Friday, June 30, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Today Show

A new podcast about life inside California’s notorious San Quentin State Prison, apparently the first produced entirely inside the walls of a federal or state prison, is becoming an unlikely hit. NBC News’ Joe Fryer reports for TODAY.

KSBY

A convicted murderer serving time at the California Men's Colony (CMC) has died, officials confirm to KSBY News.

Correctional Lieutenant and CMC spokesperson Monica Ayon says Randy Kidwell was pronounced dead shortly after 11:00 p.m. Wednesday by a doctor after an ambulance was requested at the state prison located in San Luis Obispo.

New York Daily News

Prisoners at San Quentin State Prison have been playing baseball since the 1920s. Starting in 1994, the inmates started playing against players from outside the prison. San Quentin now has two baseball teams, the San Quentin Athletics and the San Quentin Giants. Branden Terrel is pictured in his cell showing off his baseball glove at San Quentin State Prison on June 8, 2017.

Ken Ritter, The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada man who insisted for 23 years that he didn't kill a fast-food restaurant manager in Las Vegas is being freed from prison following a confession by a man imprisoned in California, authorities said Thursday.

DeMarlo Berry, now 42, is due for release Friday after a state court judge in Las Vegas dismissed his murder conviction in the April 1994 slaying of Charles Burkes and his 1995 sentence to life in prison without parole.

CDCR News

LOS ANGELES — California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are looking for Brandon Garcia, 36, who walked away from the Male Community Re-entry Program (MCRP) facility in Los Angeles on Thursday June 29, 2017.

An emergency search was conducted after being notified at approximately 6:23 p.m. that Garcia’s GPS device had been tampered with and the GPS tracking device was located on the roof of the fire department station near his last location.  Garcia was not located in the immediate area. 

Notification was immediately made to local law enforcement agencies. Within minutes, agents from CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety were dispatched to locate and apprehend Garcia.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

After the CDCR was ordered to improve its medical and mental health care facilities, the agency embraced eco-friendly construction
Doug Wyllie, Corrections One

That California's state prison system is a national leader in energy-efficient building construction, resource conservation and renewable power isn't surprising. Rather it’s the unusual path the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation took – forced by legal decisions and voter ballot initiatives – to become a leader in eco-friendly correctional facility design.
Lawsuits fuel path to eco-friendly construction

A couple of decades ago in California, two class action lawsuits – Coleman v. Wilson (now Brown) and Plata v. Schwarzenegger (now Brown) – were combined because they shared a common problem. Each case was based on the assertion that tougher sentencing laws imposed in the 1980s created overcrowding issues that prevented CDCR from providing adequate medical and mental health treatment.

Many argue that Prop 47 and 57 have done little to reduce the inmate population in California, and that those initiatives were more of a vocal public endorsement of rehabilitation efforts
Doug Wyllie, Corrections One

Much has been made of the efforts in California to confront the overcrowding problem in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities by setting a population limit, reclassifying some felonies as misdemeanors and realignment with the county jails.

A prison population reduction was mandated by court decisions in two different class action lawsuits that said the overcrowding in CDCR facilities led to inadequate mental health and medical care.

Debate continues over measures like AB109 and Propositions 47 and 57 – as well as the various initiatives mandated by Governor Jerry Brown – aimed at lowering the number of inmates housed by the CDCR.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Dartanyan Mendola, Crime Voice

MILPITAS — The Milpitas Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect wanted in a June 11, 2017, strong arm robbery. According to Milpitas Police, “At approximately 7:32 A.M., the Milpitas Police Department received a call of a strong-arm robbery that just occurred at the Larkspur Landing hotel on Ranch Drive.”

During this time the suspect, 35-year-old Sunnyvale resident Dartanyan Mendola, approached an employee working the counter at the hotel and claimed he had lost his keys. According to Milpitas Police, as the employee tried to help Mendola find his keys, Mendola began to try and take the employee’s keys from his hand. Failing to remove the keys from the employee, Mendola released his grip, ending the struggle.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Nathalie Granda, ABC 30 News

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- An emotional ending to a several yearlong case-- Kalena Olson and Sergio Zamora listened at a Merced judge read out their fate.

The couple was charged in the death of two-year-old Hennesey Fagin, and also for abusing another child. They were sentenced to 13 years in prison Thursday after they pleaded no contest to their charges back in December of last year.

"Both defendants entered pleas to child abuse and causing great bodily injury or death to a child, as well as a second count of child abuse for the second child involved in this case," said Steven Slocum, Merced County District Attorney's Office.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Tony Reed, The Del Norte Triplicate

Furniture, desks and boxes lined the corridors and rooms of one of Pelican Bay State Prison’s Secure Housing Units (SHU) this week as personnel worked to convert it to a General Population (GP) area. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff have been implementing the changes as a result of Ashker v. Brown, a lawsuit related to the conditions of confinement at the prison’s SHU. The changes will focus on fixed segregated housing terms for behavior-based violations.

“These changes lessened CDCR’s reliance on long-term segregated housing for managing gang-validated inmates and reduced the need for 992 SHU beds at Pelican Bay State Prison and California State Prison-Corcoran,” according to information provided. The budgeted work will convert 480 vacant vacant SHU cells

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Feb. 4, 1973 - June 20, 2017
Union Democrat

Paul Derek Baker, former resident of Tuolumne County, passed away unexpectedly at home on June 20, 2017. He was 44 years old.

Paul Derek was born on Feb. 4, 1973, in Sonora, California. He attended Curtis Creek Elementary school and Sonora High School. He married the love of his life, Monica on Aug. 16, 2008.

Growing up, Paul Derek enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing with his family. With his wife Monica by his side he loved attending San Francisco Giants and Oakland Raiders games. They traveled as much as possible taking trips to Jamaica in August 2013, Hawaii in February 2014 and August 2016, Greece in May 2016 and Puerto Vallarta in April 2017. Paul Derek especially loved cooking barbecue, beer and wine tasting, and eating good food with friends and family.

OPINION

Susan Burton, Daily News

Earlier this month, California reached an important milestone in its fight against mass incarceration: $103 million was awarded to local public agencies to expand mental health, addiction treatment and support services for those returning home from prison.

These programs will soon be available thanks to Proposition 47, which voters approved in 2014 to bring common sense back to the justice system. California stopped sending people to state prison for low-level offenses like drug possession, shoplifting and writing bad checks.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Matt Fountain, The San Luis Obispo Tribune

Nearly 22 years after three teens killed 15-year-old Arroyo Grande resident Elyse Pahler in a gruesome Satanic ritual, the District Attorney’s Office is attempting to recover money for the victim’s family, which continues to suffer from the crime.

The 1995 killing attracted national media attention for its brutal and disturbing nature, as well as an unsuccessful attempt by the Pahler family to sue the heavy metal band Slayer, whose music was cited as an inspiration for the murder.

The three men convicted of first-degree murder — Royce Casey, Jacob Delashmutt and Joseph Fiorella, who were between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time — have been serving their respective 25- and 26-years-to-life sentences at separate facilities in Southern and Central California.

Mike Chapman , Record Searchlight

Homeowners in a rural neighborhood just north of Redding have firefighters – and a south wind – to thank for saving their homes during a vegetation fire that broke out Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was reported at 1:22 p.m. in grass, brush and trees near Vista Pine Lane and Beltline Road, off Oasis Road, near railroad tracks. The fire quickly grew to 2 acres as the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection dispatched two air tankers with a spotter plane and a water-dropping helicopter along with ground crews. The fire grew to about 7 acres before it was contained.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Rodney Alamo Brown, The Richmond Standard

The people of Richmond have proven in recent years that we can work together to build a safer community that focuses upon opportunity and education. Together, we began to reach out to our young people and to bring people from all over the city to one place, including the warring factions, in order to successfully shed the city’s past reputation for being one of the nation’s most dangerous.

One important piece in sustaining Richmond’s vastly reduced crime rate is to ensure those who once wreaked havoc on our city can share in these opportunities, an effort that will require both atonement and reconciliation.

KYMA

CALIPATRIA, Calif. - A woman was arrested Saturday after allegedly attempting to smuggle heroin into Calipatria State Prison over the weekend.

The Investigative Services Unit staff was monitoring surveillance equipment on Facility “A” when they were alerted to 45-year-old Griselda Munoz Vasquez who was at the Visiting Foyer area attempting to enter the visiting room to visit with inmate David Vasquez convicted of robbery.

Officials said Griselda Vasquez was acting suspiciously. ISU staff approached Vasquez and while attempted to speak with her, observed an object in her mouth. Vasquez removed two bindles from her mouth and handed them over to the ISU staff.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

South Tahoe Now

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Correctional Safety Fugitive Apprehension Team arrested 25-year-old Alexander Childs in Sacramento Tuesday.

Childs was a parolee-at-large as his parole had been suspended for absconding and a warrant was issued for his arrest on May 19, 2017. El Dorado County Sheriff's deputies and other South Lake Tahoe area law enforcement had been looking for Childs after he said he was in the Meyers area on Thursday.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

John Myers, The Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown placed his signature Tuesday on a $183.2-billion state budget, a spending plan that boosts public schools and programs aimed at California’s less fortunate while stashing away an additional $1.8 billion in the state’s long-term cash reserves.

The budget is the first crafted since President Trump’s election and includes money for a few programs that Democrats insisted were a necessary response to the changing political times. Most notably, it includes $50 million to provide legal services for immigrants facing deportation.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA INMATES

Chisom Oraedu, Peninsula Press

On Sept. 8, 1996, Lucious Jackson was sentenced to 28 years and 8 months in prison. The charge? Burglary for the sale of stolen property.

Jackson spent the latter portion of his prison sentence in San Quentin State Prison — the oldest prison in California, notorious for having the largest death row population in the United States. But the San Quentin of today is a much different picture.

“Some people who’ve never been to San Quentin and have only heard about it on the news, they know the stories. They hear the history. They don’t know what San Quentin is today,” Jackson said. “If you go to San Quentin, you have no choice but to succeed. Unless you didn’t want to.”

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Bakersfield Now

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A Kern County man is in custody in Arizona, accused in a Bakersfield murder.

Rigoberto Sanchez and the man he allegedly killed were both corrections officers at the state prison in Tehachapi.

Edwin Lima, 31, was shot May 28 at an apartment on Valleyview Drive.

Police said Monday that they've been able to establish Sanchez, 39, as the suspect.

Fox 6 News

SAN FRANCISCO — A proposed bill in California would give kids in juvenile facilities the right to internet access, and Facebook is throwing its support behind it.

“Many teens are placed in locations far from their homes and families, making availability of electronic communication to maintain supportive relationships even more important,” Ann Blackwood, Facebook policy head for western states, wrote in a letter supporting the bill.

Ryan McCarthy, Daily Republic

VACAVILLE — A $180 million budget goes before City Council members Tuesday with information about costs to add 11 police officers.

Council members asked for a report about the costs, including equipment and vehicle, which would total $2.8 million the first year to add seven officers and four detectives.

The City Council during a June 13 budget study session cited concerns over rising crime rates because of state legislation releasing inmates from California prisons.

OPINION

Ukiah Daily Journal

Words matter, we often hear in these days of a President notorious for loose verbiage.

They also matter in the California Penal Code, where the label “violent” is not applied to many crimes most people with common sense would unquestionably define as violent. Some examples: assault with a deadly weapon, soliciting murder, elder and child abuse, arson, human trafficking, plus some forms of rape and forced sodomy.

That word “violent,” or in this case “non-violent” matters more than ever since the last year’s passage of Proposition 57, a pet project of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Matt Hamilton and Richard Winton, The Los Angeles Times

Charles Manson follower Patricia Krenwinkel lost her latest bid for freedom on Thursday as parole hearing commissioners rejected a request by the state’s longest-serving female inmate to be released after a hearing in Corona.

The decision is the latest in a long series of repeated denials by Krenwinkel to secure parole on her conviction in a murderous rampage with Manson and other so-called Manson family members. But late last year, her attorney asserted new claims that Krenwinkel suffered abuse at Manson’s hands before the murders.

A Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman said Krenwinkel will be eligible to apply for parole again in five years.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

CDCR News

SAN DIEGO – Two correctional officers were treated and released from a local hospital after being attacked by an inmate Wednesday at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD).

At around 1 p.m. June 21, a correctional officer was escorting inmate Lucious Wilson, 38, out of a building when Wilson lunged at the officer and began punching him in the face. The officer immediately began to defend himself from Wilson’s attack and attempted to strike back with his own fists. Other staff in the area observed the attack and immediately ran over to assist in restraining Wilson. After a struggle on the ground, the officers were able to subdue and restrain the inmate.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Jennifer Bonnett, Lodi News-Sentinel

The City of Galt will set aside money specifically for the city-owned firing range and create an inter-fund loan repayment schedule so the annual budget can include appropriate maintenance, operating and property lease expense.

A use agreement approved in May 2015 paid for range upgrades, but funds from the general budget have been needed to continue with other improvements.