Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


California became the first state in the nation last week to agree to pay for transgender prison inmates to receive sexual reassignment surgery. Prison officials released specific guidelines in the wake of several lawsuits.


The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will not enforce the yearly program "Operation Boo" which asks registered sex offenders to place signs on their doors during Halloween.

The program, meant to protect children from predators during Halloween, was scheduled to go into full effect this year. However, the president and founder of California Reform Sex Offender Laws organization filed a lawsuit against the CDCR. Janice Bellucci is challenging what her organization calls an unconstitutional Halloween sign requirement that's part of "Operation Boo."


SAN QUENTIN, Calif. — Allan McIntosh had never been so happy to lose a hard-fought game.

As the long and lean 40-year-old sat on a wooden bench next to the San Quentin prison basketball court — this blacktop of temporary bliss that’s surrounded by rolling hills and birds from the nearby San Francisco Bay that come and go as they please — he grinned at the way that he’d fallen short in the latest annual pick-up game. Bob Myers, the Golden State Warriors general manager on most days but McIntosh's nemesis on this one, had earned his revenge in the form of a 43-point, 13-rebound, five-block, two-assist and two-steal show in a 99-76 win last week.

As inmates at San Quentin State Prison, Rodney “RC” Capell, Doug Frazer and Chris Marshall are far from innocent youth trapped in the throes of a bad foster care system. But they played the part Friday.

The men were part of a group of over 30 inmates who sang, danced and performed in multiple skits — many seeping in the themes of abuse, loneliness and peer pressure — at the prison chapel as part of a program organized by the San Rafael-based Marin Shakespeare Company.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The murder conviction and death sentence of a man who raped and strangled an 8-year-old San Pablo girl in 1979 were unanimously upheld Monday by the California Supreme Court in San Francisco.
Joseph Seferino Cordova, 71, was arrested in 2002 after a so-called "cold hit" DNA match in a national database linked his DNA to evidence found in the body of Cannie Bullock 23 years earlier.

FAIRFIELD — A former Vanden High School sports great who has been on death row at San Quentin prison for 26 years had the reversal of his 1989 conviction and death sentence affirmed Monday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The split decision, with a blistering dissent from one of the three justices on the appellate panel, upheld the 2013 decision of U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ordering a new trial for Steven E. Crittenden.

Six women who were sexually assaulted by an on-duty West Sacramento police officer will share in $4.11 million in settlements to their civil lawsuits, it was announced Thursday.

Of that, $2.8 million will be paid by the city of West Sacramento to four of the women, according to attorney Bruce Kilday, whose law firm Angelo, Kilday & Kilduff represented the city in the litigation.


FCC gives inmates price break on prison phone calls
Vera Bergengruen, The Sacramento Bee

Starting next year, many Americans won’t have to make the difficult choice between talking to family members in prison and paying their bills.

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to cap the price that phone companies can charge for calls to and from prison inmates, which they say can run up to a staggering $14 per minute.

In the first survey of its kind, Department of Justice found that 20% of people in state and federal prisons and 18% in local jails spends time in ‘restrictive housing’

Jon Swaine and Ciara McCarthy, The Guardian

Almost one in five inmates in American prisons and jails spend time in solitary confinement or segregation over the course of a year, according to a government report, which found prisoners were more likely to encounter such conditions if they were younger, identified as LGBT or had mental health problems.

In the first survey of its kind, the US Justice Department found that about 20% of people in state and federal prisons and 18% of those in local jails said they had spent time in “restrictive housing” that separates inmates from the general population, such as solitary or disciplinary segregation between 2011 and 2012. One in 10 prison inmates had been made to spend more than 30 days in such conditions.

Officer in raid video charged with theft
David Grieder, The Triplicate

Pelican Bay State Prison Correctional Officer Matthew Yates, 34, is facing misdemeanor theft charges, accused of taking $100 from a suspect arrested last March in a drug sting.
Yates was part of a group of correctional officers assisting Del Norte Sheriff’s deputies in executing a search warrant March 9 at the home of James Banuelos. A surveillance videotape appeared to show Yates and other prison guards stealing cash from Banuelos, sparking a lengthy investigation by the FBI.

Iowa prisons draft policy on transgender inmates
William Petroski, The Des Moines Register

Iowa prison officials are in the midst of drafting a policy addressing the treatment of transgender inmates, although it’s not clear yet whether state officials will approve spending taxpayer money for sex-reassignment surgery.


More than 40 years ago, President Nixon first used the term "war on drugs" to illustrate his commitment to reducing the illegal drug trade. A decade later, President Reagan declared that illicit drugs were a threat to U.S. national security and American values. In the name of these values, zero-tolerance laws were enacted across the country that made possession of drugs for personal use a felony.

President Obama’s defense of Black Lives Matter was no doubt the biggest news that came out of last week’s White House meeting with law enforcement leaders. But Proposition 47 came up as well, because Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck was on the panel with Obama, and because just as California was the vanguard of the tough-on-crime movement in the 1970s, it is leading the way now as many people around the nation rethink their criminal justice attitudes and policies.

Claiming Spiritual Real Estate in Prison
Nancy Deville, The Huffington Post

There's an eerie tension in the atmosphere during a prison lockdown, like energy waiting to detonate. We teach yoga and meditation at Twin Towers Correctional Facility, a male facility downtown LA that takes the overflow of women from other facilities. The day of the lockdown, we were at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona, as guest teachers.