Thursday, August 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

California prisons to change pepper-spray rules

By
From page A2 | October 24, 2013 |

By Don Thompson

SACRAMENTO — California prison officials said Wednesday that they will change the rules for using pepper spray on mentally ill inmates, as a federal judge considers whether current practices violate inmates’ civil rights.

The corrections department will limit how much pepper spray can be used and how quickly, said spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman. The rules are still being written and would not apply to emergency situations.

The state’s announcement comes as U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ordered corrections officials to publicly release videos that show prison guards pumping pepper spray into the cells of mentally disturbed inmates, some of whom begin shrieking or yelling for help.

The videos were shown during a hearing over the use of force against mentally ill inmates. The state’s own expert said in court documents that guards routinely use canisters of pepper spray the size of a fire extinguisher on unarmed inmates when a much smaller quantity could be used.

“Obviously, it’s our goal to use a minimal amount of force. Having it spelled out may help these situations stay more in control,” Hoffman said.

Michael Bien, one of the attorneys representing mentally ill inmates, praised the move but said it doesn’t go far enough.

“It’s a big step, and I think that it’s a significant admission that the department needed to reform,” he said.

However, the department is “kind of fine-tuning how they use pepper spray” instead of asking, “is this the type of weapon they ought to be using or are there other ways to avoid use of force?”

The weekslong hearing grew out of Karlton’s decision in April to reject Gov. Jerry Brown’s effort to end court oversight of prison mental health treatment. In the course of contesting that move, Bien said attorneys representing mentally ill inmates discovered new problems.

A separate ongoing federal lawsuit challenges the state’s medical treatment of inmates. Both cases prompted federal judges to rule that overcrowding is the main source of inadequate care, forcing the state to greatly reduce its prison population.

The department also recently announced that it will seek to give more privileges to inmates who are held in disciplinary isolation units but have done nothing wrong.

The change applies to inmates who sometimes are held in administrative segregation units because, for instance, they could be attacked by other inmates or are related to a prison employee.

The rule change was proposed after inmates engaged in a lengthy hunger strike this summer over conditions for gang leaders and others held in segregation.

A new designation, known as Non-Disciplinary Segregation, will let those inmates buy more items from the prison canteen, keep more personal property and have more telephone contact with those outside prison.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

School’s back, with gradual return to smaller classes

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
New live-work project approved for Del Rio Place

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Marcy finds her place in the DHS Hall of Fame

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Testimony in Marsh trial starts Tuesday

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Quake is major test for hard-luck city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Russian columns enter Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Low-income Davis homeowners can save money and go green

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Employee parking permits downtown streamlined

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4

 
Prospective foster parents welcome

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis Media Access: Get involved in community media

By Autumn Labbe-Renault | From Page: A4

 
‘Art of Acting’ offered at Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Tai chi classes set at Davis Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Do you have a project for the noon Rotary club?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Learn about Girl Scouting at meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
 
Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Stroll Through History highlights Beamer Park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
All are welcome at monthly sing-along

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Hosts sought to befriend international visitors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Lunch at the big table, again

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Put flowers in our hair

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Give cops the ability to protect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Don’t let MRAP be a tool for bigger mistakes

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Yes, mother’s milk is best

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Perfectly good playground?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Work on gun control instead

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Military has too much money

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

DHS boys look to win seventh soccer section title

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
New attitude, new stadium for 2014 UCD field hockey

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Gould, Shaw won’t dwell on it, but Biggs remembers The Upset

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
No. 8 keeps Republic unbeaten streak at 8

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Aggie men ranked 11th in water polo poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Dunning picks Cupcake Week

By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

Youth roundup: Judges like what they see from Davis Diamonds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Baseball roundup: Huge inning helps Cats in Nashville

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

.

Features

Local teacher and artist turns 100

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
100 years’ worth of stories

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Arts

Well-known artist will be juror for exhibition

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A11

 
Outdoor art classes to close out summer

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Ethereal dream pop to illuminate Sophia’s Thai Kitchen

By Anthony Siino | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Margarita Elizondo

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

 
.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, August 28, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6