Archive for the ‘California Prisons’ Category

Pay to Stay Jails

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

It’s been awhile since my last blog post, but due to repeated calls from my adoring public ( well okay, Mom and Uncle Joe) I’ve written another thrilling, can’t put it down post! This time out we’ll be discussing Pay To Stay jails in Orange County. At this time, there are Pay To Stay facilities in Santa Ana, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Fullerton, and Seal Beach.

So, you committed a crime, bailed out with Orange County Bail Bonds, went to court, and (oh no!) were sentenced. The purpose of a Pay To Stay jail is to allow someone convicted of a crime to serve their time in a city jail instead of the Orange County Jail. It permits a person to continue to work or attend school, to provide support for a family, and avoid disrupting a work schedule. For many, it also allows them to serve their sentence in a less intimidating environment. Most of the facilities allow inmates to attend work or school daily, from roughly 6:00am to 6:00pm.

Each facility has its own criteria for enrolling and rules of conduct (see attached form from the Anaheim PD) but they all are pretty standard as to cost, hours/days available, and types of crimes that would cause denial of the programs. Cost can vary depending on the facility, but is usually non refundable for violation of the rules once it’s paid. For a long sentence, the fees can be considerable, but again, the cost may outweigh the alternative, which is to serve a sentence in the general population of the Orange County Jail.

Anaheim Police Department   Pay To Stay – Work Release Program

The City of Anaheim Police Department will participate in work release programs for males and females arrested for most misdemeanors and some felonies with approval from the court. The primary criteria for acceptance are as follows:
No violence – The arresting charge should not involve violence, however is evaluated on a case by case basis. History of violence may also be a cause for rejection. Initial _____

• No drugs – Individuals considering the City of Anaheim Pay To Stay/Work Release Program must refrain from the use of any alcohol or narcotics. For security reasons all participants must
agree to be strip searched each time that they return to the facility. Initial _____

Timeliness – All commitment times must be adhered to at all times. There are no exceptions. Initial _____

Health – Inmates wishing to participate in the Anaheim Pay-to-Stay/Work Release Program must provide the facility with a completed Medical Screening Application, signed by a licensed
physician. The form must be completed prior to entry into the facility. All cost associated with the process are the responsibility of the applicant. Initial _____

Interview – Any person wishing to participate in the program must participate in an interview with a Correctional Sergeant prior to acceptance. Interviews are held by appointment only.
Initial _____

Medications – Any medication required by any participant must be approved prior. ONLY APPROVED PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATION will be permitted in the facility. Individuals
requiring unapproved psychotropic medications will not be accepted. Initial _____

Paperwork – A signed court order/minute order affixed with the seal of the issuing court must state that the individual can be incarcerated at the City of Anaheim jail. In addition, the court
order must show what times the individual can leave and must return to the facility. This document must be approved prior to the surrender date. Initial _____

Fee – Payment for the program is $150.00 for the first day, and $100.00 for each additional day. Payment is accepted in full or in two-week increments with the first two-weeks due upon
incarceration.  Money orders and cashier’s checks are the only form of payment accepted. Initial _____

Grooming standards – All individuals accepted into the program agree to abide by the sentenced inmate grooming standards. No beards, Goatees, long hair or unruly hair. Hair shall be kept short and neat. Participants shall shave as required by staff. Mustaches must be groomed regularly. Initial _____

Holidays – All Federal holidays ( Federal law 5 U.S.C. 6103) are considered a non-work day unless the day in question has been addressed on the commitment order. If you are in our custody on a holiday you will remain in our custody unless your commitment order has cleared you for that day. These holidays include: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Initial _____

Failure to Complete Program – In the event that you fail to complete your program without the permission of the pay-to-stay administrator; all funds paid in advance of time served will not be refunded.

Participants must refrain from the use of alcohol at all times when released from the facility for work. Any belief from staff that the participant has consumed alcohol, any narcotic, or any misuse of medication will result in immediate lock down and new charges. Initial _____

No property shall be allowed into the facility upon returning from work. This includes newspapers, magazines, or books. For security reasons all work furlough participants shall be strip searched upon re-entry into the facility. No cell phones, computers, IPADS etc., will be allowed into the facility. Initial _____

Family members can DONATE appropriate DVD’s/Books to the facility for inmates in the program. Any donated movie must be new (no previously used) and must be in sealed original packaging.
Donated movies/books shall be considered property of the Anaheim Detention Facility and will not be returned upon release. The ultimate decision to accept a movie/book will be the responsibility of the Correctional Sergeant on duty.


Visitation for inmate workers/ work release participants occurs on Saturday and Sunday between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm. All visits are non-contact.  Participants in the City of Anaheim Pay-to-Stay Program must agree to provide physical labor for the facility for a minimum of five hours on days that they are not released for work.

What to Bring

If you are a pay-to-stay inmate and need specialized clothing to wear when you leave the facility, you must discuss this with the work release supervisor prior to starting the program. When you report on your first day you should bring ONLY the following:
• A copy of the most current commitment order
• A check for full payment or $1,450.00, or if less than fourteen (14) days, the total amount due
• Medical clearance paperwork

You may also bring the following items:

• (2) pair of blue jeans
• (2) comfortable shirts (no slogans)
• (1) sweatshirt
• (1) sweat pants (for sleeping)
• (1) pair rubber soled shoes/tennis shoes (no boots/steel toes/dress shoes)
• (1) Belt
• No toiletries (all are provided)
• No writing equipment (will be provided)
• No jewelry, watches, or cash
For additional information contact a Correctional Sergeant at 714.765.1826.

James Musick: The Jail and The Man

Monday, October 17th, 2016


This will be the third installment of the ongoing series of posts about Orange County jails. The third jail in the Orange County Jail system is the James Musick Facility, also known as The Farm. James Musick was an interesting guy!

Musick is a one hundred acre minimum security facility. The facility is located in an unincorporated area of the county near the cities of Irvine and Lake Forest. Originally the facility held a maximum of 200 male minimum-security inmates and was referred to as the “County Industrial Farm” or the “Honor Farm.” Since 1986, the inmate housing capacity has increased to 1,322 and includes both men and women. The inmates housed at the facility are considered to be a low security risk and most are in jail for crimes such as driving under the influence (DUI), minor drug possession, burglary/theft, failure to pay child support, and or prostitution.



(This is the entrance to the facility. You’ll need to show ID to the guard on duty before proceeding for visitation)

Inmates and ICE detainees who have committed violent crimes, sex crimes or mayhem are not eligible for transfer to the facility. The James A. Musick Facility provides custodial and rehabilitative programs for 1,322 adult male and female inmates and ICE detainees. Educational programs are available which enable the inmates to receive a G.E.D. while incarcerated. In addition, educational classes are offered in subjects such as; parenting, substance abuse, HiSET, and English as a Second Language (ESL). Vocational Classes that are offered at the facility includes; Cabinetry, Welding, and Workforce Readiness. The laundry facility at Musick also serves the Theo Lacy facility ( see our last blog/Facebook posts) as well as Orange County Juvenile Hall in addition to the laundry needs for the Musick facility.

The daily operations of the 1,322 bed facility are managed by Captain Bob Osborne . The facility was originally opened in 1963 and was named in honor of James A. Musick, ,a retired NFL star and former deputy. (Musick was a running back in the National Football League for the Boston Redskins (now the Washington Redskins) from 1932–1936. He led the NFL in rushing in 1933 His family moved to Southern California when Jim was a young boy. After attending Santa Ana High School, Musick played college football at the University of Southern California from 1929–1931. It was at USC he earned the nickname “Sweet” Musick as he helped lead the Trojans to two Rose Bowl victories and a national championship in 1931. Musick ranks 17th on the Trojans all-time career rushing list with 393 carries for 1,605 yards. While at USC Musick even had a brief flirtation with Hollywood, having an uncredited role along with fellow Trojan players and former player John Wayne in the 1932 movie That’s My Boy.

He came home from the war and successfully ran for the office of sheriff, assuming command in 1947. He would serve as sheriff for the next twenty-eight years – the longest term in department history. When he took office, the county was still mostly rural, with a population of 216,000 served by a department of only seventy-six. During Musick’s administration, a number of divisions and facilities were commissioned that remain active to this day.

He implemented the county’s first crime lab., Musick, as Orange County’s brand new sheriff in 1947, was mortified over the outcome of a sensational murder case, and pledged that no such thing would ever happen again.

On March 15, 1947, a small yacht, the Mary E, exploded in Newport Harbor. Aboard were wealthy Walter and Beulah Overell of Los Angeles. Watching from the shoreline as the boat blew up were their 17-year-old daughter, Beulah Louise, and her boyfriend, George “Bud” Gollum, 21. Beulah Louise had been threatened with disinheritance if she did not end the relationship with Gollum. The explosion occurred in incorporated Newport Beach, but that town’s investigators had scant experience in such matters, so the probe fell to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The young couple was arrested and charged with murder.

The notorious case—nothing like it had been seen here before—placed the Sheriff’s Department under unprecedented scrutiny. The prosecutor was not the district attorney, but rather was Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Williams, who was reputed to have higher political aspirations. He assembled what everybody thought was a substantial case: The Overells had first been bludgeoned to death by two boat stanchions, and the prosecution even located the store from which Gollum had purchased dynamite. The defense claimed that the boat had blown up from accumulated gas fumes. Because the sheriff’s office had no genuine crime lab, evidence had to be sent out for analyses, and the substantial sum of $75,000 was spent on outside expertise.

The widely publicized case stirred up enormous public interest. Imagine the shock when, after a sensational 19-week trial, the jury ruled for acquittal. Critical to the case had been forensic evidence, which turned out to be tainted because of distance and delay. Sheriff Musick was astonished and embarrassed, and vowed never again to lose a case because of poor lab work. He requested and received funding to establish a state-of-the-art crime laboratory, an innovative and efficient agency even today. The Overell case also resulted in legislation controlling the sale and purchase of explosives. In its peculiar way, the Overell murders of 1947 proved to be a watershed moment for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, where the case is still discussed by Forensics people today. He also started OC’s first Peace Officer’s Training Center (now known as the Katella Facility), and the nation’s first law enforcement Explorer post. The 1960s saw the construction of the Orange County Industrial Farm (later renamed the James A. Musick Jail Facility), the Theo Lacy Facility, and the headquarters and central jails still in use today.

In response to the civil unrest of the late 1960s, Musick formed the Emergency Action Group Law Enforcement (EAGLE) team, a group of deputies with specialized training in various riot control and specialized tactics. Although the team disbanded several years later, certain platoons evolved into the modern-day SWAT, Hazardous Devices, and Mounted Patrol units. The department grew even larger when the Coroner’s Office merged with it in 1971. By the time Musick retired in 1974, the county had expanded to a rapidly urbanizing population of over 1,400,000, with the department having grown to a staff of over 900.

Musick’s handpicked successor was Brad Gates, who became sheriff in 1975. The department continued its rapid expansion during his administration, with the merging of two more agencies – the Orange County Harbor Patrol and the Stanton Police Department. In response to severe jail overcrowding, the Intake Release Center was opened in 1988.(see our posts about the IRC)

Proposition 47 Votes in Unexpected Trouble

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

California’s Proposition 47 was hailed as a fix for the state’s burdened criminal justice system before its passage in November. Only a few months later, it’s looking like the proposition is in need of repair itself.

Its passage was supposed to decriminalize the least serious offenses and reduce the state’s crowded prison populations. Law enforcement fears that holes in the system would develop appear to be coming true, and state lawmakers are already proposing changes.

According to Ballotpedia, an online almanac of U.S. politics, some provisions continue to draw criticism in the California Legislature. Several bills were introduced to amend Proposition 47, also known as the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative. If any of these bills are passed and signed by the governor, some of the changes may have to go on a voter ballot.

Some proposed changes include:

Senate Bill 333 and Assembly Bill 46 would allow felony charges to be filed against suspects accused of having certain “date-rape drugs.” Proposition 47 reduced the personal use of most illegal drugs to misdemeanors.

Assembly Bill 390 would require persons convicted of specified misdemeanors to provide DNA samples. California law requires only individuals convicted of felonies to provide DNA samples. Proposition 47 reduced a number of felonies to misdemeanors.

Assembly Bill 150 would make stealing a gun a felony crime. Proposition 47 made stealing an item that is valued at less than $950 a misdemeanor. Stealing a gun valued at less than $950 would be a misdemeanor.

Assembly Bill 1104 would allow search warrants for misdemeanor crimes that were previously classified as felonies before Proposition 47’s passage.


On April 14, Assembly Bill 46 cleared the Assembly Public Safety committee on a bipartisan vote. The bill addresses the problem created by Proposition 47 which significantly reduced the penalty for being in possession of Rohypnol, GHB and ketamine — three drugs commonly known as “date rape drugs.” AB 46 will impose a felony crime for possession of date rape drugs with intent to commit sexual assault. Because the bill does not directly change Proposition 47, it does not need voter approval to become law.

Ballotpedia reports that immediately following Proposition 47’s approval, inmate populations in prisons began to fall across California. In Los Angeles, which has the country’s largest jail system, the inmate population fell from 18,601 in November to 17,285 in January. According to Jody Sharp, a commander with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, narcotics arrest fell one-third and bookings fell by a quarter in January relative to the previous year.

Mixed reviews, though, have been pouring in. Garrick Byers, President of the California Public Defenders Association, views Proposition 47 as working. He said, “It reduced the punishment for many crimes from an excessive punishment to a punishment that’s more in line with what the crime is.”

Others view Proposition 47 as being short-sighted. Los Angeles City Councilman and former LAPD chief Bernard Parks noted that while drug-related arrests fell, thefts and residential burglaries rose. He said, “But what they failed to consider is that people who are using drugs are also committing other crimes. How do they stay heroin users? How do they support their habit? … People don’t want to understand that I can’t be a crack addict and have a profession. Nobody’s giving me drugs. I rob and burglarize and steal.”

Fox News reports Los Angeles County has seen a spike in crime since its November passage. Compared with the same three-month period a year ago, auto theft is up 20 percent, felonies up 16 percent, misdemeanors up 27 percent and homicides up 18 percent.

Proposition 47 passed by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin. That wide margin showed Californians wanted change in the overburdened criminal justice system. However, the change is definitely turning out to be much less than the cure-all it was envisioned to be.

Commercial Bail Bonds is Part of the Solution to Overcrowding in Prisons

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Prisons are a burden to the taxpayer and strain both state and county resources; this is a well known fact and agreed by all stakeholders. Yet the system as it stands seeks to increase the cost to taxpayers with additional programs and more mandates from the very system that has caused the problem in the first place by placing emphasis on incarceration.

The increase in the number of overcrowded prisons has become a subject of alarm more so because of the contentious issues as how to effectively rectify the situation. The debate has been raging on which of the two options available is the better option. The two options are sometimes represented as Bail Bonds versus a Pre Trial government run system throughout the state. The pre trial system is not a new practice in California; it has been practiced with effective results as far as reducing prison numbers is concerned in San Francisco for some years now.

Many advocates for pre trial place the blame of overcrowding in prisons to the Commercial Bail Bonds industry. The reasoning promoted is that the bail system only works for the rich and many who cannot afford bail end up in prison waiting for trial. However, this is a narrow view of the debate and focusing on the wrong issues related to the cause of overcrowding and security of taxpaying citizens. The focus should be on guaranteeing the attendance of the accused person to trial and preserving public safety. In this regard the use of commercial Bail Bonds is more effective and successful.

The commercial vested interest the accused and relatives have makes them more accountable over any check the pre trial release can offer. Besides, it offers substantial standards; the more serious the crime the higher the bond. Studies with varying degrees have proved that the bail bonds are more successful at getting accused persons appear in court. The monetary incentive is both for the bondsman and the accused person. The bail company has resources and motivation to ensure their client appears in court.

This is not to say there is no place or instances where pre-trial release can work effectively. On the contrary, when it comes to situations where the accused persons really require special assistance like rehabilitation then a pre trial release is more effective and relevant. However, many individuals who can take care of themselves on their own or through family and friends should be held accountable for crimes they are accused of. The focus should not be on the bed space available in jail and how fast people get release but rather on mechanisms that ensure appearance to court and public safety.