Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Jason Kravarik, CNN

Vacaville, California (CNN)Nineteen years ago, Joseph Jackson was a drug dealer unloading his gun into two people he thought had infringed on his turf.
Today, the convicted killer sings and dances on stage in a white velvet coat.
His fellow actors have similar stories: Christian Birdsall strangled a woman who trusted him with odd jobs around her house.

Pharaoh Brooks beat a man nearly to death with a baseball bat. Three violent criminals, but you'd never know it as the men display surprising mastery of one of the most sophisticated playwrights in history.

Their modernist performance of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" is the hottest ticket inside Solano State Prison, as dozens of inmates watch fellow hardened criminals transform into actors.

Bob Padecky, The Press Democrat

SAN QUENTIN — A guard in the tower Saturday watched a wall cleared and did not raise his weapon; a baseball left the field, not an inmate. Three Sonoma Stompers batters were plunked by fastballs but no one rushed the mound; a convict was standing on it. Fifteen men were sitting on the warning track in left field but were not asked to move for their safety; in San Quentin this is as safe as safe can get.

This is baseball inside a state prison as famous as any, a prison that has or has held among the most infamous inmates in American crime: Charles Manson, Scott Peterson, Ramon Salcido, Richard Allen Davis, Richard Ramirez.

Richard Winton, The Los Angeles Times

An accomplice of serial killer William G. Bonin — the so-called Freeway Killer who murdered as many as 21 people along Southern California’s highways — has died after being beaten by another inmate at Mule Creek State Prison, authorities said.
Officials said Gregory M. Miley died Wednesday from injuries sustained at the prison in Ione in Northern California on Monday. Miley was attacked at about 7:25 p.m. during “the evening yard program,” state corrections officials said.

“He was escorted to the prison medical facility where he was evaluated and medically cleared to return to his housing unit,” California Department of Corrections Lt. Angelo Gonzalez said in a statement. “Miley returned to the prison medical facility and at approximately 9:07 p.m. became unconscious.”

Ryan Masters, Santa Cruz Sentinel

BEN LOMOND >> A minimum-security inmate who walked away from the Ben Lomond Conservation Camp on Friday night remains on the lam despite a multi-agency search.

At 10:15 p.m., camp staff witnessed Leroy Hampton, 46, leaving the facility, located at 13575 Empire Grade, according to Jeffrey Callison of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Julie Baker-Dennis, Courthouse News  

(CN) — The California Supreme Court ruled that a 50-year-to-life sentence for a juvenile convicted of murder is constitutional because he will receive a parole hearing after 25 years of incarceration.

The majority of the state high court agreed Tyris Lamar Franklin's sentence does not equate to life in prison without any possibility of parole.

In 2012, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment forbids mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juvenile murderers. The decision in Miller v. Alabama rendered such sentences unconstitutional.
Franklin was 16 years old when he shot and killed another teenager. He was involved in numerous altercations with a group of boys he lived near in the Richmond, Calif., Crescent Park housing project.

CBS

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — William Richards has been in prison for more than 20 years, convicted in the 1993 murder of his wife Pamela.

The California Supreme Court has now overturned his conviction, and it all hinged on a crescent-shaped lesion found on his wife’s right hand.

At his trial, the prosecution brought in a renowned forensic dentist, Norman Sperber, who told the jury he believed the mark on Pamela Richard’s hand was made by her husband’s teeth.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Danielle Ames, The Tribune

The California Men’s Colony is on lockdown until at least Tuesday while the institution investigates whether dangerous contraband was brought inside the state prison, according to CMC spokeswoman Lt. Monica Ayon.

CMC, on Highway 1 just outside of San Luis Obispo, has been on lockdown since about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, when it received an anonymous call stating that dangerous contraband had been trafficked into the institution by some of the inmates allowed outside on fire crews, Ayon said. She added that she was not at liberty to state what the contraband allegedly is.

Adrian Rodriguez, Marin Independent Journal

The Shakespeare for Social Justice program helped Henry Montgomery get through his final five years of incarceration at San Quentin State Prison.

“My heart became pretty hard for a moment,” said Montgomery, 48, who lives in Milpitas and is pursuing certification in music recording and technology from Foothills College in Los Altos. “This helped me get back in touch with emotions that I actually lost. It helped me heal.”

Thanks to more than $160,000 in state grants, inmates at Folsom and High Desert state prisons will soon benefit from the same Marin-based prison arts program.

Pat Thomas, abc

SUSANVILLE, Calif. (KOLO) Five people were taken to hospitals after a riot at High Desert Prison in Susanville Friday.

A California Department of Corrections spokesperson says the riot happened about 10:30AM May 27, 2016. At least 65 inmates were involved in the prison yard incident that lasted seven to ten minutes. Prison officials say staff used non-lethal rounds and grenades, and fired warning shots from a Mini-14 rifle to quell the riot.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Yadira De Santiago, The OC Register

Several years ago, the Pew Center on the States released an important report that caught the attention of criminal justice officials, policymakers and the public. The report found more than one in 100 American adults was confined to an American jail or prison.

The report also highlighted that inmates were being released after longer sentences with few skills or connections in their local communities – in other words, they were being released with a high chance they would be re-arrested.

The public – and public officials – sought a more balanced approach. In an attempt to reduce costly recidivism, this approach involved providing treatment and training for people who were being incarcerated or released to community supervision as part of probation or parole. These efforts became known as reentry services.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Philip Patrick Policarpio taken into custody
KCRA 3 News

LOS ANGELES —Authorities say one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives has been captured on the border with Mexico, a man wanted in the death of his pregnant girlfriend.

Bureau spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says in a news release Monday that border agents took Philip Patrick Policarpio into custody at a San Diego port of entry Sunday as he crossed into the U.S. from Tijuana.

David Gutierrez, Harvard Political Review

When the local economy of Susanville, California stagnated, the town tried to use a newly constructed prison as a recovery tool. Opened in the late 1990s, High Desert State Prison cost $272 million to build. High Desert, originally intended to be a low- to medium-security prison, became a Level III and IV correctional facility. This required the town to spend millions building roads, bolstering the police force, and expanding services to those newly employed by the prison. Yet currently, Susanville’s unemployment rate is at an astounding 10 percent and its job growth is negative. By almost every measure, the prison failed to stimulate Susanville’s economy.

Prison culture is deeply ingrained in American culture. Even American entertainment is reflecting this fact more and more, with shows about prison life like Orange is the New Black and Prison Break becoming increasingly popular. Part of the reason prisons are such a mainstay of American popular culture may be that the United States has so many prisoners. The United States currently incarcerates 2.3 million of its citizens, 58 percent of them African American and Latino. But in all of this media attention about prison, little attention is paid to how prisons affect the communities where they are located. In fact, correctional facilities are completely out of sight for many Americans. Prisons close to cities, like the infamous Rikers Island off the coast of Manhattan, are now the exception. From 1992 to 1994, 83 prisons out of 138 were built in non-metro areas.

OPINION

I'm Samuel Escobar Jr., and I'm an inmate at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, Calif.
attn

I'm serving a 25-year sentence for multiple armed robberies committed when I was a teenager.

I first joined the Council program only because seven of my Indian brothers talked me into it. They said it was true to native culture and honored the sanctity of the circle. I really needed something to get me out of the cell for a while, so I let them sign me up. But when I got to the group I was skeptical. To be honest, I didn’t feel comfortable around inmates of color in such an intimate setting.

All I really knew about Council at that point was that it was a group without an agenda or a book that had to be followed. I knew it was a group where we just talk about "things." It felt like a "Seinfeld" episode: a group about nothing, but also about everything.

Joe Tarica, The Tribune

One thing was missing outside the Elkhorn Bar on that fateful September night in 2014 when a drunken fight resulted in the death of a North County vineyard manager: an adult.

Alvaro Medrano didn’t act with any sense or maturity when he challenged three Salinas Valley State Prison guards to a fight, and he paid for it with his life.

The posse he assembled brought no reason to the dispute and only made a bad situation worse.