Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California board teams with non-partisan research group to measure realignments’ effects

Mule Creek Prison

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation / EPA

Mule Creek Prison's design capacity is for 1,700 prisoners. At one point the prison housed 3,769 prisoners.

The state board in charge of tracking the effects of California's criminal justice realignment voted Monday to partner with the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California to get the job done.

The two-year old realignment law diverted tens of thousands of criminals from prisons by making certain felony crimes punishable by jail sentences. It also put counties in charge of monitoring lower-level felons coming out of prison — and sanctioning ex-convicts who violate parole.

But state lawmakers enacted the change without much of a plan for measuring the outcome.

They made the Board of State and Community Corrections responsible for tracking and sharing realignment data with the public. But the board lacks authority to get counties to record or report that data in any particular way.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: questions about OC pensions, election time in CD 6, politicians become art subjects

Mercer 5527

Orange County

The Voice of OC looks at the cost of a pension for one of the Orange County supervisors.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Monday, July 22, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, Mayor Eric Garcetti adjusts to his new role, city council members get old new cars, and Councilman Tom LaBonge celebrates Hollywood.

A new art exhibit in Highland Park recognizes Mayor Eric Garcetti and members of the Los Angeles City Council, reports the Los Angeles Times. "There's a moody painting of Councilman Gil Cedillo in blue and a sculptural interpretation of City Atty. Mike Feuer. One of the most detailed works is a meticulous etching of City Controller Ron Galperin," according to The Times.

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California prison officials deny media access to hunger strikers

Ben Margot/AP

A watchtower rises above the maximum security complex at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City.

Roughly 1,000 inmates in California’s prisons were still on a hunger strike Sunday to protest long-term isolation of inmates believed to have ties to prison gangs.

The mass protest, which is in its third week, has drawn international attention, but prison officials won't allow reporters in to cover the strike.

California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation denied KPCC’s request to tour any of the four Security Housing Units in the state, where inmates spend up to 22 hours a day in their cells.

“There are a lot of staffing resources being used to manage this mass hunger strike and maintain the safety and security of our institutions,” said spokeswoman Terry Thornton. “When this is concluded we can resume having reporters visits our institutions.” 

Corrections enforced the same policy during hunger strikes in 2011.

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A bipartisan effort to bring the immigration debate home

Activists recently rallied outside the Capitol to keep the pressure on House GOP members over immigration reform.

Congress has two more weeks of work before adjourning for the summer. Immigration advocates plan to use the down time to take the debate to the district of individual Republican members. The push begins in California Saturday with a rare bipartisan conversation.

Chicago Democrat Luis Gutiérrez has been on the road the past week, talking immigration reform in Republican Congressional districts in various states.

So far, no GOP members have joined him onstage. But for his stop in Bakersfield, Gutiérrez will  be joined by freshman Republican David Valadao, who acknowledges his colleague's standing: "I mean, he's one of the Group of Seven, so he's been a leader on immigration."

It's actually known as the "Gang of Seven" — a bipartisan group of lawmakers that has been working for months, but still hasn't unveiled its promised comprehensive immigration bill.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: recruiting South LA voters, an audit of AIDS Healthcare, Mayor Bob Foster talks about leaving office

A voter fills out her ballot during early voting before the 2012 presidential election at the Gila County Recorder's Office in Globe, Ariz., on Oct. 26.

Joshua Lott/Reuters/Landov

Groups in South Los Angeles are using a new strategy between elections to increase turnout at the polls.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Friday, July 19, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

In South Los Angeles, some groups are using "integrated voter engagement" to increase turnout in elections, reports KPCC. "Their common goal is to increase voting among those who are feeling state budget cuts the most— young and low-income voters, people of color and immigrants," according to the station.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation hopes to block an audit by Los Angeles County, according to the Daily News and KPCC. The group calls the financial review "retaliatory" and "illegitimate."

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