Whose fault is michael christopher mejia the marshall project electricity magnetism and electromagnetic theory pdf

The group concluded that Mejia was allowed to cycle in and out of jail with little punishment or treatment for his escalating drug problems because county agencies failed to document all of his rule-breaking, didn’t share important information with each other and gave him an excessive number of chances while he continued breaking the rules of his supervision, according to confidential county reports.

At the same time, court records reviewed by The Marshall Project and The Times show, the L.A. County district attorney’s office missed an opportunity to send Mejia to jail and drug treatment for several months in the weeks before the shootings.

The state has become a national leader in easing tough sentencing laws imposed during the 1990s. Many in local law enforcement argue that prison releases and sentencing changes have caused crime to spike in some ares, though backers of the criminal reform movement dispute those claims.

“If the premise is, this is the golden case to show failures, I just don’t think you can point to this case and say it shows the failures,” said Cynthia Hernandez, a lawyer who has served as an independent monitor of the county’s probation department. “Of course we’d want a different outcome — it’s a tragedy. But I’d be hard-pressed to find the link.”

“I’ve never stated there is a direct connection nor would I now,” said Guthrie, who declined to comment on the report’s findings. “Do I believe there’s a correlation? Yes, I do. Whatever Mejia would have done absent [prison downsizing], we’ll never know.”

Guthrie, the president of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association, said some of the changes have made it more difficult for authorities to put away hardened offenders who violate the terms of their supervision or are caught committing lower level crimes. A 2014 initiative that reduced many drug offenses to misdemeanors, he said, took away an important tool to force people into drug treatment that would be monitored by the courts.

The shooting of the Whittier police officers occurred hours after Mejia shot and killed his cousin. The next day, the Board of Supervisors directed county agencies to examine how probation officials had supervised Mejia after he was released from prison the previous year. The committee included representatives from the county’s probation department, the district attorney’s office and Sheriff’s Department, as well as outside experts.

• Mejia, who had a history of drug abuse, should have been referred to a substance abuse treatment screening as soon as he was released from prison. But the county waited until he admitted using heroin and requested help. Even then, the county waited two weeks before getting him an initial drug treatment screening, which he didn’t show up to.

• When probation did finally decide to get tough, an officer recommended Mejia spend three months in jail followed by court-ordered residential drug treatment. But the prosecutor handling the case did not include the probation officer in plea negotiations and so was unaware of the extent of Mejia’s escalating drug and gang activity. The prosecutor asked a judge to send Mejia to jail for only a month.

The panel suggested a number of fixes, including providing drug screening and treatment in jail; requiring drug treatment staff to notify probation officers about missed appointments; and limiting the number of short jail stays for high-risk offenders before revoking probation. The committee also recommended that the state, rather than the county, be allowed to supervise some offenders who have a record of violent crime when they are released from prison.

The district attorney’s office defended its handling of Mejia’s case, saying in a statement that the one-month jail term sought by the prosecutor was “appropriate as the goal of this process is to stabilize the offender and obtain compliance.” Since the shooting, the office said, prosecutors now typically seek three months in jail when an offender with a drug habit is caught with narcotics while on probation.

Mayor Joe Vinatieri of Whittier, California, is calling for changes to some criminal justice reforms designed to reduce the number of inmates behind bars after last year’s killing of a Whittier police officer. Michael Christopher Mejia, who was out on probation, is charged in the officer’s death. Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times

The “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018” mentions the slain Whittier officer by name and cites Mejia as the type of “violent offenders…being allowed to remain free in our communities even when they commit new crimes and violate the terms of their post release community supervision.”

The U.S. Supreme Court approved a cap on the number of inmates in prison. State lawmakers responded by passing Assembly Bill 109, known as realignment, which lowered the prison population by shifting the burden to the counties to house and supervise thousands of inmates convicted of nonviolent, nonserious crimes.

Until then, state parole officers kept tabs on offenders who’d been released from prison, while county probation officers mainly supervised lower level offenders who’d been in and out of jail. After 2011, county probation officers were suddenly responsible for monitoring people with much longer criminal histories for more serious crimes.

Many law enforcement officials and prosecutors say probation officers were never equipped to handle these serious offenders. Before prison downsizing, parolees who violated the terms of their release could be sent back to prison for up to a year. Under the current system, parolees who violate county supervision can only be sent to county jail for up to six months.

When he was released, he was supervised by state parole officers. He twice absconded from parole and was jailed at one point for nine days for violating the terms of his release, according to state and county records. But he wasn’t sent back to prison until July 2014, when he was convicted of stealing a relative’s car.

He tattooed the name of his gang, “Winter Gardens” on his back, and “WG” across his face. Probation officers found heroin and needles in his living room. He hung out with other gang members. At one point, he admitted taking heroin every other day and asked for help.

Probation officers tried several fixes, the records show. They banned new tattoos. They tested him for drugs and referred him to a treatment program. They sent him to county jail three times between July and December, each time for 10 days. These short stays, called flashes, are designed to provide quick, clear punishments to disrupt bad behavior.

In January 2017, sheriff’s deputies found a baggie of meth in Mejia’s house. He was jailed a fourth time, during which his probation officer moved to revoke the 26-year-old’s probation. The maximum penalty was six months in jail, but the officer asked for three months, followed by court-ordered inpatient drug treatment. A probation department spokeswoman said such treatment typically lasts up to 90 days.

With credit for the time he had already served, Mejia was released two days later, according to county records. He told his probation officer that he was starting a construction job with his dad. He promised to start methadone treatment for heroin use.

The Marshall Project is supported by The California Endowment and other organizations that support efforts to reform the state’s criminal justice system. Under terms of its funding, The Marshall Project has sole editorial control of its news reporting.