Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Anand Giridharadas, The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — If you are, for whatever reasons, seeking a large number of young white men in plaid shirts who are partial to standing desks and seminars on “growth hacking” and “journey mapping,” look no further than San Francisco’s RocketSpace.

When Chrisfino Kenyatta Leal first turned up for his job at the co-working space in 2013, he often seemed to be the only black person around. But one thing made him feel instantly at home: the energy — a frenetic, wild, let’s-do-this energy. He knew this energy, but from where?

Tracy Reyes, Inquistr

Serial Thriller: The Headhunter is the newest installment in the popular Investigation Discovery television series that has captivated viewers. TheInquisitr brought you great coverage of the first two features—Serial Thriller: Angel of Decay and Serial Thriller: The Chameleon. In next week’s debut, ID takes us back to Santa Cruz, California, in 1972 when police were desperate to solve a rash of murders that were occurring among college coeds. True Investigation Discovery fans have already guessed that “The Headhunter” is based around the true story of serial killer Edmund Kemper, and possibly includes the story of serial killer Herbert Mullin.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

David Hernandez, The San Diego Union Tribune

San Diego — Two prison officers were recovering after being hit in the face by an inmate Wednesday at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, officials said.

Inmate Michael Stevens, 58, hit and knocked down the first officer about 3:40 p.m., spokesman Lt. Philip Bracamonte said in a statement. Stevens then hit a responding officer several times in the face, knocking him unconscious.

DEATH PENALTY

KOSU

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

This fall, people here in California might get to vote on two very different ballot measures about capital punishment - one to ban the death penalty and another to expedite executions. California still sentences convicted murderers to death, but there hasn't been an execution here since 2006. That's when a federal judge suspended capital punishment. Scott Shafer from member station KQED in San Francisco recently got a rare tour of San Quentin Prison, and he found death row inmates stuck in high-security limbo.

SCOTT SHAFER, BYLINE: California's death row population just keeps growing. There are now about 745 condemned inmates. Most of them are here at San Quentin prison. Between them and the outside - lots of locks and keys. They're some of the state's most notorious criminals. Some were serial killers, the details of their crimes - horrifying. In the prison yard, inmate Robert Galvan takes a break from doing pullups to talk through a chain-link fence.

Vince Cestone and Alecia Reid, KRON

MARIN COUNTY (KRON) — San Quentin’s Death Row houses some of the most notorious inmates in the country.

And it is rare that the media is allowed inside with open access to talk to any of them. After years of requesting entry, KRON’s Alecia Reid had the opportunity to go in and talk to both inmates and staff.

Most people have probably never been to prison, let alone the cell block that houses death row inmates. These men were all convicted of brutal crimes, and they are simply waiting to be executed.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Stephen Baxter, Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ-  In a new program for County Jail inmates to help fight wildfires across California, two men and a woman from Santa Cruz County Jail left the lockup this month to start training for Cal Fire’s Conservation Corps.

The Conservation Corps helps firefighters with nontechnical firefighting tasks such as clearing forests in advance of wildfires and making sure wildfires are fully extinguished. Inmates must be nonviolent, nonserious and nonsex offenders. They gain skills and typically earn credit toward a shorter sentence and $2 a day.

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California prosecutors announced Friday that they are seeking to block Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed ballot initiative to reduce the state's prison population.

The California District Attorneys Association and Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert say in a lawsuit that the initiative Brown announced last month was improperly amended onto an existing ballot measure.

OPINION

The Sacramento Bee

Thirty years ago this month, the California Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that raised what was an unsettled question: Could a man be sentenced to death for a double murder in which the victims were his pregnant wife and their unborn child?

The argument was tense, though not merely because the man’s life was at stake. A campaign was underway to unseat Chief Justice Rose Bird and two other justices appointed by young Jerry Brown. Los Angeles Times pollsters had found that a majority of voters were so adamant in their support for capital punishment that they didn’t much care if an innocent person might be executed on occasion.

Debra J. Saunders, The San Francisco Chronicle

When he initially retired from the system in 2011, there were 173,000 inmates in the state’s prisons, California Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation Scott Kernan told The Chronicle editorial board at a meeting in Sacramento on Thursday. While Kernan was running his consulting business, the number of inmates dropped dramatically.

A panel of three federal judges had ordered California to reduce its prison population to alleviate overcrowding. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the three-judge fiat in 2011. Gov. Jerry Brown’s “realignment” plan shifted the burden of incarceration for nonviolent, nonserious and nonsexual offenders from state prisons to county jails. In 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, which downgraded many property and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and took effect retroactively. Thousands of state inmates were released into the general population. There are now about 127,000 inmates in the state system, Kernan said, and the system is “ready to be changed.”

Sal Rodriguez, OC Register

California’s criminal justice embodies big government at its overspending, underachieving worst. A reliance on incarceration and an imbalanced emphasis on punishment over rehabilitation have done more to bloat government than protect the public.

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court found the state’s prison system so crowded that it created conditions amounting to cruel and unusual punishment, ordering the state to reduce its prison population. In the years since, California voters approved significant reforms. In 2012, voters approved reforms of the “three-strikes-you’re-out” law and, two years later, approved Proposition 47, reducing six low-level drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

The Reporter

For a few inmates at Solano County Jail, they were able to do good in the midst of a bad situation. The Claybank Jail held its first-ever high school graduation ceremony.

The inmates were some of the first graduates of Five Keys Charter School in Solano County, which started operating inside in September.