Thursday, August 13, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips

By Tony Marco and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

(CNN)What started as a fight at a California state prison Wednesday ended in riot that left an inmate dead and five others hospitalized with stab wounds, officials said.

Prisoners began fighting in a maximum-security area at the California State Prison-Sacramento just before 1 p.m. Wednesday (4 p.m. ET). At least 100 inmates were involved, California Corrections spokeswoman Dana Simas said. No staff were injured.

Hugo Pinell, 71 -- part of a group of inmates once known as the "San Quentin Six" for their alleged role in a 1971 prison escape attempt -- was killed in the fighting, officials said.

Benjamin Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine

Earlier this summer, in considering the appeal of a longtime California death-row inmate named Hector Ayala, Justice Anthony Kennedy set aside the substance of Ayala's appeal (it had to do with the circumstances under which a judge could exclude members of the jury pool), and instead fixed on a matter peripheral to the case and barely mentioned in the testimony: Ayala's long tenure in solitary confinement, where the inmate has spent most of the past two decades. Ayala, Kennedy wrote, has "likely been held for all or most of the past 20 years or more in a windowless cell no larger than a typical parking spot for 23 hours a day; and in the one hour when he leaves it, he likely is allowed little or no opportunity for conversation or interaction with anyone." 


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California paroled a transgender inmate on Wednesday, one day before a federal appeals court was to hear her request for the state prison system to pay for her sex reassignment surgery.

Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, 51, was released from Mule Creek State Prison, a men's facility east of Sacramento, and will be on parole in San Francisco.

Gov. Jerry Brown allowed her parole last week when he took no action on a Board of Parole Hearings' recommendation that Norsworthy be freed 30 years after fatally shooting Franklin Gordon Liefer Jr., 26, following an argument in a Fullerton bar in November 1985.

The state said in a court filing that her release ends her attempt to have the prison-funded sex reassignment surgery.

CA prison to provide surgery to trans woman
Seth Hemmelgarn, Bay Area Reporter

State prison officials have reached a groundbreaking settlement with a transgender woman held in a men's prison and will provide gender-affirming surgery for her, while another imprisoned transgender woman who's been seeking surgery from the state was paroled this week.

The Oakland-based Transgender Law Center announced August 7 that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will provide surgery and other medical care for Shiloh Quine, 56.

Fox 40

During this relentless fire season, Cal Fire has a big tool: Prisoners.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation tells FOX40 almost half of the firefighters are inmates.

Inmate firefighters work 24 hour shifts. They serve as extra hand crews working to build containment lines.

Sarah Bufkin, Bustle

Almost half of the more than 10,000 firefighters combating California's wildfires are prison inmates. Trained and deployed by California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the inmates are on the front lines against some of the year’s worst fires. They are paid to the tune of $1 an hour for emergency responses and are on call 24 hours, seven days a week. The CDCR characterizes the Conservation Camp Program as a rehabilitation project that prepares prisoners for their reentry to society while also cutting costs on disaster response; according to CDCR, California saves more than $80 million each year on fire response by relying on the conscript labor. But the harsh working conditions and low pay should raise questions about where the line lies between preparing inmates for the real world with an ethic of hard work and exploiting those convicted of crimes as cheap, easily controlled labor.

, Patch

A former northern California school teacher wanted for alleged crimes against children was arrested this morning in Los Angeles by members of the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force, announced David Bowdich, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, and David Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office.

Salvador Rivera, Fox 5

SAN DIEGO — Proposition 47 was intended as a way to reduce prison overcrowding and decriminalize certain drug offenses.

The measure, approved by voters last November, meant almost instant release for many criminals, including more than 500 in San Diego.

Six types of crime considered felonies in the past are now misdemeanors, including some drug and theft offenses.

This led to the lowering of prison sentences for 5,000 defendants in San Diego.