Monday, April 3, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Patricia Leigh Brown, The New York Times

SOLEDAD, Calif. — More than most artists, the men who gather twice a week for mural class in the B Facility are accustomed to darkness.

But the scene they are creating — a tropical rain forest — requires color and light, elements in short supply at Salinas Valley State Prison.

“I don’t have much of a legacy,” Jeffrey Sutton, who is serving 41 years for armed robbery, said of his life. “This is something positive that helps me focus on getting out,” he added, daubing flecks of green onto the leaves of a jungle vine.

The mural class for high-level offenders is part of a new initiative by the State of California to bring the arts — including Native American beadwork, improvisational theater, graphic novels and songwriting — to all 35 of its adult prisons, from the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near the Mexican border to Pelican Bay, the infamous supermax just shy of the Oregon line.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Hector Gonzalez, The Acorn

Despair and loneliness are common feelings for parents serving time in prison, but those emotions intensify when Mother’s Day and Father’s Day roll around, said Michelle Garcia.

She should know.

Six years ago, the Oxnard resident walked out of the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla after serving a fiveyear sentence for embezzlement. Garcia’s incarceration cost her family their home, she said, and resulted in strained relationships with her two oldest children, now 27 and 29, and her two teenage kids, 18 and 16, who attend Adolfo Camarillo High School,

“When I went through my experience, it was really hard,” Garcia said. “It was very difficult on my family, on my kids. After a few months of not seeing your child, not seeing their smiling face, it’s easy to lose hope. Fortunately, I had the support of my family to get me through it.”

Lewis Griswold, The Fresno Bee

Corcoran- Sales of flood insurance are booming here because of fears that the old Tulare Lake will fill when snowmelt comes crashing down the Kaweah, Kings and Tule rivers and pools in the lowest point in the San Joaquin Valley.

Although a levee protects Corcoran, local officials started to worry about flooding when a survey in February showed that it had sunk two feet in two years due to land subsidence.

In a worst-case scenario, a fast snowmelt would overfill the lake and flood Corcoran, said Dustin Fuller, general manager of the Cross Creek Flood Control District.

Several sheriffs said their resistance is not rooted in ethical or political opposition but legal concerns
Joel Rubin and Paloma Esquivel, The Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Adam Christianson makes no bones about helping federal immigration agents nab people for deportation.

The three-term sheriff of Stanislaus County, east of the Bay Area, gives agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement unfettered access to his jails, where they interview inmates and scroll through computer databases. The information allows the agents to find and take custody of people they suspect of living in the country illegally before they are released from jail.

There is a line, however, Christianson won’t cross.

ICE officials routinely ask local jailers and state prison wardens to keep inmates behind bars for up to two days longer than they would otherwise be locked up. Christianson refuses to honor the requests — detainers in ICE parlance.

Brian Day, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

WHITTIER >> Families bearing wounds owned only by those who have seen loved ones’ lives cut short by homicide gathered Sunday to support each other and renew their resolve to pursue justice, both in their own cases and others, during the 33rd Justice For Homicide Victims Memorial in Whittier.

Law enforcement officials and victims’ rights advocates shared their personal experiences and called for stronger protections for victims and their families, as well as stronger penalties for convicted killers in front of the permanent, marble Homicide Victims’ Memorial that stands in tribute to all those who lost their lives to violence at Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary.

OPINION

Thomas D. Elias, LA Daily News

There is little doubt about who killed Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer in late winter, or how he died: Authorities quickly identified ex-convict Michael Christopher Mejia as the culprit, also suspected of killing his cousin and stealing the cousin’s car.

But there is plenty of debate over who and/or what is responsible for Boyer’s death.

“There’s blood on the hands of Gov. [Jerry] Brown,” trumpeted state Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, in a press release two days after the incident. He blames Brown and other Democrats for “early-release laws that ended in the…preventable death of Officer Boyer.”

But the main law in question, Proposition 47, wasn’t simply the work of Brown and his Democratic cohorts in the Legislature. Voters are ultimately responsible for its consequences — they passed the measure by a 59-41 percent margin in 2014, a landslide by anyone’s definition.

Austill Stuart, The Orange County Register

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rescinded a Department of Justice memo issued last fall that had called on the Bureau of Prisons to phase out its use of private prisons. While Sessions’ reversal only affects some federal prisons, it is nonetheless a good thing for California’s ability to continue to address its own prison capacity and recidivism challenges.

While the Bureau of Prisons utilizes just one federal private prison in this state (the Taft facility outside of Bakersfield), California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sends 4,400 inmates to privately operated prisons in other states, while also housing nearly 2,000 people in privately operated community corrections facilities within the state.