June 25, 2013 — After something like 20 years of wrangling, a panel of three federal judges last week ordered the state of California to release nearly 10,000 inmates from its state prisons by year’s end.
The issue centers on the conditions in which approximately 110,000 inmates live — conditions the U.S. Supreme Court determined were nothing short of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Last week the federal judges ordered the state to reduce the number of prisoners to 137 percent of capacity. Current estimates put the capacity at something like 150 percent.
June 18, 2013 — I can say without hesitation I’ve had a lot of fun working for The Lassen County Times this past year, maybe more fun than I’ve ever had at a job. I got to take a lot of photos and made some new friends along the way.
But things change, and I’m leaving The Times as a staff writer, although I hope to contribute freelance articles from time to time.
I sort of stumbled into this job, and it anchored me at a time I badly needed it. Although I had worked off and on as a journalist for years, this was my first shot at news reporting, and the experience has enriched me.