Friday, April 1, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA INMATES

Jeremy Chen, North Coast News

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. - Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City have been given the chance to learn guitar as part of the Arts in Corrections initiative. The initiative is aimed at reducing recidivism and improving the environment at prisons in California.

Dale Morgan, the program's guitar instructor, said he enjoys the time he gets teaching inmates at the prison as he enjoys spreading his love of music in simple doses.

Parking Ticket Embezzler Karen Flores Goes from ‘Princess Prison’ to Early Release
Tyler Hayden, Santa Barbara Independent

Karen Flores doesn’t look like she stole $700,000 from the police. She looks like somebody’s mom.

But in 2013 she admitted that she had been busily embezzling thousands of dollars in parking ticket fines from the Santa Barbara Police Department, where she worked as the business office supervisor. In a letter to Judge George Eskin, she pleaded for mercy, describing her personal travails ​— ​she was overworked and underpaid, she was fighting a battle with depression, and most importantly her young son needed his mother. Her attorney touted her clean record. “She never even had a parking ticket!” he exclaimed without an ounce of irony.

Judge Eskin, however, sentenced Flores to 10 years in state prison. From the bench he reminded her that because of her seven years of thieving, civil servants lost their jobs and public services had to be cut. The SBPD was humiliated by a blatant theft happening right under its nose by someone it trusted. Justice dictated, Eskin declared, that the sentence reflect the seriousness of her actions.

Jess Sullivan, Daily Republic

FAIRFIELD — A former Vanden High School sports great who has been on death row at San Quentin prison for 27 years for a double-murder has begun the extraordinary steps of a new jury trial.

The second trial comes after the 2013 reversal of his conviction was upheld last year by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Steven E. Crittenden was sentenced to death three years after he helped propel the Vanden Viking boys’ basketball team to a state championship.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Prison officials post pictures of bust on Facebook
Devon Armijo, KCRA 3 News 

FOLSOM, Calif. (KCRA) —Three police K-9s uncovered loads of contraband during a recent sweep of the California State Prison, Sacramento in Folsom.

Officers, along with their K-9 partners, discovered 12 grams of marijuana, 8 pounds of tobacco, 22 cellphones, 18 chargers, 12 packs of cigarettes and a glass pipe.

The dogs were on loan from the Folsom State Prison.

DEATH PENALTY

San Quentin inmate Kevin Cooper on watching the minutes tick away on his life.
Kevin Cooper, The Marshall Project

I was supposed to be executed one minute after midnight on February 10, 2004.

In the lead up to that day, I was moved to a new cell where prison guards could check in on me every hour to “make sure I was all right.” The prison also started sending a psychiatrist — it was clear that they wanted to make sure I was not going to commit suicide.

This went on for a few days, and then things slowly started to get more intense. I was awakened in the middle of the night, handcuffed, taken out of the cell, and placed against a wall. One of the guards started taking photos of me and said that these were the last images the world would see of me.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Jordan Graham, The OC Register

Orange County’s jail population decreased substantially last year, mirroring a statewide dip in the number of inmates, which a study released Wednesday said is the result of a controversial California law.

The Public Policy Institute of California’s study found that Proposition 47 – a 2014 voter-approved measure that reduced some felony theft and drug offenses to misdemeanors in order to lower inmate populations – was successful in its aim, reducing the number of county-held inmates statewide by nearly 9 percent.

Lompoc Record

Chuck Madson moved to Lompoc after being released from the California Department of Corrections. Struggling with addiction and effects of incarceration, Chuck connected with Coast Valley Substance Abuse Treatment Center and then was hired as an adolescent counselor.

With the support of Pastor Craig Hamlin and his son, Matt, Madson’s dream of giving back to the community was realized through projects such as Miracle House Men's Home, Feed Lompoc Food Distributions, Pay It Forward Thrifts and Gifts Store, Recovery Day in the Park, and Lompoc Community Meeting. Most of Madson’s work has been with thousands of clients in CVSATC.