California News Articles

THE NATIONAL PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION COMMISSION: PANEL ON SURGING PRISON RAPE HEARS 6 VICTIMS' CHILLING, HORRIFYING ACCOUNTS! - August 20, 2005 - He got $50 for what he now calls "a stupid impulsive prank." The incident landed the 17-year-old Parsell in an adult jail, where on his first night, an older inmate spiked his drink with 
Thorazine and sexually abused and raped him.

THE STATE OF CA PRISONS - April 30, 2005 - When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared that "the purpose of corrections is to correct" and that he intended to reform California's hard-nosed prison and parole systems to place emphasis on rehabilitation rather than punishment, it was a double-take moment that could have snapped your neck. After all, he is a Republican, and being tough on crime has been a signature issue for the GOP ever since presidential candidate Barry Goldwater made law and order a top campaign issue in 1964.

California's Youth Authority: A Model to Reform Youth Prisons in USA? - February 18, 2005 - Four young people died in California's youth prisons last year, including Durrell Feaster, 18, and Deon Whitfield, 17, both of whom committed suicide by hanging themselves with bedsheets. In April of 2004, the release of a "Rodney-King-style" security video that showed prison staff restraining and viciously beating youth - punching one 28 times in the face - and later spraying them with chemicals, made national news. Since then, young men and women have also filed suit for sexual assault by prison staff. 

Governor Aims to Rehabilitate Prison System - February 13, 2005 - Spokesmen for the governor say his reforms are not about mollycoddling felons; they represent his vow to fix what's broken in state government. The $6.5-billion correctional system, they note, is in full meltdown, with well over half of all adult parolees landing back in prison within two years. Failing to act, the aides say, would be irresponsible.... [PC note: Maybe each of us could send this article to our own state governors.]

Prison System Fails Women, Study Says - December 16, 2004 - California's one-size-fits-all correctional system is failing one group of offenders more dramatically than any other: the 22,000 female convicts and parolees, whose crimes are overwhelmingly nonviolent, according to a study released Wednesday by a government oversight panel.

California: Rejects "Conventional" Health Care Thinking - November 15, 2004 - 2004 hasn't been a good year for conventional
thinking in health care, anywhere.  If California is a world leader in new thinking, as it usually is, conventional health care (Medicine) is in for a hard road - one it justly deserves

PAYBACK TIME - CORRECTIONS HARASSES WHISTLE-BLOWER AGAIN - July 30, 2004 - Not only has this career public servant been pushed around, now the department has sent a July 2 letter - signed by Julio Valadez, chief of the Community Correctional Facilities Administration Institutions Division - announcing an investigation of Krupp's wife, who has worked in the department for 25 years. Valadez's letter is dated nine days after Krupp testified before the Senate Rules Committee about management abuses in the prison system.

ABOUT EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY - July 29, 2004 - See clemency package for California prisoners - every prisoner is eligible.

SHUNNING THE CYA - California - July 18, 2004 - Counties troubled by facilities' conditions.  CYA's 16 institutions have come
under heavy criticism over the past year because of inmate suicides and videotaped beatings of the wards by staff. Reports commissioned by the state attorney general brand some youth prisons as violent and say they have failed to achieve their statutory responsibilities of protecting the public and rehabilitating young criminals. 

Sensible drug testing bill receives hearing - March 29, 2004 - Isn't it time e stop treating our children as criminals and forcing them to take drug tests without just cause?

VISIT CRUCH FOR INMATES' LOVED ONES - May 9, 2004 - Many camp out after state prisons cut hours.

FORMER GUARD FACES PRISON - April 13, 2004 - A former California prison guard was sentenced Monday in Sacramento federal court to a maximum 14 years in prison on a guilty plea to using two minor females in the production of pornographic films.

STRING OF DEATHS AT CHOWCHILLA PRISON IN 10 DAYS - July 30, 2003 - Another woman died yesterday, July 29th, at the Central California Women¹s Facility (CCWF) in a string of three deaths in 10 days resulting from medical neglect, indifference and failure by that institution¹s medical staff to recommend early release of terminally ill prisoners.

WRONGLY IMPRISONED MAN SEEKS REFORMS - May 2, 2003 - It's been seven years since Kevin Green stood in a California courtroom and wept as a judge apologized for mistakes that put him behind bars for 16 years.  [These days] Green gives speeches to law classes and conventions, pleading with would-be police and prosecutors to focus more on facts than keeping score of convictions. He was invited to speak Thursday to Saint Louis University's Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice - a no-brainer for university criminology professor Chuck Terry. 

BAY VIEW JOURNALISTS ARRESTED, BRUTALIZED AT PEACE MARCH - March 7, 2003 - Two of the three people arrested at the peace march yesterday in Oakland were Bay View editors JR and Ra'shida.  All day today the Bay View has been swamped with press calls.  Media find the story interesting because the marchers were mostly young and Black, unlike those in other anti-war protests so far, the police were unusually and extremely aggressive, journalists were singled out for attack (we've just learned that JR's camera was run over by a police motorcycle) and, of course, the backdrop is a Bay Area caught up in unprecedented police scandals.

COURT CURBS SEARCHES OF PAROLEES' HOMES - March 6, 2003 - Police must have a reasonable suspicion even though waivers are a condition of release. A federal appeals court, sharply divided over what society can do to protect itself against crime, ruled Wednesday that police searches of thousands of California parolees are unconstitutional.

MEAN SPIRITED VISITING REGULATIONS - March 6, 2003 - Many inmates will be kept from their children.  Visiting with minors shall be prohibited for any inmate sentenced to prison for violating Penal Code section(s) 261, 264.1, 266c, 273d, 285, 286, 288, 288a, 288.5, or 289 unless specifically authorized by a juvenile court, pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 362.6.

NEW VISITING REGULATIONS APPROVED - March 3, 2003 - The 2002 proposed and twice revised new visiting regulations have been approved and will go into effect March 20, 2003. A copy of the regulations can be found at the CDC website:

AGING PRISONERS - February 28, 2003 - For those who were able to attend the The Joint Hearing on February 25, 2003, on the subject of Aging prisoner:  A Call for Reform, and also those who were unable to attend, please forward a thank-you message to Senators John Vasconcellos, Senator Gloria Romero, and Senator Bruce McPherson for this hearing, and the promising outcome.

Senator Romero's hearing A call for Reform - February 17, 2003 - Romero - Chair of Public Safety Committee Vasconcellos - Chair of Health & Human Services Subcommittee on Aging McPherson - Chair of Public Safety Committee - Criminal Procedure.  Please pass this information on; we need people to be at the hearing on February 25, 2003. 

PAROLE THE ELDERLY - February 11, 2003 - Amid the intensifying battle in Sacramento over California's budget deficit, Gov. Gray Davis is coming under fire for his proposal to cut funds for schools and health care while boosting spending on prisons. Davis says preserving public safety requires no less. But there's at least one safe, simple and immediate thing the state could do that would save millions: parole inmates who are too old to be dangerous. 

COUNCILS GIVE VOICE TO INMATES' FAMILIES - February 10, 2003 - Families of California prison inmates now have a louder voice in talking to the Department of Corrections about collect phone-call charges, medical care and the nutritional value of prison meals.  Corrections Director Edward Alameida Jr. has directed the state's prisons to start Family Councils that will serve as a liaison between inmate family members and the prison. 

Former prison guards sentenced - February 7, 2003 - Two former guards at Pelican Bay State Prison were sentenced to federal prison Thursday for setting up assaults on inmates, mostly child molesters and other sex criminals.

JURORS WHO CONVICTED MARIJUANA GROWER SEEK NEW TRIAL - February 5, 2003 - In an unusual show of solidarity with the man they convicted last week, five jurors in the trial of a medicinal marijuana advocate issued a public apology to him today and demanded that the judge grant him a new trial.

Capitol punishment: Who's guarding the union? - January 30, 2003 - In the soap opera that is Statehouse politics in Sacramento, the role of leering villain is played by one unusually nasty organization that has struck all but a few legislators dumb with fear and is now brashly demonstrating that it also controls Governor Gray Davis. 

Correctional System Needs Correcting - Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) - January 28, 2003 - Correctional System Needs Correcting Cut state costs by reforming parole and releasing elderly inmates.  Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) is chairwoman of the state Senate Democratic Caucus and heads the newly created Select Committee on the California Correctional System.

TURNING STUDENTS INTO PRISON INMATES - January 22, 2003 - A simple solution would avert the budget disaster facing California's schools: We should declare every public school to be a prison. The kids would understand.

Davis wants new death row at San Quentin - January 16, 2003 - Despite $35 billion deficit, governor says bigger facility needed to house more inmates.

FAMILY VISITING - February 5, 2003 - With this letter, we would like to lend our support for the current Gordon vs. California Department of Corrections [CDC] case, #322862.  The Family Visiting program has been in existence for over 30 years without any opposition from correctional line staff or legislators.  The only opposition has been from the Crime Victims Organizations, supported by the CCPOA and prior Governor Pete Wilson, as well as our current Governor Gray Davis.

WARDENS CAN'T INTERFERE WITH INMATES' RELIGIOUS PRACTICES - December 28, 2002 - In a victory for Muslim prisoners in California, a federal appeals court ruled Friday that wardens can't interfere with inmates' religious practices without proving a compelling security need.

CALIFORNIA, OTHERS CONSIDER RELEASING PRISONERS TO CUT BUDGETS - December 23, 2002 - California is facing a nearly $35 billion budget deficit, and leading Democratic lawmakers are suggesting chopping some sentences to shave state costs. Gov. Gray Davis announced last week that the state is facing a $34.8 billion budget deficit over the next 18 months.

THE BLOOD IS ON CDC'S HANDS - November 26, 2002 - Corcoran is a death trap for prisoners with HIV and Hepatitis C.  Please help by mailing the letter below...

LA TIMES ARTICLE ON PRISON RAPE - November 3, 2002 - Everyone, it seems, is in on prison rape jokes. Don't worry about crossing a line because when the subject is inmates raping other inmates, people don't empathize. They laugh.

JUDGE: INMATES CAN RECEIVE MAIL DOWNLOADED FRON INTERNET - September 13, 2002 - A federal judge in San Francisco has overturned a California Department of Corrections policy barring inmates from receiving mail containing printed material from the Internet. 

DEA Agents Raid Medical Marijuana Farm - September 5, 2003 What the feds are doing is blatantly violating the 14th Amendment!  How do we stop this?

DEA raids / Canada / DEA and MPP museums - September 05, 2002 

3 Small Strikes go to Prison, 2 big Strikes go to the bank -- March 16,2002 from Michael Novick

Fresno disbands cop unit - December, 6, 2001 - Violent Crimes Suppression Unit has fulfilled its goals, Dyer says.

State Supreme Court hears arguments on anti-crime bill - December 6, 2001

Fresno district attorney arrested for drunken driving - Dec. 5, 2001

By Michael Doyle, Bee Washington Bureau, (Published Oct. 28, 2001) Trying to define limits of interrogation: Wartime can change the rules, but by how much when witnesses stay silent?

3 Strikes Law

Gray Davis (California Governor) Betrays Inmates' Families

No on Proposition 21!: WHAT INITIATIVE? The Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Initiative (bankrolled and sponsored by former Governor Pete Wilson) is NOT about prevention. It wages a costly war against California's children and youth. Prop 21 pushes more children into adult courts where they would be sentenced to adult prisons. Prop 21 creates new gang crimes and vastly expands gang penalties including a new death penalty. Prop 21 will cost California taxpayers "hundreds of millions of dollars" each year (Legislative Analyst Report), taking funds away from funds that could be used to improve our schools. Don't be misled by prosecutors' claims that juvenile crime is increasing - in every category juvenile crime and violence are going down. Join the community, faith and professional organizations that oppose Proposition 21. Stop this mean-spirited attack on our youth. Vote NO on Proposition 21!

Recall Davis:  Home page of the petition drive to force a recall election against California Governor Gray Davis, who has betrayed inmate families.  Also, see our Gray Davis page

Senator John Vasconcellos:  This is the formal site of a very brave California Senator who has formed an investigative coalition first inspired by the Corcoran "cockfights," but which now is threatening to bring the California Dept. of Corrections to it's knees.

The state of California killed my sister for a dependency problem and bipolar disorder 6/19/01