Thursday, May 12, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Jon Ortiz, The Sacramento Bee

California’s correctional officers will see a raise on their July paychecks under terms of a new contract they overwhelmingly ratified, the union announced this week.

More than nine in 10 ballots cast approved the three-year agreement, according to a press release by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. The union did not say how many of its 29,000 members voted. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the package into law Monday.

“Our negotiations team worked hard to get us a good contract, a fair contract,” union president Chuck Alexander said in a press statement. “Our membership recognized this, and voted accordingly.”


Ana Ceballos, Monterey County Weekly

Soledad State Prison is no longer a maximum-security facility exclusively for criminals. It is now a place for rowdy dogs to straighten up as well.

These dogs are not exactly serving time for being unruly, but rather, they are there to immerse in an intensive eight-week foster program. The boot camp of sorts will get them trained in hopes they will shed bad behavioral issues at the prison and come back ready for the adoption floor at the SPCA for Monterey County.

Rick Stevens on his three decades locked up and his return to performing.
Maurice Chammah, The Marshall Project

On Friday, Rick Stevens, the original lead singer of 70s R&B/soul band Tower of Power, will perform at a California prison, four years after his release on parole for murders he committed in 1976. He’d left the group in 1972, in what he later called a “chaos” of “egos, drugs, women,” and eventually shot three people in a dispute over drug money. A jury sentenced him to death, but the California Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty laws, and he was resentenced to seven years to life.

In online message boards, some of the band’s fans followed Stevens’s efforts to be released on parole. After his 2012 release, he started singing publicly again, doing cameos with Tower of Power and finding his own horn sections to back him on the hits for which he is best known, including “You’re Still a Young Man” and “You’ve Got to Funkifize.”


A golf course in San Luis Obispo County is turning brown, not because of the drought, but because of a change to California’s prison system.

Dairy Creek Golf Course is on Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay, across from Cuesta College. It gets its water from the California Men's Colony just down the road.

New Times SLO Reporter Jono Kinkade explains the situation in a recent article.


Recovering addict, convict shares his story of change
Melissa Simon, Thousand Oaks Acorn

Daniel Raaf had a bright future ahead of him working as one of the youngest real estate agents in the Conejo Valley. But seven years ago, his life took a turn for the worse.

The Simi Valley resident, who was 24 at the time, said he was enjoying his job at Dilbeck GMAC, but he soon realized it took more than “putting on a suit and smiling” to sell homes.

“I thought I was going to be successful. But always trying to be as successful as I thought I could be and never making it there, coupled with the downward spiral of taking drugs and drinking daily, led me to my rock bottom,” said Raaf, now 31.

Samantha Weigel, Daily Journal

NOTE: The reporter was informed that Ayres had been denied medical parole earlier this year.

A former well-known child psychiatrist convicted of molesting numerous underage patients over the course of a decadeslong career, died an elderly man while serving an eight-year prison sentence for his crimes.

William Hamilton Ayres, 84, died of natural causes in prison at the California Medical Facility April 20, according to the Solano County Coroner’s Office.

Despite his death being confirmed this week, a pending civil case filed in San Mateo County Superior Court by one of his victims is expected to continue against his remaining estate.


KTVU San Francisco

KTVU has been examining the car burglary epidemic in San Francisco and whether a hotly-debated measure is related. Police in the city are citing Prop. 47, which made certain misdemeanors instead of felonies, as a reason behind the sky-high property crime rate. But supporters of the measure say it’s not that simple.

There were approximately 26,000 vehicle break-ins in San Francisco last year alone – four times the number in 2012.

The San Francisco police union has run radio ads blaming Prop. 47 and District Attorney George, saying he's coddling criminals and giving them get-out-of-jail-free cards because of a law, which he helped write.


Kali Persall, The Pioneer

Manson “family” member Leslie Van Houten, now 66 years old, was just 19 years old when she brutally murdered Rosemarie LaBianca, wife of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca, by stabbing her in the lower back 16 times.

While serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Women in Corona, Van Houten was recommended for parole at a hearing on April 14.

The first cut into Rosemarie was at the collarbone and bent the knife, recalled Van Houten in a 1994 interview with Larry King. Her husband was also stabbed to death in the adjoining room and the word “war” was carved into his stomach, a notorious Manson cult signature, whose killings were symbolic and executed with the intent to start a race war.