Friday, August 12, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Patrick McGreevy, The Los Angeles Times

The state Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Scott Kernan as head of the state prison system amid hopes by members that he will continue to seek reforms to reduce recidivism.

Kernan’s appointment by the governor as secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation received a unanimous vote.

California's prison system has been under federal control and oversight, subject to class actions over inmate healthcare, mental health services and solitary confinement.


Avianne Tan, abc News

Inmates at two prisons in California are helping train puppies to become service dogs for wounded veterans and people with autism.

The group of inmates are part of a program called POOCH, which stands for Prisoners Overcoming Obstacles and Creating Hope, according to Stephanie Santos, training director for Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc. (TLCAD).

TLCAD started its pilot program at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, where three of four dogs successfully graduated, Santos told ABC News.

Central Valley Business Times

A significant recent increase in the number and rate of suicides at the California Institution for Women in San Bernardino County as well as in other state prisons has gotten the attention of state lawmakers.

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee has approved an audit to examine suicide prevention and reduction policies, procedures and practices at state prisons across the state.

During an eighteen month period in 2014-15, the suicide rate at the California Institution for Women was eight times the national average for women prisoners and five times the rate for the entire California prison system, according to state Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino. During this same time period, there were four suicides and at least 35 suicide attempts. Since the beginning of 2016, there have been two suicides at this facility.

"The barbed wire cannot keep the music out; the barbed wire cannot keep the message out," said Tom Morello
Steve Appleford, RollingStone

Prophets of Rage, the rock supergroup led by Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, was scheduled to play inside the state prison in Norco, California. The show was cancelled at the last minute Wednesday afternoon by the California Department of Corrections after it had allegedly been planned for months. The band responded with an abbreviated three-song set just outside the penitentiary walls.


Cathy Locke, The Sacramento Bee

Q: What happened to that young gang member, Jimmy Siackasorn, who shot a Sacramento police officer? He must be in jail somewhere. Does he have possibility of parole?

Debbie D., Fair Oaks

A: Jimmy Siackasorn was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2007 shooting death of Sacramento County Sheriff’s Detective Vu Nguyen.


The Modesto Bee

A 34-year-old man convicted for a deadly Modesto shooting was denied parole and will remain in prison, where he has joined a gang and assaulted another inmate, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

Samuel Ray Bergara of Modesto was found unsuitable for parole at a hearing Tuesday at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad. Deputy District Attorney Merrill Hoult appeared at Tuesday’s hearing and argued for continued confinement based on Bergara’s lack of insight into the fatal shooting, lack of remorse and the public risk if he was released.


Chris Nichols, POLITIFACT

Californians will decide in November whether to abolish — or possibly speed up — the state’s death penalty.

Proposition 62 would eliminate capital punishment, replacing it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole as the state’s maximum punishment for those found guilty of murder. It would apply retroactively to the nearly 750 inmates on California's death row.

Proposition 66, meanwhile, would keep the death penalty but proposes a faster appeals process.