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The county's top prosecutor and other elected officials shared a podium with youthful offenders Friday to oppose state budget cuts that could cripple the state's youth camp system, particularly in Los Angeles County. The hearing, held at Camp Karl Holton, a juvenile probation camp in the Angeles National Forest north of San Fernando, was called by Assemblywoman Paula L. Boland (R-Granada Hills) in response to Gov.
April 26, 2014 | By Susan King
There's never been a TV series quite like "The Prisoner," which premiered in England in 1967 and debuted in the U.S. the summer of 1968 on CBS. Best described as James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka, the cult series revolved around a British secret agent (Patrick McGoohan) who wants to resign from the service. Deemed too dangerous to retire, they kidnap him and send him to an idyllic, though completely isolated, seaside resort called the Village. There residents are assigned numbers instead of names and their every movement is followed by monitoring systems and security forces.
September 20, 1994
It is coming to this: We will have to build more prisons, push the convicts out and lock ourselves in. PAUL DUCHON Laguna Hills
April 24, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
A former partner at the Los Angeles office of accounting giant KPMG was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for giving confidential information about his firm's clients to a golfing buddy, who used it to make more than $1 million in profits by trading those companies' stocks. Scott London, 51, pleaded guilty to insider trading last year, admitting that he repeatedly tipped off a friend to the secrets of several KPMG clients, including Herbalife Ltd. and Skechers USA Inc., from 2010 to 2012.
June 28, 2013 | By Ted Rall
A trio of federal judges ordered Gov. Jerry Brown to immediately begin freeing state inmates and waived state laws to allow early releases, threatening the governor with contempt if he does not comply. Citing California's "defiance," "intransigence" and "deliberate failure" to provide inmates with adequate care in its overcrowded lockups, the judges said Brown must shed 9,600 inmates -- about 8% of the prison population -- by the end of the year. ALSO: Photo gallery: Ted Rall cartoons Paula Deen is still trying to poison us Goodbye and good riddance to Prop.
April 16, 2013
Re "Brown vows fight over prisons," April 13 Federal courts have found the overcrowding and inmate healthcare in California's prisons intolerable, even though Gov. Jerry Brown says officials are "doing the best job possible. " Maybe they're both right and it's the justice system itself that is beyond correction and rehabilitation. Our high-imprisonment system has taken decades to build. It has been fed by harsher sentences without regard for recidivism or public safety; guilty pleas extorted from low-level offenders under pressure from multiple charges that carry long prison terms; the addiction of law enforcement and elected officials to the war on drugs; and released offenders who can't get a job or the public assistance they need to live.
July 18, 2013 | By Paige St. John
California corrections officials have barred a prominent legal advocate from visiting prison inmates, saying they are investigating unspecified threats created by one of her volunteers. Marilyn McMahon, executive director of California Prison Focus, on Wednesday said she was sent a fax informing her that her access to inmates participating in a statewide hunger strike - as well as inmates anywhere else in the state - has been cut off. In addition to advocating on behalf of inmates, McMahon is a member of the mediation team assembled to work as a go-between state corrections officials and protest leaders.
January 7, 2010
In his final State of the State address, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said California must shift its funding priorities from prisons to universities, and The Times couldn't agree more. A world-class, affordable system of higher education was part of what turned a state with remarkable potential in the 1940s into the global capital of scientific, cultural and economic achievement over the last half a century. Any society that spends more on incarcerating its people than providing them university educations won't long remain in its ascendancy.
July 22, 1998
Re Franklin Zimring's July 16 commentary on prisons: I am sick and tired of reading about the concern the so-called elite, the media, judges and elected officials have for criminals. Our prisons should be one of the most undesirable places possible. Criminals should be placed in them for long periods of time for a first offense. E. JOHN WALKER San Pedro
March 16, 2005
Re "Crowding at Prisons Has State in a Jam," March 13: There appears to be no easy solution to the crowding of prisons as long as the district attorneys and judges want to sentence people to as long a term as is legal. In addition, parole boards have not gotten more reasonable with overcrowding. One idea that might work would be to have parole bonds -- similar to bail bonds -- that would encourage the release of marginal cases and provide incentive for the released prisoners not to violate their paroles.
April 23, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - Iran replaced its top prison administrator Wednesday after public protests alleging excessive violence against inmates at a prison that holds inmates detained for political crimes. The semiofficial Fars News Agency reported that Gholam Hosein Esmaeli was removed from his position as director of the nation's penal system and appointed as head of an appeals court  branch in Tehran. Esmaeli told local media that the change was a promotion and was in no way related to last week's disturbances at the capital's Evin Prison.
April 22, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - Relatives of Iranians jailed on various security charges held a protest Tuesday outside the offices of President Hassan Rouhani , alleging that the prisoners are being detained unfairly. The demonstration came as Iranian officials denied reports of violent clashes last week in the capital's Evin Prison, where dissidents say many political prisoners are held. Opposition websites and relatives of prisoners reported that authorities stormed a cellblock at  Evin and that many inmates were injured.
April 22, 2014 | By Paul Thornton
Brandon Spencer, the 21-year-old former gang member sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for attempted murder, may have sobbed like a toddler Friday after learning that the next several decades of his life will be spent behind bars, but he deserves little sympathy, wrote Times columnist Sandy Banks on Monday. But several of our readers had a much more charitable, even forgiving, attitude toward Spencer. The two sides don't dispute the facts: A gun-toting Spencer showed up at a Halloween party at USC in 2012 looking to exact revenge on a gang rival; several shots later, three innocent bystanders in addition to Spencer's target were injured.
April 21, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON - For decades the Republican Party prided itself for being tough on crime, often putting Democrats on the defensive by pushing for longer, mandatory sentences for convicts. In 1988, that hard-line stance helped sink the presidential dreams of then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was blamed in Republican TV ads for having released convicted killer Willie Horton as part of a weekend furlough program. (Horton failed to return after a furlough and went on to commit robbery and rape.)
April 21, 2014 | By Simon Roughneen
YANGON, Myanmar - Win Tin, one of Myanmar's most respected opposition leaders who was jailed for nearly two decades by his country's military rulers, died early Monday. He was 84. His death, attributed to organ failure, came as Myanmar marked the end of Thingyan, the Buddhist New Year, and five weeks after he was admitted to Yangon's main hospital on the evening of his 84th birthday. A former journalist who in 1988 co-founded the National League for Democracy Party with his longtime ally, Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Tin was one of the most prominent leaders of the movement to challenge the military junta that ruled what was then known as Burma.
April 18, 2014 | By Kate Mather
A 42-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday to firing a Glock more than 50 times  at the Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Mark Gurrola, of Garden Grove, pleaded guilty to 54 felony counts of shooting at an occupied building and two additional felony counts of aggravated assault, with sentencing enhancements for using a firearm, the Orange County District Attorney's office said. Prosecutors wanted a longer prison sentence, officials said.
July 1, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
Federal judges are trying to turn up the heat on Gov. Jerry Brown to get him to release inmates from California's crowded prisons. But politically speaking, Brown is in the stronger position, says George Skelton in his Monday column. "The judges are threatening to hold Brown in contempt of court if he refuses to free the felons," he writes. "Go ahead, to paraphrase a former Carmel mayor, make his day. Fine him. Skelton adds, "That's one fine, I suspect, most California taxpayers would gladly pay for a governor trying to keep bad guys behind bars.
March 12, 1999
It was appalling to read "Widespread Abuse of Female Inmates Cited" (March 5), which reported sexual abuse, rape and shoddy or denied medical treatment for women throughout American prisons. Incidents such as shackling mothers in labor and denying a mammogram for a woman with breast lumps for close to 10 years, if true, are shameful and barbaric. The real irony was that a few pages later we read that our country's first lady received a standing ovation at a U.N. conference during which she stated that "it is no longer acceptable to say that the abuse and mistreatment of women is cultural.
April 16, 2014 | By Corina Knoll and Jeff Gottlieb
Robert Rizzo, the city administrator who oversaw an era of corruption and graft in one of Los Angeles County's poorest cities, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in state prison. Rizzo stared straight ahead, his palms pressed against the defense table as the sentence was read. “Mr. Rizzo, you did some very, very bad things for a very long time,” Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy told the former Bell city administrator. The judge said Rizzo transformed himself into a “godfather of sorts” in Bell, an all-powerful ruler who plundered the city's treasury to pay lavish salaries and dole out loans to fellow employees.
April 16, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Corina Knoll and Christopher Goffard
Four years after he became the face of municipal greed, Robert Rizzo broke his long silence Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom and asked a judge for mercy. The former Bell administrator was pale and baggy-eyed, and his thinning hair had turned gray. For many, there was hope that he would finally reveal how he engineered a brazen scheme to boost the salaries of top officials that left the working-class city tumbling toward bankruptcy. But in a small, halting, scratchy voice, Rizzo offered only the vaguest of apologies, and no details.
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