Monday, March 21, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Terry Turner, Good News Network

Actor Tim Robbins has dramatically cut repeat offender rates for prisoners who take his acting class behind bars.

Six out of every 10 inmates in California will commit another crime and return to prison within three years of their release. Robbins’ program has cut that rate in half.

The reason is because the drama workshops give prisoners a way to express their emotions.


The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced on Friday a new video surveillance pilot that could eventually be used at all state prisons and facilities.

The testing will occur at the maximum security High Desert State Prison, nine miles east of Susanville, Calif. CDCR is partnering with Stanley Security Solutions of Fremont, Calif., for the pilot.


Charis E. Kubrin, Carroll Seron and Joan Petersilia, New Britain Herald

In an era of bitter partisanship, politicians and pundits across the ideological spectrum seem to agree on one thing: Our prison system is broken. With less than 5 percent of the world’s population yet nearly 25 percent of the world’s prison inmates, the United States spends too much money locking up too many people for too long.

Some fear that reducing sentences for nonviolent crimes and letting low-level offenders back on the streets — key components of prison reform — could produce a new and devastating crime wave. Such dire predictions were common in 2011 when California embarked on a massive experiment in prison downsizing.


Julia Prodis Sulek, Oroville Mercury Register

SAN JOSE -- Barely two weeks ago, the victim stood shaking at a parole hearing inside the spiked gates of San Quentin Prison and prepared to face the "Pleasure Point rapist," who attacked her and at least four other women in Santa Cruz in the 1980s.

"I am here before you today shocked, angry and terrified," she said, choking up as she read from her statement.

Thirty years ago, when she was a 20-year-old college student, she was told this day would never come. A judge called Kim Forrest Walters a "sexual psychopath," and a 141-year prison sentence would mean the attacker, now 61, wouldn't likely live long enough to be eligible for parole in 2057. But the 2-year-old court-ordered Elderly Parole Program, meant to ease overcrowding in state prisons, is giving Walters a chance to plead his case for release.

CBS News

This story is the first in a three-part series published by The Crime Report and Alternet. Parts two and three will be posted on Tuesday and Wednesday.

BESSEMER, Ala. -- The blinding glint from razor wire that girds the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility seems out of place in the piney woods northwest of Bessemer.

Donaldson, the maximum-security home of 1,500 convicted felons, was built in 1980 and is named for a prison officer who was stabbed to death by an inmate in its early years.


Hoa Quach, My News LA

An inmate died at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic Sunday, apparently after having a seizure, a sheriff’s deputy said.

Inmates at the facility, at 29340 The Old Road, alerted deputies about 7:05 a.m. that the man was having a seizure in their dormitory, said Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

Medical personnel responded, but while the inmate was being taken to the jail infirmary, he became unresponsive, Saldana said.


State's low-income health insurance program to provide coverage for surgery

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) —A transgender inmate who was paroled after a judge ordered California to pay for her sex reassignment surgery is making plans to have the surgery on her own this summer through coverage provided by the state's low-income health insurance program, she told a California newspaper.

A federal judge ordered the state to provide the surgery to Michelle Norsworthy in 2015, just the second time that any judge in the United States directed a state prison system to provide the operation. But Norsworthy was paroled before she received it.