Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Robin Respaut, Reuters

In 2012, under court order to reduce prison overcrowding, California announced an ambitious criminal justice reform plan that promised not only to meet the court mandate but also to improve criminal sentencing and “save billions of dollars.”

Now, three years after implementing the changes, California has reduced its prison population by some 30,000 inmates, and the state is in the vanguard of a prison reform movement spreading across the country, with support from both the right and the left.


State: The women cut off ankle monitors and walked away from the Kearny Mesa facility Monday
Dana Littlefield, The San Diego Union Tribune

State authorities on Tuesday were looking for two women who walked away from a community reentry facility in San Diego, where they had been allowed to serve the remainder of their prison terms.

Staff members at the Kearny Mesa facility were notified Monday evening that the women —Tumoi King, 28, and Viviana Mendez, 20 — had removed their ankle monitors, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Cathy Locke, The Sacramento Bee

A woman serving a sentence for an assault with a deadly weapon conviction in Yolo County was identified as one of two women who walked away from a San Diego re-entry facility Monday.

Viviana Mendez, 20, was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Oct. 1, 2014, to serve a seven-year sentence for the Yolo County conviction. She had been participating in a Community Transitional Reentry Program since September, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation news release. The program, officials said, allows eligible participants to serve the remainder of their sentence in a community program instead of a state prison. It provides them with a range of rehabilitative services to assist with alcohol and drug recovery, employment, education, housing, family reunification and social support.


Paige St. John, The Los Angeles Times

California’s crowded death row is as defined by architecture as it is the legal battles that have blocked executions since 2006.

The original men's death row, the fourth floor of the north cell block at San Quentin State Prison, filled up shortly after the death penalty was restored in 1978.

Since then, more than 900 people have been sentenced to death but only 13 have been executed by the state. The majority of the 699 condemned men currently housed at San Quentin are in what started as overflow housing in East Block. They live, eat and sleep in two rows of open-front cells, stacked five stories high like containers in the hold of a cargo ship.


Inside the incredible life and work of outsider artist Gil Batle.
Priscilla Frank, The Huffington Post

An ostrich egg is not as delicate as its dear cousin, the chicken egg. In fact, legend has it that if you stand atop one, it will not crack.

After spending nearly 25 years behind bars, San Francisco-born Gil Batle moved to a small island in the Philippines. He was given an ostrich egg. This little egg would change Batle's life forever. "I like to think that the proverbial lightbulb went off," Frank Maresca, Batle's art dealer, explained to The Huffington Post. "I'm not sure exactly what went through his head but I do know he took that single ostrich egg and -- how it happened, I don’t really know."

Using an eggshell as his base, Batle carved a three-dimensional narrative in painstaking detail, recounting the painful and visceral memories from years behind bars. Onto the smooth exterior of the shell, in marks so small they require a magnifying glass to see properly, Batle rendered visions of gang violence, prison riots, court hearings and horrifying dreams.