Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Correctional News

STOCKTON, Calif. — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) recently marked the 25th anniversary of the N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility and the 50th anniversary of the O.H. Close School for Boys (now O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility), both located in Stockton.

“O.H. Close and N.A. Chaderjian have had some challenging times over the years and now are model institutions. I’m proud of the progress both facilities have made as we celebrate these significant anniversaries,” CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan said in a statement.

The anniversaries come soon after the successful termination of the Farrell lawsuit against the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), which operates the Close and Chaderjian facilities, according to a statement by the CDCR. On January 16, 2003, Margaret Farrell, a taxpayer in the state of California filed a lawsuit against the director of what was then called the California Youth Authority (CYA). In her suit, Farrell claimed CYA was expending funds on policies, procedures and practices that were illegal under state law. Farrell additionally claimed that CYA failed in its statutory duties to provide adequate treatment and rehabilitation for juvenile offenders in its care. The lawsuit further alleged that the youth offenders were denied adequate medical, dental and mental health care.

Justin Forsett is shocked to learn that prisoners can play fantasy football
Ryan Wilson, CBS

Justin Forsett had an outta-nowhere breakout season for the Ravens in 2014, rushing for 1,266 yards and 8 touchdowns. He suffered through an injury-plagued 2015 that forced him to miss the final six games, but he remains a fantasy-football favorite to at least one inmate at San Quentin State Prison, which is located 25 miles from where Forsett played at the University of California.

Forsett heard about this during a recent visit to the prison as part of a program that exposed at-risk youth to the realities of life behind bars. As the group was walking through the yard -- "[it] actually looks like it does in the movies," Forsett wrote on his personal blog -- the Ravens running back was spotted by several inmates.

Carmen Marquez, KYMA

CALIPATRIA, Calif. – A prison visitor was arrested after officials say she tried to smuggle methamphetamine and heroin into Calipatria State Prison.

Fourty-seven-year-old Natalie Garcia was visiting inmate Edwin Mora, who was convicted of robbery.

Officers say the two shared a bag of Doritos and appeared nervous. An officer noticed there was more than just chips inside the bag.

When the two were separated officers say they found two individually wrapped bindles of methamphetamine inside the snack.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Dom Pruett, The Reporter

NOTE: The reporter has been informed that CMF’s garden is not the largest prison garden in the United States, and that while CMF’s garden is funded through CDCR’s Innovative Grants Program, Insight Garden Program as a whole is funded through grants and donations.

California Medical Facility inmate Tracy Collier, 42, never thought he’d one day be an avid gardener.

“I took all this stuff for granted,” Collier said, referring to his life before incarceration.

Now, he finds solace in his newfound passion.

“It’s helped me look at the environment and myself as one,” he said. “I’m thankful for this program. It gives me a chance to pay restitution to the community for the crimes I’ve committed.”

The program Collier is referring to is the Insight Garden Program, which has served more than 1,500 inmates by providing forms of rehabilitation and education through organic gardening.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Erika I. Ritchie, OC Register

heir cellblocks,” Duchene said. “When he gave an invitation to men to come across the yard and give their lives to God, as one came, more began coming and a very rowdy prison yard became still. Even men who didn’t come forward still respected the moment.”

A few months later, Saddleback Pastor John Baker returned to the prison and trained Duchene and others to lead Celebrate Recovery programs, aimed at helping them get their lives in order.

“There was something about Danny that was truly authentic,” said Baker, who oversees Duchene outside the prison walls. “You could see the pastor’s heart in him. He was doing everything he could to be a man of God. Rick turned to me and said, ‘We’ve got to hire Danny.’”

Max Ehrenfreund, The Washington Post

Reformers and policymakers who are concerned about the vast U.S. prison system have called for reducing the number of people behind bars. By that standard, they've made progress over the past several years, as the incarcerated population has declined from its peak in 2009.

Yet even as fewer people are behind bars, the number going to prison nationally changed little during that time — outside of California, where the Supreme Court ordered major reforms to the state's overcrowded system in 2011.

John Pfaff, a legal scholar at Fordham University, pointed out the paradox in a series of tweets on Tuesday. While more people are being sent to prison than in 2010, the total population declined because prisoners are serving shorter terms, partly as a result of lawmakers' efforts to reduce minimum sentences. The reduced sentencing are welcome for convicts and their families, but incarceration is not affecting fewer lives.

Eman Shurbaji, The Sentinel

Kings County's 10 percent unemployment rate is expected to shrink as more than 2,300 health care jobs are added over the next nine years, according to a recent economic report.

The new health care jobs are 3 percent more than the current number in Kings County. About half of the jobs are planned for registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, certified nursing assistants and medical assistants.

The report by Applied Development Economics, a Walnut Creek economics research agency, was commissioned by the Kings County Economic development Corporation (EDC) to plan for future areas of job growth.

David Downs, SF Gate

Funding to oppose California marijuana legalization this year has grown from a paltry $13,000 to over $60,000 thanks to a major group — the state’s prison guards.

Journalist Lee Fang, writing for The Intercept, reports on new campaign donation disclosures showing the state’s prison guards and police chiefs chipping in to keep pot illegal.

The funds were organized by John Lovell, “a longtime Sacramento lobbyist for police chiefs and prison guard supervisors. Lovell’s Coalition for Responsible Drug Policies, a committee he created to defeat the pot initiative, raised $60,000 during the first three months of the year, according to a disclosure filed earlier this month.

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown turned in nearly a million signatures on Friday backing his bid to ask voters to approve new ways to reduce California’s prison population, a spokesman said.

Brown wants voters in November to increase credits that allow adult inmates to get out of prison more quickly and to allow earlier parole for non-violent felons.

The measure “will give voters a chance to improve public safety by providing incentives for people to turn their lives around,” said Dan Newman, campaign spokesman Dan Newman said in an email.

Bob Egelko, SF Gate

Inmates infected with valley fever at a federal prison in Central California can sue the government for damages even though the prison is run by a private contractor, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

Although the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is not involved in day-to-day operations at Taft Correctional Institution in Kern County, the bureau can be held responsible for placing the inmates there without warning them about an ongoing outbreak of the airborne illness, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. A warning might have allowed them to request a transfer or take precautions, the court said.

“Prisoners are often helpless to protect themselves from harm,” and “were particularly vulnerable to infection” at the Taft prison, in an area with one of the highest known concentrations of the fungus that causes cocci, or valley fever, the court said. It said the Bureau of Prisons might also be legally responsible for failing to build a covered walkway that would have protected inmates from fungus-infected dust, and for the absence of a prison policy to prevent spread of the disease.