Erik Eckholm

Cutting Recidivism Rates
Erik Eckholm has held a variety of reporting and editing positions at The New York Times, including, most recently, five years as Beijing bureau chief. After graduating from Occidental in 1971, where he majored in political science, he received an M.A. in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

He spent several years with non-governmental groups doing research and writing on environment and third world development issues and wrote three books on related subjects: Losing Ground (1976), The Picture of Health (1977) and Down to Earth (1982).

He served on the policy planning staff of the State Department in 1979 and 1980. From 1982 to 1984 he was managing editor of Natural History magazine in New York. He joined The New York Times in 1985 as a reporter on environmental and medical issues in 1985 and over time has been the paper’s science and health editor, editor of the week in review and deputy foreign editor. He was Beijing bureau chief from 1998 to 2003. In 2003-2004, he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard and in the summer of 2004 he began reporting for the Times on Iraqi reconstruction.

Court Costs Entrap Nonwhite, Poor Juvenile Offenders

When Dequan Jackson had his only brush with the law, at 13, he tried to do everything right. Charged with battery for banging into a teacher while horsing around in a hallway, he pleaded guilty with the promise that after one year of successful probation, the conviction would be reduced to a misdemeanor. He worked 40 hours in a food bank. He met with an anger management counselor. He kept to an 8 p.m. curfew except when returning from football practice or church. And he kept out of … [Read more...]

Legal Conflicts on Medical Marijuana Ensnare Hundreds as Courts Debate a New Provision

harles C. Lynch seemed to be doing everything right when he opened a medical marijuana dispensary in the tidy coastal town of Morro Bay, Calif. The mayor, the city attorney and leaders of the local Chamber of Commerce all came for the ribbon-cutting in 2006. The conditions for his business license, including a ban on customers younger than 18 and compliance with California’s medical marijuana laws, were posted on the wall. But two years later, Mr. Lynch was convicted of multiple felonies … [Read more...]

Out of Prison, and Staying Out, After Third Strike in California

illiam Taylor III, once a lifer in state prison for two robbery convictions and the intent to sell a small packet of heroin, was savoring a moment he had scarcely dared to imagine: his first day alone, in a place of his own. “I love the apartment,” he said of the subsidized downtown studio, which could barely contain the double bed he insisted on having. “And I love that I’m free after 18 years of being controlled.” “My window has blinds, and I can open and close them!” he exclaimed to … [Read more...]