Bryan Stevenson on What Well-Meaning White People Need to Know About Race

An interview with Harvard University-trained public defense lawyer Bryan Stevenson on racial trauma, segregation, and listening to marginalized voices. In the United States today, African Americans are five times more likely to be incarcerated than whites. Bryan Stevenson, a Harvard University-trained lawyer, works every day toright this wrong. He has argued five cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court; won reversal, release, or relief for 115 wrongly committed death row inmates; and also won … [Read more...]

The Long Road Back: An Interview with Dominick Correy

Dominick Correy is a member of the Justice Not Jails Steering Committee who has been working for ten years as a "chaser" at Pasadena's Learning Works Charter School. A "chaser" is a staff specialist assigned to making sure the kids show up and do the work, also counseling them and sometimes running interference with the law. Learning Works was founded by Dr. Mikala Rahn, another Justice Not Jails friend and advisor. Dominick was recently appointed to serve as field representative for … [Read more...]

Getting a Finger on the Pulse with Rev. Troy Vaughn: Facing the Reentry Challenge with Clarity

The U.S. Dept of Justice has declared this week to be National Reentry Week. Justice Not Jails is marking the occasion with an interview with Rev. Troy Vaughn, interim executive director of the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership (LARRP), who also serves as Senior Pastor of Inglewood Community Church. With over 375 reentry support service providers involved in the network's work, LARRP has a unique perspective on the struggle to bring Los Angeles County up to speed in delivering services in … [Read more...]

‘Maybe We’ll Become an Example for America’

Now in his seventh year in office, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck has both built and expanded on the reforms initiated by his predecessor and mentor William J. Bratton, who was LAPD chief from 2002-2009. In the process Beck has become something of a rising star in the reformist wing of American policing—in large part due to his innovative community policing work. Last October he went to the White House with 130 other top law enforcement leaders to meet with President Barack … [Read more...]

Getting a Finger on the Pulse with Rev. Gary Bernard Williams

Rev. Gary Bernard Williams holds a dual charge within his United Methodist denomination, serving both the 112-year-old Hamilton UMC at South Figueroa and 63rd Street and also the relatively "new" Faith UMC on 108th St. near Western Avenue. Under Rev. Williams' leadership, Faith is now being transformed into a hub for a new reentry support ministry and for after-school programming to help break the school-to-prison pipeline. Rev. Williams describes himself as a recovering addict who went … [Read more...]

Getting a Finger on the Pulse with Lizzie Buchen

Lizzie Buchen has recently joined CURB—Californians United for a Responsible Budget—as its Statewide Advocacy and Communications Co-Coordinator, working out of Oakland. Earlier, she was a member of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) policy team. She holds an M.S. in neuroscience from the University of California San Francisco and has worked in journalism and prisoner rehabilitation. She also served as a volunteer adviser to the San Quentin News, a monthly newspaper produced by … [Read more...]

Rev. Raphael Warnock: If Churches Aren’t in Trouble with Power, They’re Probably in Bed with It

View image | a powerful NPR segment (listen below) on whether the Black Church still matters, Michel Martin spoke with Reverend Raphael Warnock senior pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta (Martin Luther King’s pulpit), who said: If you are a church that’s never in good trouble with the powers, then you’re probably in bed with the powers. And the American church—I don’t see any signs that abusive power, that those who would maintain the status quo and the … [Read more...]

Getting a Finger on the Pulse with Emily Harris

ow that Prop 47 has passed and a new Sheriff will soon be walking the beat in Los Angeles County, we thought we'd engage Emily Harris, the statewide coordinator for Californians United for a Responsible Budget, which has been battling so hard to push California and, in particular, Los Angeles County out of its "build more cages" mentality. Working out of CURB's Oakland office, Emily brings experience working with women in prison through roles in Free Battered Women, California Coalition for … [Read more...]

Getting a Finger on the Pulse With Peggy Edwards

ith an election right around the corner that could mark a sea change in the way Los Angeles County deals with criminal justice reform, we got Peggy Edwards to take a few minutes out of her frenetic schedule to share her thoughts on the age-old battle against homelessness and for a saner approach toward incarceration and rehabilitation. Peggy is Executive Director of Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership, a network of more than 350 organizations of reentry providers, advocates, and other … [Read more...]

Getting a Finger on the Pulse With Diana Zuñiga

atching up with Diana Zuñiga isn’t easy these days. If she's not testifying before the LA County Board of Supervisors against the construction of an unneeded Mira Loma women's jail, she's helping to organize the recent Justice On Trial Film Festival at Cal State Long Beach. Or organizing a Custody Town Hall with jail officials and the Sheriff Department's inspector general. Or just generally fomenting outrage and focusing attention on California's woefully inadequate approach to criminal … [Read more...]