Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Patt Morrison for Thursday, November 10, 2011



Thursday, November 10, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:30: OPEN


1:30 – 1:58:30

A special kind of justice: can veterans’ courts keep former US soldiers off the streets and out of jail?

No matter whom you talk to, U.S. prisons are described as overcrowded and penitentiary systems overtaxed.  Enter the collaborative court system, a series of court programs around the country aimed at keeping certain types of prisoners from entering the prison population to begin with.  You may have heard the phrase “drug courts,” but special courts for military veterans are also on the upswing, especially in states like California, which has a penal code that explicitly allows for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or similar problems to earn “credit” for time spent in court-ordered treatment programs. For many, veterans’ courts are a welcome combination of sentencing and treatment, requiring that veterans arrested for particular crimes make reparations by attending court sessions every one to three weeks for a period of 18 months, as well as follow a specific treatment path. A much praised example of these courts is part of the California Superior Court in Orange County, where Judge Wendy Lindley presides. Their clients are provided with peer mentors, counseling, and other services, all of which is said to keep recidivism down, although the stats aren’t officially in yet. Reception has generally been positive, but when the type of crimes that veterans’ courts handle moves from misdemeanor to felony, some are not comfortable with non-active military personnel being separated out from our larger judicial system. In some cases, advocates are even asking for so-called “diversion programs” that would allow peer mentors to be sent directly to the point of arrest.  Does this help keep veterans out of a system that doesn’t help them or create a system where former soldiers aren’t expected to answer to anyone other than their peers?  Finally, some are concerned that some veterans’ courts are actually too narrow, only allowing military personnel with mental health diagnoses like PTSD into their fold.  We talk to Judge Lindley and others who have pioneered this legal alternative to standard criminal prosecution for veterans who have committed crimes.


KPCC has a map on our site where you can mark where you or your loved one served in the military. Just go to KPCC – DOT – ORG and search for "where they served” And you can also tweet your contribution at #wheretheyserve.



Judge Wendy Lindley, California Superior Court judge in Orange County; presides over Veterans Court


Paul Freese, director of litigation and advocacy for Public Counsel, the public interest law office of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations and the largest provider of pro bono legal services in the United States. 


Willie, graduate, Combat Veterans Court


2:06 – 2:30

Up in the air, but for a (higher) price: flying nightmare for holiday travelers

Once upon a time, travelers with children were allowed to board first. Those children were also able to peek inside the cockpit. Since the decline of the great American airline industry, travelers continue to face downgrades – especially this holiday season. The Air Transport Association expects 23.2 million Americans to fly in the days before and after Thanksgiving, which is down 2 percent from last year. Furthermore, airlines are cutting capacity for available flights while increasing airfare. As airlines continue to struggle financially from labor costs, industry consolidation and skyrocketing jet fuel prices, in-flight amenities become onboard perks. What changes have you noticed in your travels this holiday season? Is traveling with your family a nightmare? Which airlines are do you prefer? Should airlines be more considerate to their customers?




Kate Hanni, executive director,

Charlie Leocha, director Consumer Travel Alliance


2:30 – 2:58:30

Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition, and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles

Land, power and money: these are the themes of Unreal Estate, in which Michael Gross dishes about—of all things—houses. Or, more accurately, personalities, specifically the personalities involved with Los Angeles real estate, including celebrities, developers, and other moguls. Want to hear about how Warren Beatty ruined Dino de Laurentiis’ newly-purchased house, forcing de Laurentiis to run from escrow?  Or the sneaky trick Harold Jans pulled to get UCLA built in Westwood instead of Pasadena? You’ll have to buy the book . . . or you can join us today for a conversation with Michael Gross.  Just make sure to tell us if you have your own story about a Southland real estate swindle or windfall.


Guest: Michael Gross, best-selling author of Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition, and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles




Lauren Osen

Southern California Public Radio - 89.3 KPCC

626-583-5173 / 626-483-5278 @Patt_Morrison


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