Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes
Inside this issue:
State Office 2
into 2008 with a broad spectrum
Sacramento Rally 3 Coming Together to Build Strength and Create New Possibilities of support.
Orange County 4 By Christopher Calhoun, FACTS Board President and After all is said and done,
geri silva, FACTS Executive Director
Inland Empire 5 money will define our future.
Here, again, unity is essential.
Freedom Writers 6 The life blood of FACTS is members Gary and Ms. professional poll. Fundraising is about creating
Sillen’s Report 7 its members. Over the years, Freddie) built three 8’x 9’ Come to unity around a set
possibilities, and if we aren’t
Art Consent-Tax- 8 we have had thousands of Walls of Strikers, which we of principles for developing our working together and sharing our
m e m b e r s a n d c o n t a ct s bring with us to public events. 2008 initiative and for working ideas and leads, we won’t know
Contact FACTS: organized in all parts of the Families pass out small together. about and build on all the
3982 S. Figueroa St. state. Why, then, have we not brochures/profiles of their loved Identified key attitudes,
opportunities that arise. Two
Suite 209 fulfilled our mission to free ones. (Note: If we don’t have reform proposals, messages, and examples: Barbara Brooks from
Los Angeles, CA 90037 nonviolent Third Strikers? In your info yet - a picture and messengers to test in our first Orange County used one of our
our opinion, a critical weakness short parag raph -pl ease round of polling. strategy meetings to start the ball
has been our inability to move forward it to us). We are At this stage, we have rolling on a house party plan.
FACTSLA@sbcglobal.net with a single, collectively visiting city councils to ask that collectively agreed that we will House parties offer each of us a
www.facts1.com developed strategy. local leaders give their support support ballot language which is simple way to participate, and if
In fact, at our first meeting for reform. We brought the as inclusive as possible, but we could host 100 parties that
geri silva to plan our strategy for 2008, press into a Thanksgiving which we know from public earned 1,000 each, that would be
Executive Director FACTS activists came to the Dinner at the home of Striker opinion research, is winnable. enough to show other major
same conclusion: if we want to Brian Smith. The family We also agreed to proceed donors that we’re serious. But we
achieve victory in 2008, we showed how they celebrate demo crati call y i nside the have to follow through with unity
have to develop greater unity each year with an empty chair organization, drawing on our behind a realistic plan. Likewise,
Freddie Lawson inside FACTS. where Brian would be sitting. active members to guide the Barbara and Bonnie Gordon of
Administrative Assistant There are two ways that we Plans right now are focused on decision-making at each step of the Inland Empire have secured a
have chosen to do this: first, massive list of potential
stronger coordination between Chapter Meeting, Jan 20, 2007-geri silva, shows Frank C. a display of strikers. donors, 54,000. We will
Director, Special Projects
the chapters in Southern need to figure out how
Barbara J. Brooks California through a new to sort through this list,
Striker Editor Chapters’ Committee, and, appeal to potential
second, an inclusive strategic donors, and build a base
planning process that invites all of supporters from
Why FACTS Exists members to come together to there.
By Barb Brooks, Editor make decisions about how to To ge t he r –
move forward toward an united – and acting with
We are here because of initiative in 2008.
your loved ones. faith in one another and
our cause -- we have the
We want this law amended and we Chapters’ Committee p o w e r a n d
want your loved ones to be At this stage, we have taken
re-sentenced appropriately. resou rcefu l ness t o
steps to insure that chapters in create new possibilities,
With this in mind, why would you the greater Southern California to make things happen
hold back your support of
area are meeting together, that might sound
discussi ng, debat ing and impossible to those who
It is not enough to read this paper developing campaigns that don’t know FACTS.
just to find out what we are doing. sharpen our visibility and our
Freedom from the injustice of this vi abil it y. The Chapt ers’
draconian law requires more. Committee meets on a monthly
It is not a ‘freebie.’ basis with representatives from
You cannot ride on the shirt tails of the Inland Empire, Orange our March 28th Bus Ride to the way and informing and DO YOU WANT THIS
others and expect rewards. County, El Monte, South Los Sacramento, (see page 3) consulting with all members LAW AMENDED?
History tells us that whether it be Angeles with Watts and Long Strategic Planning throughout the process. The first step towards drafting
freedom from Beach set to attend the next FACTS members have attended Next steps the initiative is conducting a public
unrepresented taxation, meeting. We are seeking to a series of large group meetings We have enlisted an amazing
social and economic oppression, opinion poll. We have raised
develop more chapters in the in order to develop our strategy group of people to draft our $9,000 thus far and need an
class distinction, slavery,
or simple survival, Southern California area. together for 2008. Everyone is measure: attorney William additional $7,000 to fund the poll.
it took thousands of people Chapters share activities, invited, and everyone has a Genego, Law Professor Erwin We hope to have it by March in
uniting together for change. plans and ideas related to voice. Through these meetings, Ch e me ri ns k y, po lit ic al order to get our poll in the field to
If we still face oppressions of any building Three Strikes support FACTS members have: consultant Dave Fratello, and then begin a first draft of the
kind, we must continue in their communities. We
Analyzed where we are, others. Our plan is to carry out initiative.
to stand up against it. continue to work on our what our strengths are, where the poll and draft a measure by Will you help us take the first
You must stop APATHY “hometown cases.” We have we need to grow in order to late Spring. During this process, step towards 2008? Your donation
with ACTION. held four candlelight vigils win, and the first steps we need we will call together other can be made tax-deductible by
It is a willingness to sacrifice. focused on individual cases and to take, including pulling organizations & groups of folks making it payable to FACTS
Join US—Show Up! succeeded in drawing media together a drafting committee to sit at the table with us and Education Fund and putting ‘poll’
attention each time. We (staff and carrying out a new share their input. We hope to go in the memo portion of the check.
FAMILIES TO AMEND CALIFORNIA’S THREE STRIKES (FACTS)
3982 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 209, Los Angeles, CA 90037 FACTS ACCEPTING NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTIONS
The FACTS mailing list has grown to approximately 14,000 and it is
becoming increasingly difficult for FACTS to send newspapers at no
cost. If you are not a member of FACTS, your voluntary subscrip-
tion of $10 per year will be much appreciated. Thank you.
Mail your check/money order to:
FACTS / ATTN: STRIKER NEWS
3982 s. Figueroa St., #209
Los Angeles, CA 90037
PAGE 2 FACTS STRIKER JANUARY, 2007
to a captivated audience about
LISTEN UP and LEARN from MS. FREDDIE! Learning to be an Activist the injustices of the three
Dear Insiders, other 4,500 and families and ~ A Quick Education for an Intern ~ strikes law and the prison
Wishing all of you the friends unless you want a By Cameron Goodman, FACTS Intern system. On Friday, FACTS
best of everything under the repeat of the 2004 Election!! came out to the quad in full
circumstances. I would like to We CAN do it this time and the This fall I had t he community and get involved force with more information
think that you will seriously time is NOW! opportunit y to intern at in an organization working and a hip-hop performance. A
commit yourselves to getting It’s your life and FACTS Families to Amend towards real change was lot of students and teachers
all of your loved ones involved is committed to making a California 's Three Strikes with invaluable and has changed signed up to participate in the
with FACTS in some way. We change in it. Everything you two other students. We were my perspective forever. amendment campaign, and the
have an enormous task ahead of do from 2007 to 2008 should at the office twice a week for Being able to work with overall objective of spreading
us in 2007 and 2008 and need be geared toward getting your four hours, which was part of Justin, and later Wendy, awareness about the reality of
all of the support we can get. families involved—not just our Race Resistance and gr eatl y e nh a nc e d t he the Three Strikes Law was
We all have to give up calling us to find out what’s Activism class at Occidental experience as well, and we definitely achieved.
something to get this job done. going on and not waiting to the college. I had a vague were able to put on a very Although it was only a
No effort is too small, but we final moments to participate! co m p r e h e n s i o n o f t h e successful event, which I am small contribution to the
each must do something! A lot When do we want it? We implications of laws such as very pro u d for havi ng organization' s mission, I feel
of you have voiced your want it NOW!!!! California's Three Strikes and organized. I' ve never been we succeeded in
opinions on various issues and its unfair and discriminatory involved in organizing events, accomplishing everything we
we need the support of the Sincerely, effects. I knew about the legal especially events for activist set out to do. Furthermore, the
Ms. Freddie components and had heard organizations and the teaming opportunity to meet with
stories about people unjustly experience was really valuable family members, and Harold
incarcerated. I also came to for me. The FACTS "Criminal Hall and John Ewell, taught
the internship with a distrust Justice Awareness Week" was me the i m po r t a n ce of
of police officers and the legal a great success. Monday was organizations that are directly
system in general. I wanted to a preliminary exhibition of involved in communication
take part is something that our informational materials, with people who are affected
actually had an impact on the followed by an inspiring by the issues we are fighting
issues I've been studying at speech by Angela Davis on for. Getting involved at
school. FACTS seemed the Tuesday. She spoke about the FACTS was by far one of the
perfect place to start. After Prison Industrial Complex and best choices I have made in
s pe n d i n g t he s em e st er the prison abolition project. my attempts to contribute to
interning at FACTS, I now The FACTS interns were able social justice causes while
know more about the true to meet Ms. Davis at her learning at the same time. I
implications of our legal reception to talk with her and will remain involved with the
system and understand more have her sign a FACTS organization as much as I can
about my own convictions banner. On Wednesda y, in the future and urge those
towards involvement in civil Harol d Hall , wro ngful l y interested in working for
rights activism than I ever convicted and exonerated, and social or criminal justice
could have in a classroom. Jo hn Ewel l , a recent l y organizations to get involved
Occidental College The opportunity to go into the released second striker, spoke with FACTS.
FACTS ‘Criminal Justice Awareness Week’
FACTS will launch a FACTS Labor Day Picnic —2006
and more inclusive
in March (hopefully). We invite artists &
writers from the Inside to submit political writing (letters-300 words or less),
(opeds-500 words), and political art work, comix, etc. for your page on our
site. We will also accept literary submissions and non-political artwork. Our
purpose will be to give your perspective to the public, a perspective not read
in the news nor seen on primetime.
used tr ld like a 17-2 4
u ck, pre f f
er ably d oot
OUR MESSAGE WILL GO
WITH US WHEREVER WE GO!
Donations up to a total of $3,000 will
be matched by FACTS member,
Your donation is
Make donation payable to
FACTS Education Fund
(Please note ‘TRUCK on check.)
JANUARY, 2007 FACTS STRIKER PAGE 3
“If they don’t reduce sentencing,
nothing will happen. . .
Don’t let them bamboozle you.
They have to reduce sentencing.”
John Irwin, Criminologist and Professor
Emeritus, San Francisco University
California—A State of Incarceration
California Three Strike Law Prisoners
If you are a 2nd or 3rd Striker, we need at least ONE FAMILY MEMBER to get
2nd Strikers, Men 32,069 involved with FACTS by attending this rally, lobbying your legislators and attend
2nd Strikers, Women 1,206 FACTS meetings.
This year marks the 13th Anniversary since the passage of this draconian law
3rd Strikers, Men 7,867 that has put your loved one away for a minimum of 25 years to life. Why would you
NOT support our efforts?
3rd Strikers, Women 78
TOTAL 2ND AND 3RD STRIKERS 41,220 Prison reform is a major issue this year with the legislature and the Governor. We
need to make appointments with our state legislators and show them that we have
come to the Capitol for them to see and hear the voices of 41,220 Striker Families.
Of these 2nd and 3rd Strikers,
THERE ARE STILL 4,431 SENTENCING REFORM MUST be part of the discussion to lower the prison
NON-VIOLENT THREE STRIKERS population.
SERVING A MINIMUM OF 25 YEARS TO LIFE. Make your plans early. Busses will leave from Los Angeles on March 27th at 10:00
How Long is Long Enough P.M. sharp at the parking lot just North of the FACTS office, 3982 S. Figueroa St.
#209. Park your car in the lot and pick it up when you return after the rally on
Wednesday, March 28th at 10:00PM.
For Simple Drug Possession, Shoplifting, Forgery,
RALLY 9:00AM WEST STEPS
Receiving Stolen Property?
PAGE 4 FACTS STRIKER JANUARY, 2007
Orange County FUNDRAISER See’s Candy OC a very busy, working chapter
Fundraiser By Laura Frisbee, OC Chapter Chair
O.C. FACTS must New Year's Eve has always eighteen to open up the eyes of our
been a time for looking back to the fellow legislators and public about
receive your remittance past, and more importantly, this unjust law.
before we can send the forward to the coming year. It's a In our county of Orange, we
time to reflect on the changes we have 51women 1,609 men 2nd
gift certificate to your want (or need) to make and resolve strikers and 3 women, 377 men 3rd
loved one. Allow to follow through on those changes. Strikers. We have a total 2,040
Orange County Chapter has made Strikers, but only have a backbone
enough time for your there 2007 New Year resolutions. of eighteen families wanting a
trust withdrawal to be W e’ re p la nn ing s eve ra l change who dedicate and sacrifice
meetings with local legislators, there busy schedules to come after
processed and mailed to and the trip to Sacramento for 13th work and sacrifice a television
anniversary of 3-Strikes Law. We program. We are getting ready for
us. We will then mail are working to increase Orange 2008 to reform this law and need
the certificate to your Co unty F ac ts memb ers hip , every single 2nd & 3rd striker’s
networking with organizations to family to be involved with this
loved one. educate about prison/sentence initiative and to participate in our
Total-$15.00 reform. We have several fund- March 28, 2007 trip to Sacramento.
raising projects, because we know I would like 2,040 O.C. strikers to
Make Payable to: we will need lots of money to get participate by sending their
See’s Candy Gift Certificate O.C. FACTS this law amended. See’s Candy families this article to join us in
Easter Fundraiser, 5k Justice Walk, order to help you. It’s important
Perfect for Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day P.O. Box 10504 O ra n g e C o un t y P o lit ic a l/ that we have your photograph/
When you don’t know what to get for your candy lover. Fullerton, CA 92838 Environmental Write- A-Thon, and story for the Striker wall, family
No expiration date. 1 lb. Gift Certificate (#767) raising money to give a local contact information, and encourage
$15.00 Includes Mailing scholarship for college. Welcome a loved one to get involved. We
our newest member Lupe Lara and meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each
From ______________________________________________CDC#___________________________ Christina. We have eighteen month at Denny’s conference room
Housing___________________________Address__________________________________________ dedicated members Frank C., John, 3000 W. Chapman Avenue, in the
City_______________________________________________State_________Zip________________ Barbara, Keith, Maude, Laura D, city of Orange Dinner 6pm
Camille, Emmie, Frank M, Joan, Meeting 6:30-8:00pm. We look
To_________________________________________________________ See’s Candy Fundraiser Sue, Sunny, Claudia, Marri, Laura forward to meeting your loved one
Order Form for F., Vivian, Lupe, Christina and at our next meeting to accomplish
Address____________________________________Apt#_____________ Nancy from our chapter. This past our resolutions.
City________________________________State_______Zip__________ 1 lb. Gift Certificate
Total $15.00 week a letter to editor was
Requested Delivery Date ______________________________________ published in Orange County Facts OC
Special Message______________________________________________ Make Payable to: P.O. Box 10504
Register. I received a call from a
___________________________________________________________ O.C. FACTS woman named Beverly whose son Fullerton, Ca. 92838
___________________________________________________________ P.O. Box 10504 is incarcerated and wanted to get 213-746-4844 or 714- 904-1484
Fullerton, CA 92838 involved. Each one of you need to ( No Collect Calls Accepted)
let your families know to come out
and participate it takes more than email@example.com
Meet the Backbone in Conservative Orange County.
In a county of 2040 total strikers, both 2nd and 3rd,
We represent 380 non-violent property and drug offenders.
Front: Frank C., Vivian, Sue, Laura F.
Back: Frank M. III, Nancy, Christina, Maude, Camille, Sunny, Barb, Emmie
Continuing our Commitment
In the New Year
To Bring Justice to California’s
Sue and Maude at the Great American Write -In-OC.
Encouraging visitors to write their legislators to amend the 3-Strikes law.
OC IS WORKING ON THEIR OWN WRITE-IN—CALL FOR DATE/PLACE
Orange County Chair Laura Frisbee, a Thinker, a Doer
FACTS advocate Laura D. Frisbee author of “Family Guide to Visiting California State
Prisons” had a booth at Edward James Olmos 2006 L.A. Latino and Family Festival on
October 15,2006. The booth featured a lot of education to inform the public about
California’s Three Strikes Law and FACTS. Many families stopped to see the
documentary video “Under Three Strikes by Lisa Elaine Scott , Montel Williams show
on 3 Strikes, comix from The Real Cost of Prisons Project “Prisoner on the war on
drugs", "Prisoners on a Hard life," which features a page on 3 Strikes You’re Out,and
Facts Newsletter. The Los Angeles Times reporter featured her in his article because he
was very impressed with this book to help inmates families as well as reporters who have
to visit prisons. Many visitors were very interested in all the literature. Laura’s Booth for her book, ‘A Family Guide to Visiting Calif State Prisons’
Laura takes the opportunity to show videos and literature on 3-Strikes
JANUARY, 2007 FACTS STRIKER PAGE 5
Kelly’s Encouraging Words from the Inland Empire
The 2008 election will be here before we know it. In order to accomplish our
goal, we need everyone involved. There is a lot of work that needs to be done and
there are a lot of you who need to come home. So please, tell your families and
your friends to call the chapter nearest them and get involved.
To those who feel lost and lonely or seem to think you have been forgotten,
we're here to say you are not a number. At times when it seems the worst, reach
deep down inside and find the strength to call on God. Know that if we had the
power to change your situation we would.
Think with a clear head; follow directions from your superiors as much as it
might not make sense at the time. Always do the right thing and always remember
you are loved. Every day, remember that you are someone. You may have made
wrong decisions, but that can be turned around through forgiveness, including
No one can possibly understand where you are and what you go through. Keep
a journal and remember, maybe God’s calling is for you to teach others of your
trials. You can be a better person than all of us.
One day, life will be easier and brighter. You will walk free and feel the breeze
on your face and the cool of the grass under your feet. The judgment of others, who
have no idea, will fade. And for those who passed judgment, they will have to
answer one day. Your life is yours. Don't fold and give in to those who have given
you your sentence. Pass them by and never look back. But don't forget where your
footsteps have led you and the lessons you have learned. Don't ever be an "I told
you so!" For a time, you have to live by a different set of rules. Why? I do not
know. You have paid your dues to society and then some, but there are those who
don’t think it's enough. So, as much as you may disagree, follow the rules. Stay out
of trouble. With your talents, passions and experiences, one day you can change
You are in charge of you! You need to search your soul, pray, and find your
calling on this earth. Start taking the steps necessary to achieve your dreams while
you are there. Learn, grow, and never give up. Your loved ones and God have not
given up on you, nor will they ever. Don't let others make you feel less, because
you are more. For those who looked and judged, let them feel the silent, non-
physical slap in their face with each and every one of your successes. Let those who
judge, hear your words "I told you so, I am more!". We’re waiting to hear from
you, and most of all to see your friends, family and loved ones filling the rooms for
every chapter meeting in every area of the state.
FACTS Inland Empire
3982 S. Figueroa St., #209
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Fax: (213) 746- 4944
Mario and Judy Metzger, Inland Empire Candlelight Vigil, 2006
Inland Empire Candlelight Vigil 2006
(or just type your name and address)
Name of the Reader
Title of the Reader (if he/she has one)
Address of the Reader
1st Paragraph - State what you want the person to do for you.
Inland Empire Chapter ONTARIO 2nd Paragraph - State the most important facts that support your cause.
You want this paragraph to explain the most compelling reasons for action.
Monday - January 22nd 215 E ‘C’ ST 3rd Paragraph - Talk about how the reader can make a personal difference.
Monday - February 12th ONTARIO, CA This paragraph should not just be facts, and should engage the reader in a
Monday - March 19th personal way. You can refer to your request again here.
Monday - April 9th FOR MORE INFORMATION
Monday - May 14th 4th Paragraph - Thank the reader for considering your request, and provide
CALL (951) 237-4553 information on how you may be reached.
YOU MUST WRITE YOUR LEGISLATORS to let them know that Your signature
Three-Strikes Sentencing Reform has to be at the table. No one Your typed name
Your title (if you have one)
else will do this for you. Only YOU!
PAGE 6 FACTS STRIKER JANUARY, 2007
~ Freedom Writers ~ Freedom Writers ~ Freedom Writers ~ Freedom Writers ~
269 Words 267 Words 920 Words
DAILY BULLETIN-Published O.C. Register-Published ANATOMY OF A PRISON RIOT
Letters to the Editor Letter to Editor By Robert Morales
January 9, 2007 Tuesday, December 26, 2006
"I rebuke this f***ing prison!"
System should give parolees Governor: Don't take I awoke with a start as the ear splitting scream shattered my restless sleep and the thunderous pounding of
a chance shortcuts on prison reform the steel desk, door and walls began. "I am a man!" the naked man continued, banging incessantly on the
Re: Jan. 5, article, "Riot a symptom Regarding the Dec. 2 article, feces covered walls of his cell. I sighed heavily. Another long, sleepless night loomed ahead in the prison's
of correctional system's woes." "Sentencing review proposed" administrative segregation unit. I thought of the cookies from the meager lunch I had stashed earlier. Perhaps
Our elected legislators need to [News]: Gov. Arnold I could bribe his silence in exchange for them. I quickly dismissed the idea. It would he futile to attempt to
work together to put an end to this Schwarzenegger proposed a 17- reason with the individual as his mind had long ago snapped under the pressure cooker that is Kern Valley
out-of-control situation with our member commission that would State Prison, a newly opened penitentiary located in the heart of California's fertile agricultural region.
prison system. The state prison in include four legislators, the
Chino usually gets parolees back My name is Robert Morales and I am serving a death sentence in one of California's iron walled combat
attorney general, the corrections zones. I am claiming status as a political prisoner and an unbiased look at the particular elements involved
who broke a term in their parole secretary, a judge and
contracts. The parolee violation with my case will hear me out. Technically I have been sentenced to 35 years to life for a property offense.
representatives of law enforcement Realistically my parole officer has yet to be born and in all likelihood I will die in prison long before my
could be having traveled 50 miles and crime victims' groups. They
out of area, a dirty test, a speeding parole date of 2032.
would serve four-year terms.
ticket, or an arrest. I hope the governor wakes up America has bequeathed to its sons and daughters a chilling legacy of Jurassic proportions. One quarter of
The governor and legislators and takes out crime-victims groups all the people imprisoned upon this planet are serving time in an American prison. California has the dubious
need to re-evaluate this parole in this 17-member commission distinction of having the most densely populated prisons in North America; a prison system many experts
board, which acts like a judge and since law enforcement is included. consider the most violent and racist in the nation.
hands down sentences. This commission strongly needs The California prison system of today fosters a culture of separation and racial apartheid administration
They handed down a sentence to "sentencing reform" individuals policies. As long as the prisoners remain focused on the racial and cultural diversity amongst themselves,
an individual who was honest and with expertise in policy analysis, little time is left to unite and devise a cohesive non- violent political strategy against the dominant policies of
said he was at a concert in San program evaluation, cost/benefit the Californian Correctional Peace Officers Association. Until this occurs, California prisoners will continue
Diego on his way home to Orange analysis and statistical analyses. I to serve as legislative pawns to the interests of the State's prison industrial complex.
County. He got pulled over in would hope Schwarzenegger would Violence within California's prison system has no one cause that prison officials and penologists can
Orange County, which was 32 appoint a professor of criminology, pinpoint but in many cases, the guards themselves initiate the violence. The following incident, which
miles from his house. like Joan Petersilia of UC Irvine, or occurred at K.V.S.P., illustrates this fact.
The Chino board revoked his Dale K. Sechrest, professor of K.V.S.P. has a large cadre of inexperienced correctional officers; ex military toughs with a practiced
probation because he told the truth, criminology at Cal State San swagger who seem to take a perverse delight in enforcing many of the minor rules and regulations which
giving him a one-year sentence, Bernardino. Rose Braz for place untenable demands and severely restrictive measures upon the prisoners' every waking hour.
which is costing us taxpayers Californians United for a Recently a small group of prisoners were released from the unit's cellblock for dinner. The mess hall is
$35,000. Responsible Budget is another located adjacent to the facility's cellblock and in order to enter the mess hall, the prisoners need to pass
Currently, they are not offering candidate who has a coalition of 40 through a corridor with a ceiling of reinforced, bulletproof glass containing scattered gun slots, enabling the
any rehabilitation to this individual, prison-reform groups. tower control officer to observe and if necessary, shoot a prisoner who is attacking another. As the convicts
who had a job. These three individuals are passed through the corridor, one of the guards, asserting his authority, asked one prisoner gruffly, to tuck
The Legislature needs to work professionals in the field of his shirt inside his pants. The prisoner grudgingly complied and continued on his way. The officer then
with each county board of sentencing reform, which this proceeded to ask another prisoner the confrontational question of 'What are you looking at'?'
supervisors and corporations to commission needs to move forward
allow parolees a second chance to and clean up this out-of-control Apparently taken aback and very unhappy with the prisoner's colorful response, the officer then physically
get employment. prison crisis, which our federal manhandled the prisoner, tossing him against the wall for a pat down search. What followed next, was a
Appoint sentence-reform courts have given a deadline of virtual melee of fists, gunshots, pepper spray and swinging steel tipped batons.
individuals like a professor of June 2007. The fight was on. As several more prisoners from the mess hall joined in the fracas, the officers
criminology like Joan Petersilia, of Our elected legislators and supervising the evening meal immediately exited via the mess hall's back door, returning with dozens of
UCI Irvine; Dale K. Sechrest, governor need to stop using scare helmeted and jackbooted baton wielding officers. The scene, which followed, was atrocious.
professor of criminology, Cal State tactics by saying felons will be
University San Bernardino; and released before they have paid their The incident, which originally ignited this episode of savagery, began with I Hispanic prisoners. However,
Rose Braz, of Californians United debt to society. In California felons the avenging helmeted guards made no such distinction in their blind rage. All were prisoners, therefore all
for a Responsible Budget. need to serve 85 percent of their were guilty and woe unto the innocent who remotely resembled being Hispanic, as some Asian and Filipinos
Schwarzenegger needs to sentences. A nonviolent three- unfortunately discovered.
rethink reforming the three-strikes striker is sentenced to 25-to -life for Each prisoner in the dining hall was ordered under threat of death by guards in the interior gun turrets to
law to violent crimes such as a petty crime but does the same assume the prone out position and once the prisoner's hands were securely fastened behind their backs with
murder, not petty crimes which sentence as a person who killed plastic flexi cuffs, the retaliatory beatings began.
warehouse nonviolent individuals someone. It costs taxpayers The prisoners were slapped, beaten, kicked and punched. Those wearing eyeglasses had them violently
and add to crowding situation at all $35,000 a year per inmate. ripped from their faces and stomped upon. Adding further insult to injury, the prisoners clothing was then
33 state prisons. I hope Schwarzenegger would completely and forcibly cut away with scissors. These men, now fully naked and in restraints, posing no
The correctional guards are open up his commission to prison clear and present threat, were then snatched by their ankles and roughly dragged outside. The abrasive
there trying to earn a living, but reform groups to reevaluate instead concrete skinned knees, genitals, chests and shoulders. Still the guards' fury and lust for revenge had not
they shouldn't have to put their of adding to this problem by abated.
lives and inmates' lives in jeopardy building more prisons and shipping
due to this overcrowding. inmates to other states, which don't The ensuing search of the cellblock was excessively destructive. Televisions and radios were smashed,
shampoo containers opened, their contents poured over personal items; photo albums, sweatpants, canteen
Laura D. Frisbee, La Habra offer any rehabilitation.
food items, all received this gooey manna, this blind fury from guards run amok.
Laura D. Frisbee, La Habra
124 Words Tragically this violent and senseless scenario will find itself being played over and over again in many a
L.A. Times-Published 58 Words California prison, The violence and frustration levels inherent to the level IV prison systems will continue to
This was sent to L.A. Times in escalate as long as prisoners are continually berated and abused by guards who teach that violence is an
Letter to Editor response to someone else’s letter acceptable means to an end.
December 26, 2006 to editor with not only a huge bill to pay, but fixed), and additional reform care facilities, more one on one with
Corrections chief was on the state will continue it's lock em programs offered, that $9 Billion children who need role models in
Re: Little faith in education
target reform up mentality, so that we'll be in the annual budget will easily reach $12 their lives? Why can't we provide
Re "Ex-prison chiefs tell of same predicament in another 10 to - $15 Billion over the next few intervention at the earliest point in a
The best line in this letter is 20 years. When are we going to years. child's life so that they won't head
frustrations," Dec. 21 " Make education a funding
Former state Corrections wake up? 47% of the state voted We need Three Strikes towards a life of crime? Why can't
priority or spare us the charade". for Prop 66, which would have reform. Many voted for the law we provide jobs for those coming
Secretary Jeanne Woodford
described her agenda for the amended the Three Strikes Law in back in 1994 based on those same out of prison, so that they don't have
Unfortunately, I believe this may 2004. The only reason that Prop 66 advertisements placing fear to resort to a life of crime to put food
department: reform of the parole be because California values
system, more education and drug did not pass was due to the in our heart and minds. We on their families tables? Today, if
Prisons and the Prison Industrial
treatment programs for inmates, a Governor's television ad's pounding were also told that the law would you have a felony, your chances of
Complex more than we do
fresh look at who goes to prison fear into the hearts of Californian's apply to murderers, rapists and getting a decent job, paying decent
Children and Education. Pretty sad
and for how long. That was almost with lies that murderer's, rapists child molesters. Another lie. wages, are slim to none. Why can't
in a State that is 3rd from the
one year ago. These goals were and child molesters would run Many of us who are seeking we provide drug rehab until the job
bottom in Education. Where are
absolutely on target. free. Without those ads, we all change in the Three Strikes Law is done? It's certainly a lot cheaper
our priorities ? know, Prop 66 would have passed. voted for it. However, we and the than locking someone up for 25
With Woodford's leadership and
Sue Reams He was lying to us then and he is entire population of the state were years to life for petty offenses. We
the governor's support, we could Tustin
have been on our way to solving lying to us now. We cannot build duped. We will spend every last are the #1 nation in the world when
some of the problems that are now 593 Words our way out of this mess! We have breadth we have to get it changed. it comes to incarceration. What a
plaguing California's prison To: firstname.lastname@example.org to look at reforming Three Strikes It is injustice at it's finest. Other crime that is!!
system. Subject: Letter to the as part of the overall reform states not utilizing the law for other So, wake up Governor!! We
I would hope that Woodford and Editor - Gov. Seeks review of package. Building additional than violent crimes, enjoyed the can't buy our way out of this one!
her predecessor, Roderick Q. prison terms, but what he facilities will only lead to more same downward trend in crime that Reform Three Strikes now!
Hickman, are on the governor's money down the drain. At $9 California has. Violent crime is on
seeks is a problem in itself!! Billion (yes folks, that's $9 Billion) the rise though. All you have to do
Bonnie M Gordon
short list of members and Gov. Schwarzenegger's plan for Chair, Inland Empire Chapter
consultants for the sentencing dollars being wasted away now, is open up the paper every day and Families to Amend CA Three Strikes
reform falls short in that he is
commission that has just been with nothing to show for it but a see that we are in a crisis. What
unwilling to look at amending the
created. They could contribute a prison industrial complex that will the answer be then? Lock up
states Draconian Three Strikes Word count is shown to give
widened perspective that would continues to suck the life out of our more? What about getting to the
Law. The money he is looking to you an idea of how much space
enable the commission to state. With additional facilities, root of the problem? How about
borrow today, will be an albatross
encompass all issues of prison additional staffing, money being putting money into high risk kids your letter may take up.
around our children's necks for
reform. pulled to fix the healthcare system from the get go? Why can't we Count your words.
decades to come. They'll be left
CAROLE-Laguna Beach (which desperately needs to be provide better schools, better day
JANUARY, 2007 FACTS STRIKER PAGE 7
Guidelines for Prisoner Letters Received –Exerpt The categories of complaints are set forth below:
Writing Complaints: Robert Sillen’s Third Bi-Monthly Report Issue Category Statewide Total
#1-Write your letter to X. 94
Access to Care
the appropriate person. OTHER M ATTERS DEEMED APPROPRIATE FOR Medical Appeals Problems 18
Write the letter as soon as JUDICIAL REVIEW Complaint v. Staff 34
possible after the incident, while A. Inmate Patient Complaints and Correspondence Disagree with Care 304
it is still fresh in your mind. Type P rogram. Miscellaneous* 203
the letter, when possible. As reported in the Second Bi- Monthly Report, the Office Suspicious Death 15
Explain the problem as of the Receiver completed implementation of its initial process for Custody Interference w/ Medical Care 16
clearly, briefly, and fairly as pos- receiving and evaluating inmate patient complaints and
sible. In the first and last lines of correspondence. The Receiver provides below a summary of the *Miscellaneous Category Statewide Total
the letter, clearly state your ex- initial numbers and type of complaints and correspondence Mental Health 29
pectations of the other party. received. Dental 13
Try to confront only one B. Analysis of Prisoner/Patient Letters to the Receiver.
problem at a time. If there are Approximately 80 letters from prisoner/patients are received
several problems, pick two or by the Office of the Receiver each week. Between May 2006 and
three that need immediate at- September 2006, the Office of the Receiver processed 684 letters
E. Medical Appeal Priorities.
tention and briefly list these and (a process which includes reading, summarizing, logging, tracking
After the review of hundreds of prisoner/patient letters, two
how you expect them to be rec- and acknowledging receipt with a return letter). The great majority
critical priorities have emerged which, if corrected, would lead to
tified. of letters, not surprisingly, involved complaints about medical care.
important and necessary improvements in the CDCR medical
However, many prisoner/patients also write about topics not
Focus on how the within the Receiver's jurisdiction, such as mental health and
appeals process. First, the timely review of patient complaints
problem can be solved, not on appears to be essential. In actual practice, it appears that in many
dental problems, general observations about the prison system,
petty details of the problem. institutions medical appeals do not respond to patient complaints in a
and requests for legal advice. Prisoners raising non- med ical issues
Stick to the facts and avoid timely manner.' Second, the initial evaluation of patient complaints
are referred to the appropriate office for assistance.
emotional statements. should require a clinical review. 13 Although it varies by institution,
Eighty seven prisoner/patients have written to the Receiver
Try to give the letter a po-
medical appeals filed through CDCR's formal "602" system may not
more than once, either about the same or a different issue. Each
be subject to clinical review by a physician until they reach the
lite, positive tone, not a negative inmate letter regarding medical care is subject to clinical review by
second formal level, preceded by an informal appeal and a first level
tone. Do not use words that the Receiver's Chief Medical Officer or Medical Consultant. Of the
formal appeal. Those steps may, in practice, take months and in some
express blame. Do not threaten letters reviewed by clinical staff, approximately twenty percent
instances prove ineffective in addressing the underlying medical
to sue. The objective is to solve were determined to warrant further investigation or immediate
the problem and come to some clinical contact.
kind of agreement or reimburse- Although the prisoner/patients who choose to write to the
ment. Receiver are a self-selected, non- representative sample of the prison
12 At some institutions this problem may reflect poor management of patient
correspondence, in other cases it may be indicative of severe clinical
Include all the important population, the letters have provided the Office of the Receiver staffing shortages that created the underlying complaint.
information, including dates and with a useful perspective concerning the development of proposed
times of the occurrence. Include systemic interventions. Prisoner/patient correspondence assists in 13
A Patient Advocacy Project has been developed at San Quentin whereby
the establishment of clinical priorities by describing the impact of Registered Nurses act as Patient Advocates to review new, informal medical
information on how you can be
contacted, such as a phone systemic issues on individual prisoners. In addition, this appeals daily and triage them into urgent, emergent and routine categories.
correspondence occasionally prompts intervention when an a Thereafter, the nurses personally interview the inmates with emergent issues
number and address. In case of that same day. See the Second Bi -Monthly Report at 38 - 39. Under this
problems related to merchan- problem is presented that must be addressed immediately.
system urgent cases are seen within 24 hours. Not surprisingly, the program
dise, make copies of documents C. Prison Specific Distribution of Correspondence. has created a significant increase in informal appeals via the Patient
such as bills and receipts, in- The 684 letters received by the Office of the Receiver were Advocates Program (from 237 to 487 weekly), as San Quentin
clude the copies with the letter, mailed from 31 of the 33 adult prisons. The California State Prison prisoner/patients learned about this quicker route to getting medical
and keep the originals for your - Solano is the source of most correspondence, with 82 letters. The attention, creating backlogs and associated staffing problems which are in
the process of being addressed.
records. next-highest number of complaints came from: Mule Creek State
Conclude your letter with Prison (72), California Medical Facility (58), Pleasant Valley State
confidence that the matter will Prison (54) and Avenal State Prison (43). No letters have arrived
from inmates at Deuel Vocational Institute or Wasco State Prison. CONCLUSION
be resolved to your satisfaction. As the Receivership enters the second half of its first year of
Helpful words you can use: The number of letters by institution is set forth below: operation it approaches a pivotal crossroad. During the first six
Check on each word to get defi- Avenal State Prison - 43 months of Receivership operations, the overriding focus of
nitions and other examples of Calipatria State Prison - 8 California's Administration and the Legislature revolved around the
words that might be useful. California Correctional Center - 1 recently completed election. No progress was made regarding
Compensate Concerned California Correctional Institution - 11 deplorable prison conditions, including and especially gross
Centinela State Prison - 9 overcrowding. State law, regulations, policies, procedures, and the
Damage Defective inherent political nature of state governance continue as
Central California Women's Facility - 12
California Institution for Men - 4 impediments which must be modified and/or overcome if cost
Impolite Incomplete effective long term improvements in prison medical care are to be
California Institution for Women - 25
Inconsiderate Inconvenient California Men's Colony - 26 achieved.
California Medical Facility - 58 Many obstacles were faced and several successes achieved by
Mishandle Misinterpret the Receiver in a short period of time. However, the depth of other
Corcoran State Prison - 18
Correctional Training Facility – 31 problems and the inter-related nature of unconstitutional conditions
Folsom State Prison - 9 have delayed long term improvements, and likewise delayed the
Overcharge Reimburse High Desert State Prison - 9 Receiver's design for a necessary near total restructuring of
Ironwood State Prison - 4 California's prison medical delivery system.
Repair Repay To his credit, signs of cooperation and collaboration have
Kern Valley State Prison - 8
Resolve Restore California State Prison, Los Angeles County - 23 been provided by Governor Schwarzenegger's Office. On the other
Mule Creek State Prison - 72 hand there are also foreboding signs of resistance and obstinance
Return Rude North Kern State Prison - 6 from major agencies such as the State Personnel Board as well as
Pelican Bay State Prison - 6 ind ividuals within various agencies of state government. Although
Thoughtless Uncooperative to date unions have worked with the Office of the Receiver in a
Pleasant Valley State Prison - 54
Unhappy Unprofessional R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain - 18 sufficiently cooperative and flexib le manner, this posture may not
California State Prison, Sacramento - 4 continue when the Receiver moves from salary adjustments to
ADDRESSES YOU MAY WANT California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, changes in employee roles, responsibilities, reporting relationships,
Corcoran - 36 and operating procedures.
Senior Judge Sierra Conservation Center - 2 The Office of the Receiver achieved its initial progress
Thelton B. Henderson California State Prison, Solano - 82 described without exercising its full powers, and without calling for
San Quentin State Prison - 35 repeated intervention by the Federal Court. The Receiver will
U.S. District Court,
Salinas Valley State Prison - 21 continue to work cooperatively and collaboratively with all
Northern Dist. of CA stakeholders to the fullest degree possible. However, maintaining
Courtroom 12, 19th Floor Valley State Prison for Women – 5
the status quo is not an option. The mission, as set out in the Order
450 Golden Gate Ave. D. Types of Complaints. of February 14, 2006, will be accomplished, with or without
San Francisco, CA 94102 The majority of letters (304) concern the prisoner/patient's cooperation. In this regard, the Receiver antic ipates seeking
Senior District Court Judge disagreement with the medical care provided. Examples of these additional Court orders whenever necessary to overcome the
complaints include patients' contentions that their ailments --back barriers imposed by those who attempt to obstruct the correction of
Lawrence K. Karlton
problems, breathing problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, unconstitutional conditions.
U.S. District Court,
Eastern Dist. Of CA Hepatitis C, broken bones and others - are not being taken seriously
Dated: December 5, 2006
Courtroom 4—15th Floor by medical staff. Several patients have written regard ing lack of
access to care (94), for instance, seeking surgery or specialty (Signed)
501 ‘I’ Street appointments. Others regard pharmacy issues (17), detailing a lack
Sacramento, CA 95814 of access to medications, incorrect or discontinued prescriptions. Receiver
CDCR-VIPs Page 6 gave many samples email@example.com (no word limit-prefer on-line form)
Medical Receiver James Tilton, Secretary
1730 Technology Dr. #700 of letters to the editor. To firstname.lastname@example.org (200 words-see on-line form)
San Jose, CA 95110 CA Dept of Corr and Rehab the right are addresses to email@example.com (200 words-one letter in 90 days)
John Dovey, Director newspapers. Educate and firstname.lastname@example.org (200 words-also on-line form-one letter per mo.)
Division of Adult Institutions e xpand the public’ s email@example.com (no word limit given)
1515 ‘S’ Street thinking about our issues. firstname.lastname@example.org (200 words-”shorter has better chance”)
Sacramento, CA 95814 It doesn’t cost a cent! email@example.com (no word limit given-one letter within 120 days)
916-323-6001 firstname.lastname@example.org (“keep it brief” and one letter a month)
PAGE 8 FACTS STRIKER JANUARY, 2007
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US v. Ramirez , No. 05-50165, 05-50181 (9th Cir. January 16, 2007)
The collective knowledge doctrine includes no requirement regarding the
content of the communication that one officer must make to another. Where
one officer knows facts constituting reasonable suspicion or probable cause
sufficient to justify action under an exception to the warrant requirement,
and he communicates an appropriate order or request, another officer may
conduct a warrantless stop, search, or arrest without violating the Fourth
[To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com.]
U.S. Supreme Court
Cunningham v. California (01/22/07 - No. 05-6551)
California's determinate sentencing law, by placing sentence -elevating
factfinding within the judge's province, violates a defendant's right to trial by
jury safe-guarded by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.
[To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com.]
FACTS advocates the Three-Strikes law be Please give
amended in the following ways: a donation so
The law should be applicable to violent offenses only. we can get the
The law should not be applicable to crimes committed poll done in
before its enactment in 1994;
law should not count multiple counts during a single act
March, to see
as multiple strikes; what the
The law should include a "wash-out" period such that public would
convictions older than ten years do not count as strikes;
Burglary of unoccupied dwellings should not count as
vote for on
serious or violent" strikes; and 3-Strikes
The law should not be applicable to juvenile offenses.