Friday, April 15, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Amy Taxin, The Associated Press

CHINO, Calif. A California panel recommended parole Thursday for former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten more than four decades after she and other cult members went to prison for the notorious killings of a wealthy grocer and his wife.

The now-66-year-old Van Houten was "numb" after the panel announced its decision following a five-hour hearing at the California Institution for Women in Chino, said her attorney Rich Pfeiffer.

"She's been ready for this for a long time," Pfeiffer said outside the prison, adding that those who signed an online petition opposed to her release don't know the woman she is today.

Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN)After 19 denials, Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten is a step closer to being free, after a parole board panel recommended her release, a spokesman for the California department of corrections said Thursday.
The full Board of Parole Hearings will review the decision during the next four months, then could send the case to California Gov. Jerry Brown, according to corrections spokesman Luis Patino.

Brown will have 30 days to decide whether to approve or deny the recommendation.

Van Houten and others were convicted for the 1969 murders of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. Van Houten was sentenced to death in 1971 but one year later the death penalty was overturned. Her first conviction was overturned, too, because her lawyer died before that trial ended.
She was tried twice more (one ended in a hung jury) and in 1978 was sentenced to life in prison.

Matt Hamilton, LA Times

A California review board recommended parole Thursday for former Charles Manson “family” member Leslie Van Houten, who was convicted along with other members of the cult in the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Van Houten, 66, had been denied parole 19 times by the state parole board since being convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. After the two commissioners on the panel issued their decision at a hearing at the California Institution for Women in Chino, Van Houten said she felt “numb,” according to her attorney, Richard Pfeiffer.


Jenny Day, The CW 6 News

OTAY MESA – Inmates at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility are exploring their softer, and more creative sides. A brand new play written by inmates details what life’s like behind bars. CW6’s Jenny Day ventured inside the prison walls Thursday for a rare opportunity to go inside the maximum security yard.

She made her way through two checkpoints, four gates, and countless guards – all to shed light on “The Playwrights Project.” It allows inmates to release stress, and express themselves on paper.

The Triplicate

The inmate who walked out of Alder Conservation Camp in Klamath on Monday evening was apprehended Thursday morning in Oakland, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Darius Louis, 19, was in custody since June 2015 for a Lake County grand theft and was originally set for release in March 2020. He served on an inmate firefighting crew at Alder Camp, a minimum-security prison.

Patricia Corrigan , j Weekly

A century ago, people lined up around the block at Sinai Memorial Chapel to receive bags filled with chickens, matzah and wine to ensure a sweet and kosher Passover. Today, through the practice of Ma’ot Chitim, or “wheat money,” Sinai still donates to agencies that serve the less fortunate.

“We’re no longer handing chickens out the door, but we feel honored that for over 100 years we have carried on this tradition of being mindful of people who want to celebrate Passover but don’t have the resources,” said Sam Salkin, executive director at Sinai, the only Jewish funeral home in Northern California.

Juliet Bennett Rylah, LAist

Tex Watson, an ex-Manson Family member and current Mule Creek State Prison inmate, seems to have printed out his Wikipedia page, scribbled a bunch of corrections on the papers, and mailed them to the site for editing.

According to the Wikipedian, Charles "Tex" Watson may have offered a few changes to his own Wikipedia page. The .PDF of his handwritten edits surfaced on the discussion area of Watson's entry, and was posted by someone on Wikipedia's Volunteer Response Team.

Holly O. Austin, The Triplicate

The Art in Public Places exhibit up in the Del Norte County Courthouse is “Student Art from Inside II,” containing works from students in the Arts-in-Corrections program at Pelican Bay State Prison. In addition to 19 colorful paintings and drawings, the show includes two photographs of the guitar classes and five short written pieces by inmates, as well as teaching artists’ statements from Cecelia Holland (creative writing), Julie McNeil (visual arts) and Dale Morgan (guitar/music). The courthouse is located at 450 H St., Crescent City, and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except for state holidays. For more information, call DNACA at 707-464-1336.


Mark DuFrene, The Mercury News
Collette Carroll of Clayton, who was named the 2016 Assembly District 14 Woman of the Year for her work as the President and executive director of California Reentry Institute, a non-profit organization that prepares and supports men through the transition from prison to freedom. Carroll has, for more than 16 years, helped to break the cycle of incarceration by working with inmates, and in 2008, she founded the Empowered Reentry Program at San Quentin State Prison. It is a minimum 20 months class, during which inmates spend the first year learning about emotions and the second year learning life skills.

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO – A fifth state prison is still providing substandard care despite billions of dollars spent for improvements and a decade of federal oversight, California’s inspector general reported Thursday.

Care at Wasco State Prison, 30 miles north of Bakersfield, remains inadequate, the inspector general said.

California is attempting to regain control of the prison health care system a decade after a federal judge seized control. Under federal oversight, the state has spent $2 billion for new prison medical facilities, doubled its annual prison health care budget to nearly $1.7 billion and reduced its prison population by more than 40,000 inmates.


John Scheibe, The Ventura County Star

Crime victims "have been totally ignored during these past years," the father of a Northern California girl who was kidnapped and murdered in 1993 said in Ventura on Thursday.

"This is not a good time to be a crime victim in California," Marc Klaas told a group of law enforcement officials and others gathered in Ventura to commemorate National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Klaas' 12-year-old daughter Polly was kidnapped at knife point in her Petaluma home while having a slumber party with two friends.


Frequent urine tests, controversial scanners, and false positives.
Kenneth E. Hartman, The Marshall Project

Twice a week, a line of prisoners forms outside the communal bathroom in the education building here at the California State Prison in Los Angeles County. One latex-gloved guard sits at a small desk outside the toilet area, checking identification cards against a computer printout. After confirming you’re on the list, he takes a small piece of cloth, rubs it on one of your hands, and then slips it into a small baggie with your name on it.

Another gloved guard looms, holding a small, clear, plastic bottle. “Try and fill it up to this line,” he tells you as he hands you a pair of blue latex gloves and watches you put them on before giving you the sample bottle.