Saturday, 28 July 2012 15:29

State prisons regurgitating felons

There are 38,000 more felons in California county jails and other local lockups and programs, thanks to a relatively new state policy dubbed “realignment” which officials hope will reduce what had been a rapidly-growing prison population.

Published in Prison Legal News
Thursday, 21 June 2012 15:44

Can America Reduce its Prison Population?

The current trend of prison downsizing in the United States may not succeed unless experts can advise policy makers promptly about which non-prison programs for convicts change offender behavior, says criminologist Joan Petersilia of Stanford Law School.

Published in Current Events

Everything is bigger in Texas, the saying goes, and that is now also true of its prison system.

Published in Prison Legal News
Monday, 04 June 2012 19:50

Finding money in California's prisons

So far, the only apparent solutions to California's budget crisis are increased revenues and draconian budget cuts. Legislative leaders have pledged to examine all options to avert further crippling reductions in

Published in Current Events

By Liz Goodwin | The Lookout – Fri, May 18, 2012

What if it cost $17 to make a 15-minute phone call in the U.S.? How often would you call home?

That's the dilemma facing many inmates who must rely on the prison phone service and pay sky-high rates.

A bipartisan group of prison reformers is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to stop phone companies from charging inmates what they call unreasonable and predatory rates to make phone calls.

Published in Inmate Telephone News

(Thompson, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 4/19)

California should create an independent board to monitor prison health care after federal oversight ends, according to a report released Thursday by the Legislative Analyst's Office, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.


About six years ago, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson appointed J. Clark Kelso to oversee the state's prison health care system after determining that an average of one inmate per week died as a

result of malpractice or neglect.

In May 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its inmate population to help improve health care.

Since then, the state has begun shifting low-level offenders to county jails to address prison overcrowding and building new health facilities at prisons.

In January, Henderson said the federal receivership overseeing California's prison health care can end because the state has improved inmate care (California Healthline, 2/24).

LAO released the new report less than two weeks before state officials and attorneys representing inmates are scheduled to recommend to a federal judge whether the receivership should end and

whether the state should maintain oversight of prison health care.

Published in Current Events
Prison Guards walking the parimeter outside the Florence Federal Prison
Guards walk along the fence at the federal prison in Florence, Colo. Misconduct… (Bob Daemmrich / AFP-Getty Images)

September 29, 2011|By Alexa Vaughn, Washington Bureau

Washington — Arrests of federal prison guards soared nearly 90% over the last decade, possibly because of poor hiring practices during a 25% increase in prison growth, the Justice Department's inspector general reported.

Misconduct investigations doubled, and more than half of the offenses were committed during the officers' first two years on the job. The inspector general recommended that the Federal Bureau of Prisons improve its background investigation of job applicants and find better ways to assess rookie officers. Such arrests have risen 90% over the last decade, according to findings by the Justice Department's inspector general.But other factors have contributed to the problem, including private prisons and increasing numbers of female prisoners and young offenders in federal facilities, the inspector general found.

Published in Prison Legal News
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 14:36

States Use Canines for Cell Phone Search

GALT, Calif. (AP) — They’ve been finding hidden bombs, drugs and corpses for years, using their sense of smell to locate what their human handlers would otherwise have to see in plain sight.

Now dogs are being deployed in prisons to help curb one of the most serious problems confronting corrections officials: smuggled cell phones.

Published in Inmate Telephone News
September 30, 2010

Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla today verbally slapped Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for vetoing his legislation to make furnishing a cell phone to a state prison inmate a misdemeanor crime.

The Los Angeles lawmaker, in a written statement, characterized Schwarzenegger's veto of Senate Bill 525 as irresponsible and says it "gives the green light to smugglers."

Published in Inmate Telephone News

This is a LKL Web Exclusive  by Richard Subia, Deputy Director, Division of Adult Institutions at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Richard is a guest TONIGHT on Larry King Live.

The opinions expressed below are his own and we welcome your comments.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has been using dogs to find narcotics for several years.
But  with the ban on tobacco products and the growing problem of contraband cell phones, I wanted to see if dogs could be used to find tobacco and cell phones. I contacted Sgt. Wayne Conrad and asked for his help. Sgt. Conrad handles CDCR's dog training program.  Once he was able to determine that cell phones did indeed have a unique odor, he developed a training plan.

Published in Inmate Telephone News