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News Scan

Riverside Jail Releases To Reach All-Time High: Kate McGunty of iSun Investigative Blog reports Riverside County has released a record-setting 4,000 inmates from jail early under realignment. The current record-high is 6,001 released in 2007. Riverside is on schedule to beat that record this year. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had imposed an Aug. 17 deadline to reduce state prison overcrowding. As a result, jails are now facing overcrowding. The Fresno County jail has seen a 30% jail population increase, and is now facing a class-action lawsuit as a result for poor medical care.

Realignment to Reduce Inmate Firefighters:
Kerana Todorov of the Napa Valley Register reports the number of volunteer inmate firefighters housed in CDCR fire camps is expected to dwindle. The 3,900 CalFire inmate firefighters currently working in these fire camps were convicted of non-violent, nonviolent, and non-sexual offenses. Under realignment, this class of felons will be sentenced to county jail, home detention or treatment programs.  Calfire Chief Tim Streblow of the Sonoma-Lake-Napa unit explains the future of this important source for firefighting will be undetermined until more realignment data becomes available. Napa Valley County Board of Supervisors Chairman Keith Caldwell says one possibility is housing county jail inmates at fire camps with counties paying $46.19 per day per inmate, although it would cost counties less ($8 - $10 per day) for electronic monitoring or home detention.

CA Death Sentence Reversed, Conviction Upheld: Howard Mintz of Mercury News reports the CA Supreme Court unanimously reversed the death sentence in the 1987 case of Santa Clara double murderer Miguel Bacigalupo Monday. Bacigalupo was convicted of killing two brothers who owned a jewelry store during a heist. The court found the prosecution failed to turn over key evidence that a Columbian drug cartel ordered the kill, which may have resulted in a jury recommendation of life without parole. Bacigalupo's conviction was left intact, but the court ordered a new penalty phase. Bacigalupo has a separate appeal pending in the CA Supreme Court challenging his conviction. The opinion is here.

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