Thursday, April 21, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Phillip Reese, The Sacramento Bee 

The number of felons serving time in prison under California's "three-strikes" law fell to a 15-year low in 2015, one in a series of results from the state's recently relaxed sentencing laws.

About 6,900 three-strikes felons were in California prisons late last year, down from 8,900 in late 2012, a 23 percent decline, state figures show. California has not seen fewer three-strikers since at least 2001.

The trend marks one piece of a broader decline in California's state prison population. Gov. Jerry Brown's prison realignment plan, in concert with revised sentencing laws and court decisions, have reduced the overall number of felons in California from about 170,000 a decade ago to about 127,000 today. California prisons are designed to hold about 85,000 inmates.

KCBS

Inmates at California State Prison-Solano in Vacaville will pitch their business plan ideas to successful Silicon Valley venture capitalists and entrepreneurs Thursday.

The inmate who makes the best pitch during the competition will win funding for a start-up business when he is released on parole.

It’s the first time that Defy Ventures has hosted the competition in a Level III prison yard.

Tess Cutler, Jewish Journal

To join a prayer session with the Jewish spiritual community B’not Or (“Women of Light”) in Chino, you must first walk through a metal detector and a buzz-in door.

Provided you have the proper clearance forms and a state-issued ID, you pass barbwire, a watchtower, dorms and a long patch of lawn before coming to a nondescript bungalow, where a makeshift bimah has an ark with donated Torahs.
The congregation, which gathers here on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings 40 miles east of Los Angeles, boasts a unique membership: inmates at the California Institution for Women (CIW), a maximum security prison located next to a dairy farm and a Mexican restaurant in the middle of nowhere. 

Maureen Cavanaugh, Daniela Contreras, KPBS

For one local gallery owner, art has no boundaries — even if its creators are behind bars.

Alexander Salazar owns a downtown gallery whose new exhibit, “Art Exonerated," features 50 pieces created by prison inmates, some of them from the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa.

Salazar became interested in prison art in college.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Bob Moffitt, Capital Public Radio

"This kid is gonna hurt himself and end up dead or hurt someone else. What am I gonna do?," says Joanna Jurgens, one of the guest speakers at training for Sacramento-area law enforcement. She talks about mental illness and her efforts to help her son, Jeffrey.

"You know, a lot of parents throw their arms up and I don't blame 'em. I mean you get to a point in your life where it's like, 'I can't help this person anymore.' But, luckily, I didn't go there. I felt like it a couple times. I gotta say," she says with a laugh.

She says Jeffrey's symptoms began before he started kindergarten. He had his first psychotic break in high school and was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Joanna says he believed he was under surveillance.

OPINION

Elsie Storm, The Huffington Post

This past weekend, I went to a maximum security women’s prison in central California to volunteer for a project called Freedom to Choose. We worked with over 250 female inmates throughout the weekend to help them find ways to choose freedom within themselves - for even if they may never reach parole and experience freedom outside of the prison walls, it is possible that they can still find it within themselves.

The experience was extraordinary. I went in thinking that I was going to teach the inmates tools about personal development and Spiritual Psychology, but really, as so often happens, I ended up learning so much from them.