Thursday, May 19, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Tom Jackman, The Boston Globe

NOTE: The author was contacted and told there was no “mass release of California prisoners” under Public Safety Realignment. In fact, not one California prisoner was released under Realignment.

After California’s prison population reached the crisis stage of overcrowding — with some prisons at 300 percent capacity — the state in 2011 began to parole thousands of inmates to their original counties. Within 15 months, more than 27,500 inmates had been ‘‘realigned’’ from state prisons to county jails or to parole in what was called ‘‘an act of mass forgiveness unprecedented in US history.’’ This led to the fear that suddenly returning thousands of convicts to the streets would cause a spike in crime.

It hasn’t happened.

Two detailed studies that examined crime in California, including one released last week by the journal of the American Society of Criminology, found that when considering the patterns of crime nationally and in California between 2010 and 2014, there was little or no deviation in the crime rate after the mass prisoner release.

Kyle Harvey, KBFX News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Sex is illegal in California prisons, but if you pay taxes you're funding free condoms for inmates.

Despite a blatant contradiction to existing portions of the state's penal code, lawmakers insist the program protects both taxpayer's physical health and wallets.

The law was signed by the governor in 2014, but was implemented slowly, meaning Kern County's five prisons are only just now receiving the new perk for prisoners.

Eyewitness News went to the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi took get a better idea how the program works and what it's costing taxpayers. That prison began distributing condoms March 23rd.

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A scathing inspector general's report released Wednesday finds medical care remains "markedly inadequate" at a Northern California state prison, as more than a third of the prisons inspected since last year still are deemed to be providing poor care.

Problems remain even though California has spent $2 billion for new prison medical facilities, doubled its annual prison health care budget to nearly $1.7 billion and reduced its inmate population by more than 40,000 inmates in the last decade.

CDCR NEWS

Sean Longoria, Redding Record Searchlight

The Exchange Club of Redding will recognize eight members of local law enforcement agencies Thursday as part of its 43rd annual Peace Officer of the Year awards luncheon.

Dave Shoffner chaired what the club said is the longest ongoing local recognition of law enforcement personnel.

Among those who will honored is Anderson Police Department officer Eric Haynes, who's worked for the agency since 2014.

DEATH PENALTY

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

Death penalty supporters are setting the stage for a November showdown over whether to speed up executions in California or do away with them entirely.

Nearly 750 convicted killers are sitting on the nation's largest death row, but no one has been executed in California in a decade because of ongoing legal challenges. Only 13 condemned inmates have been executed since 1978 — far more have died of natural causes or suicide.

Crime victims, prosecutors and other death penalty supporters plan to submit about 585,000 signatures Thursday for a ballot measure to streamline what both sides call a broken system. Opponents have already turned in signatures for a dueling initiative to abolish execution.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Jess Sullivan, Fairfield Daily Republic

VACAVILLE — A who admitted to killing his wife man sat in his wheelchair Wednesday morning at one end of a table and listened as his daughter at the other end of the table told him he was selfish and cold-hearted, adding that if his health was so bad maybe he should go kill himself.

Charles L. Sammons, staring off into space, had no words for his daughter, no apologies, no remorse. Sammons also had no words for his daughter’s four aunts who sat alongside her in the stale air of a conference room at the California Medical Facility prison in Vacaville.

They were gathered together – having not been together for more than 20 years – because Sammons, 64, has served enough of his 25-years-to-life sentence and he wanted parole. His former family members want him to die in prison.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Andrew Navarro and David Tinoco, Crime Voice

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY — As if Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department personnel weren’t busy enough preventing crime, apprehending those actively perpetrating crime, and chasing those who will apparently try anything to avoid arrest, detectives working out of the Special Investigations Bureau and the Compliance Response Team are also tasked with enforcing probation terms throughout a population of convicted felons.

It was during the hunt for Rudy Ramos—recently captured after he evaded arrest for nearly two full weeks—that several of his known associates appeared on law enforcement radar.

According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, the SBSD brought in help from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as personnel from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to lend a hand in the apprehension of a half-dozen violators.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Wayne Drash and Tawanda Scott Sambou, CNN

Richmond, California (CNN)The four teens kick back and talk openly with their mentor. They discuss job opportunities, the need for support and the possibility of a trip out of state.
They're relaxing in the lobby of a city agency, one outfitted with a couch and wing chairs to make it feel homey. Anything to provide relief from the hard streets of Richmond, California, once known as one of the most violent cities in America.

"What can I do better?" the mentor, Kevin Yarbrough, asks.
"Help us get out of Richmond and stuff," one teen mumbles. "Get us far away."
The conversation sounds like one any mentor might have with a group of inner-city teens in America.

Taryn Luna, The Sacramento Bee

With time running out to qualify his initiative for the November ballot, Gov. Jerry Brown pitched the prison and criminal justice overhaul to a crowd of 1,200 business professionals and Capitol insiders Wednesday at the Sacramento Host Committee Breakfast.

“When it comes to giving someone parole or an educational rehabilitative credit, that’s based on a human judgment of another human being,” Brown said. “It’s that flexibility and that discretion that adds wisdom to a system instead of automatic-pilot mechanistic rigidity.”

Greg Yee, Press-Telegram

The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is holding a Long Beach event to help people reduce nonviolent felony convictions to misdemeanors under a new state law.

The foundation’s Proposition 47 clinic on Saturday will be a “one stop shop” where people get all their petitions and other paperwork filled out and ready for filing in the courts, said Kevin Reyes, who is working with the foundation.

“There’s a huge demand for these services,” he said. “We usually have a lot of interest. We’re doing this because we want to improve the community and help people with the problems they’re facing. People shouldn’t be defined by the worst moment in their lives.”