Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Election 2012: Jails, probation benefit from Prop. 30

Election 2012: Jails, probation benefit from Prop. 30 Funds are guaranteed for county public safety. By Kurtis Alexander- The Fresno Bee Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 | 11:58 PM When voters passed Proposition 30 last week, schools were seen as the big winners, but they're not the only ones. Jails and probation offices got a boost too. The tax measure widely celebrated as a windfall for education includes a guarantee of public-safety funding for counties -- to manage the influx of criminals that the state has been shifting into county hands. Under Gov. Jerry Brown's year-old realignment program, counties now oversee low-level inmates and parolees once handled by the state. Money has been of top concern with the shift, as county leaders have struggled to beef up jails, probation programs and rehab services to oversee the additional offenders. "This funding guarantee is huge," said Linda Penner, Fresno County's chief probation officer. "I had a lot of confidence that Gov. Brown would provide money for our new responsibilities, but what if we got a new governor and a new Legislature? Absent this governor, we'd be at risk." Like Penner, many law enforcement leaders worried that managing extra criminals would become an unfunded mandate: State leaders would require the additional work, but not provide the money. While not everyone is happy about realignment, most are pleased that at least now it comes with the promise of cash. The Brown-sponsored Prop. 30 includes a constitutional amendment sending a slice of existing sales tax dollars and vehicle license fees to counties to cover realignment costs. More notably, the proposition increased the state sales tax and income tax to generate as much as $6 billion a year, most of it pledged for schools. Adding public-safety funding to the mix not only helped Brown honor his commitment to realignment but helped win broader support for the tax measure, which passed with 54% of Tuesday's vote. "Gov. Brown brought everybody to the table and very adroitly explained this is going to be good for everyone," said Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin, who was president of the California State Sheriff's Association when the group met with the governor about the initiative. This fiscal year, roughly $850 million will come to counties for the realignment, an amount expected to increase to more than $1 billion next year. Funding in future years will be proportional to state tax revenues. Counties are free to spend the money on their new criminal populations as they see fit. Brown introduced the realignment as a way to reduce overcrowding in state prisons. Because of it, county jails and probation departments have ended up with tens of thousands more felons under their watch. While Prop. 30 has been widely praised by the law-enforcement community, it hasn't solved all of the financial concerns associated with realignment. Many believe that the state money has fallen short. The financial problems have been particularly acute in the Valley, where local leaders say they haven't gotten their fair share of realignment funds. "We have greater protection that money will flow. Now it's about how we allocate that money among the 58 counties in a more equitable fashion," said John Navarrette, Fresno County's top executive. The formula that divvies out state realignment funding changed this year, and the 12 counties between Kern and San Joaquin ended up with a smaller percentage. Seven of nine Bay Area counties, by comparison, are getting a larger chunk. Leaders in Sacramento said the new distribution of realignment funds is not meant to hurt Valley counties. It's meant to help counties that already are lessening the state's prison load by investing in diversion programs. Programs such as electronic monitoring, house arrest and rehabilitation help divert people from prisons and cut down on repeat offenders. This week, the Kern County Board of Supervisors is expected to pass a resolution protesting the latest round of funding. A similar resolution is expected to go before Fresno County supervisors in December.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

California's prison population eclipsed by Texas

California's prison population eclipsed by Texas By DON THOMPSON, The Associated Press Wednesday, June 13, 2012 ArticleComments SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Everything is bigger in Texas, the saying goes, and that is now also true of that state's prison system. California used to have the nation's largest state prison system, with 173,000 inmates at its peak in 2006. But the state has sharply reduced its prison population since a law took effect last year shifting responsibility for less serious criminals to county jails. California now has fewer than 136,000 state inmates, while Texas has 154,000. The news comes as California corrections officials on Wednesday announced a new round of layoffs. They say fewer guards and other employees are needed as the inmate population shrinks. The inmate reduction was ordered by federal judges, who ruled that crowded prisons were causing poor care of sick and mentally ill inmates.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bill to Require Affluent Criminals to Reimburse State for Incarceration

Bill to Require Affluent Criminals to Reimburse State for Incarceration SACRAMENTO, CA – New legislation by Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) would require a court to order a criminal to reimburse the state for the cost of his or her incarceration if they are able. SB 1124 would lessen the stress on our state budget by defraying the costs of prison stays of those who have the resources to pay. “We hear about a Millionaire’s Tax, but what about the millionaires that we are paying to incarcerate? If someone convicted of a crime can afford to pay for their prison time, they should,” said Senator Cannella. “It’s unfair that we are making cuts to vital parts of the state budget that affect our most vulnerable, when many inmates who have the means to pay, stay free-of-charge.” The annual cost of incarcerating an inmate in a California state prison has more than doubled over the last twenty years. The bill would require a defendant to file a financial disclosure statement in order for the courts to determine the ability to pay for incarceration. While the courts currently have the authority to compel disbursement from a convicted defendant to the state for these expenses, this power is rarely used. “The California District Attorneys Association supports this effort to provide additional funding for our criminal justice system,” said Chief Executive Officer Scott Thorpe. “With the substantial new responsibilities that come with incarcerating more offenders locally, it is critically important that convicted defendants contribute toward the costs of the time they spend behind bars.” http://www.losbanoslive.com/paper/?p=956 Dutra's - The Paper Cannella Bill to Require Affluent Criminals to Reimburse State for Incarceration

How Inmates Manipulate the Staff

How to Work with Inmate Patients Part III: Watch for These Techniques Posted by Lorry Schoenly June 5, 2012 Inmates who seek to manipulate and control staff members use some common techniques to select their victims and start a con. Be on guard for these behaviors in your inmate patients and don’t be surprised when one of these techniques is used on you. Inmates can intentionally target vulnerable staff members and watch for an opportunity to intervene to their benefit. They have time to watch staff members and their interactions with other staff and inmates. Conversations and actions can be carefully prepared for maximum effect. They will, in particular, seek to compromise staff by seeing how far they can be moved to break rules. Even the smallest of rule infractions can be leveraged to their advantage. Requests can include a minor contraband item such as a bandaid or an alcohol wipe. They may ask for medication for a headache when the rule is to request a sick call appointment. This is why it is so important to fully understand security rules and be able to interpret them in various healthcare interactions. In particular, inmates will watch staff to determine weaknesses in how they perform their duties. For example, staff members will be observed for indications they are not satisfied with their job or have sloppy work habits. Staff who regularly arrive late to work, are easily distractible, or disgruntled are targets for inmate manipulation. Clothing and appearance also speak to a staff member’s attention to detail and interest in professional behaviors. Once a staff member is selected as a victim, a turn-out will begin. This can take place at an intentionally planned time or an opportunity may present itself based on a situation. In all cases, the turn-out takes place after successfully developing a relationship with staff through small requests, intimacies and favors such as ‘protecting’ the staff member (See Part I of this series). Once compromised the staff member is given a shopping list of contraband items desired by the inmate. If the victim refuses they are reminded of their many other rule infractions that will now be reported. Often staff are convinced this is a one-time request and they comply. However, this is the beginning of a long spiral downward into deeper and deeper compromise. Once at this point, staff have three options. Many comply; some resign their positions or transfer; a few self-report. Self-report is always the best, though hardest, choice to make. Be prepared and ever alert when providing nursing care to inmate patients. Not all of your patients are seeking staff victims, but some can be. Do you have an inmate patient story to share? How do you respond to these behaviors? Share your thoughts in the comment section of this post. Information in this series comes from a presentation given by Lori Roscoe, PhD, MPA, BSN, CCHP-RN at the Nursing Forum of the 2012 National Conference of the American Correctional Health Services Association (ACHSA). Dr. Roscoe is Executive Director of Clinical Services at CorrectHealth Companies and has great information for correctional nurses at her website The Correctional Nurse Educator.

How the innocent end up in prison

How the innocent end up in prison frhee@sacbee.com PUBLISHED SUNDAY, JUN. 10, 2012 Join the Conversation: Should additional reforms be made in California to prevent wrongful convictions and help those who are exonerated? To send a letter, go to www.sacbee.com/sendletter or go to our Facebook page. David Quindt can't escape the 15 months he spent in Sacramento County jail for a murder he didn't commit. He moved all the way to Hawaii for a fresh start, yet he doesn't want to completely forget. Each semester, he tells his story to law school students to "open their eyes" about how criminal justice in America can go terribly wrong. Now, Quindt has his own little piece of the new National Registry of Exonerations, the most complete database of its kind ever, about 900 cases since 1989 – and counting. These exonerations "point to a much larger number of tragedies that we do not know about" because there are many more people who are falsely convicted but aren't able to exonerate themselves, say those who compiled the registry at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University law schools. The registry is a big deal to those who try to help wrongly convicted people, and rightly so. They say it documents that there are common problems that cause the vast majority of false convictions: mistaken identifications by eyewitnesses, unfounded accusations and misconduct by law enforcement. "Here is proof," says Jeff Chinn, associate director of the California Innocence Project. While this is an immensely complicated issue, he and other advocates argue convincingly that there are some relatively simple, inexpensive solutions that could prevent many wrongful convictions, such as videotaping interrogations, changing identification procedures and improving training for police and prosecutors. Many of the fixes have the support of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which plans a summit on the issue in August. Those who unveiled the registry May 21 and issued a report analyzing the cases call for police, prosecutors and defense lawyers to work together to reduce false convictions. That doesn't seem too much to ask. Yes, we have an adversarial system of justice, but all sides should be able to agree that these miscarriages of justice are doubly devastating – innocent people lose years of their lives and the guilty go unpunished. Not everyone, though, is convinced that the registry is a call to action. National prosecutor groups are questioning whether the "exonerations" involve truly innocent people and argue that mistakes are rare and almost always unintentional. District Attorney Jan Scully, Sacramento County's top prosecutor for 18 years, says while such efforts are "laudable," they are also misleading because the rate of wrongful convictions is "infinitesimal," given how many criminal cases are filed each year. She worries that such reports can undermine public confidence in the justice system's integrity. In particular, she disputes that two of the three Sacramento County cases cited in the report are really exonerations, as the average person would understand the definition. • Case No. 1: Among "group exonerations" – not counted in the registry total – the report mentions the 2010 dismissal of drunken driving and other charges against 79 defendants because former Sacramento Police Officer Brandon Mullock is alleged to have mishandled the DUI stops and falsified reports. Scully, however, doesn't consider those drivers to be "exonerated" because they were in all likelihood guilty. She just couldn't make the charges stick without a credible witness. • Case No. 2: Gloria Marie Killian was found guilty of first-degree murder in a 1981 home invasion in Rosemont. In 2002, after 16 years in prison, she was granted a new trial by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that a prosecutor used perjured testimony and withheld evidence. Scully declined to put Killian on trial again, mainly because she was already eligible for parole and because key witnesses had died. But that doesn't mean she was innocent, the district attorney says. • Case No. 3: Quindt was convicted and faced a life sentence in the 1998 shooting death of 18-year-old Patrick Riley Haeling. A 15-year-old girl inside the Fair Oaks home identified Quindt as one of the gunmen, but another man later confessed. Scully agrees this is an exoneration. But she points out that Quindt was freed only through the efforts of one of her deputies, Mark Curry. He prosecuted Quindt, then after the trial, pursued an anonymous tip that led to the arrest of three new suspects, who were all later convicted or pleaded guilty. "The system worked," Scully told me. Reforms stymied in California Questions about whether the system works well enough have percolated for years in California. The California Innocence Project, created in 1999 at California Western School of Law in San Diego, has helped exonerate 10 people, most recently Brian Banks, a Long Beach high school football star whose rape conviction was dismissed last month and who is now trying out for the NFL. The Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University's law school has 11 exonerees to its credit since starting in 2001. In 2004, the Legislature created the state Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice to study wrongful convictions and find ways to prevent them. Before disbanding in 2008, it made a series of recommendations, but then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed bills to turn them into law. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed one reform suggested by the panel. Senate Bill 687 says a defendant can't be convicted based solely on the uncorroborated testimony of jailhouse informants, who are often unreliable. Some states and cities have reformed their eyewitness identification procedures, including "double-blind" lineups in which the officer conducting them doesn't know which of the photos or people is the suspect. But Scully, like some prosecutors, isn't convinced that such an overhaul would lead to a major improvement. She does agree with another of the exoneration report's recommendations – video recording interrogations to prevent false confessions. Recordings are standard in serious cases, she says. For more than a decade, Scully's office has worked with attorneys and the Innocence Project to do DNA testing when they present evidence casting doubt on a conviction. Since 2001, there have been 39 requests, but so far no exonerations. Like some other district attorneys, Scully also keeps a confidential list of law enforcement officers whose credibility is in question because of past transgressions. Senior staffers decide what to do when a case involves an officer on the list, which now includes 46 current and former officers from nine different agencies. Depending how crucial that officer's testimony is, Scully's office can decline to file charges, dismiss a case or disclose the issue to the defense and proceed. With those safeguards in place, Scully says she doesn't need a formal "conviction integrity unit" like those in some places, including Santa Clara County. "My whole office is an integrity unit," she says. Virginia Hench, a University of Hawaii law professor who brings Quindt in to speak, credits Scully's office for admitting it made a mistake in his case. "They usually fight tooth and nail," she says. Hench, who helped start the Hawaii Innocence Project, says her students learn a lot from Quindt. "It's pretty powerful to meet someone who went through that experience," she told me. After release from prison, then what? Like many of those exonerated, Quindt did not live happily ever after. The wrongly convicted often get less financial aid and other help than those who are guilty and paroled. That doesn't make sense. The fair justice commission called for more services to reintegrate them into society, including housing, clothing, job counseling and a cash allowance. Some of those who are exonerated receive compensation from the state if they were wrongly imprisoned. Quindt collected $17,200 – $100 for each of the 172 days he spent in jail after his conviction. He wanted $45,800, which also included his time behind bars awaiting trial. Some advocates for the exonerated say the maximum compensation ought to increase and claim the state Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board is too stingy in deciding these awards. Of 71 cases since 2000, the board has denied 48 claims and approved only 11, with payments totaling $3.6 million. Another 12 cases are pending. Quindt quickly spent his award and could have used additional assistance. "It's been a tough road," he told me. After twice attempting suicide while in custody, he walked out of jail in May 2000 and then had a bout with depression and had trouble finding work. Six months after his release, he walked into a robbery in progress at a Carmichael liquor store and was hit in the head with a beer bottle. Quindt testified and two men were convicted. After marrying his childhood sweetheart, Christy, things started looking up when he got work as a roofer and a mechanic. But he hurt his back and says he has been on disability ever since. In 2003, Quindt moved his family to Hawaii, where he just turned 35 and now has three children. "I just had to get away from all the trouble and all that happened to me," he told me. But trouble followed him. He says he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder from his jail time. In March, he was stabbed by a man he was trying to help in a drug outreach program and almost died. "I have bad luck," Quindt says, in what seems to be a colossal understatement. "I'm not really bitter. … It's just really sad." But wrongful convictions aren't a matter of mere bad luck. There are sensible steps that police and prosecutors across California ought to consider to avoid more David Quindts. IN PURSUIT OF INNOCENCE For more information about the National Registry of Exonerations, Innocence Projects in California and the administration of justice, go to: • National Registry of Exonerations: www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration • Northern California Innocence Project: http://law.scu.edu/ncip • California Innocence Project: www.californiainnocenceproject.org • California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice: www.ccfaj.org © Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/10/4549082/the-conversation-how-the-innocent.html

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Inmates sue over Pelican Bay 'sensory deprivation'

Inmates sue over Pelican Bay 'sensory deprivation' Bob Egelko Friday, June 1, 2012 Ten inmates held in isolation at California's Pelican Bay State Prison for more than a decade sued the state Thursday, saying their conditions - which deprived them of virtually all human contact and any meaningful chance for release - violate international standards against torture and inhumane treatment. The prolonged solitary confinement in the North Coast prison's Security Housing Unit is the harshest anywhere in the nation and "strips human beings of their basic dignity and humanity," the inmates said in a federal court suit in Oakland. A proposed class action on behalf of the unit's 1,000 inmates - half of whom have been there for more than a decade - seeks court orders limiting their stay in the unit to 10 years, requiring regular review and barring what the suit described as "sensory deprivation" and "environmental deprivation." The prison in a remote area of Del Norte County houses inmates classified as security risks, mostly because of gang activity. The suit said they are held in windowless concrete cells at least 22 1/2 hours a day, are fed through a slot, have no access to prison vocational or educational programs, sleep on a concrete bed with a lumpy mattress, and can be punished for trying to speak to other inmates. Most inmates have never been charged with gang-related conduct behind bars, their lawyers said, and are kept in the Security Housing Unit on flimsy evidence - a tattoo, some artwork in their possession, shaking hands with the wrong person, or inclusion in an undisclosed list by an unidentified informant. They said authorities have told them that the only way out of the unit is to "debrief'" - admit their gang ties and become an informer on other members. "We have been told repeatedly by prisoners that they are faced with a stark choice: debrief or die" in the security unit, said attorney Alexis Agathocelous of the Center for Constitutional Rights. The suit also alleged that state officials have adopted an unofficial but binding policy of denying parole to otherwise eligible prisoners while they are in the security unit. One inmate, George Ruiz, 69, placed in a security unit 28 years ago as a gang member, has been eligible for parole since 1993, but has been told repeatedly by parole boards that he will never be released while housed in the unit, the suit said. Asked about the suit, Jeffrey Callison, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said, "We do not have solitary confinement in California prisons." He noted that the inmates are allowed to have visitors on weekends and also have contact with prison staff. That is "preposterous," replied Agathocelous. Although prisoners can have two two-hour visits per weekend, he said, they can speak to their visitors only through Plexiglas and are prohibited from physical contact. The same complaints were the subject of two prison hunger strikes last summer and fall that spread to more than 6,000 inmates in 13 prisons. Afterward, state officials said they would ease some restrictions on prisoners' activities and on transfers out of security units, but inmates' representatives said Thursday the changes have been minimal. "Prison authorities have given them a handball in the recreation area, and prisoners can buy colored pencils" for artwork, said Marilyn McMahon, executive director of the advocacy group California Prison Focus. "But the major demand was to stop debriefing. The department has made it clear that they have no intention of ending that." Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: begelko@sfchronicle.com http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/06/01/BAEL1OR08L.DTL This article appeared on page C - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday, March 22, 2012

WANTED for Felony hit and run

WANTED for Felony hit and run [20001(a) VC] Suspect: Carrasco, Primitivo Reyes

Suspect: Carrasco, Primitivo Reyes
Sex: M
Descent: Hispanic
Height: 5'11
Weight: 175
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Date of Birth: Jun 9, 1976
Age in 1996: 20
DR#: 96-0128086
NCIC#: W804408851

WANTED FOR: Felony hit and run [20001(a) VC]

On December 27, 1996, at 0645 hours, the suspect was driving his vehicle eastbound on 9th Street when his vehicle collided with P-2, Sang Kim walking northbound in a crosswalk. As a result of the accident, Sang Kim sustained internal brain hemorrhaging and fractured ribs. The suspect failed to stop and identify himself or render aid to the victim.

On March 21, 1997, Sang Kim died as a result of his injuries sustained from the traffic collision. An arrest warrant for Felony Hit and Run resulting in death was issued for the suspect.

Several attempts to locate and serve the arrest warrant have failed. The Los Angeles Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating the suspect.

The suspect's last known address is 631 South Bonnie Brae, #212, Los Angeles Ca.

The suspect has prior addresses of 5809 Loma Vista Ave., #15, Maywood, Ca and 4500 Stover Street, #4, Collins, Co.

The suspect also has a misdemeanor warrant No. 854037419420 charging 40508 (A) VC Violation of Promise to Appear) and misdemeanor warrant No. 869562719420 charging 40508 (A) VC.


If you have information on this person contact:

Detective III Josephine Mapson, CTD, at 213-972-1840, or 213-972-1825. Also call the Central Traffic Watch Commander at 213-972-1853. During off hours call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

For full details, view this message on the web.