CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2009 |
Gina Tatum spends her days in a compound surrounded by electrified fence in the sun-baked heart of the Central Valley, hoping to change her life. She will soon turn 50, and after two decades in and out of prison, she says she is tired of victimizing others, tired of stealing, tired of doing drugs. "I can't afford any more years up here -- I've lost too many," said Tatum, who is serving a four-year stint for forgery at the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla. "I'm trying to learn things to change my thinking, change everything about me, so I can go home.
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.
June 28, 2013 |
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.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2013 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 2009 |
Rioting inmates in Chino recently torched a dormitory, ravaged five other dorms and destroyed 1,200 beds. Roughly 1,300 convicts participated and 175 were injured. The state caught a break. No guard was hurt. And no prisoner was killed. "It turned out better than we thought," says Matthew Cate, the state's prison boss as secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. "Officers were able to retreat to a place of relative safety near the administration office.