Two Views on Extending Prop 57 from San Quentin

CDCR's proposed regulations for the implementation of Prop 57 are being reviewed in the California State Assembly and Senate Budget Committee hearings Thursday and this coming Monday. Advocates from CURB, Initiate Justice and the Ella Baker Center are working with people in prison and their families to respond to the regulations, they forwarded these two articles.  Ending the Cycle of Violence roposition 57 falls short of its potential to reduce the prison population and make society safer … [Read more...]

California’s Budget Flies in Face of Voter-Mandated Incarceration Reductions

When people talk about criminal justice reform most progressive perspectives will support the notion that we spend too much money on imprisoning people, that we should reduce imprisoned populations, and reinvest funding into community based programs. Since 2011, the concept of reducing imprisoned populations to save money has actually moved forward in California through the efforts of Governor Jerry Brown and the legislature to implement Public Safety Realignment. And voters have overwhelmingly … [Read more...]

Antelope Valley Doesn’t Need to Lock Up the Whole Family

Los Angeles County got its application approved by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) 2016, to spend about $100 million to refurnish the Mira Loma Detention Center and turn it into a woman’s jail due to an increase of prisoners, jail over-crowding, and increasing amount of violence in prison due to lack of resources. After the refurnishing is done, female prisoners from Century Regional Detention Facility—also known as the Lynwood Women's Jail—will move to the … [Read more...]

Young Adult Prisons Are Not the Answer

n his sweeping history of juvenile corrections in California, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) Executive Director, Daniel Macallair, asserts that, “[t]hroughout the history of California juvenile justice, the typical response to institutional abuse was to argue for new and improved institutions. Efforts to redesign the architecture, restructure programming, introduce new leadership, and change the population did little to alter the daily reality of life in a congregate … [Read more...]

California’s Return-to-Prison Rate Falls for the Fourth Straight Year

Offenders who receive substance abuse treatment are dramatically less likely to return to prison The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation recently released the fifth in a series of annual reports analyzing the rate at which people released from state prison return to state custody. The new report, 2014 Outcome Evaluation Report, shows that the total three-year return-to-prison rate for all offenders released during fiscal year 2009-2010 is 54.3 percent, down from 61.0 percent … [Read more...]

Stop Jerry Brown’s “More Cages” Bill

Gov. Jerry Brown announced his plan last week to comply with a federal court order that he limit prison crowding by increasing prison capacity by 8,000 inmates, at a cost of $315 million this year, $400 million next year, and more in years to come. Help stop this folly! Call your Assembly members to remind them of the following: Governor Brown's bill does not commit to any population reduction strategies (expansion of good time credits, elder prisoner parole, expansion of medical … [Read more...]

Torture By Design: Saying No to the Architecture of Solitary Confinement and Cruelty

An Interview with Raphael Sperry Friday, August 16 marked the 40th consecutive day of a multi-ethnic statewide prisoner hunger strike initiated from inside the Security Housing Unit (SHU) of California's Pelican Bay State Prison. When the strike first began on July 8, the 'California Department of Corrections and Reform' (CDCR) reported 30,000 participants statewide, which the Los Angeles Times wrote "could be the largest prison protest in state history." This week, as the striking … [Read more...]

Hundreds Still on Hunger Strike As Situation Becomes Dire

Nearly one year ago, J. Heshima Denham, who is being held in solitary confinement at Corcoran State Prison’s Security Housing Unit, told Solitary Watch: “The reality is there is a significant number of us for whom death holds no real fear, in fact, in some ways—as an alternative to another few decades of this—it holds some appeal. If it becomes necessary to take up peaceful protest again—and it’s unfortunately looking that way—you may be writing a lot more Christian Gomez articles,” he wrote, … [Read more...]

California Prison Officials Retaliating Against Hunger Strikers

California prison hunger strikers are entering their twelfth day of refusing state-issued meals in protest of long-term solitary confinement, the controversial gang validation process that has put 3,000 in indefinite isolation, and related issues. According to the latest figures from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), 1,457 individuals in 15 prisons across the state are still officially considered to be on hunger strike, as of Thursday. CDCR’s press release … [Read more...]

Drug Policy Alliance Calls for the Release of California’s Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Last week, a United States District Court ordered California to immediately take steps to reduce its prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity (down to approximately 110,000 inmates). In a sharply worded brief, the panel made it clear that Gov. Jerry Brown's plan did not comply, and it ordered implementation of additional measures such as expanding good time credits.  If those measures are insufficient by December 31, 2013, the Court ordered the state to release inmates identified … [Read more...]