Melissa Goodman: While psychotherapy and/or hormone therapy is a sufficient treatment for many transgender people, there is overwhelming medical consensus that for some others with the most severe forms of gender dysphoria, gender-affirming surgery is the only available treatment that can address their pain and suffering.
Jonathan Simon: In California’s SHU, scores of prisoners have served more than twenty years of such conditions, and hundreds for more than ten.
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.
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
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.
The Assembly cannot agree on what seems like common sense to the rest of us: people who commit low-level crimes like petty theft and simple drug possession should be punished on the local level, not in prison cells at a cost of nearly $50,000 per person per year.
If the Governor converts all death sentences to permanent imprisonment, he could then use that $1 billion check to actually make California safer by keeping more police on the streets and more crime labs open.