for a transgender prison inmate. But the state hopes to avoid paying for the surgery in a second case by granting that inmate parole – just days before a scheduled court
hearing this week.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation wants to decide whether to approve sex reassignment surgery on a case-by-case basis. Dr. Marc Stern with the University of Washington agrees. He's a former medical director for the Washington state prison system who now consults with the federal government on health care issues in jails and prisons.


Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project

Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, the inmate at the center of a landmark April ruling, got final word on August 7 that she would be granted parole. After 28 years in prison, she could be sent to a Bay Area transitional program as early as this week. Separately, August 7, a settlement was reached in the case of Shiloh Quine, another transgender inmate: the prison system will provide her with sex-reassignment surgery. This would make her the first prisoner known to have ever received sex-reassignment surgery while incarcerated.


CORRECTIONS RELATED

Kyle Harding, Lompoc Record

In the wake of a beating and sexual assault that left a 64-year-old Santa Maria woman dead, Police Chief Ralph Martin has laid a portion of the blame on state laws designed to reduce the prison population, but a prominent local backer of those efforts says that assessment is wrong.

"We've seen AB 109 passed. We've seen Prop. 47 passed," Martin said at a press conference Friday. "And I am not remiss to say that, from Washington, D.C., to Sacramento, there is a blood trail into the bedroom of Marilyn Pharis."

Retired Superior Court Judge George Eskin, husband of state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and a public proponent of Proposition 47 leading up to last November's election, said that the ballot measure "has absolutely nothing to do with" the death of Pharis, who was beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted in her home July 24.

Catherine Girardeau, KALW


When someone is imprisoned, it doesn’t just affect the incarcerated. It affects the people left behind. Young people. Nearly three million children in the united states have parents in the criminal justice system – it’s almost 1 in 10 kids in California alone. It can be costly and difficult to visit or call a parent behind bars. And losing a relationship can be traumatic... with lasting consequences. A new art exhibit on Alcatraz Island, called The Sentence Unseen, examines this reality. KALW’s Catherine Girardeau has the story.

Sixteen-year-old Arvaughn Williams is one of the youth artists. Standing beside a big, glossy photograph of himself standing in a garden – smiling and confident, with a plaid scarf stylishly tied at his neck – he reads his quote below the photo.


OPINION

John Phillips, TIME

I recently sat in an amphitheater in Salinas and watched students receive their high school diplomas and training certificates from the Drummond Culinary Academy. A few hours later, I attended the graduation ceremony for the Construction Academy. I spoke earlier that month at the ceremony for students graduating from the Silver Star youth program; many of these 15- to 18-year olds were on probation when they started it. In total, 43 high school diplomas were issued on the Rancho Cielo campus just this year, adding to the ranks of 200 graduates over the last decade who have received hands-on vocational training, college credits, and leadership training opportunities.

As I sat through these ceremonies, I recalled when I was a county prosecutor and the Rancho Cielo Youth Campus consisted of nothing but an unsightly 100-acre dumpsite on the foothills of Salinas. Today, Rancho Cielo is a comprehensive program to educate and train young people in Monterey County for job opportunities—and keep them out of incarceration facilities like the Natividad Boys Ranch that once occupied the site.