California Prisons in the News


While Governor Brown protests ( read…cries) over the mandate handed down by the three Judge panel, one thing is certain- all 33 prisons in California remain critically over crowded. Brown and CDCr will make the best choice for public safety in releasing prisoners, which should be- releasing the lifer prisoners who sentenced indeterminate sentences. Meaning those that have done their time, plus many, many more YEARS, non violent drug offenders ( who should never have been sent to prison in the first place) and those who pose no danger to the public -the medically incapacitated.

FILE -- In this Aug. 3, 2006 file photo, inmates are housed in three-tier bunks, in what was once a multi-purpose recreation room, at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif.  Crowding in state prisons has been reduced under a two-year-old state law that is sending less serious offenders to county jails instead of state prisons. Gov. Jerry Brown faces a midnight deadline of May 2, to say how the state will further reduce its inmate population. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli

FILE — In this Aug. 3, 2006 file photo, inmates are housed in three-tier bunks, in what was once a multi-purpose recreation room, at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif. Crowding in state prisons has been reduced under a two-year-old state law that is sending less serious offenders to county jails instead of state prisons. Gov. Jerry Brown faces a midnight deadline of May 2, to say how the state will further reduce its inmate population. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli

Brown and CDCr together will releases prisoners who will go on to re-offend, then scream “you see! this is what happens when you release prisoners early!!” The bottom line here is they want prisoner release to fail. It all comes down to the money… do not be fooled into thinking its about safety. They have viable choices and clearly it is not about public safety.  62 prisoners have died needless and preventable deaths from Valley Fever since 2005. Those are the ones we KNOW about. Suddenly its a public emergency and isbeing addressed. When Prison Reform Movement wrote to then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Center for Constitutional Rights, and Human Rights Watch ( back in 05) it was a public health emergency then too. And NOW they want to take some action? How ridiculous is this? How do we explain to the families who have lost their loved ones? Inadequate medical care is no excuse.

Pleasant Valley Prison in Coalinga was built on a former dump site. The hospital directly behind that prison is also built on that same contaminated soil. The state has known about this for years…and done nothing. Not only are prisoners at risk, the staff at both facilities, as well as visitors.  On a positive note, the prisoners being kept in Solitary at Pelican Bay filing a class action law suit. IMO, all prisoners locked up in California should take part in a HUGE class action lawsuit against CDCr, the state and the receiver. Sue them all, force them to finally clean things up, once and for all.

Avenal State Prison

California corrections officials say they are still trying to develop a plan to cope with outbreaks of soil-borne valley fever at two prisons, including Avenal. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation / April 29, 2013) Via LA TIMES

 

 

Here is a round up of articles detailing the incidents of this past week. I ask you all, where is the outrage?

Solitary confinement inmates seek class-action status

 

California details plans to reduce prison crowding

 

California ordered to move prisoners at risk of valley fever

 

Advocates for CA inmate rights blast Jerry Brown’s prison plan

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6 thoughts on “California Prisons in the News

  1. My son Jeremy Stewart is currently in a California State Prison for 70 years for burglary of an unoccupied residence. In CA we have a three strikes law that can easily lock people up for life especially the poor and uneducated. We also have a mandatory check the box if you have a criminal record/felon on all employment applications. This little box basically ruins the possibility of obtaining an interview with these conditions our recurrent crime rate is bound to go up. Our economy makes it difficult to find work especially if you have a drug conviction on your back ground check or a criminal record. Everyone has basic needs like housing and food. Desperate times create hardships leading to foolish actions. Imagine having a small child at home with another on the way, your rent is due and there is little food in the refrigerator. Housing is expensive in California and Social services only allow $575.00 a month for a family of two yet rent is $800.00 a month plus you have an electric bill. These are the reason burglary is on an incline and yet our states defines these actions as “SERIOUS” Penal Codes.
    California’s current law was changed by voters in November 2012 to reform this law with Proposition 36 and decrease prison time. However, “Serious nonviolent crimes “as defined by state law DO NOT qualify for this sentence reduction. Many will be left behind to rot in prison for life unless our Legislators wake up and realize more needs to be done to undo this crazy law. Young men often make many mistakes before they mature especially when they live in Poverty. The CA Three Strikes law is allowing private prison industries to profit off the weak. We need more education, job training programs and for our community to stop punishing those who have already served their time for their crimes with the “little box”. Legislators need to take a closer look at the Penal Codes. Years ago when someone entered a home with the intend to steel in a unoccupied dwelling this crime was listed as “Breaking and Entering” and could be as simple as a misdemeanor or a Plain Felon without the term Serious. To house. feed, cloth and provide medical care for my son’s 70 year prison term will cost 3.5 million. This is the price for just for one inmate who stole property worth a $2,000.00. There are thousands more just like him serving life offense which our state mandates tax payer to pay for. Yes, I believe Jeremy should repay his victims and serve time. A responsible term is 6 to 8 which still seems like a life time to a 24 year old. Fair Punishment. Let the Time fit the Crime. 70 years is just crazy and stupid justice leading to the destruction of California’s economy. Check out http://WWW.FACTS1.net
    Thank you,
    Elizabeth Stewart

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  2. PRM did extensive research on this very issue back in 2005. The illnesses & DEATHS reported THEN were staggering. Many noted persons jumped on the bandwagon to help us make a racket. Yet, nothing was done- we were met with a standard form ‘nice nice’ letter from Schwarzenegger and complete silence from CDCr.

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  3. Unbelievable how horrible California actually is. No surprise that no one is giving a hoot about the safety and health of those incarcerated in Pleasent Valley. Looking at the justice system, it’s pretty incredible to think that America is so great. We’re not, we’re probably the most judgmental and awful people there are.

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