Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Eduardo Santiago, KYMA

CALIPATRIA, Calif. - A woman was arrested over the weekend after prison officials say she tried to smuggle marijuana into Calipatria State Prison.

Maria Michelle Hernandez, 33, of Los Angeles visited the prison on Saturday, when an officer noticed the smell of marijuana.

Officers then searched Hernandez and found ten latex bindles containing a total of 26.3 grams of marijuana. The pot could have sold for about $6,500 inside prison walls, according to officers.

DEATH PENALTY

Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

Although he has served as governor longer than anyone else in California history, Jerry Brown has never been forced to make one of the weightiest decisions governors face: whether to spare a convicted criminal from execution.

California has executed more than 500 people, but the death penalty has been on hold pending legal challenges during both of Brown’s two-term stints as governor. It’s been a politically convenient coincidence for the Democrat who rose to prominence as an outspoken opponent of capital punishment, even as California voters repeatedly demonstrated support for it.

Their most recent affirmation came this November. Voters rejected Proposition 62, which would have abolished capital punishment, and passed Proposition 66, which seeks to expedite death penalty appeals. The outcome means California may resume executions during Brown’s final two years as governor, potentially challenging the legacy of the former Jesuit seminarian who was once so morally opposed to capital punishment that he protested outside the gates of death row.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Formerly incarcerated undergrads started a group on campus to offer mentoring, support, and advocacy to other former inmates.
Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker

The first day of his first semester at the University of California, Berkeley, Danny Murillo walked into the Cesar Chavez building and saw a white man with tattoos on his arms. Something about the man felt familiar. He could tell from the tattoos that the man was, like him, from Los Angeles, and he was around his own age, mid-thirties, but it was something else that he recognized. He went up to the man and said, “Damn, I feel old around all these youngsters.” The man said, “Yeah, me, too.” Murillo said, “I haven’t been in school for a long time.” The man said, “Yeah, me, too.” Murillo said, “I was on vacation.” The man said, “Yeah, me, too.” Murillo said, “I was in the Pelican Bay SHU.” The man said, “Yeah, me, too.”

The Pelican Bay SHU—Security Housing Unit—is where California sends some of its most recalcitrant inmates. Both Murillo and the white man, Steven Czifra, had spent much of their lives in prison, including many years in solitary confinement, but by the time they met they were pretty sure they were never going back. Neither had finished high school—Czifra got sent to juvenile hall at twelve—but now they were undergraduates at U.C. Berkeley. They knew that although most people who had lived lives like theirs were still in prison, many were capable—given the right advice, incentives, and money—of making it to college and leaving prison forever. They started talking, and during the next few months they formed a plan to get those people out.

Sarah Rhea Werner, Forbes

Nigel Poor first gained access to the San Quentin prison as a professor of photography -- and now she returns every week for 30 hours or more to record the Ear Hustle podcast with co-creators (and inmates) Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams.

It's quite a switch. So I spoke with Nigel (who also happens to be the winner of PRX Radiotopia's very first Podquest competition) about why she chose audio, what it's like inside the prison and how podcasts are going to change the world.

Sarah Rhea Werner: OK. So before I ask about your podcast, I want to hear a little bit about your photography.

Adam Ashton, The Sacramento Bee

The state workers whose union called off a strike last week will have to wait until next summer for a raise under a tentative contract their leaders approved, but they’ll get a $2,500 bonus if they accept the deal.

Those are some of the details in a contract outline that SEIU Local 1000 distributed to its members Monday morning.

The value of the contract appears to be similar to the one Gov. Jerry Brown initially offered to the union, although it delays and reduces the impact of a new retiree health care contribution that will come out of employee paychecks in coming years.