Scalia’s Gift to Jerry Brown

scalia

Joe Mathews: If Brown is criticized over the prisons and the possible human consequences of releases, all he’ll have to do is quote Scalia.

Jerry Brown’s Corrections Budget: More Cages, Little Else

cdcr fire camps

Diana Zuñiga: Jerry Brown’s “plan” keeps California on the same road we’ve been down for 30 years: more money going to corrections and even more allocated to prison expansions.

Protesting 22 Consecutive Years in Solitary

theresa and chuck d

Angola3News: Ultimately, the people of the U.S. need to rise up and fight back against the imperial prison state, which is also an imperial torture state, decimating minds, bodies, and souls throughout the country on a daily basis.

Gov. Brown Can Release Prisoners Early Without Compromising Public Safety

overcrowded prison

Lizzie Buchen: Keeping low-risk inmates behind bars does not enhance public safety; in fact, doing so may endanger the public, as excessive prison terms hamper reentry, damage families, and weaken communities.

Why Jerry Brown Bucks Prison Realignment

california-prisons-590

Gov. Brown’s recent actions show that it is not just the most visible partisans of the “prison industrial complex,” who we must persuade or overcome, but unfortunately the political establishment of the State.

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

Is California Reducing Prison Overcrowding Without Fixing Its Cause?

birdcage

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?

How Will Local Communities Cope with the Sudden Influx of Newly Released Prisoners?

aclu newly released prisoners

ACLU Forum: The number of nonviolent, non-serious, non-sexual prisoners the San Gabriel Valley alone will receive through 2012 is between 1,000 and 1,500. What will be the impact on local communities and families of these (primarily) men?

Census Bureau Prison Miscounts Burden Local Governments

California-State-Prison

Leah Sakala: Rather than forcing counties and municipalities that house prisons to grapple individually with the distortions caused by flawed population data, it is far more logical for the Census Bureau to count incarcerated people at home in the first place.

Old South vs. New South

nikki haley

David Love: Haley’s policies, not unlike those of her predecessors, are the unjust laws that Martin Luther King discussed in Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Survey Saturday: Voting Rights for the Formerly Incarcerated

black inmates

Survey Saturday: Here in California, people who have a felony conviction are only barred from voting if they are still in state prison or on parole.

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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.

More Black Men in Prison Than Were Enslaved II

prison

Prison Based Gerrymandering Vote ecently we ran a piece written by Dick Price entitled, “More Black Men Now in Prison System Than Were Enslaved“. Tens of thousands read it. Many left comments. The popularity of his article and the comments posted lead to this follow-up. The article Dick wrote was a recap of a talk [...]

Special US Prisons for Muslim Prisoners

prison

Sherwood Ross: If you think the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) couldn’t possibly make its prisons more inhumane no matter how hard it tried, you are wrong. It has created CMUs, or Communications Management Units, where the “management” part consists of denying inmates virtually all communication with their families and the outside world.

Portantino Proposes Alternative to Early Release Prison Reform Efforts

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino

Anthony Portantino: Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced legislation that shifts the prison reform debate from an early release and sentencing reform emphasis to stopping the revolving door at California’s prisons.

Bradley Manning’s Torture Commonplace in U.S. Prisons

Sherwood Ross: Those supporting Manning need to recognize he is an icon for the bizarre, systemic destruction of tens of thousands of other human beings locked away in perpetual silence by their tormentors, often for mere infractions of prison rules, without the review of any judge or jury.

Fast 4 Freedom

curb

Diane Lefer: AB900 was a huge victory for the prison-industrial complex. “People are making a profit out of putting people in cages,” said Geri Silva.

Cut Death Penalty, Save California $126 Million a Year

Ramona Ripston: The California Supreme Court ‘sentenced’ our state’s taxpayers to an additional debt of $180,000 more per year last week.

AB2727 – The Bradford/Bass Re-Entry Employment Opportunity Act: Addressing The Lifelong Challenges of Ex-Offenders (Not A Minute Too Soon)

Speaker Emeritus Karen Bass

Anthony Asadullah Samad: If California is serious at reducing its prison costs, ex-offenders will have to be re-trained and employers will have to be more tolerant of people trying to get their lives back on track. Is that even possible? One thing about American culture, as it relates to any offender, is that despite we profess to being a forgiving society, or want to redeem the best in those who have made mistakes, the truth of the matter is that it always lets the ex-offender know that they are just that, “ex-offenders.”

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.

Overcrowded Prisons in California

Prisoner

Damaged for life and very hard pressed are the people who have paid their debt to society. They unfortunately get the verdict that keeps on punishing. They are also very unlikely to get married, often living alone in a life of quiet desperation.

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.

ICE Begins Immigration Detention System Overhaul

detention

While improvements to the detention system are necessary and welcomed, it is important to recognize that detaining immigrants is not a long-term solution to a broken immigration system.

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 [...]

Color of Law: Please Don’t Feed the Prison Monster

justice-maze

At its worst, America’s criminal justice system represents the place where racism, greed and corruption intersect. At its best, it is inherently flawed, unjust, and unreliable, and little better than its worst. The engine that drives this injustice system is known as the prison industrial complex. It is the theater in which the nation’s foremost [...]

After Guantánamo: The Crisis of U.S. Prisons and Lessons from the Medieval Past

sos

The incoming Administration is to be lauded for its intention to dismantle the Guantánamo Bay prison, whose very existence, let alone the activities reportedly carried out within it, undermine the U.S.’s claim of promoting democracy and human rights. But if prisoners’ rights are evidently so important, and if we seem to agree that we are [...]

Crime and Drugs in the United States

he United States imprisons almost one in one hundred American adults—a higher number and percentage of its population than any other country. This has been especially devastating for minorities— with one in nine black men ages 20 to 34 behind bars.  Many of these people remain in a continual pattern of crime. Are we a [...]

Senator Cox Speaks Of Crime and Government

Crime

In his latest constituent newsletter, California State Senator Dave Cox confuses coincidence with causation by connecting imprisonment with lower crime rates. He also rejects the notion that California imprisons too many, saying: “California’s incarceration rate [is] very ordinary with at least 20 other states reporting more inmates per 100,000 residents.”

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