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Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes January 2007 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 213-746-4844 our opinion, a critical weakness short parag raph -pl ease round of polling. strategy meetings to start the ball 213-746-4944 fax 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 Donna Warren achieve victory in 2008, we showed how they celebrate demo crati call y i nside the have to follow through with unity Program Assistant 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 Gary Ferguson 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 our efforts? 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 FROM NON-MEMBERS 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 Name__________________________________________________ Address________________________________________________ City_______________________________St_______Zip_________ 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. We wou used tr ld like a 17-2 4 u ck, pre f f er ably d oot ie sel. OUR MESSAGE WILL GO WITH US WHEREVER WE GO! Donations up to a total of $3,000 will be matched by FACTS member, Fred Zullo. Your donation is tax deductible. 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 Prison Population—172,098 ————————— 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) ___________________________________________________________ firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Non-Violent Three-Strikers The OC 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 forgiving yourself. 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 those rules. 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. Kelly FACTS Inland Empire 3982 S. Figueroa St., #209 Los Angeles, CA 90037 (213) 746-4844 Fax: (213) 746- 4944 Mario and Judy Metzger, Inland Empire Candlelight Vigil, 2006 Inland Empire Candlelight Vigil 2006 ADVOCACY LETTER Letterhead (or just type your name and address) Date Name of the Reader Title of the Reader (if he/she has one) Address of the Reader Salutation: 1st Paragraph - State what you want the person to do for you. FACTS 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. CITY LIBRARY MEETING DATES 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. Closing 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 Legal 9 Try to confront only one B. Analysis of Prisoner/Patient Letters to the Receiver. Pharmacy 17 problem at a time. If there are Approximately 80 letters from prisoner/patients are received Other 131 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 problem. 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 XI 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 Negotiate Offend 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 Robert Sillen Sacramento, CA 95814 of access to medications, incorrect or discontinued prescriptions. Receiver Robert Sillen 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 GET RESULTS! Did you know? Criminal Law, Criminal Appeals Workers Compensation Benefits Are & Habeas Corpus Available to Inmates! State and Federal Courts Wrongful Conviction Under the appropriate California Labor Codes, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel if you were hurt on your prison work assign- Sentencing Errors (Cunningham v. ment you can file for workers compensation California - U.S. Supreme Court - 2007) benefits now and receive your money after you Plea Bargains are released. If you were hurt on the job prior to being imprisoned, your dependents can col- Representation at Parole Hearings lect your temporary disability benefits now! BPH Denial of Parole Our office has successfully litigated many criminal appeals and habeas corpus pleadings on behalf of 909-608-7426 California inmates. Inmate or family may call collect Call Collect for a free evaluation of your conviction, or parole issues: Or, mail your questions and inquiries to: 909-608-7426 Marc E. Grossman Call Collect Attorney At Law Or, mail your questions and inquiries to: ATTN: CA Inmate Workers Comp. 818 N. Mountain Avenue, Ste. 111 Marc E. Grossman Upland, CA 91786 Attorney At Law ATTN: CA Inmate Issues Free Evaluation, Reasonable Fees 818 N. Mountain Avenue, Ste. 111 Upland, CA 91786 Free Evaluation, Reasonable Fees 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 Amendment [To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com.] http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0550165p.pdf 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.] http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/us/000/056551.html 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 The 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. reform.
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