Thursday, August 27, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


Wasco State Prison official killed in crash
Adam Herbets, Eyewitness News

WASCO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A man died Wednesday in a chain-reaction crash in the area of Kimberlina Road and Jumper Avenue near Wasco.

The driver of a Honda Civic died after crashing into the back of a flat-bed truck and then getting rear-ended by another vehicle.

The Kern County coroner's office identified the driver as 47-year-old Steven Troy Ojeda. 

He was an associate warden at nearby Wasco State Prison. He lived in Bakersfield.

When Prisons Need to Be More Like Nursing Homes
Finding new ways to treat the growing pool of older, ailing inmates.
Maura Ewing, Marshall Project

America’s prison population is rapidly graying, forcing corrections departments to confront the rising costs and challenges of health care in institutions that weren’t designed to serve as nursing homes.

Between 1995 and 2010 the number of inmates aged 55 and up almost quadrupled, owing in part to the tough-on-crime sentencing laws of the 1980s and 90s, according to a 2012 ACLU report. In 2013, about 10 percent of the nation’s prison inmates---or 145,000 people ---were 55 or older. By 2030, the report said, one-third of all inmates will be over 55. At the same time, it is widely accepted that prisoners age faster than the general population because they tend to arrive at prison with more health problems or develop them during incarceration.

Drug counselor caught allegedly smuggling drugs, cellphones into prison
By Jon Ortiz

A woman contracted to help inmates overcome addiction was stopped earlier this month as she allegedly tried to enter a state prison in Imperial County with illegal and prescription drugs, booze, tobacco, cough syrup and dozens of cell phones.

It’s not clear whether Angela P. Carr, 43, has been charged with a crime. Telephone messages left with the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office this week were not returned.

A confidential incident report prepared by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and obtained by The Sacramento Bee states that Carr was attempting to enter Calipatria State Prison on the morning of Aug. 7 when a lieutenant smelled “a strong odor of marijuana” coming from her direction.


Some California prison inmates are getting special training behind bars. They're being taught to train puppies that will become service dogs for the disabled.

Seven inmates at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton are training two puppies under the program operated by the group "Canine Companions for Independence."

Inmate Andrew Silva says it helps knowing that his work with the dogs allows him to give something back to society.

Silva is being professionally trained to train a 12 week old puppy named Kody as a service dog. He and six other inmates are learning to train two dogs that live with them on the prison grounds. 

Silva says he saw this as an opportunity to give something back to society.

The day's sun beats down on a group of men trudging up a steep hillside within the Santa Margarita Ranch. They wade through thick clusters of poison oak as they secure their footing and go about the business of pulling down a tall coastal oak tree using a rope. They grunt and heave until it finally comes crashing down.

It’s Friday, Aug. 21, and the Cuesta Fire, which burned more than 2,446 acres over the course of six days, is on its last legs. Most of the flames that enveloped the hillside and threatened the nearby town of Santa Margarita were extinguished or contained, but there’s still a lot of work to do. Smoldering hot spots still need to be put out, brush needs to be cut and cleared, trenches dug to head off any complications should the blaze spark back to life. It’s ugly, back-breaking, and unglamorous work, and some of it’s being done voluntarily by groups of inmates from California’s state prisons.

A California man who meticulously carried out sexual crimes including oral copulation with a child, sodomy of a child and sex with a child was found guilty of 29 counts of child sexual assault. 

A San Bernardino County jury took fewer than 90 minutes to find 32-year-old Luis Gilbert Sanchez guilty of the sex crimes on Monday and he now faces 366 years to life in state prison during his sentencing on September 22.

The charges against the Victorville man date back to 2009 when the victim was six and the sexual abuse lasted for two years until she was eight, according to deputy district attorney Kathy DiDonato.


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — After 43 years in prison and 29 parole hearings, parole officials are again considering whether it is safe to free Charles Manson follower Bruce Davis.

The Board of Parole Hearings has recommended three times that the 72-year-old Davis be released from prison. Each time the parole has been blocked, once by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and twice by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Supervisor Perez named to state corrections board

James Burger, The Bakersfield Californian

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez to a seat on the 13-member California Board of State and Community Corrections.

The move, if approved by the California Senate, would give Kern County a say in how the state handles issues like jail and prison operations, the training of corrections and probation officers, and the state’s sweeping prison realignment program.

Perez said she was contacted by Brown’s office about the position and met with his staff.

Orange Coast Magazine

Sitting in a grid-like maze of locked metal cages at San Quentin State Prison, I’m surrounded by killers casually eating lunch and talking. I feel anxious and unsettled as I wait in Cage No. 7 for one of Orange County’s most notorious murderers to be brought down from the new psychiatric unit.

The correctional officer leads a groggy and puffy-eyed Skylar Deleon into the cage and uncuffs her hands. I’m not shocked by the transgender inmate’s new, more feminine appearance; I’ve already seen photos of her smiling and posing with a male visitor on Facebook and hardly recognized her.

Although she isn’t wearing the eye makeup and lip gloss from the photo, the heavy beard stubble I saw the last time we talked, in 2009, is gone, the result of the hormones and testosterone-blockers she takes. Her short masculine haircut also has grown long enough for her to wear a side ponytail that hangs below her small breasts.


Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Examiner

When we punish people for their crimes, we tell them they are paying their debt to society. But too often, that is a myth.

Freedom, it turns out, comes with terms and conditions that may apply. And that’s especially true if you’re among the 20 million felons in the U.S. For them, it frequently means being excluded from jobs, walled off from housing, deported, or prevented from voting.

Proposition 47, a state measure passed last year, was a good start to removing these hurdles and curbing recidivism. The law reduces low level, nonviolent crimes involving simple drug possession and theft of a value less than $950 from felonies to misdemeanors. 

The savings in incarceration costs are then passed on to education, treatment and victims of crime. Our office — and public defender’s offices across the state — continue to assist people eligible to benefit from a reduced sentence.

In November 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47, which downgraded drug possession and many property crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. As Debra Saunders reminds us, proponents argued that lesser punishment for low-level offenders would enhance public safety.

Unfortunately, this utterly counterintuitive notion has not panned out. In San Francisco, according to a police spokesman, theft from cars is up 47 percent this year over the same period in 2014. Auto theft is up by 17 percent. Robberies are up 23 percent. And aggravated assaults are up 2 percent. (To be fair, burglaries are down 5 percent).

How about Los Angeles? It has seen a 12.7 percent increase in the overall crime this year, according to the Los Angeles Times. Violent offenses are up 20.6 percent; property crimes by 11 percent.