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California

Many sex offenders killed in California prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Shortly after 2 a.m. on April 6, 2010, a guard at Salinas Valley State Prison noticed ____ ____’s cellmate trying to stuff something under a mattress. It was ____, blood trickling from his mouth and a cloth noose tied around his neck.

The convicted child molester died 10 days later without regaining consciousness, his death earning his cellmate a second life sentence. California state prisoners are killed at a rate that is double the national average — and sex offenders like ____ account for a disproportionate number of victims, according to an Associated Press analysis of corrections records. Full Article

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  1. Gerald

    “The very day they let him into the yard, he was filing complaints, ‘Get me the hell out of here,'” said Ager’s son, Daniel. “‘This is not safe. I’m going to get killed out here.'”

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/02/16/4381879/ap-exclusive-many-sex-offenders.html#storylink=cpy

  2. Harry

    The prison warden needs to arrested for accessory to murder. The son should file an citizen arrest.

    • Tired of hiding

      I disagree…they allowed vigilante “justice” and that’s what the prison warden should also receive!

  3. mike

    Wow and a judge said the prison officials were not at fault .Omg they had this guy murdered basically by putting him on the general population yard.

  4. Matt

    Prison guards don’t care what happens to RSO’s, or any other inmate for that matter. Neither does the rest of the law enforcement community. Nor do the lawmakers. They never have, and they never, ever will. As far as any of them are concerned, a dead RSO is a good start. Showing these people that the treatment is unfair, while true, has no chance of bringing change about. The California prison system has been operating in violation of court orders for years and years. They don’t care. Inmates are not humans. And RSO’s are a sub-class below regular inmates.

    I bring this up because it matters in terms of the attempt at tiered registry. It has to be 1) their idea, 2) cost less than what’s happening now, and 3) it has to make them look good.

    So, #1 is covered because of the April 2014 report. #2 can be easily argued. #3 will be the tough one. They have to show that they are saving money and improving public safety.

    • Janice Bellucci

      One way to make them look good is for them and others (including the media) to say they are SMART on crime, not soft on crime. That will indeed be the truth when public safety is increased by the efficient use of taxpayer dollars spent only on monitoring those who pose a current danger, not an individual who committed an offense 20 years ago and has not re-offended.

    • George

      Speaking of Orange County, compare…

      Death sentence: The deadly jail beating of John Chamberlain

      http://www.ocregister.com/articles/-62296–.html

    • Doug

      Prison guards are terrible. When I got to San Q I didn’t want to pc up as they say. I went to the white shot caller as they are called the main guy who tells all the white population what to do basically and explained my case and showed him my police report which I had to sign for because of the nature of my crime. The next day a group of very unfriendly much larger than me white guys came up to me and said don’t stress just do your time. Over a year went by when one of the guys tells me several of the correctional officers were not only telling them about my case but showed them a copy of the paperwork. When my fellow inmates said they already knew and saw it to the staff it was the green wall that was always going through my stuff and causing me problems not the inmates.

      • George

        Doug, not all behind bars is FUBARed and I respect that it went well for you. What I question is working with the guards so closely and believing in them so blindly. Take another case already covered here that was part of the same story.

        Chapluk didn’t need to answer. Petrovich told me that anyone who was considered a “chester” was open to attack by inmates of all races and would be subjected to a merciless assault, which is exactly what he was expected to arrange. As he told me this, Petrovich added that chesters weren’t the only people subjected to vicious attacks at F-West; he’d heard that a onetime member of the rock band Kiss who had stolen crackers from an inmate had been beaten to a pulp back when Sick Dog was the shot-caller.

        Based on Petrovich’s claim, I dug up jail records that showed Mark Leslie Norton, a former Kiss guitarist and meth addict, had been transferred from one area of Theo Lacy to F-West barracks just a month before Chamberlain was killed. In a letter from state prison, Sick Dog told me that Taylor had informed him of Norton’s thievery in the other area of the jail and promised him extra sack lunches if he saw to it that the prisoner was punished once he reached F-West. Several inmates who witnessed the attack told me Norton was beaten so badly he couldn’t leave his cell for more than a day, yet he was never given any medical attention. He died of a brain hemorrhage several months after he left jail, in April 2007. (I wrote three stories about the Norton beating, the last of which was “Sack Attack,” July 11, 2008.)

        The irony is that those sack lunches aren’t that good. Given your solution it appears that if the guards merely filled out a police report that would settle it, no questions asked. That is a bit of a stretch because not even the courts consider police reports reliable evidence. If you believe the state stacks charges to aid in plea bargaining, and most people with experience of the system know that to happen, then it follows the stacking of charges always starts with the police report.

  5. Margaret Moon

    I think this family needs a better attorney. It is the prison’s business to guard the safety of an inmate. They didn’t. They are at fault. I know that the county of San Diego has paid many settlements for similar cases. Do NOT give up.

  6. Jo

    You all know, all to well, that once inside there, there is no real law. It the law of the jungle, and no matter how many writs are filed, if you are targeted, its just a matter of time. The guards, most of them, know that in order to keep the respect of the yard and thus their life, that they either give up the guy or they turn their head when it goes down.

  7. Tired of hiding

    And in other news…water is found to be wet.

    Clearly this is sanctioned MURDER by the prison system admins. Nothing Less

    • Timmr

      Yes, it’s our new University system for the new American economy. It’s for people down on their luck to learn the finer arts of hate, drug dealing, torture, rape, gang violence and murder. One can even earn a degree in vigilante justice. Fine job Corrections and Rehabilitation for using all those tax dollars diverted from real universities and using it to make us all feel safer. Horay for the liberal state.

  8. mch

    The prison guards are accessories to crimes because they: point out who the victim will be; they arrange for the crime to happen and, they turn their backs when it does happen. It’s the same in county jails, if not worse. These guards think that they’re doing some noble service or living up to a higher calling by allowing sex offenders to be murdered and at a rate higher than gang members! you see, because it’s a sex offender, nobody really gives a damn. What’s a second life sentence to a lifer? Stupid and laughable. Everybody in prisons knows this goes on, from the wardens down to the janitors, but prisons are an ultra-closed mini society. What happens in prison stays in prison is their mantra. The California penal system is no better than it was 50 years ago, and, if anything, probably worse. Inmates can write home, but the letters are censored, if it’s something they don’t want out of the walls, the letter gets “lost”, a lot like evidence gets lost. Guards are not placed there to protect other inmates, they’re there to draw their 100K a year salaries, then disability. Just another arm of law enforcement I’m not fond of.

  9. USA

    This is clearly a very disturbing article. I unfortunately spent a little time in LA County Jail 20 years ago/it was my one and only time and to say the least, I was rather shocked at what I saw. I was more afraid of the jailers than convicts. Its also very disturbing to see how gang members, murderers, drive by shooters and strong armed or gun related robbers consider themselves better than some guy who exposed himself or ect. I just don’t get it. You can join a gang and drive by an innocent bystanders house, shoot a gun into a home and they consider themselves more respected? In addition, while my legal issue occurred over 20 years ago, I was rather disturbed to see how convicts are treated in California. They lock them up, treat them like animals and yet expect them to be rehabilitated? I’ve never seen anything like it. I suggest California take lessons from some European Countries and other states that treat their inmates in a more humane manner. Very sad.

    • John B

      Not just California… ALL of the United States would be well advised to take its cues from the other, more enlightened Western democracies, and on many issues. Unfortunately, we arrogantly believe that this is the “greatest country in the world” and thus everyone should learn from us, when it’s so clearly the other way around.

      A few fun facts about the United States of America

      In terms of the percentage of women holding public office, the U.S. ranks 79th out of 147 countries,

      Our unemployment percentage is worse than 102 of the 200 countries listed by the CIA World Factbook.

      A stunning 89th in the world in childhood vaccination.

      We rank Number 50 in life expectancy. (although I’m guessing we might move up into the 40’s if we did a better job of protecting inmates)

      Big Number 47 in infant survival (you know… because everything in America is about protecting the children, right?)

      Also 47th in freedom of the press.

      Income inequality – 39th.

      Believe me – this goes on and on. Two areas where we are indisputably Number 1 (by far) military spending and imprisoning people.

  10. JM

    @USA,

    I agree, it’s a disturbing article, and was hard to even read.
    As a mother who had a son incarcerated, it was torture and sometimes felt worse then death. I know that doesn’t sound right because they are not gone, but let me explain. In losing someone you love, you grieve, but it’s final and eventually you learn to live again after going through the “stages of grief”. But when someone you love is incarcerated, every night, every day you wonder….are they okay? are they being beaten, or worse? It’s agony, and you can’t get through the stages because the stages never end. Just like those families who have had their loved ones in foreign prisons, except those families are often given sympathy and support. Our families get no sympathy, only hatred and horrible comments from those that don’t know us or the circumstances. I am so grateful that my son survived his three years and is doing well. But, I will never forget, never forgive, and will always try to comfort others that are going through this tragic situation.

    • Timmr

      What’s more disturbing are the comments supporting these murders. One can understand how, when you put people with anti-social behavior and crowd them in an inhumane environment, there is bound to be violence; but, where do these commenters get this desire to see people they don’t even know tortured and murdered. Sounds like they need to be watched.

  11. James Townsend

    What do they teach in California prison’s today? Do they kill sex offenders just out of spite or do they kill for the thrill of being the big man on campus to coin a phrases. They should be teaching the Gospel in prison to every inmate. A sex offender is no different from any other person that commits a crime. It is sad to hear that people do these things and would make any mother of a loved one go a bit stir crazy. I know they have monitor’s in cells to keep track of populous but sometimes that becomes impossible for every movement. This world need more Christian values if one can’t be safe in prison where can they be safe in there own homes or someplace like that. We need the word of the Jesus back in the USA as you can see from the registry and all these stipulations’ that society is bowing down to man and his law’s.

    • Gerald

      Religion like the registry is a huge failure and for the same reasons.

      • Harry

        Religion is, however, knowing God and understanding and living His values is the foundation that country need to go back to.

        • Gerald

          “understanding and living His values”
          And there we have the problem. No one can decide who’s interpretation is correct?

  12. Q

    Hmm… Notice how the corrections officials are blaming their inability to control what goes on in their own prisons on “an overhaul meant to reduce overcrowding?” I wonder if they would ever consider being a voice against this state and nation locking up so many of it’s own people for crimes that usually aren’t crimes anywhere else in the world; probably not, because to their kind money, looking good, fitting into their LE culture, is more important than truth or justice.

    “The problem is most acute with sex offenders ?!?!” Gee wiz; you would think if these dubiously upright people got the truth out to the public instead of co-signing the BS this might mot be happening. And the sex offender label and registry still isn’t punishment!?!?!?!!!

    “Experts said the state could better protect sex offender inmates by separating them into their own facilities ?” I wonder what makes these “experts” such “experts?” Could it be they are considered “experts” because they embrace the official lies and misconceptions and actually bvelieve the registry and label are good and actually prevent sex crimes? If this happens it’s going to cost millions. And then they will need to keep their new housing units full to justify their existance.

    “In Ager’s case, the 5-foot-4, 135-pound inmate was kept in special housing when he first entered the prison system at San Quentin. But he was housed with general-population inmates soon after his transfer to Salinas Valley because officials there decided he didn’t need extra protection!!!!!!???????!!!!” These officials are obviously ignorant of many things!

    “The very day they let him into the yard, he was filing complaints, ‘Get me the hell out of here,'” said Ager’s son, Daniel. “‘This is not safe. I’m going to get killed out here.'” I believe they didn’t want to listen to this man’s pleas for help because of his “crime.” This is sickening and turns my stomach.

  13. Michael

    Is it really that hard to protect SOs by maybe sending them all to one prison with a special unit/wing just for them?
    Considering that the vast majority are non-violent or otherwise non-criminal people, it wouldn’t take much in the way of staff resources to manage/guard them.

  14. B

    One simple way that Corrections can reduce violence against sex offenders is to eliminate the “R” or “Restricted” classification. This classification is only for sex offenders and those inmates who have attempted to escape. Corrections understands very well how sex offenders are treated in prison and they want escapees to have the same treatment.

    Everyone on the prison yard knows who has an “R” classification and everyone knows that essentially no one escapes because the security is so strong now. All the “R” classification does is put a target on the backs of sex offenders. It provides absolutely no other benefit.

  15. Anonymous

    Interesting article. I can relate to the environment – I spent 3 years in state prison as a SO, 6 of those months in reception at San Quentin, which was a hellhole. Here’s the thing about SNY yards (which the victim in the article WAS in), it’s made up of two main groups – SO’s and DO’s (gang drop-outs), and other smaller groups (gays, ex-cops, etc)

    Anyways, the culture of an SNY yard is that usually DO’s will not talk or associate with an SO. The problem is when the prison cell’s up a DO and a SO together, which happens all the time in SQ. Usually a DO will not accept a SO as a cellmate, and even if the DO does not initially care, there is so much pressure from his friends, that he’s forced to do something about it (keeping up an image is all these people have). The guards won’t do anything about it if the SO wants out of the cell, so the SO usually has no choice but to roll it up (prison term for saying your suicidal, in which their forced to remove you and take you to the hole), otherwise, his life is in danger. I was fortunate to be celled up initially with another SO, so I had no problem. As long as you weren’t in a cell with a DO, and kept quiet, you were usually left alone.

    The victim in the article probably didn’t know this – he was probably celled up with a DO that was threatening him (and had nothing to lose since he was a lifer), and of course the guards won’t do anything. He should have rolled it up.

    Anyways, here’s an interesting segment about the DO’s in the SNY yards and what is happening now:
    http://www.myfoxla.com/story/18896032/prison-sny-gangs-part-1

    SNY yards are growing since CDCR initially started them. A guard I talked to told me that in 10 years, CDCR expects the SNY yards to be over 50% of the yards. That video is pretty interesting about why gang members are joining the SNY yards at a high rate. It will probably come to a point where CDCR will need to start forming SO yards only.

  16. Tired of hiding

    This is the reason that so many innocent people like myself took plea bargains rather than face juries which can be manipulated by lawyers so innocent people do NOT always win.

    It is a matter of life and death – what choice did we have – NONE!

  17. j

    This should be a federal oversight. The feds are already in oversight mode due to overcrowding. A federal civil rights lawsuit is in order. bypass the state on this one.

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