I Have Questions; The Candidates Don’t Have Answers

third debate

Walter Brasch: Most of the questions—and responses—in the three presidential debates had been asked—and answered—several times during the campaign. But there are critical questions that were not asked.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 36: Three Strikes

california prison

rop 36 reduces the prison sentences for those who committed a non-violent, non-serious felony as their third strike. The new sentence would be twice the usual sentence for the crime they committed as a third strike.

Romney: Gay Bashing 101

gay bashing

Tom Degan: Is Mitt Romney a gay-bashing homophobe? Probably not. The conclusion I’ve drawn is that the man is a sociopath.

Selling State Prisons

Louisiana's Angola Prison, know as "The Farm"

Bruce Reilly: ALEC and for-profit prison lobbyists are fighting to stop the decriminalization of marijuana, to lengthen sentences, eliminate Good Time credits, curtail parole, incarcerate immigrants, maintain mandatory minimums, and increase Three Strikes laws because these efforts will increase their profits. But is this in the public’s best interest?

ACLU Asks, More Jails or Better Sentencing?

prison overcrowding

Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: California’s 58 counties must deal with a sudden influx of state prison inmates, straining their jails and requiring innovative sentencing and supervisory programs.

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?

Prisoner Reintegration: Helping Those Trying to Help Themselves

Nyabingi Kuti

Ron Kaye: The conversation that started in Pasadena is long overdue. The failure of locking people for long sentences in overcrowded conditions without effective rehabilitation and support programs was clear a long time ago.

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.

Arizona Copycat Law Could Cost Kentucky $40 Million

Kentucky state Sen. John Schickel

Andrea Nill: Senate Bill 6 would cost Kentucky a net $40 million a year in court, prison and foster-care costs. Yet, the Kentucky senate voted 24-14 last week to pass the bill without knowing its cost.

Wealthy Celebrity Athletes Don’t Need the President’s Backing—But I Know Who Does

black unemployment

Jasmyne Cannick: Rather than call Eagles owner Jeffrey Laurie, the President could have really made an impact by addressing employers throughout America on the importance of giving all ex-prisoners—regardless of their football playing ability—a second chance and freeing them from a life without the possibility of employment.

Overcrowding at Center of Landmark Prison Rights Case

carol_strickman

Carol Strickman: The best way to ensure that people successfully reenter society is to provide resources to support them upon release. Prisoners who have maintained family ties and have housing and employment opportunities awaiting them will do better than those who don’t.

A Modest Proposal for Financing Higher Education in California

juvenile detention

John MacMurray: The brilliantly simple/simply brilliant solution: re-designate our Cal State and University of California campuses as prisons. Since a goodly number of the current student population regards them as such anyway, it should not be too big a stretch.

800,000 Americans Busted Annually for Pot

Smokes

The drug war has also unleashed a torrent of racism in the form of unjust sentencing, which confines crack-cocaine users who are mostly black to prison for longer terms than powder snorters, who are mostly white.

Prisons: Two Opposing Views

prison-alcoholic

Suppose, hypothetically, you had to be in the same room for a couple of hours with a politician who can’t use the word “liberal” without combining it with character-assassination-style insults or a guy who stole a pair of socks worth $2.50. With whom would you feel safer?

Why Parole Does Not Work in California

woman-in-prison

California’s criminal justice system was thrust into the national spotlight recently after the shooting deaths of four Oakland police officers by a recently released state prisoner. In this two-part Q&A, the NewsCenter speaks with UC Berkeley Law Professor Jonathan Simon about a system he has studied since the 1980s. The associate dean of the campus’s [...]

What’s New — and Wrong — about Proposition 9

The Proposition 9 initiative gives a variety of rights to crime victims — certainly a laudable goal, however most of these provisions merely duplicate guarantees already in force. The new provisions? Those are the troubling ones.

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