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January 8, 2014
Re "Baca plans to retire, sources say," Jan. 7 The resignation of Lee Baca as sheriff of Los Angeles County is, in theory, a great step forward in accountability. But this is not the end of our community's struggle to find a humane balance in the treatment of incarcerated people in our jails. Inside Men's Central Jail, which the Sheriff's Department operates, scores of people languish in inhumane conditions. Fathers, sons, brothers and sisters (referring to transgender inmates)
January 7, 2014 | Matt Pearce
It's been freezing almost everywhere this week, but it got so cold in Kentucky that an escaped inmate asked to be taken back to prison. The strange tale began Monday morning, when Maurice King, the 61-year-old manager of the Sunset Motel in Lexington, heard a knock on the door at the motel. Standing outside, in a wind chill of about 18 degrees below zero, was Robert Vick, 42, wearing a pair of ripped-up jeans and a khaki prison jumpsuit. Authorities said he'd escaped the Blackburn Correctional Complex about three miles away just the night before.
January 3, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - A group of armed men posing as public servants talked their way into a prison in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero early Friday and unleashed a bloody attack on inmates and guards, according to the state prosecutor's office. At least nine people were killed in the assault and the ensuing shootout with prison guards. The attack occurred in the city of Iguala, about halfway between Mexico City and the Pacific Coast resorts of Acapulco. It came less than two months after Mexico's national human rights commission issued a report that detailed the wretched state of the country's penal system, noting that 65 of the nation's 101 most crowded prisons are effectively under inmate control.
January 1, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SAN QUENTIN - The scene was almost indistinguishable from that in any other newsroom. Editors sat around chatting about the next issue and tinkering with stories. Front pages were tacked up on the walls, and family photos were taped to computer terminals. But in fact this newspaper office was unlike almost any other, obvious from the dress code: Staff members wore the standard blue uniform of California prison inmates. When the phone rang, the answer was a crisp, "Hello, San Quentin News.
December 27, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- How do new inmates cope with the lack of privacy in prison? What advice would an inmate give someone facing a long prison sentence? What are the effects of incarceration on inmates' families? All good questions, none of which had good answers online -- until recently. Through a partnership with the Last Mile, a high-tech incubator at San Quentin , question-and-answer service Quora has made it possible for inmates to make their voices heard on social media.
December 27, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A minimum-security inmate has escaped from the Acton Conservation Camp in Los Angeles County, a fire camp that houses some inmates who help battle brush fires across the state. Miguel Velasquez, 22, was last seen Thursday just before midnight during an inmate count, according to a news release from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Authorities did not describe how he escaped and simply said he "walked away. " Velasquez was serving a sentence for vandalism and criminal gang activity and was due to be released in March 2016.
December 27, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN QUENTIN - North of Silicon Valley on a rocky promontory overlooking San Francisco Bay stands California's oldest prison. Inmates here are cut off from the innovation the nearby high-tech industry produces. They are not permitted on the Internet, and most have never touched a smartphone or a tablet. But two technology veterans - Chris Redlitz and Beverly Parenti - are bringing the promise of Silicon Valley to San Quentin State Prison by creating a high-tech incubator here called the Last Mile.
December 22, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel
On a barren stretch of road on the edge of Irvine, a tasteful brown sign topped with a whimsical orange bicycle announces that a long-anticipated addition to the city is finally underway: the thousands of elegant new homes around the perimeter of the city's planned Great Park. The park itself will also soon grow, now that a plan to build 688 acres has been approved. And a long-awaited high school nearby is expected to open in 2016. Just down the road, another long-stalled project is also finally underway - the addition of hundreds of jail beds to a county lockup once so rustic it was known as "The Farm.
December 18, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
An oven exploded at a jail in Northern California this week, critically hurting one inmate and injuring 10 others, including a guard. The natural-gas explosion occurred at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. The oven's door, which measures 7 by 3 feet and weighs several hundred pounds, flew off in the explosion and hit an inmate kitchen worker in the head, Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson  told the San Francisco Chronicle . "You could see a very heavy stainless steel door that is on the ground and, obviously, it knocked a few things down along its path," Nelson said.
December 17, 2013 | Jack Leonard and Robert Faturechi
Two Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeants accused of lying to federal investigators secretly recorded a confrontation with an FBI agent outside the agent's home, a federal prosecutor said in court Monday. Assistant U.S. Atty. Brandon Fox said Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Craig also left a voicemail for the agent's supervisor, saying the agent was named in a criminal complaint. Craig and Sgt. Maricella Long later went to the agent's home and told her she was going to be arrested as a result of the complaint, Fox said.
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