Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Josh Butters, The Sentinel

AVENAL – When two people needed help recently, three Avenal State Prison correctional officers took action and potentially saved their lives. The three were honored by the state and received Medals of Honor for their actions recently.

While carpooling home together, llieutenants Mike Tuntakit and John Mendiboure came across a person waving down help for a driver whose car was overturned and gone down a steep 100-yard embankment. With the car beginning to smoke, they used a rock to break a window then pulled the driver, who was unresponsive, from the wreck.


Bob Egelko, The San Francisco Chronicle

California has greatly reduced solitary confinement in its prisons and has nearly eliminated its long-term use under a year-old legal settlement, lawyers for the prisoners reported Monday.

The state had 9,870 prisoners in isolation cells in December 2012, shortly after inmates filed a class-action lawsuit against the prison system’s use of solitary confinement. That total was down to 3,471 as of August 2016, a 65 percent reduction, said the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented the inmates.

The center also reported a 97 percent reduction in the number of inmates kept in solitary confinement for 10 years or more: Out of 1,557 held in long-term isolation before the settlement, prison officials have transferred at least 1,512 to general prison housing and recommended moving 20 more.

The Modesto Bee

By San Quentin prison standards, convicted Modesto murderer Scott Peterson is living large on Death Row.

"Scott Peterson is living inside a single cell, inside NorthSeg; the exclusive, the best that you can ever hope to serve," Nancy Mulane, author of Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption, told Geraldo Rivera.

The author says he has access to an outdoor shower and toilet, and takes advantage of a rooftop basketball court that has protection against the sun.



Daniel Mendoza is starting classes at U.C. Davis as a junior and sociology major this fall. But just a few years ago, he was looking at life in prison for a long list of charges—including murder. How Daniel got from there to U.C. Davis is connected to California's Proposition 57.

When Mendoza was 14, he was hanging out with a rough crowd. One night, he and some friends jumped a man on the street. In the chaos, somebody pulled out a knife and stabbed the man. After a two month investigation, Daniel and his friends were arrested. In court, Mendoza found out that the D.A. had decided to direct file his case.

Ben Bradford, Capital Public Radio

No California ballot fight has attracted more money or bigger names than Proposition 61.

Proponents call it the only initiative in the country that could rein in rising drug prices. Pharmaceutical companies have spent nearly $110 million to oppose it.

But politics aside, experts see a problem with the measure. They question whether California could implement the law and what the consequences would be, if it can’t.

Laura Urseny, Chico Enterprise-Record

Chico >> For the second year in a row, employers throughout Butte County are invited to host a table at a job fair sponsored by correctional agencies for those with criminal records.

The job fair, Nov. 2 at the Chico Masonic Family Center, 1110 W. East Ave., is designed to help those with a record find employment, according to Amy Asher of Butte County Probation Department.

Probation, along with the Sheriff’s Office, Office of Education, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Alliance for Workforce Development are sponsoring the job fair.


The San Diego Union-Tribune

America needs far-reaching criminal justice reform. The U.S. warehouses many nonthreatening individuals in costly prisons without good reason. Our nation has less than 5 percent of the world’s population and, astonishingly, about 22 percent of its prisoners. And research shows that mass incarceration isn’t keeping us safer. Other industrial democracies have somewhat lower to far lower crime rates, according to the Numbeo database.

This is the bitter fruit of a tough-on-crime era in the late 20th century that led to much harsher prison sentences. The approach ignored the most elemental finding of criminology: Crime is a young man’s game. An FBI study of crime statistics in the 1990s showed that 18-year-old males are nearly 10 times as likely to be as arrested as males aged 45-49 and more than 20 times as likely to be arrested as men aged 55-59. This wrongheaded crackdown explains why the Justice Department reports that from 1993 to 2013, there was a 400 percent increase in inmates aged 55 and over in state prisons.

Jan Levine, The Sacramento Bee

As a Superior Court judge for nearly a decade, I got a close look at a justice system that was failing too many people. I am supporting Proposition 57 because I believe it would begin to address that failure.

Beginning in the 1990s, California spent years incarcerating more and more people at an ever greater cost to taxpayers and society – with little but sky-high recidivism to show for it. As a result, our state prisons are dangerously overcrowded, and their administration is being overseen by the federal government. It has mandated that California get its prison problem under control or risk having a solution imposed by federal officials.