Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Patt Morrison for Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:39




1:41 – 1:58:30

Can you hear Charles Manson now? How cell phones, and other contraband, find their way into California prisons

So Charles Manson, the infamous Southern California serial killer and former death penalty recipient, got a hold of a cell phone at Corcoran State Prison… how did he do it? And what’s more, how does any inmate manage to sneak countless contraband items into the system? The state prison system, comprised of over 30 facilities across the state, has a big problem on its hands and in its cells – inmates are somehow finding ways to sneak in everything from cell phones, to weapons, to cigarettes and drugs. If these men and women are in high security institutions, how does it happen, how big of a problem is it, and how is the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation trying to stop it, or at the very least, minimize it? We take you inside the world of prison contraband…



Lt. Robert Whitford, Investigative Services Unit, California State Prison, Corcoran (where Charles Manson is being held)



CDCR Representative – ONE or the other will join us

Richard Subia, Deputy Director of Adult Institutions, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; founder of the K9 Detection program and Warden's Advisory Group


Terry Thornton, Deputy Press Secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation



Anonymous former prisoner, served time in several county facilities and observed cell phone sales being made between guards and inmates

  • Spent several months in two county facilities
  • Says everyone knew how to get a cell phone if they wanted one – usually guards would provide access.
  • Inmates could pay for a one time use - guards would turn their backs to allow them to use their personal phones, or inmates could pay to buy a phone and keep it; both options very expensive and guards would hike up prices when they saw fit
  • If caught, inmates would be reprimanded and often be sent to spend time in the hole




2:06 – 2:30

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” comes to life: will you soon be able to erase bad memories?

Some of the best ideas start as movie plots—in the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” the two lead characters underwent a process that erased their memories of each other to help heal the wounds of a bad breakup.  Now the idea of memory erasure might become a reality.  While a commercial drug remains far off, scientists have laid a foundation with their discovery that proteins can be removed from the brain’s fear center to erase memories forever.  Sure, people could erase memories of bad relationships or nasty run-ins with their in-laws, but there are even more distressing memories that could be treated:  from soldiers with post-traumatic stress syndrome to victims of childhood abuse, the psychological applications of a memory-erasing drug could prove significant.  There are also significant ethical dilemmas and an argument about whether bad memories are vital to our personal growth and psychological development, no matter how painful they might be.  Is a memory-erasing drug a good idea….and would you consider taking it?



Richard L. Huganir, professor and chair of neuroscience in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine




2:30 – 2:39




2:41 – 2:58:30

Los Angeles County libraries feel the budget crunch

Are public libraries worth saving? The fact that the question is even being asked is alarming, considering only a fraction of a library’s contents are online, but it’s becoming an increasingly necessary one to ask.  The Los Angeles County Library system is staring down a 22-million dollar deficit per year over the next decade and is shopping around some unsavory solutions.  So far the system has cut costs by reducing part-time staff and days of operation, some to just four days a week, but that was just to close this year’s 8-million dollar deficit.  Looking ahead, the County Library System is proposing a property tax hike measure on the March ballot but voters in Ventura rejected a similar option to raise their city’s sales tax by half a cent, which shut down their most popular branch last year.  The system continues to be dealt blows by cities like Santa Clarita, which this year decided to divorce its three libraries from county management and hand them over to a private company. Patt talks with the county librarian about what solutions are on the table and takes your questions about your own local libraries.



Margaret Donnellan Todd, Los Angeles County Librarian




Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

Southern California Public Radio

NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles

89.3 KPCC-FM | 89.1 KUOR-FM | 90.3 KPCV-FM

626.583.5171, office

415.497.2131, mobile

jserviss@kpcc.org / jserviss@scpr.org



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