CA Implementing New Program for Non-Violent Female Prisoners

California may send thousands of female prisoners home

California may send thousands of female prisoners home

September 13th, 2011 12:23 PM ET, CNN

Thousands of women inmates from California prisons could soon be released to be reunited with their families under a program the state began implementing on Monday.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said offenders whose crimes were nonviolent, nonserious and not sexual, with less than two years remaining on their sentences, are eligible for the Alternative Custody Program, which was signed into law in 2010 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“Approximately two-thirds of CDCR’s female inmates are mothers whose children are either with relatives or are in foster care,” CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said in a press release. “ACP is a step in breaking the intergenerational cycle of incarceration, as family involvement is one of the biggest indicators of an inmate’s rehabilitation.”

About 45% of the state’s 10,000 female inmates may be eligible for the program, the CDCR said. It may be made available to male inmates in the future, the department said.

Those admitted to the program will wear electronic monitors and be supervised by a parole agent, the CDCR said. They can serve their remaining time at home or in a residential substance-abuse or transitional-care facility, according to the agency.

The prisoners will be allowed to find jobs or attend classes during their release, the department said.

The state of California should save about $6 million a year under the program, the CDCR estimated.

California is under federal pressure to reduce inmate populations. The Supreme Court this summer upheld a lower court ruling that medical and mental health care for inmates in the state prison system falls below the level required by the Constitution.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in April a plan to reduce prison crowding by moving 33,000 low-level offenders to county jails. But the state is cash-strapped, and funding for that plan, estimated at $460 million in the first year, must be approved by voters in November.

California has the nation’s largest prison system.

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Seth’s Law Passes in CA

Seth’s Law, Measure Designed To Curb Anti-Gay Bullying, Passes California State Senate

First Posted: 9/2/11 07:12 PM ET Updated: 9/2/11 07:12 PM ET, The Huffington Post

On Friday, the California State Senate approved Seth’s Law (AB 9), a bill designed to crack down on the harassment of LGBT students in the state’s schools.

Named after the 13-year old Seth Walsh, the gay junior high student who took his own life last year after facing constant harassment from bullies at his school in Tehachapi, California, the bill was authored by State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano.

The National Center For Lesbian Rights reports:

AB 9 would ensure that every school in California implements updated anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and programs that include actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion. It would also empower students and parents to know what their rights are and how to advocate for them.

“I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for taking this important step forward to ensuring that schools have the necessary tools to prevent any young person from being bullied, harassed or worse because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression,” said Ammiano in a press release. “As a former teacher, I know how important it is for our students to feel safe at school. We have a moral duty to our youth to prevent bullying and Seth’s Law will help schools protect students, and prevent and respond to bullying before a tragedy occurs.”

Time Magazine reports:

Under current law, requirements are vague, and only some schools address complaints of bullying. Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, says that means the bill will help combat a troubling trend: 80% of gay students nationwide report that school employees do little or nothing to stop antigay behavior when they witness it.

In a recent study by the California Safe Schools Coalition found that nearly half of of California students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual have been the victims of gender-based harassment—that number jumps to over 60 percent for transgender students.

Anywhere in the World in under 1 Hour

New York to LA in less than 12 minutes

By CNN’s Adam Levine

The US military is preparing to launch a test flight of an unmanned hypersonic aircraft capable of reaching any target in the world in less than an hour.

Designed by the military research group DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the triangular wedge of zoom is capable of reaching Mach 20, which is approximately 13,000 miles per hour, according to the agency.  At such a speed, the aircraft will be subject to temperatures in excess of 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The test of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2, called HTV-2, is slated for Thursday between 10aET and 4pET from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.  It will be launched off of a Minotaur IV rocket and then re-enter the earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific.

This is the second run for the hypersonic vehicle.  A first test in April 2010 ended with the HTV-2 crashing into the Pacific after a loss of contact nine minutes into the flight. But those nine minutes provided DARPA with some key information about flying at 3.6 miles per second. The second flight will build on that as the team tests capability of maintaining control and communications, resisting the intense heat and other effects of flying 22 times faster than a commercial jetliner.  As DARPA puts it on the HTV-2 site, at that speed “air doesn’t travel around you – you rip it apart.”

The launch, originally slated for Wednesday but then scrubbed because of weather, will not be broadcast live but you can follow progress on the DARPA Twitter feed.

California Dream Act

California: Half of ‘Dream’ Act Signed
By ,  July 25, 2011 NY TIMES

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Monday legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to receive privately financed scholarships for state universities. The bill is part of package known as the California Dream Act, which would entitle those students to the same kind of state aid that American citizens and legal residents can receive. That bill has passed the state Assembly, but has not come to the floor for a vote in the Senate. The Democratic-controlled Legislature has passed similar bills in the past, but they were vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican. Mr. Brown is a Democrat.