We have moved our blog!

Dear Visitor,

We have moved and merged our blog of California Prison Watch to the new PrisonWatch Network blog, where you can find us under the tab West Coast Prison Watch. Our URL Californiaprisonwatch.org (and .com) will lead you there also.

Thank you for visiting!



Beginning March 23rd: Statewide Coordinated Actions To End Solitary Confinement

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity


The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS) has helped launch Statewide Coordinated Actions To End Solitary Confinement (SCATESC) to start Monday, March 23, 2015.

Actions will happen on the 23rd of each month.

This date emphasizes the 23 or more hours every day that people are kept in solitary confinement.

PHSS Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prisoner-Hunger-Strike-Solidarity/117053298383319

Statewide Coordinated Actions every month respond to the Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers’ Proposals (November, 2013). They stated:

We want to consider the idea of designating a certain date each month as Prisoner Rights Day. On that date each month prisoners across the state would engage in peaceful activities to call attention to prison conditions. At the same time our supporters would gather in locations throughout California to expose CDCR’s [CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] actions and rally support efforts to secure our rights. We can see this action growing…

View original post 691 more words

Soledad prison nurse accused of diverting drugs

It seems form this article that the whole medical and pharmaceutics department of CDCR should be checked and maybe even reorganized. And by the way, there are still many prisoners who are seriously ill, and who do not try and take advantage of the system, without even basic, let alone adequate medical care in California. What about an audit for them?

This article was written

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY, for the Monterey Herald, Nov 17th 2012

A state licensing board and the Attorney General’s Office have accused a vocational nurse of diverting pharmaceutical narcotics at a Soledad prison.


Supreme Court upholds ruling to reduce California prison population

Supreme Court upholds ruling to reduce California prison population

Groups demand population reduction measure, not costly jail construction
by Lisa Marie Alatorre
SF Bay View, aMay 23rd 2011

Oakland – This morning the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed a previous court order requiring the state of California to reduce dramatically the number of people in its horribly overcrowded state prison system. The long awaited ruling came in the conjoined Plata and Coleman cases on the terrible health and mental health conditions caused by severe overcrowding in California state prisons. California will have two years to reduce overcrowding by 46,000.

“This landmark decision opens an important new chapter in California’s long struggle over whether to expand or contract our bloated prison system,” says Emily Harris, statewide coordinator for Californians United for a Responsible Budget or CURB, a broad statewide coalition working to reduce the number of people in California’s prison system.

Read the rest here.

Homicide Incident at San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin – San Quentin State Prison officials are investigating an inmate homicide that occurred on the prison’s reception center yard Monday morning.

At 10:35 a.m. on July 26, 2010, inmate Edward John Schaefer, 44, was stabbed in the chest and neck with an inmate-made weapon. He was taken by ambulance to an outside medical facility where he was pronounced dead at 9:03 p.m. Monday.

Schaefer was received from Marin County on July 16, 2010 with a 24-years-to-life sentence for second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. In 2005, Schaefer served a four-year sentence from Marin County for corporal injury to a spouse.

The incident is being investigated as a homicide by the prison’s Investigative Services Unit. Prison investigators have identified inmate Frank Anthony Souza, 31, as the primary suspect. Investigators are looking into whether other inmates were involved.

Inmate Souza was received from Santa Clara County on Jan. 12, 2010 with a 60-years-to-life sentence for first-degree murder. Souza has three prior commitments: in 1998, he served a one-year, six-month sentence from Santa Clara County for grand theft; in 1999, he served a two-year sentence for receiving stolen property; and in 2002 he served a four-year sentence from Santa Clara County for threatening a prosecution witness with force and violence.

The Marin County District Attorney’s Office has been contacted and the Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was also notified of the incident.

Open since 1852, San Quentin State Prison is California’s oldest prison. It houses 5,027 inmates and employs 2,236 people. San Quentin includes a reception center for new commitments and parole violators, general population units, a minimum-security work crew unit, and units housing male condemned inmates.

We can’t afford Whitman’s prison plan

By Sara Mayeux

Special to The Bee

For someone who made her fortune in cyberspace, Meg Whitman seems unusually enamored of ambitious bricks-and-mortar endeavors. In 2002, the eBay magnate donated $30 million to her alma mater (and mine), Princeton, to help fund a new undergraduate dormitory. Five years and $136 million later, Princeton celebrated the grand opening of Whitman College. This state-of-the-art complex combines a medieval castle ambience straight out of Harry Potter with high-speed wireless and a digital photo lab.

Now that she’s running for governor of California, Whitman is proposing another construction project. But this time, she won’t be footing the bill – no, that honor will fall upon California’s already overburdened taxpayers. Look closely at Whitman’s platform and you’ll find a troubling plank: A proposal to build new prisons. Or, as she puts it on her website: “We need more prison beds to keep our streets safe.”

On the surface, Whitman’s proposal may seem appealing. California’s prisons are grossly overcrowded, with men sleeping in triple bunks or two to a 48-square-foot cell. But I have yet to hear Whitman explain how the state is going to pay for new prisons, despite her claim to value fiscal responsibility.

It’s safe to say that Whitman’s prisons would not feature anything like the amenities of Whitman College. Nevertheless, it costs a lot more to build even a bare-bones prison than to build even the most lavish dormitory. When California nearly tripled its prison population in the 1980s and ’90s, building 23 new prisons at prices of up to $350 million each, it funded construction by floating bonds – that is, by saddling future Californians with debt.

Even if California could locate a few hundred million dollars, those funds would be much better spent on criminal justice policy reform. Unless Whitman is planning to literally double the size of the prison system, which seems unlikely, her proposal amounts to a drop in the bucket. California’s prisons aren’t just a little bit crowded – they’re operating at almost 200 percent of capacity. Building a new prison here or there will just delay the inevitable.

California must confront the roots of its prison crisis: draconian sentencing laws, a paucity of mental health treatment both in and out of prison, and a system that is too quick to return ex-offenders to prison for technical parole violations.

Whitman suggests that downsizing California’s prison system – as the state is under federal court order to do – would harm public safety. But that’s a myth. Several states, including New York, have shrunk their prison populations in recent years while also reducing crime rates. In contrast, our bloated prison system is actually a grave threat to public safety: Criminology experts agree that California’s warehouse-like prisons fuel crime. The majority of our inmates do not participate in rehabilitative programming, whether it is substance abuse treatment, vocational training, literacy classes or GED preparation.

But that doesn’t mean California inmates aren’t learning. After touring California’s prisons, the former head of Washington’s prison system described them as “crime schools.” Yolo County’s former chief probation officer, Don Meyer, has said of the prisons he’s visited that “almost nothing positive is going on … it seems like they produce additional criminal behavior.” California’s practice of cycling parolees in and out of prison for a few months at a time helps prison gangs reach their tentacles out into our communities.

In the face of all this evidence, Whitman wants to expand California’s criminogenic, counterproductive prison system. In other words, she proposes to keep doing what California’s been doing for the past 30 years. The Golden State already spends more on its prisons than its once-legendary public universities. Now, with California’s colleges raising fees and rejecting qualified applicants, Whitman wants taxpayers to keep pouring money into scholarships to “crime school.”

How might California downsize its prison system, save taxpayer dollars and protect public safety? Texas – hardly a “soft-on-crime” state – offers one model. In 2007, Texas lawmakers faced a choice: they could spend $540 million to build new prisons that would cost another $1.5 billion to operate or they could spend $241 million to expand alternatives to prison such as residential drug and alcohol treatment centers, halfway houses and mental health facilities. They chose the latter.

So Meg Whitman, if you’re reading this: As a Princeton alumna, I’m grateful that you’ve lavished so many millions on our alma mater. I hope the 19- and 20-year-olds lucky enough to live in Whitman College appreciate the generosity that funded their fancy digs. But as a resident of California, I’m appalled that you propose to use millions of taxpayer dollars to put 19- and 20-year-olds who are not so lucky in cages.

Think of the legacy you’d have as governor if, instead of expanding California’s prison system, you expanded its network of addiction treatment programs, counseling providers, halfway houses and job training centers. Think what would happen if you shut down a few of California’s “crime schools” and beefed up funding for K-12 schools.

As the 168,000 men and women living in them will tell you, we already have enough prisons.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/07/09/2878452/we-cant-afford-whitmans-prison.html?mi_pluck_action=comment_submitted&qwxq=5739126#Comments_Container#ixzz0tCa9ZCem

Please Help – From Death Penalty Focus

On June 8, California’s oversight agency rejected the proposed lethal injection regulations, citing many of the objections raised by members of the public in the comment process. Less than three days later, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) proposed minor changes to the procedures and opened another fifteen-day comment period. These minor changes-made practically overnight-create even more civil rights and civil liberties problems, not less. An analysis of the changes is available here.

While Gov. Schwarzenegger continues to waste hundreds of millions on a death penalty system that is broken and cannot be fixed, he has proposed draconian cuts to vital services for all Californians.

Please join us in saying no to executions! The deadline for taking action is Friday June, 25th at 5pm PST. (You do not need to be a CA resident to take action!)

Please personalize your letter and make it as long as you want. The more letters we can generate, the better chance we have of stopping executions once and for all–this is not just about lethal injection! Your letters made a difference last time, please take 30 seconds to do it again.


Thank you,

Stefanie Faucher

Death Penalty Focus
870 Market St. Ste. 859 San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel. 415.243.0143 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 415.243.0143 end_of_the_skype_highlighting – Fax 415.243.0994 – http://www.deathpenalty.org