Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Carla Rivera, The Los Angeles Times

The White House plan announced last week to award federal education funding to prison inmates spotlighted a population that is often an afterthought in the national discussion on college access.

More than 1.5 million people are behind bars in state and federal prisons, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and when those on parole or probation are included, the number under some sort of correctional supervision swells to nearly 7 million.

Laurie Segall, CNN

San Quentin inmate Curtis Carroll, nicknamed "Wall Street," spends 18 hours a day studying the stock market. He carries a folder labeled "penny stocks" with printouts of his favorite stocks, broken down by how they performed each day. He studies patterns meticulously, predicting which ones will or won't make money.

Carroll, who's serving time for murder and armed robbery, is long on American Apparel (APP) and warns against investing in McDonald's (MCD). ("The country is moving more toward health. The ship is too big to turn.")

CDCR NEWS

Dan Walters, The Sacramento Bee

A memorial gathering will be held Aug. 14 for Cal Terhune, a veteran state corrections official who died July 31. He was 86.

Terhune, who spent 35 years in the California Youth Authority, serving as director of the agency until his retirement in 1991, returned to state service in 1997 at the behest of then-Gov. Pete Wilson to head the state prison system, which was plagued by overcrowding and allegations of correctional officer brutality.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Susan Young, People

"How long of a prison term is long enough for your child who was kidnapped and buried alive?"

That's the question asked by Lynda Carrejo-Labendeira, who was only 10 when she and 25 other children were taken and buried alive in an underground bunker almost 40 years ago in the infamous Chowchilla, California, bus kidnapping. Now, one of the men who orchestrated that abduction, the largest in U.S. history, will be freed.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Paul Payne, The Press Democrat

A state prison inmate who killed a Vallejo woman more than two decades ago in Petaluma was sentenced Tuesday to 27 years in prison.

Josafat Presencion, 49, was punished for the 1988 slaying of Wynetta Davis, 26, whose body was found in a livestock water trough near Pepper Road and Bodega Avenue.

REALIGNMENT

Andrew Holzman, The Sacramento Bee

Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Tuesday he won’t appeal a voting rights decision against the state, guaranteeing the vote for tens of thousands of felons.

The decision affects people who have left prison and are now in county-run programs created by the state’s criminal justice realignment law, which sought to reduce California’s prison population. The county programs don’t include people with convictions for violent crimes, along with others whose crimes are considered more serious under California law, including sexual offenders.

Paige St. John, The Los Angeles Times

California election officials are reversing a policy that prevents 45,000 felons from casting ballots, placing the state in the forefront of a movement to boost voting rights for ex-criminals.

California has until now maintained that state law prohibits felons from voting not only when they are in prison or on parole but also when they are under community supervision.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

A new report and a growing phenomenon.
Maurice Chammah and Tom Meagher, The Marshall Project‎

A report released today by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that among the causes of death behind bars, suicide in county jails — a leading cause of death in such facilities — is on the rise. These statistics, collected between 2000 and 2013, come in the wake of Sandra Bland’s death at the Waller County jail in east Texas, which received national attention and is currently being investigated by the FBI and a panel of lawyers for evidence of wrongdoing.

One reason why jails have a higher suicide rate (46 per 100,000 in 2013) than prisons (15 per 100,0001) is that people who enter a jail often face a first-time “shock of confinement”; they are stripped of their job, housing, and basic sense of normalcy. Many commit suicide before they have been convicted at all. According to the BJS report, those rates are seven times higher than for convicted inmates.
15 per 100,000 1

Christina Sterbenz, Business Insider

In 1993, social psychologist Craig Haney began studying the effects of solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison in California, one of the first "super-max" prisons in the country.

Twenty years later, he went back to gather more information — and found many of the same inmates still suffering alone in their cells.

OPINION

Thomas G. Hoffman, LA Daily News‎

When I was a police captain in Inglewood in 1993, the crime rate was more than twice as high as it is today.

Concerns about crime created a “lock ’em up” mentality, driving lawmakers to create a system based on incarceration. Between 1984 and 1991 lawmakers passed more than 1,000 new crime bills, many of which increased penalties. Meanwhile, California voters approved the nation’s toughest Three Strikes policy.

Erica Goode, The New York Times

A few years ago I visited the security housing unit at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, where inmates are kept in solitary confinement. The first thing that struck me was how eerily quiet it was.

Most state prisons are noisy places, even in areas where prisoners are isolated. Inmates usually take an intense interest in visitors, catcalling or shouting through the slots in the cell doors.