Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. A convicted robber who escaped at an Illinois rest stop more than a month ago as he was being returned to prison in California was captured in Oregon on Monday.

Joshua Drinnon, 36, was arrested at a resource center for homeless people in Ashland, a city about 15 miles north of California, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Man in 2010 Morro Bay armed robbery escaped in Illinois during transport
Matt Fountain, The Tribune

After more than a month on the run, a man convicted of a 2010 Morro Bay armed robbery who escaped prison while being transported through Illinois last month was captured in Oregon on Monday morning by members of a joint state and federal task force.

A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman confirmed Monday afternoon that Joshua Lee Drinnon, 35, was located at a homeless shelter in the city of Ashland, more than 2,000 miles from where he was last seen scaling a fence and disappearing into a cornfield.

The Sacramento Bee

Inmates in state prisons for violent crimes may be deployed across California for the first time next year to help fight fires as the pool of lower-level offenders normally assigned to such duty has dwindled over the past several years.

Officials this year have assigned about 3,800 lower-level offenders in minimum security to the dozens of camps that dot California, but the number is shrinking – collateral impact from a 4-year-old state law intended to reduce prison overcrowding.

Lindsey Bever, The Washington Post

Thousands of them have been battling California’s wildfires, working along the flames’ edges during yet another terrible fire season in the drought-stricken state. These men and women are prisoners, wearing orange jumpsuits beneath their gear and repaying their debts outside their cells.

There are nearly 4,000 nonviolent offenders in one of the nation’s largest inmate firefighting forces; lately, inmates have accounted for about 40 percent of those fighting fires in the parched state that’s been called a “tinderbox” by Gov. Jerry Brown (D).

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The murder and an attempted murder were in 1995.
Bea Karnes, Patch

Parole was denied last week to a man convicted in the 1995 execution style murder and attempted murder at a Santa Rosa motel, according to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.

The parole board found on Oct. 7 that 42-year-old Javier Zubiate presented an unreasonable risk of danger if released, prosecutors said Friday. “He is still a danger to society if released back into the community. His Nuestra Familia gang affiliation, poor institutional behavior and lack of rehabilitative programming support the conclusion he should remain incarcerated,” District Attorney Jill Ravitch said in a statement.

Alyssa Duranty, OC Register

ANAHEIM – A 25-year-old is back in custody Monday afternoon after he attacked his parole agent and threatened responding police officers with a sword while barricading himself in a nearby business, officials said.

Abel Espinosa was at a routine check-in around 1:15 p.m. at a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation office, 2911 E. Coronado St., when he attempted to hit his parole officer, Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.


Matt Fountain, The Tribune

State officials will begin the search for a new warden at the California Men’s Colony when the prison’s current top administrator retires in November.

Elvin Valenzuela, 51, has worked at the medium-security facility on the outskirts of San Luis Obispo since 2006 and became warden in December 2012. His last day at the prison was Sept. 4 and he will officially retire Nov. 6, said CMC Correctional Lt. Monica Ayon.

The Madera Tribune

CHOWCHILLA — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation dedicated a $5.1 million mental health facility this week, largely built by inmates training in construction trades, at the Central California Women’s Facility.

“It’s not easy to look at myself and ask, how did I get here,” said Graciela Cervantes at the dedication. “Even more, it’s difficult to come into awareness of my bad behaviors and all the poor choices I made that led me to prison. However, after many years of imprisonment, one of the best choices I made was pursuing the inmate ward labor program.”


Seth Nidever, The Sentinel

Kings County has already won one $20 million state grant to develop programs to handle a surge of new inmates coming into county custody.

Now it’s going for another $20 million to build even more capacity to train, rehabilitate and hopefully prevent lower-level inmates from re-offending once they get out.

“Regardless of whether people disagree with this, at some point, these inmates do get released back into society,” said Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson. “We want to give these inmates the best opportunity not to re-offend.”


It’s not about non-violent offenders. And it won’t be cheap.
Taylor Pendergrass, The Marshall Project

Although it would have been hard to believe even several years ago, reform of solitary confinement is starting to look inevitable. For decades, a small movement of the incarcerated and their families, advocates, medical and mental health professionals, and forward-thinking corrections leaders labored against solitary confinement with only rare, incremental, and quiet success. Compare that to the last few years: two of the largest prison systems in the country (California and New York) announced major solitary reforms, solitary confinement was front and center at three U.S. Senate hearings, 15 states considered reform legislation last year, Justice Anthony Kennedy all but invited a constitutional challenge to the practice, President Obama advocated reform, and the national organization of corrections executives called solitary a “grave problem.”

Anyone looking seriously at solitary confinement is no longer debating whether it is a massive and tragic failure. Instead, the critical questions have become: what are the solutions, and how far will they go?