Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — In a story Aug. 12 about an inmate's murder in a California prison riot, The Associated Press, relying on information from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, reported erroneously the status of co-defendant Willie Tate. 

Corrections officials say Tate was released in 1976. A different inmate with the same name remains imprisoned.

A corrected version of the story is below:


Vocational training has declined in American high schools as more students plan to attend traditional college programs, and jobs requiring specific technical training, such as welding, are taking the hit. But some prisons are discovering they might just be able to help solve the problem and prepare inmates to integrate back into society upon their release. 

For the past several decades, welding has been on the decline. According to data kept by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of welders decreased by about 210,000, or 37 percent, between 1988 and 2012. Meanwhile, since 2009, manufacturing jobs have increased as a result of growing demand for oil and gas pipeline, reports Bloomberg.

America, by far, has the highest incarceration rate among developed nations. The rate of imprisonment in the U.S. has more than quadrupled in the last 40 years, fueled by "three strikes" and mandatory-minimum sentencing laws.

Studies show that prisoners who get access to education behind bars are far less likely to return to prison, are are more likely to land a job once they're released.

But few of America's crowded prisons have higher education programs that reach inmates face-to-face.

One exception is San Quentin State Prison on the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay in Marin County, Calif. While the prison has a nasty national reputation, the fact is that some inmates want to get transferred to San Quentin to access its university, with volunteer teachers from top schools.

The office of the California Attorney General argued Monday before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that last year’s lower court ruling barring further executions in the state should be reversed.

The death sentence of Earnest Jones, who was convicted for a rape and murder committed 23 years ago, was vacated by Federal District Judge Cormac J. Carney, an appointee of George W. Bush. As the WSWS explained at the time, this decision was the first to invalidate the California death penalty altogether since voters reinstated capital punishment in 1978.


A special parole board in San Luis Obispo, California granted a prison release last week to 63-year-old James Schoenfeld, one of three perpetrators in the infamous 1976 school bus kidnapping in Chowchilla, California.

Bill Sessa, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, told STN that this was Schoenfeld’s 20th parole hearing. He said that while Schoenfeld has been granted parole, it's not a foregone conclusion he will actually be released. He added it would take approximately five to six months before a final decision is made.


On the night Lawrence Phillips allegedly murdered his former cellmate, correctional officers at Kern Valley (Calif.) State Prison were unaware of the incident until shortly after midnight when they heard an inmate yell, “Man down.’’

The person who yelled was Phillips — the former star running back — according to an incident report obtained by USA TODAY Sports that details what took place April 11.


SAN LUIS OBISPO -- A former state prison guard convicted of pointing a loaded handgun fitted with a laser sight at a motorist during a 2014 road rage incident in Paso Robles avoided jail time and instead received probation.

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Roger Picquet on Wednesday sentenced Anthony James Behrens, 53, a former guard at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, to three years of formal probation after Behrens was convicted by a jury Aug. 7 of brandishing a weapon at a person in a motor vehicle, a felony, and unlawful laser activity, a misdemeanor.

A few years back, Jenny Vekris says she was prescribed the sleeping pill Ambien for insomnia. It took her a while to figure out that the drug was affecting her in dangerous ways. 

“I’d wake up to car damage, bruises, fast-food wrappers, and who knows what else, because I was sleeping and driving,” she says. Twice, she woke up in jail. One of those times, she was charged with a DWI.
When she got home, she turned to a place she knew she’d be understood: Yelp.