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  • California’s Prison Population is Aging

    Posted Oct 30th, 2014 By in Prisons With | Comments Off on California’s Prison Population is Aging

    Over 20% of the prison population in California is aged 50 or over according to Governing. And as Baby Boomers age and more low level offenders are sent to jail for longer periods of time, that percentage could continue to grow. This is not only a concern for inmates but also for Californians. A new report suggests the growing population could put strains on state budgets, which could also cause a lack of care for older inmates.

    One program in a few California state prisons that could be expanded to help older prisoners, for example, allows inmates to volunteer their time to aid fellow prisoners who are developmentally disabled or mentally ill. The volunteers, known as “gold coats” for the gold smocks they wear, assist inmates with daily tasks, such as dressing or filling out paperwork. As part of the program, they receive training and regularly meet with prison health staff.

    Programs like this are needed as California’s older prison population is set to grow exponentially, particularly given many inmates’ lengthy sentences. About 5,400 are either on death row or facing life in prison without parole, and another 26,000 are sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. That’s about a quarter of the state’s current prison population. “When you incarcerate people when they’re older, you’re doing so at a significant cost when in some cases a person’s ability to harm the general public is greatly diminished,” says Joyce Hayhoe, director of legislation and communications for the California Correctional Health Care Receivership.

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  • California State Prisons Agree to End Race-Based Punishment

    Posted Oct 23rd, 2014 By in Jail, Prisons With | Comments Off on California State Prisons Agree to End Race-Based Punishment

    Racial segregation and race-based punishment in California prisons has been a source of contention for years. Prison officers have been said to separate races and lock individuals in cells based on race, despite whether or not the individual was the source of or involved with a violent incident or riot. A six-year old lawsuit against California spawned the agreement to end the practice.

    When a group of prisoners attacked two guards at California’s High Desert State Prison in 2006, the warden declared a full lockdown that confined African Americans in one wing of the prison to their cells, and kept them there for 14 months.

    No outdoor exercise. No rehabilitation programs or prison jobs.

    This week, California agreed to give up its unique use of race-based punishment as a tool to control violence in its crowded prisons. Corrections chief Jeffrey Beard and lawyers for inmates have settled a six-year-long civil rights lawsuit, filed in 2008, over the High Desert lockdown.

    The case was eventually widened to cover all prisoners and lockdown practices that had become common statewide. The agreement now goes to a federal judge for expected approval.

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  • California’s Changing Definition of Recidivism

    Posted Oct 17th, 2014 By in Criminal Law, Prisons, realignment With | Comments Off on California’s Changing Definition of Recidivism

    Recidivism is when ex-cons are convicted of new crimes, within a certain frame of time from their first conviction. Based on a 2013 report from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation the total three-year recidivism rate for all felons released is 61%.  The percent is declining from previous years, however, it is still one of the highest rates in the country. This could change with the Attorney General Kamala Harris’ new definition of recidivism and data-driven way of tracking it.

    California’s attorney general has released a statewide definition of recidivism — a term used for ex-cons who commit new crimes — that conflicts with one being developed by a corrections-related board overseen by Gov. Jerry Brown.

    The disagreement is important because it will help determine whether the governor’s sweeping changes to the criminal justice system are considered a success. The emerging conflict also has the potential to create confusion among California’s local law enforcement agencies.

    Attorney General Kamala Harris sent district attorneys, probation chiefs and local law enforcement agencies her proposed statewide definition Thursday.

    She wants to count any ex-convict who is charged with a new felony or misdemeanor within three years of release for a previous offense. She also is unveiling a new data collection system based on her definition.

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  • What is Embezzlement

    Posted Oct 10th, 2014 By in Criminal Law With | Comments Off on What is Embezzlement

    In California, embezzlement differs from larceny or theft because unlike the latter two, embezzlement means that there was an established relationship of trust between the victim and the accused. This relationship is commonly referred to as fiduciary and can include: trustees, public officers, agents and other similar positions. Like larceny and theft though, embezzlement is a property crime, which means that the accused has stolen something of monetary value from someone or some entity. To prove embezzlement it must be proven that the accused party had the intent to defraud and steal something from the victim.

    Embezzlement charges should be taken seriously, as they often are seen as a felony charge, depending on the amount stolen. Generally for funds that exceed $900, it is a felony charge. And if someone is accused of stealing from public funds, they can be barred from holding a public office ever again. For more information on embezzlement, here is an excerpt from the California penal code:

    Every person who, in another state or country steals or embezzles the property of another, or receives such property knowing it to have been stolen or embezzled, and brings the same into this state, may be convicted and punished in the same manner as if such larceny, or embezzlement, or receiving, had been committed in this state.

    Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another, or who shall fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to him or her, or who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of money, labor or real or personal property, or who causes or procures others to report falsely of his or her wealth or mercantile character and by thus imposing upon any person, obtains credit and thereby fraudulently gets or obtains possession of money, or property or obtains the labor or service of another, is guilty of theft.

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Jake Brower Criminal Defense Attorney, DUI Lawyer, Felony Arrests, 3-Strike Cases, Criminal Law, Drunk Driving Lawyer, Los Angeles, Orange, Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita,Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Beverly Hills, Hollywood,Oceanside, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Dana Point, Seal Beach, Long Beach, 1043 Civic Center Drive West, #200, Santa Ana CA 92703