Thursday, October 15, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


CDCR NEWS

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. About 1,400 of the state’s 3,700 inmate firefighters have previous convictions for violent offenses, California corrections officials said this week, a stunning acknowledgment from an agency that for years said only nonviolent prisoners were allowed in the program.

The disclosure came days after The Associated Press reported that the corrections department was considering expanding the criteria for inmate firefighters to include those with some violent convictions and with more time left to serve on their sentences.

Evidence suggests that inmates convicted of violent crimes have long been on California fire crews. A plan to expand their presence was scrapped.
Gloria Goodale, The Christian Science Monitor

Los Angeles — On Wednesday, California corrections officials scrapped a plan to let inmates who have committed violent crimes officially serve on the state’s fire lines.

But evidence suggests that, in fact, inmates with violent pasts have been fighting wildfires in California for decades, yet officials have not acknowledged it. Moreover, several fire captains and fire experts interviewed for this article suggested that this arrangement has worked well, saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars, adding much-needed manpower, and giving the inmates a sense of purpose.

Joe Infantino, California Healthline

California's prison population is getting smaller, according to a Public Policy Institute of California report, and that could be a step in the right direction for retaking control of its prison health care system.

The state lost its prison health care oversight responsibilities in the early 2000s -- shortly before a federal court ordered California to reduce prison overcrowding.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Jessica Rogness, The Reporter

Hope.

That’s what an organization that trains the formerly and currently incarcerated to be leaders and entrepreneurs has brought to California State Prison, Solano.

“Ensuring my future,” “transforming my life” and “a new outlook on life” are some of the reasons inmates at CSP, Solano gave for joining Defy Ventures, which held its first Executive Coaching Night inside a California prison on Wednesday.

Kellie Hicks, Soledad Bee

SOLEDAD — Hearing a story read by dad can bring joy to a child, but for children whose fathers are behind bars, they don’t have that pleasure.

The Messages Project is a nonprofit organization that helps children with parents that are

NBC

Ashland, Ore. — 36-year-old Joshua Drinnon, a maximum prison inmate who had escaped in Tennesse before he was transferred to San Diego, California ended up at an Ashland Resource Center for the homeless on Monday.

The center Executive Director, Leigh Madison told NBC5 News that when Drinnon was arrested it became an intense situation, “I got three armed officers and this guy that they’re pulling up his shirt and pulling down his pants and they’re looking for weapons.”

Chris Mcguinness, New Times

The city of Arroyo Grande enlisted some unlikely help tackling small maintenance projects around the city for the next several years. 

Members of the City Council approved a five-year contract with the California Men’s Colony and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to utilize inmate work crews for unskilled labor within the city.

Denny Walsh, The Sacramento Bee

Larry Pohlschneider was in the law library at Corcoran state prison several years ago when he happened to notice a flier on the bulletin board from Santa Clara University School of Law’s Northern California Innocence Project.

“It said, ‘If innocent please contact,’ and it had an address,” Pohlschneider recalled. He thought it was worth a try, so he put his story on paper and sent it to the project.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

California’s “Operation Boo,” the state Corrections Department program that requires registered sex offenders to post signs on their front doors on Halloween, is being challenged in court.

The suit was filed by an advocacy group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws, which argues that Operation Boo makes registered sex offenders “sitting ducks” for predators.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Catalina Donnell, The Tempest

Music professor Andrew Wesley is one of the first Solano Community College faculty to teach classes at the state prison in Vacaville. Next semester, more instructors will be joining him.

SCC is the first California community college to make an agreement with the state Department of Corrections to offer courses for inmates who are serving sentences. This requires that professors go to the prison and teach the courses face-to-face.