Prisons & Confinement

High times for 25% of CDCR inmates tested

Apr 16th, 2014 | By
Over a quarter of CDCR inmates' urinalysis proved positive for drugs.  The refusal rate ranged from 5.54% at SATF to 98.95 at PBSP. to
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Paco: Voluntary tests belie HIGHER results California prisons find 1 in 4 inmates used drugs DON THOMPSON, AP | Sacramento Bee SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nearly a quarter of inmates tested in a screening last year in California had used one or more illegal substances, leading state prison officials to propose increasing penalties for drug and alcohol use. Under the recommendation, a first positive test for drug use would cost inmates 90 days’ pay from work assignments, and repeat offenses could mean up to a year of lost wages… The department also plans to standardize mandatory drug testing across prisons.



Hancock Bill caves to Hungertard’s specious demands

Apr 14th, 2014 | By
It is precisely this type of thing that Loni Hancock wants to stop...even though it isn't happening. (Zoom image)
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SHU’s to have IG oversight and inmate ‘advocates’ Bill to Reform Solitary Confinement in State Prisons By postnewsgroup A bill by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) to revise and reform solitary confinement conditions in California’s prisons passed its first legislative hurdle this week. The Senate Public Safety Committee approved SB 892 by a vote of 6-1, with Republican support. It now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee before heading to the Senate floor. [Senator Hancock said] “Isolating large numbers of inmates for long periods of time as we are currently doing is an expensive and deeply troubling practice…It is ineffective at controlling gang behavior in prisons; useless in helping to rehabilitate prisoners; costly to taxpayers; and a threat to public safety when inmates are released directly to the streets after years – sometimes decades – of solitary confinement.”



Department hiring

Apr 13th, 2014 | By
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If the brief piece linked here from the Fresno BEE is to be believed CDCr is preparing to hire about 7,000 Correctional Officers in the foreseeable future.   Nice if true.  They will need about1/3 of those at the new hospitals outside Stockton. Thanks to Caroline for the link.



So far, so bad

Apr 13th, 2014 | By
Bedlam1815
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If the article linked here by Paige St. John from today’s LA TIMES is to be believed things are still pretty much FUBAR at CHCF.  She calls the status quo,  “waste, mismanagement and miscommunication.” The article quotes our old buddy J. Clark Kelso as blaming the staff.  “Because these really basic systems weren’t working, everybody kind of went into an island survival pattern.”  He further described the situation as adjusting to dysfunction rather than fixing it. It seems that back in December Kelso brought in Jackie Clark, a Rn with an MBA who did the start-up of the new San Quentin medical clinic two years

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Going Dutch: Netherlands runs short of inmates

Apr 11th, 2014 | By
In the Dutch prison system, there are now more staff than inmates.  Perhaps Governor Brown can export excess cons there.
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“We’re studying what the reason for the decline is” Dutch prisons hit by prisoner shortage The Age The Dutch government is facing an unusual crisis: prison undercrowding. There are now more guards and other prison staff than prisoners in the Netherlands for the first time, according to data released by the Justice Ministry on Friday. Crime rates have fallen slightly in recent years, but aren’t notably lower in the Netherlands than in neighbouring countries, and many Dutch people think sentences for violent offenders are too light. In 2008, there were more than 15,000 inmates. As of March of this year, there were just 9710 remaining, compared with 9914 guards…



Prison czar named by federal court

Apr 10th, 2014 | By
justice
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The federal courts have determined that former federal judge Elwood Lui will be in charge of ordering the release of specified inmates if the Brown administration is unwilling or unable to act to reduce the prison population to 137.5% of design capacity by the end of February 2016. As of right now the system is about 9,000 over that cap.  There are some additional beds being brought on-line which will help substantially, but there is also a projected net increase in numbers due to the normal ebb and flow of such things, including increases in second and third strike cases which must go to state

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Most fly over cuckoo’s nest, land in prison

Apr 10th, 2014 | By
NewJack
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Paco: Insane or not, NUTS to ‘treatment’ in lieu of incarceration Prisons are ‘new asylums’ in U.S. reads the headline of today’s Columbus Dispatch: Reinforcing their role as the “new asylums,” U.S. prisons now house 10 times as many seriously mentally ill people as state psychiatric hospitals do, a new national report shows. An estimated 356,268 seriously mentally ill inmates were housed in prisons and jails nationally in 2012, compared with about 35,000 patients in mental hospitals, according to a report released Tuesday. The Virginia-based Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs’ Association released “Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: A State Survey.” (The Columbus Dispatch) “Behavioral-health experts say prisons and jails were not designed and are not equipped and staffed to handle the huge influx of inmates with mental illness, Reporter Alan Johnson correctly notes. “Yet, that’s where many mentally ill individuals end up as a result of the closing

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Clothes-swap escape attempt foiled

Apr 9th, 2014 | By
BobsBlotter
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An inmate at the San Joaquin County Jail did a clothes-swap Monday with another inmate in order to get to the honor farm and try to escape.  He got over the fence with little trouble, but was spotted by a patrol deputy with a K-9 and recaptured on the jail property. Edward Joseph Blake, 22, was the general population main jail inmate who tried to beat feet.  He swapped clothes with Jamaine Laws, 19, who was wearing blues rather than the main jail orange.  They did the swap in a tank at the county courthouse.  When they came back from court Blake was then transported

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Drywall and wire: Escape realigned

Apr 7th, 2014 | By
Thanks to Jerry Brown and the Dem Majority, David O'Neal Coleman Jr. is a dangerous felon at large in the community.  If you see him, call 911 and keep your distance.
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Realignment Reality: Soft Security meets Hard Time Realignment provided the environment needed by a “dangerous felon” to effect an escape in Merced County–Thanks to AB109-induced jail crowding, he was housed in a “low risk” (minimum security) jail pending trial.  He was looking at over 3 decades if convicted. The Merced Sun Star’s Rob Parsons reports David O’Neal Coleman Jr. escaped from the John Latorraca Correctional Center by breaking through the drywall ceiling of a wood framed dorm and climbing over a razor wire topped fence. At the time of the escape, Coleman was pending a preliminary hearing on 6 fresh felonies described as “drug, weapons and theft-related charges.” The jail has reportedly been “plagued” by escapes since AB109 became law, though no firm numbers have been provided. Prior to Coleman’s flight, the most recent escape was in December 2013. Merced County Sheriff Tom Cavallero said the jail was built to house minimum security inmates for

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Texas nixes prison rape act

Apr 2nd, 2014 | By
Governor Perry says PREA was "created in a vacuum with little regard for input from those who daily operate state prisons and local jails
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PREA rules ‘counterproductive, cumbersome, costly’ In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Texas Governor Rick Perry states “cross-gender supervision standards” make compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) “impossible.” Dated March 28, 2014, the 3 page document succinctly details numerous other issues with PREA, noting among other concerns conflicts between PREA and federal labor law. “PREA’s ill-conceived standards on cross-gender viewing would likely cause the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to violate state and federal labor laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender.  Approximately 40 percent of TDCJ correctional officers at male units are female,” the Governor noted. In addition to the cross-gender conflict, Perry complained the new regulations  also “violate Texas’ right to establish the state’s own age of criminal responsibility.”  In Texas that age is 17–PREA’s is 18.



Farewell to prison

Mar 31st, 2014 | By
Delaware Judge Jan Jurden gave a member of the Du Pont clan probation for raping his 3 year old daughter.  She was worried the molester wouldn't thrive in prison.
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Judge said du Pont heir ‘will not fare well’ in prison Cris Barrish | The News Journal (Delaware) A Superior Court judge who sentenced a wealthy du Pont heir to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter noted in her order that he “will not fare well” in prison and needed treatment instead of time behind bars, court records show. Judge Jan Jurden’s sentencing order for Robert H. Richards IV suggested that she considered unique circumstances when deciding his punishment for fourth-degree rape. Her observation that prison life would adversely affect Richards was a rare and puzzling rationale, several criminal justice authorities in Delaware said. Some also said her view that treatment was a better idea than prison is a justification typically used when sentencing drug addicts, not child rapists. Richards’ 2009 rape case became public this month after attorneys for his ex-wife Tracy filed a lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the abuse of

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More news from Bedlam

Mar 25th, 2014 | By
Bedlam1815
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In the last day and a half I have gotten info from multiple (more than two) sources at CHCF.  These are all relatively low-level employees so I admit it is POSSIBLE that there has been some deal with the court that has not made the news and that these employees are unaware of.  I doubt it, but it is possible. I now have a fair-size pile of DMS (daily movement sheets), internal transfer sheets and daily movement recap reports.  These all indicate that there has been an increase in count at CHCF and that inmates have been placed in the DeWitt annex.  Both of these

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DeWitt annex to CHCF opened (without permission from feds?)

Mar 24th, 2014 | By
Bedlam1815
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I have been told that Bedlam II, otherwise know as the DeWitt annex to CHCF, opened up last night on third watch with grossly inadequate staff, like pretty much zero.  I have also not heard that the feds have given permission to open it up, though that could have happened and I just didn’t hear about it. Anybody having any further info is welcome to either send it to me or post it as a comment here.



New test for Valley Fever

Mar 24th, 2014 | By
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A Fresno hospital has developed a new DNA test for Valley Fever which gives results in hours instead of weeks. The test is preformed at the Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno.  It works on a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) of the DNA of Valley Fever and gives results in five hours instead of two weeks plus which is currently the case when the sample is cultured. The feds. through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working on a more effective treatment for the disease. Clicking here will link to a Fresno BEE piece on this story.



Golden opportunity (?)

Mar 23rd, 2014 | By
Bedlam1815
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As I was reading the local fish wrapper this morning I saw a large article (covering half of A-1 and continued inside) about the “Gold Coat” program which is up and running at CHCF and apparently, if the article linked here is to be believed, in many other prisons too. The “Gold Coats” are inmates who are identified by the bright yellow smocks they wear.  They provide assistance to debilitated or incapacitated inmates.  That assistance is often merely mobility.  It also often includes helping the inmate fill out paperwork.  (Anybody else see some possible HIPPA issues there, depending on what sort of paperwork we are

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Execution moratorium is killing kidney patient

Mar 21st, 2014 | By
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Christian Longo, is on Oregon’s death row for murdering his wife and 3 children. KPTV Fox News reports Longo wants to donate his kidney to a local stranger, Kevin Gray, who has stage 5 kidney failure. Gray’s desperation is such, he stands on a street corner with a sign, panhandling for a kidney. Longo previously advocated for condemned inmates as organ donors. Unfortunately for Mr. Gray, kind-hearted, soft-headed Governor John Kitzhaber imposed a moratorium on executions in 2011. Thus, suspending Longo’s death sentence was effectively a death sentence for Gray. Unintended consequences, indeed. However, there are no laws prohibiting living Oregon inmates from donating organs, it simply isn’t approved or rarely so. It remains to be seen whether ODOC considers Longo’s offer. In the event condemned inmates become a living organ bank, Paco cautions folks in Mr. Gray’s predicament to consider the phenomenon known as Cellular Memory. Numerous cases have been documented where organ recipients

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You are not supposed to roast inmates

Mar 19th, 2014 | By
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Jerome Murdough was a former US Marine.  He was 56 years old and had some mental health and alcohol abuse issues.  Last month he was arrested for trespassing for sleeping in the enclosed stairwell in a public housing building in Harlem, to get out of the cold.  A week later he was dead in a 100 degree cell at Riker’s Island. Due to his medication he was particularly susceptible to heat.  (Sound familiar?)  He was in a special observation unit, but was apparently not regularly observed.  It seems that nobody realized his cell was over 100 degrees, or if they did they didn’t much care.

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Count clear, down one

Mar 18th, 2014 | By
BobsBlotter
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A murder from Santa Clara County is the prime (and in fact only) suspect in a murder at Mule Creek on Saturday. Ervin Savoy, 50, was found dead in his cell at about 1615 hours.  His cellie, Floyd Bailey, 51, a previously convicted murderer out of Santa Barbara, is the suspect.  Bailey was doing life for Murder One.  Savoy was doing 25-life for a residential burglary and drug charges from 1999. Clicking here will link to a piece on this story from SFGATE.



Long hit-list, conspirators survive ‘Evil Evan’

Mar 17th, 2014 | By
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One year later: More questions than answers Evan Ebel’s hit list suggests ongoing threat to officials By Kirk Mitchell | The Denver Post New details are emerging in the investigation into the murder of Colorado prisons director Tom Clements that indicate parolee Evan Ebel didn’t act alone and that nearly two dozen people were targeted. Among new findings by The Denver Post: •  A federal official who had no dealings with Ebel said he was named on a hit list found in Ebel’s black Cadillac DeVille two days after Clements was killed on March 19, 2013.



Realigned, reoffended, resentenced…running

Mar 14th, 2014 | By
Christopher Lee Brown escaped LA's Twin Towers the same day he was sentenced to spend nearly 5 years in the jail.
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LA inmate escapes hours after sentencing ABC News | KABC MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (KABC) — Christopher Brown, a Twin Towers Jail inmate, escaped Wednesday night just hours after he was sentenced to four years and eight months in county jail. Brown, 37, was convicted on March 6 of two counts of second-degree commercial burglary and one count of receiving stolen property for stealing two computers and three flash drives from the AHMC Healthcare in Alhambra. Personal, financial and credit information from 729,000 patients was compromised. Brown escaped from the Inmate Reception Center Release area at about 10 p.m. Wednesday. Sheriff’s officials think Brown impersonated another inmate who was scheduled to be released. Later in the night, a head count revealed he was missing. A search of the jail ensued, and a review of closed-circuit TV showed Brown escaping…



Major disturbance at Calipat

Mar 11th, 2014 | By
BobsBlotter
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There was a major disturbance at Calipatria today at about 1015 hours. It began on the Facility B Max yard and required response from other areas of the prison.  The boys continued to be demonstrative for about 8 minutes and seven of the misunderstood gentlemen were injured.  No staff were injured.  Six required outside medical treatment.  One guy needed stitches due to being nailed with a direct impact less-lethal round hit.  The prison is on at least a partial lockdown. Clicking here will link to a very thin LA TIMES piece on this story.  Any additional info from those on the scene would be appreciated. 

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FBI probing WALLmart’s Idaho hijinxs

Mar 10th, 2014 | By
These CCA employees insist they really were on duty despite corporate admissions Idaho was billed for employees who never showed .
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APNewsBreak: FBI investigates prison company REBECCA BOONE  | Idaho Statesman BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The FBI has launched an investigation of the Corrections Corporation of America over the company’s running of an Idaho prison with a reputation so violent that inmates dubbed it “Gladiator School.” …last year, CCA officials acknowledged it had understaffed the Idaho Correctional Center by thousands of hours in violation of the state contract. CCA also said employees falsified reports to cover up the vacancies. The announcement came after an Associated Press investigation showed CCA sometimes listed guards as working 48 hours straight to meet minimum staffing requirements… Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray confirmed Friday that the FBI met with department director Brent Reinke on Thursday to inform him about the investigation. Idaho State Police spokeswoman Teresa Baker said her agency was no longer involved with the investigation and the FBI has taken it over entirely…



So, who’s REALLY in charge anyway?

Mar 9th, 2014 | By
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This is another one of those things that no matter how it goes down it makes the department look like the Keystone Kops. On October 15 inmate David Scott Gillian, 52, was found doing a chandelier impersonation in his cell at Pleasant Valley during pill call.  The med tech alerted a nearby C/O.  The Med Tech and a Sergeant entered the cell.  Gillian seemed to be very, very dead.  (In fact the coroner is saying dead about 4-8 hours before the body was found.) In accordance with standard medical procedure the med staff wanted to cut him down and start CPR.  Allegedly the Sergeant refused

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Counties peeing on Jerry’s parade

Mar 9th, 2014 | By
blivet
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It seems that the state is blaming local DAs for running up the prison population.  These rotten people are actually prosecuting criminals under the second-strike category which sends them to state prison rather than county jail.  These two-strikers are being sent up the river at a rate about 1/3 greater than was the case prior to realignment. The solution is obvious.  The state needs to pass a law that requires local jurisdictions get permission from the Governor or the AG to prosecute second-strike and third-strike cases in order to make Jerry and his realignment hoax look good (or at least not so bad). Clicking here

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Prisoners can’t sue employees over lack of funding

Mar 7th, 2014 | By
justice
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An interesting case was just heard by the Ninth Circuit.  A state prison inmate in SoCal had what was apparently a legitimate painful dental condition that was indeed not treated promptly.  He of course sued.  The court ruled in a 6-5 verdict that he can’t sue the employees for violating his rights or for deliberate indifference to his pain and suffering because they actually did not have the resources (staff) to treat his condition. The inmate, Cion Peralta, was housed at Lancaster.  He was given pain meds and put on the waiting list, which took 18 months to get to him.  By that time he

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Worst escape attempt ever?

Mar 5th, 2014 | By
Picture are 3 running inmates (circled), joined by a chain, seconds before they fail to negotiate a pole.
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The Not So Great Escape Attached for your enlightenment and enjoyment is a brief video of a transportation escape attempt in Canada. It seems 2 police officers in Ontario, Canada, were transporting 3 inmates to court–The trio were cuffed and linked by a lead chain. Once the 3rd inmate had his feet on the ground, the detainees beat feet in unison, with the police in pursuit. But not for long.



Are you Taft?

Mar 5th, 2014 | By
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The newly rebuilt Modified Community Correctional Facility (MCCF) is now up and running and accepted its first busload of prisoners yesterday. A total of four loads of criminals is expected this week.  Intake will continue until the place hits its capacity of 512 criminals. Clicking here will link to a very brief piece from the Taft Midway Driller on this story.  Thanks to Caroline for the link.



Is DMH also in shambles?

Mar 5th, 2014 | By
justice
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A case out of San Joaquin County seems to have trigger an investigation by the courts into some of the state mental hospital systems operations. One Sally Perkins was committed to a state psych hospital, which was required to accept her within not more than 30 days.  M.s Perkins was being held on criminal charges in the county jail.  When Ms. Perkins reported to Napa State in January she was refused admittance and was returned to jail.  The same thing happened again more recently with another patient-prisoner.  San Joaquin County now has about ten people in the pipeline waiting for commitment. The AG and the

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Criminal Impulses Not Corrected In Prison

Mar 4th, 2014 | By
katz-litter4
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15 YEARS IN ENVIRONMENT OF CONSTANT FEAR SOMEHOW FAILS TO REHABILITATE PRISONER The Onion | March 4, 2014 WOODBOURNE, NY—Reportedly left dumbfounded by the news that recent parolee Terry Raney had been reincarcerated on charges of assault and battery, officials at Woodbourne Correctional Facility struggled Tuesday to make sense of how the prisoner had not been rehabilitated by 15 years of constant threats, physical abuse, and periodic isolation. “It just doesn’t seem possible that an inmate could live for a decade and a half in a completely dehumanizing environment in which violent felons were constantly on the verge of attacking or even killing him and

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LAO says Jerry’s prison plan a bust

Mar 1st, 2014 | By
capitol
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The Legislative Analyst’s Office in the formerly great state of California has concluded that Jerry’s prison plan is not a viable long-term solution to the prison problem, though it will probably keep the feds off the department’s back for a couple of years. Among other things the LAO predicts the state will end up spending $500 million per year for contract beds.  That is a lot of money. The bottom line is simple.  We need more beds or less criminals.  We are probably not going to get less crime.  We can pretend to get less crime by downgrading felonies to misdemeanors and changing sentencing laws

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Maine pines over shooting at escapees

Feb 28th, 2014 | By
How does a state with no death penalty justify using lethal force to stop escapes?  Maine, it seems, is fretting over precisely that.
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OUR OPINION: Maine Correctional Center does not need ‘shoot-to-kill’ Escapes shouldn’t be a captial offense for low-risk inmates. Editorial Board | Morning Sentinel Should trying to escape from the Maine Correctional Center be a capital offense? A proposal before the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee could make it one. Guards at the Maine Correctional Center, a medium- and minimum-security prison in Windham, currently have the right to shoot an escaping prisoner who has committed a dangerous crime or who is putting a staff member or another inmate in danger. L.D. 1588 would allow Maine Correctional Center guards to shoot at any escaping inmate solely for the act of escape. The proposal offers a disproportionately severe punishment in response to a relatively low risk, and moving ahead with this bill would be a mistake…



Rumor from Bedlam

Feb 27th, 2014 | By
Bedlam1815
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The current rumor floating around CHCF is that the old farts from Death Row will be relocated there.  I believe that will take a change in state law, but that isn’t that hard to do.  Just look at realignment. I have also been told (presented as fact, not rumor) that there are a total of 35 scheduled medical transports TODAY from CHCF to various places around the valley, all for medical treatment.  What is the point of having an actual HOSPITAL if the medical staff don’t actually perform any medicine?  Just curious. (I also heard that the Google barge is going to move to Stockton

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