Friday, December 29, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA INMATES

Nick Wilson, The San Luis Obispo Tribune

Forty-nine-year-old Bernard Henderson is a convicted murderer who was sentenced in 2003 to a life term with the possibility of parole. Over the past 14 years, he has learned to respect his victim and move beyond his crime.

Recently, he’s done it with the help of a dog.

Henderson is one of 25 long-term California Men’s Colony inmates participating in a program that trains dogs to help veterans and first responders cope with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

TooFab

"I'm hopeful I can get a retrial and a reexamination of the case," says the convicted killer now.

On August 20, 1989, Erik and Lyle Menendez brutally murdered their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, with two 12-gauge shotguns. While Lyle has been telling his side of the story in numerous interviews -- including many this year -- Erik has remained silent since 2005.

Michael Todd, Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ >> A brain surgeon, nurse, afterschool counselor, taekwondo instructor and child psychologist, among others, were charged or sentenced this year on suspicion of molesting children or creating child pornography in Santa Cruz County.

Headlines, some that reached an international audience, were packed in 2017 with stories about powerful people — mostly men — accused of using their authority to exploit children.

OPINION

Chronicle Editorial Board

As the Trump administration ratchets up criminal prosecutions and efforts to deport undocumented immigrants and legal residents with criminal convictions, Gov. Jerry Brown has doubled-down on exercising his power to grant clemency and demonstrate his belief in the power of redemption.
Most Popular

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Rachel Zirin, Folsom Telegraph

Editor’s note: Behind Prison Walls is a continuing series by the Folsom Telegraph exploring the programs at Folsom State Prison that benefit our community and prepare inmates for future parole.

Eleven inmates in the Folsom Women’s Facility graduated from the inaugural Culinary Arts Management program Dec. 20, and they can all cook like a master chef.

Daniel Keane, The National Student

The podcast scene continued to grow and diversify in 2017, with a whole host of new broadcasters offering stories and discussions on everything from green economics to folk music to European tech.

Choosing what to listen to in a scene literally dominated by voices has become increasingly difficult, but fear not: this list has you covered. These are five of the best podcasts available to download right now, featuring everything from gender issues to film debate.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Maria Sestito, Napa Valley Register

A little girl found dead, her body abnormally cold and bruised all over, her mother nowhere to be found. This is the scene that police found when they arrived at 2060 Wilkins Avenue on Feb. 1, 2014.

The girl’s mother, Sara Lynn Krueger, was found and arrested a day later with her live-in boyfriend, Ryan Scott Warner, in El Cerrito. Three years later, this past spring, the former couple was tried separately in the same courtroom, assigned separate juries, on suspicion of murder.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

“This is a really weird legal case."
Gina Tron, Oxygen

At least five people are fighting over the ownership of Charles Manson’s human remains, and it's reportedly stressing out authorities. It seems as if even from the grave, Manson is continuing his legacy of creating a deranged circus.

Last month, the murderous cult leader died at the age of 83. According to a California Department of Corrections statement, Manson died of natural causes at a hospital.

Dan Barnett, Chico Enterprise-Record

“It’s a custody world.” Spoken by an administrator of a prison vocational education program, it sums up the challenges faced by three Chico State University researchers contracted to help the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation determine whether new basic and vocational education programs instituted in 2007 were reducing recidivism. Back then, some 66 percent of those released were re-arrested within three years.

The idea was to assess the situation, modify behavior, prepare prisoners for re-entry into society, and follow up. All very logical, all very numbers-based. And, it turns out, all very misguided.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Sitting at seven rows of desks, 23 Norco College students filled in tiny circles on their Scantron forms.

“It needs to be seven digits,” Jeff Horn, a part-time instructor of Communication Studies at Norco College, told the class. “So add zeroes to the end of your CDC number if you don’t have seven digits.”

CALIFORNIA INMATES

R. Scott Moxley, OC Weekly

For 24-year-old Jesus Aguirre, Christmas came two days early when Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the Orange County native freed after serving less than seven years of an original 35 years to life prison term.

Brown cited Aguirre's rehabilitation, including performing good deeds while in custody and abandoning the Eastside Buena Park criminal street gang, as well as the public protest his outraged parents organized when the district attorney's office charged the 16-year-old boy as an adult and sought maximum punishment for his role in an attempted murder.

DEATH PENALTY

Bob Egelko, The San Francisco Chronicle

As the death penalty has gradually lost its once-overwhelming public support, it may have also lost its effectiveness as a wedge issue among office-seekers. And evidence of that is in the race for governor of California in 2018.

Of the six major-party candidates for governor, five — all four Democrats and one of two Republicans — say they are against the death penalty, a position in line with just under half the state’s voters, based on recent election results, and current Gov. Jerry Brown.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Brian Whitehead, San Bernardino County Sun

SAN BERNARDINO – Inside an inconspicuous building on South E Street, Michael Wahome, Larry Bethea, Armando Lopez and a team of others are attempting to lower recidivism statistics one parolee, one probationer, one person at a time.

Those at the Center for Employment Opportunities know what they’re up against: A person fresh out of prison, Bethea says, is likely to return within six months if he doesn’t have the tools and resources in place to re-enter society.

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, The Trentonian

In a year filled with arrests for sexual crimes against child victims, there is a familiar refrain heard each time one of these arrests is announced. “Castrate him,” is shouted from all corners of society and social media.

Almost 80 alleged child molesters or kiddie porn collectors were arrested this year by a regional task force. None of those offenders, however, will ever have to face castration-style penalties if convicted in New Jersey Superior Court.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Randy Lewis, The Los Angeles Times

Irony isn’t something the residents of Folsom State Prison spend much time contemplating. But it’s not lost on Roy McNeese Jr. exactly where he spends every Tuesday. That’s when he leads music theory classes for fellow inmates looking to turn their lives around.

McNeese’s classroom is a compact space adjacent to Folsom’s expansive, echo-heavy dining hall. Prisoners wishing to hone their instrumental or vocal chops while serving time, or to learn from McNeese how to write music and better understand songwriting techniques, enter the room each week through a heavily fortified metal door — a door with two words on it:

Rhina Guidos, Crux: Covering all things Catholic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - If you’re looking to get into the Christmas spirit, a Jesuit chaplain serving in California’s San Quentin State Prison hopes you’ll click on Apple’s iTunes store to pick up a tune.

This year, the San Quentin Catholic Chapel Choir released four Christmastime tunes, available for purchase for 99 cents each on Apple’s music service. They can be found by searching for “Christmas at San Quentin by George T. Williams” and include “O Holy Night,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” and “What Child Is This?”

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Almendra Carpizo, The Stockton Record

STOCKTON, Calif. — Authorities on Thursday tracked down an Honor Farm inmate whose escape from his work detail last month garnered national media attention because of his distinctive skull face tattoo.

The California Department of Corrections Fugitive Apprehension Team received information about 10:30 a.m. Thursday that Corey Hughes was at a home in the 9000 block of Don Avenue in north Stockton, Stockton police reported.

Christopher Cadelago And Anita Chabria, The News Tribune

Escalating the state’s showdown with the Trump administration over illegal immigration, California Gov. Jerry Brown used a Christmas holiday tradition to grant pardons Saturday to two men who were on the verge of being deported for committing crimes while in the U.S.

Brown, pairing his state’s combative approach to federal immigration authorities with his belief in the power of redemption, characterized the pardons as acts of mercy.

The Democratic governor moved as federal officials in recent months have detained and deported immigrants with felony convictions that resulted in the loss of their legal residency status, including many with nonviolent offenses that occurred years ago.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA INMATES

Gail Wesson, The Press-Enterprise

A man who tampered with an electronic monitoring device and walked away from a residential program for offenders in Upland was apprehended Thursday afternoon, Dec. 21, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation news release.

David Martel, 41, was captured at around 3:30 p.m. at a business complex by state agents in cooperation with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department without incident. He was transported to the California Institution for Men in Chino.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Brian Rokos, The Press-Enterprise

A correctional officer at the California Institution for Women in Chino is facing a felony charge of having sex with an inmate.

Robert Jason Darrow, 37, of Fontana, violated the law that prohibits a correctional employee from having sex with a consenting adult inmate, according to the criminal complaint filed in San Bernardino Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga.

Darrow appeared in court Thursday and was scheduled to make a plea. Online court records do not indicate that a plea was made, but that a pre-preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 2. Darrow’s attorney, David Goldstein, could not be reached for comment after business hours Thursday.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Joseph Serna, The Los  Angeles Times

Even in death, Charles Manson is proving to be troublesome for authorities.

A month after Manson died in a Bakersfield hospital, at least five people have stepped forward to claim his remains.

With so many parties vying for the body, the Kern County Counsel filed paperwork in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday asking the court to keep it abreast of any future claims. The coroner doesn’t want to release the remains to the wrong person and end up getting sued by someone else, the county’s attorney said.

CBS San Francisco Bay Area

STOCKTON (CBS SF) — An inmate with a distinctive tattoo who escaped from a Northern California prison work crew last month was re-captured in Stockton Thursday, authorities said.

Corey Hughes, 27, went missing from a crew in the area of Interstate 5 and Country Club Blvd. in Stockton on November 27, less than three months before his scheduled release date.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips



CALIFORNIA INMATES

Denise Ellen Rizzo, Tracy Press

The 400-year-old words of William Shakespeare came to life at Deuel Vocational Institution on Sunday when a small group of inmates performed “Henry IV, Part One.”

The performance — a first for the prison near Tracy — was part of the state’s Arts in Corrections program, which enabled 16 inmates to make their stage debut under the tutelage of Marin Shakespeare Company performers Kimberly Taylor and Pamela Kaplan.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

David Hernandez, The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Union-Tribune profiles a wanted suspect each week in an effort to make our community safer. We partner with Crime Stoppers and local law enforcement to profile known fugitives as well as draw attention to unsolved crimes. This week’s wanted suspect:
Alejandro Garcia Ruiz, 40

Wanted: Ruiz is wanted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for violating the terms and conditions of his parole. On parole for auto theft, Ruiz failed to register as a sex offender and removed his GPS monitoring device. His previous convictions include rape, burglary and possession of a controlled substance.

Nashelly Chavez, The Sacramento Bee

In an enforcement effort that stretched from San Francisco to Sacramento, police agencies have made 29 felony arrests and seized 211 firearms in what they’re calling a multi-agency operation targeting gang violence in the city and county of Sacramento, the Sacramento Police Department announced Wednesday.

The operation was triggered by an August drive-by shooting during an afternoon rap video shoot in Meadowview that left five injured and one dead. Community activists said the shooting was likely related to an online feud between Sacramento rappers and the gangs that follow them.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Olga Grigoryants, Los Angeles Daily News

Charles Manson’s body is at the center of controversy after his demise spurred claims by two men who say they have the right to inherit the mass-murderer’s belongings and bury his remains.

Santa Clarita resident Michael Channels, 52, met Manson in the Corcoran State Prison in the Central Valley in 2002 after sending him about 50 letters. A few months after their meeting, an envelope landed in the mail with a will that Channels says bequeathed the notorious serial killer’s possessions to his pen-pal.

SD Voyager

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cecelia Kouma.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Cecelia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always loved the written word and immersed myself in books from an early age, mostly to avoid the chaos of growing up with eight brothers and sisters. I loved imagining myself in each story, creating extra scenes in the worlds the authors created. When I discovered theatre in high school, I was overcome by the joy of sharing those worlds with other actors and then with a responsive audience. At the same time, I was drawn to education, first as a summer camp counselor and eventually as a teaching artist.

Sarah Ravani, Laredo Morning Times

A 16-month investigation led to the arrests of eight members of a notorious Bay Area gang who are facing a slew of charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree burglary, engaging in pimping and intimidating a witness, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Seven members of the Broad Day Klap gang were arrested in the Bay Area and one in Jackson, Miss., on Oct. 27 after investigators conducted 11 simultaneous search warrants and multiple prison searches, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said at a news conference in Martinez.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips



CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Allison Sanchez, Uproxx

My father doesn’t have a lot of happy memories from growing up. Williamsburg, Brooklyn wasn’t a hipster paradise in the 1950’s, it was a place where he got shot at on the playground, where gangs ruled, and where racial tensions often turned violent. My dad smoked a pack a day by 11, and, while he avoided the gang life that claimed some of his older brothers, was addicted to hard drugs by the time he was 14.

But there’s one idyllic part of my dad’s early years that he talks about with a smile: music. No matter what else was going on, he and his brothers would sing doo wop on the corner — their voices blending in harmony. Hearing his stories, I truly believe that, on many occasions, music saved my father’s life. When pain and drugs and crime surrounded him, music brought the beauty of the world back into focus, centered him, and gave him joy.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Oakland firefighter starts book drive for inmate fire crews

This year, firefighters have been on the front lines of some of the biggest wildfires in state history.

Among those risking their lives - 4,300 California inmates.

"We tend to do different types of operations but everyone is running the same risk the whole time," said Patrick Shaw, who is a seasonal firefighter with Cal Fire.

Brian Rokos, Riverside Press-Enterprise

A man living in a residence for criminal offenders in Upland removed his electronic monitoring device and was at large Tuesday, Dec. 19, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

Officials were looking for David Martel, 41, who was sentenced to five years in prison in 2015 after being convicted in San Bernardino County for possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm.

OPINION

Gilbert Bao for Voices of Monterey Bay

Ever since I can remember, my Nana cooked tamales during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The distinct aroma of boiling Colorado chiles, carne, and the fresh-made masa is as synonymous to the holiday season as the family gathering at Nana’s house.

Nana knew all the special places to get the ingredients to make her tamales. I would go with her to the Maravilla Carnicería and carry the large bowls for the masa — an important task for a young boy. The carnicería is located at the crossing of Arizona Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Avenue in East Los Angeles — a magical place with Chicano/Mexicano murals adorning the walls and loud Mexican corridos spilling into the air. As we entered, there were colorful piñatas hung from the ceiling and a good chance of Nana buying me some of the Mexican dulces they sold. My favorite were the chile paletas, an equivalent to the American lollipop or sucker, but flavored with hot chile.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA INMATES

ON CHRISTMAS Eve 15 years ago, an eight-months pregnant woman vanished, leaving a cloud of suspicion above her husband.
Laura Ingle, News.com.au

FIFTEEN years ago this Christmas Eve, the US turned its eyes and attention to Modesto, California, where 27-year-old Laci Peterson, eight months pregnant and ready to welcome her unborn son she had named Conner, had seemingly vanished.

It was 2002, and while many people were going about their plans for Christmas, family members and friends of Laci Peterson began a frantic search to find her, after her husband, Scott, said she was “missing”.

He called Laci’s mother Sharon Rocha in the early evening to ask if she was at their home, saying when he got home from a day of fishing Laci’s car was in the driveway and their dog was in the backyard with his leash on, and that Laci wasn’t home, Fox News reports.

David Shwenke Tupou, first accused in 1994, now faces more than three dozen charges
Sue Dremann, Palo Alto Weekly

A former Palo Alto elementary school volunteer and nanny accused of child molestation 23 years ago was arraigned on 34 counts of felony child molestation on Friday in Santa Clara County Superior Court in Palo Alto.

David Shwenke Tupou (aka David Tupou Schwenke), 50, was originally charged with two counts of child molestation on one Palo Alto girl and pleaded not guilty in April. But since then two other victims have come forward to testify they were also abused by him. During a Dec. 1 preliminary hearing, the three Palo Alto victims, who are also sisters, said Tupou molested them from 1991-1995 and in 1997-1999. The girls were 7 to 12 years old; 5 to 9 years old; and 4 to 8 years of age at the time of molestation, with the youngest girl again being molested between the ages of 9 and 12, prosecuting attorney Pinaki Chakravorty said. Tupou had lived in the girls' home while working as their nanny.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

MSN

There’s a tech incubator popping up, but it’s not in Silicon Valley—it’s inside San Quentin State Prison. The Last Mile program teaches inmates entrepreneurship skills with the goal that each participant founds a socially conscious, tech-forward company. Award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner goes inside the innovative non-profit and follows inmates as they work to craft a business plan, pitch their ideas in front of venture capitalists, and then, transition back into society.

DEATH PENALTY

Prosecutors say parents doused boy with pepper spray, forced him to eat his own feces and vomit, put cigarettes out on his skin and beat him with a bat
Joe Morgan, Gay Star News

A man will be sentenced to death for murdering his girlfriend’s eight-year-old son because he thought he was gay.

Isauro Aguirre, of Palmdale, Los Angeles, was found guilty of a series of brutal and horrifying acts.

The torture of Gabriel Fernandez, who died at eight years old, includes dousing the boy in pepper spray, forcing him to eat his own feces and vomit, putting cigarettes out on his skin and beating him with a bat.

PROPOSITION 57

Alayna Shulman and Chelcey Adami, Redding Searchlight

A teenager accused of killing two children and putting their bodies in a Redding storage unit will be tried as an adult, a judge decided Monday — a victory for prosecutors who said the teen's crimes were "much too serious" for juvenile sentencing, but who faced uncertainty over their ability to try him as an adult because of changes to California law.

Salinas resident Gonzalo Curiel was 17 when brother and sister Delylah, 3, and Shaun Tara, 6, were found dead in December 2015, officials have said. He and then-38-year-old girlfriend Tami Huntsman, the children's aunt, are accused of killing and torturing the siblings and also abusing an older sister of the victims.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Brinkwire

A line of cars stretched down Howard Street early Saturday morning as people arrived with firearms in their trunks to exchange for cash, no questions asked.

The gun buyback was organized by the violence prevention group United Playaz in conjunction with the San Francisco Police Department.

By noon, when the buyback ended, 280 firearms had been turned in — ranging from a bazooka to BB guns — and were heading to be disassembled, ground up and melted down by specialists at the Police Department. This more than doubled the number turned in last year and included 142 handguns, 80 rifles, 42 shotguns, seven assault rifles and other miscellaneous firearms.