A terminally ill prisoner, paroled in February 2005 from one of a small northeast California towns two state prisons, was denied his request to live out his remaining days with his wife, a resident of that prison town (Susanville). Parole agents of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) cited the reason that state law requires one normally parole to the county where he was last living, and that alternatively housing him in the prison town would disproportionately increase the potential crime rate there.
Thomas Jones, 41, admits having committed over 20 felonies, for which he has done 20 years in four stints in CDCRs Susanville prisons. Hes also an Aryan Brotherhood gang member festooned from head to toe with gang tattoos, including swastikas. But while in prison, he changed his ways and married Amanda, whose Susanville relatives include a prison guard and a local cop. Jones has the added support of his own brother and parents living in Susanville.
But notwithstanding Jones lethal and disabling emphysema lung disease and his strong family ties, CDCR paroled him to a halfway house five hours away in high-crime-rate Alameda County, where he is enrolled at Laney College to get a basic education.
CDCRs ironic parole rules thus take a dying man away from his wife, parents and brother, and export him to a distant crime-infested locale to gain an education unredeemable in his remaining life span, all to avoid his living in a small town heavily populated by prison guards. CDCR has further banned Jones from even setting foot in Susanville for so much as a visit. Thus isolating Jones from his family and forcing him to die alone bodes ill for CDCRs heavily touted new rehabilitation agenda.
Source: San Francisco Bay Guardian.
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