Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California's new corrections chief plans to add training on diversity and leadership for prison employees and to examine what has been effective in other states to change employees' attitudes as he tries to alter a culture that often pits prison guards against inmates and outsiders.

"They (guards) have worked under very difficult situations and we have to figure a way to get them engaged in the rehabilitation process and not just be somebody counting heads," Scott Kernan told The Associated Press in an interview.

Erik Rosales, Fox News

Marijuana, meth, heroin, three of the drugs that are making their way into California prisons in our area.

Fox 26 KMPH News used the State Freedom of Information Act to get records from the prison.

We wanted to find out, if drugs in prisons are a problem in California?

They are!

And gangs are behind it.

Susan Esther Barnes, Jewish Journal

One day last week Rabbi Michael Lezak drove me up to the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, which, according to its website, provides “a centrally located medical/psychiatric institution for the health care needs of the male felon population in California's prisons.”

Upon our arrival, we found row upon row of blocky, concrete buildings surrounded by fences topped by razor wire, with tall guard towers rising above it all, and none of the landscaping you’d expect to see around a building almost anywhere else. It’s astonishing, in contrast, how many things around us in our daily lives are designed with pleasing aesthetics in mind, while everything at the prison was designed for function and nothing else.


Elliot Spagat, The Associated Press

For nearly 50 years, Sirhan Sirhan has been consistent: He says he doesn't remember fatally shooting Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in a crowded kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

The Jerusalem native, now 71, has given no inkling that he will change his version of events at his 15th parole hearing on Wednesday in San Diego. He is serving a life sentence that was commuted from death when the California Supreme Court briefly outlawed capital punishment in 1972.


Samantha Young, Techwire

Russ Nichols is scheduled to appear next week before the Senate Rules Committee, which is considering his appointment to head the Division of Enterprise Information Services at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The Feb. 17 hearing comes nearly a year after Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Nichols, a 26-year veteran of state government who has served as interim director since the beginning of 2015. He stepped into the role after Joe Panora retired.


A new law imposes an international stigma on people who pose no threat to public safety.
Jacob Sullum, Reason

A bill that President Obama signed into law on Monday requires that passports used by registered sex offenders carry a "conspicuous" mark to ensure the bearers are properly scrutinized, shunned, harassed, and stigmatized wherever they might travel. A federal lawsuit filed yesterday in San Francisco argues that the so-called International Megan's Law (IML), which passed both houses of Congress on voice votes without any real debate, violates the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the Ex Post Facto Clause.

The IML, which Lenore Skenazy and Elizabeth Nolan Brown covered here recently, is supposedly aimed at people who visit other countries to have sex with children. That seems to be a pretty rare crime. According to Justice Department data cited in the complaint, about 10 Americans are convicted of "sexual crimes against minors in other countries" each year. As the IML itself notes, the State Department already had "authority to deny passports to individuals convicted of the crime of sex tourism involving minors." The IML provision requiring "unique passport identifiers" sweeps much more broadly, covering any registered sex offender who was convicted of a crime involving a minor, regardless of the details, when the crime occurred, or whether the offender poses an ongoing threat.

Laurel Rosenhall, OC Register

When President Barack Obama announced last month that he is taking executive action to ban the solitary confinement of juveniles in federal prisons, it was a rare case of Washington setting policy more liberal than what comes out of Sacramento.

In California’s Democrat-controlled Legislature, bills to restrict the use of solitary confinement on youth have stalled for four years amid objections from labor and law enforcement groups that run juvenile halls.