SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) — An innovative training program that prepares prison inmates for jobs in the tech sector has expanded.
The rigorous, six-month course was launched at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco by a pair of successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
The program is "bootstrapping," as its organizers say, with just 12 graduates in its first two years, but a new session began this month at the Los Angeles Twin Towers Correctional Facility.
The program uses local experts as volunteer instructors, teaching carefully selected prisoners to design and launch technology firms.
The five graduates released so far have landed real jobs at real dot-coms.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois woman faces up to 60 years in prison after being convicted of playing a role in the 2011 carjacking and slaying of a bingo-playing grandmother.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports a St. Clair County Circuit judge found 39-year-old Belleville resident LaTosha Cunningham guilty of murder.
A co-defendant, 21-year-old DaQuan Barnes, has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder related to the death of 85-year-old Yoko Cullen. He awaits sentencing Oct. 30.
Authorities allege that Barnes, Cunningham and another man staked out waited for Cullen outside a Collinsville bingo hall where one of them knew she played, then stopped her from driving away.
Authorities say Cullen was forced into her trunk and driven to East St. Louis, where her car was set on fire while she was inside.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A former southwestern Illinois Boy Scout volunteer already imprisoned for molesting boys has been sentenced to 25 more years for sexual misconduct.
Fifty-six-year-old Jon Demers was sentenced to the new prison time this week after pleading guilty to three felony charges, including predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.
St. Clair State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said the latest case involved a 12-year-old boy and a 9-year-old boy in 2009.
Monday's sentence will run simultaneously to a six-year term the former Collinsville man got after being convicted in March of 12 sex-abuse counts involving a boy.
Demers was a Belleville Boy Scout troop committee member and merit badge counselor, but his status with that organization has been revoked. He also was a civilian employee of Scott Air Force Base.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The wife of former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has been sentenced to one year in prison for filing false joint federal income tax returns that understated the income the couple received.
Sandra Jackson admitted in a guilty plea earlier this year that from mid-2006 through mid-October of last year, she failed to report $600,000 in income that she and her husband earned from 2005 to 2011.
Mrs. Jackson was a Chicago alderman before she resigned during a federal investigation of the couple.
She was sentenced Wednesday along with her husband. Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to engaging in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.
Prison is the next stop for 26-year-old Carl Matthews.
He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for sex trafficking. Prosecutors say Matthews conspired with co-defendant Carla Matthews to force to women to engage in prostitution at a local hotel. Carl also forced the woman to apply for federal aid and food stamps to help support the operation.
Carla Matthews will go to trial at a later date.
A Maplewood man is headed to prison for offering a reward to anyone who killed Maplewood Police Officers.
William Lawrence first came to the attention of authorities in February of 2012. Officers responded to a call and arrested him. During the incident, officers discovered marijuana plants and firearms in his apartment. After being released, Lawrence repeatedly demanded his firearms be returned, but police were holding them as evidence.
Frustrated, Lawrence then placed an ad on Craigslist that offered $1 million to anyone who murdered an officer. Lawrence will spend six years behind bars.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri man will serve one year and one day in prison with no chance of parole for evading federal reporting rules to conceal a scheme to sell stolen cooking oil.
The U.S. Attorney's office says in a news release Monday that 46-year-old Jesse Arnold of Sarcoxie was sentenced Friday. He also must also forfeit $207,817.
Arnold operated 4 States Grease Company, which collected spent cooking oil for recycling. He admitted last December that he knew he was buying old cooking oil that had been stolen by various drivers from businesses in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Prosecutors said Arnold avoided federal reporting requirements by making withdrawals from his business checking count for less than $10,000. Banks must file a currency transaction report for any financial transaction over $10,000.
The former fire chief of two districts is headed to prison after admitting to fraud, tax evasion, and stealing nearly $600,000 from his departments.
Eric Hinson will spend 35 months in federal prison and repay over $600,000. Hinson used fire district credit cards to pay for family vacations to Hawaii and Florida and business checks to pay for personal expenses. The investigation into the spending revealed he altered the fire department's books to cover up his theft.
A repeat-offender is headed back to prison after he was convicted of robbing an Imo's delivery man.
Travis Moorehead will spend 20 years behind bars for the crime in early 2011. Moorehead approached the drive in Dutchtown, showed a gun, and took $30. Police caught his while he was running away. Police say the weapon he used in the recent crime was a replica BB gun.
In 2004 Moorehead was convicted for committing a separate burglary.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has approved legislation creating a test program designed to help children spend more time with their incarcerated parents.
The program would provide transportation for children and their caretaker who live more than 50 miles away from their parent's prison for visits.
Two Missouri men's prisons and two women's prisons would be selected for the program's trial. Prisoners convicted of offenses where the victim was a child or were found guilty of child abuse would be excluded. The Department of Corrections would have to submit a final report to lawmakers on the program's effectiveness in 2017.
The measure is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Penny Hubbard, of St. Louis. The House voted 140-6 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate.