How Los Angeles Wrestles with Mass Incarceration

la county jail

Dick Price: With jails straining to absorb thousands of prison inmates, jailhouse guard-on-inmate beatings grabbing headlines, and public concern rising about possible spikes in crime rates, public safety issues have Angelenos of all stripes scrambling for answers.

20 Years After the LA Riots: What Have We Learned?

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Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: What has changed in South LA — then South Central — where the flames shot to the sky 20 years ago, after an all-white jury exonerated the gang of police officers who had beaten a black motorist half to death, captured on video for all to see?

LA’s Reluctance to “Bet on Black”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Anthony Samad: Then it hit: this city will always be reluctant to make a significant infrastructure investment in the black community. “Betting on black” is not this city’s strong suit. Trickin’ the community on votes that build for the future is.

Health Care as a Human Right — in South LA and Nationwide

deadly spin

Diane Lefer: In South LA, the pressures of gentrification and loss of income now have two and three families sharing apartments that would be a tight squeeze for one. Even so-called “affordable housing,” is beyond the reach of most when you consider that Los Angeles considers a living wage to be $12/hour.

Ready or Not. Here They Come! Youth Reentry from Probation

father greg boyle

Diane Lefer: As our Probation Department moves in the direction of reform, the good news is that the department recognizes the need for reentry services for kids coming out of the system–often traumatized, unable to read and write, set free on the mean streets in an abysmal job market while carrying the stigma of lockup.

Who’s Who In Black Los Angeles: Who Really Wants To Know and What Is This Really About?

black-la

Anthony Asadullah Samad: Guess who discovered Who’s Who In Black Los Angeles after two years? Before you ask, I really wanted to feature a Los Angeles Times editor in Who’s Who in Black Los Angeles. Really. The problem is, there is not a single African American among those who make coverage decisions for the paper. In hindsight, it probably was a mistake not to include the one black man on the paper’s full-time Metro reporting staff. That brother deserves a special award for what I imagine he goes through everyday. Well, maybe next year.

LA Youth vs. the Probation Department: Who Is More in Need of Intervention?

Probatoin

Diane Lefer: Problems in the department–the largest probation department in the world–are well known. Probation, with its $700-million budget, is monitored by the Department of Justice and sued by the ACLU. Young people are incarcerated for offenses no more serious than truancy and curfew violations. Probation officers known for physically abusing youth in their care remain on the job…

Community Compromise Sown By Revenge

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So when the community went with Ridley-Thomas, Parks went to the feds and the newspapers. The L.A. Times, always willing to get in the middle of a good community fight, took it and ran with it.

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