Are California Prisons Punishing Inmates Based on Race?

california prison

Christie Thompson: Prison officials have blamed crowding for contributing to “an increase in riots and disturbances.” And the more inmates there are, the more likely it is that prison officials will respond to violence with broad-brush security measures.

Fixing California’s Mass Incarceration Mess

cowachilla prison

Dick Price: As California grapples with a prison system so broken that the U.S. Supreme Court has mandated reductions in the number of prisoners it holds, the three-part “Smart Justice: Rethinking Public Safety in California” discussion begun this past week is examining both consequences and possible solutions to the state’s mass incarceration mess.

Amnesty International Denounces Torture in California Prisons

prisoners in isolation

Angola 3 News: Amnesty International considers that the conditions of isolation and other deprivations imposed on prisoners in California’s SHU units breach international standards on humane treatment

California’s Death Penalty: 366 Days Down, 68 More to Go

jeanne woodford prison

Jeanne Woodford: Support for Prop 34 continues to grow because people understand that California’s death penalty is broken beyond repair. California has only executed 1% of those sentenced to death in 34 years.

Prison Realignment or Expensive Musical Chairs

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Sharon Kyle: Given the public’s short attention span, it’s no wonder juicy celebrity gossip and salacious headlines have come to dominate the “news”. This is great for those who don’t want us to pay attention.

Is California Reducing Prison Overcrowding Without Fixing Its Cause?

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Sharon Kyle: In a relatively short period of time, our nation has incarcerated enough people to create the second largest city in the United States. Releasing a few tens of thousand prisoners for overcrowding won’t change much or will it?

California Ending Funding of Child Prisons

juvenile hall

Bruce Reilly: I am not too troubled possible financial bankruptcy due to prisons, particularly child prisons. The possible moral bankruptcy, however, runs much deeper than any bottom line.

California Prison Typify the Incarceration Society

prison-overcrowding

Sherwood Ross: If you want a glimpse into the soul of a nation, visit one of its prisons. California is no exception. It’s typical.

Prisons or Higher Education, Which Do We Fund?

Incarceration timeline

Sharon Kyle: Either large segments of the American population suddenly decided to engage in criminal activity or there were changes in sentencing law and prison policy that dramatically increased America’s prison population. Whatever the reason, states are spending more on prisons and less on higher education.

First Solve Prison Crisis, Then Fix California’s Budget

Gary Gilmore

Dick Price: To get a handle on the damage California’s current approach to incarceration is having on its citizens, consider this: In a recent 23-year period, California erected 23 prisons—one a year, each costing roughly $100 million dollars annually to operate, with both Democratic and Republican governors occupying the statehouse—at the same time that it added just one campus to its vaunted university system, UC Merced.

Schwarzenegger’s Prison Plan Ignores Racial History

Michelle Alexander: The skyrocketing incarceration rates of the past three decades have not affected all segments of California’s population equally. African Americans and Latinos have been hardest hit, thanks largely to the war on drugs — a war that has targeted people of color for drug crimes, even though studies show they are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites.

Stealing From California’s Young People

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The professors will endure. But the students and their families are the true victims here. They’re getting ripped off. The quality of their education is suffering even while they go into debt.

The People’s Budget Fix

death-row

The “Prison Population and Budget Reduction Package” proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is like a drunk person walking home from a bar – it knows where it wants to go but oftentimes you find it stumbling off the sidewalk or turning down the wrong street.

Why Do We Tolerate a Massive Prison System That Produces 70% Recidivism Rates?

day-in-court

In Part 1 of this two-part Q&A, UC Berkeley Law Professor Jonathan Simon talked about criminal sentencing and parole as practiced today in California. He concludes here by discussing the social and fiscal impacts of our approach to crime and punishment, the current opportunity for prison reform, and some ideas for meaningful change. Q. California’s [...]

Prison Expansion Pushed Forward While Massive Cuts to Education Proposed

Prison Budget Expands, Education Budget Cut While the Governor and legislature propose massive cuts to education and 2,000 public works projects are on hold, a bill to propel a $12 billion prison construction project was sent to Governor Schwarzeneggar. This bill is designed to fix problems with AB900, the largest prison construction plan in history. [...]

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