August 24th, 2012

Get an inside look at California’s forgotten prison population.

Under federal court order to reduce overcrowding in state prisons, California is now releasing thousands of prisoners or transferring them to county jails. But the rapidly aging and dying prisoners confined to state prison hospices are often left behind. As many as 3,300 inmates in the U.S. die in prison every year.

March 12th, 2012
There’s well over 400,000 gang members in the state of California, and those gang members frequently come to prison, and they bring their street gang politics.
Corrections Undersecretary Terri McDonald. McDonald commented on the change of policies where now state inmates with alleged ties to prison gangs will no longer be routinely locked in isolation units. Prisoners assigned to the controversial facilities will face shorter mandatory terms, according to policies unveiled today by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The new regulations also expand the classification system used to determine which inmates are locked in the Security Housing Units. Under current rules, an inmate must be identified or “validated” as a member of one of seven prison gangs. The new policy would target dangerous members of any group considered a threat to prison security, including street gangs, prison gangs and extremist groups.
September 28th, 2011
Reblogged from New America Media
June 20th, 2011

According to the Los Angeles Times, “a new analysis of the death penalty’s costs says that taxpayers have spent more than $4 billion on capital punishment in California since it was reinstated in 1978, or about $308 million for each of the 13 executions carried out since then …” Read more.

June 20th, 2011

A new Field Poll survey found that 74 percent of registered voters in California would support altering the three-strikes law (the graphic above has the full results). And they may have their chance.

The San Jose Mercury News reported last week that a group is crafting ballot language and seeking high-profile endorsements for an initiative that would require that a third strike result only from a serious or violent felony conviction. Under California’s law, a third strike can be assessed for any felony, at times bringing sentences of 25 years to life prison for those convicted of crimes like petty theft.

May 11th, 2011
The San Diego County district attorney’s office is filing a civil lawsuit that seeks to nullify Arnold Schwarzenegger’s commutation of a prison sentence for a political ally’s son shortly before his term as California governor ended in January.
May 4th, 2011
Reblogged from Los Angeles Times
April 22nd, 2011
“They (contraband phones) come in through many ways – staff, vendors, contractors, packages, visitors, outside work crews. We have found them in the garbage, in cereal boxes, in hollowed out Bibles, in shoes, in footballs, in body cavities, in a can of food.” - Terry Thornton, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
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California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.