In the NEWS
LARRP posts relevant and important news and articles in this section.
Please send us anything you think we might have missed so we can post it!
For Prisoners in the West, the Virus and the Wildfires Are Colliding Threats
NYTimes By Tim Arango and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
Sept. 14, 2020
Prisoners are more vulnerable than ever to the twin crises of the pandemic and a historic wildfire season.
Restorative Justice Advocates Prepare For National Expungement Week
High Times, A.J. Herrington, September 7, 2020
National Expungement Week is just around the corner—here’s what you need to know!
Lawmakers Run Out Of Time To Pass Big Justice Bills, Including One To Allow CA DOJ To Decertify Police Fired For Misconduct
WitnessLA, September 2, 2020 by Taylor Walker
California could soon end its dumb policy on inmate firefighters. What took so long?
LA Times, By Erika D. Smith, Aug. 31, 2020
After years of pushing, mostly by Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace), the Legislature on Sunday night sent a bill to the governor’s desk that would help former prisoners — most of them Black and Latino — to earn the emergency medical technician license necessary to become full-time, year-round firefighters with the state, and numerous counties and cities.
Under AB 2147, former prisoners who have successfully worked in one of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s fire camps will be able to petition a judge to quickly expunge their records and waive parole time. They then would be able to apply not only for an EMT license but a host of other licenses required by other professions.
LARRP Partner Amity Foundation is serving as the hub for housing and services in new $30 Million Public-Private Partnership
August 27, 2020
Today, as COVID-19 spreads through prisons and jails, philanthropies and nonprofits joined the State of California and Governor Gavin Newsom to announce “Returning Home Well,” a new public-private partnership that provides essential services — like housing, health care, treatment, transportation, direct assistance, and employment support — for Californians returning home from prison after July 1, 2020. These are individuals that have either met their natural release date or are being released on an expedited timeline due to COVID-19. The State announced an initial commitment of $15 million, which will be matched by philanthropic contributions for a total goal of $30 million.
“Expediting release is necessary, but so is ensuring that services are available in a way that supports those returning home to achieve successful outcomes,” said Doug Bond, CEO of the Amity Foundation. “Supporting this type of service is an essential piece of a much broader, long-term public health and social progress solution.”
The Coronavirus Gave Them Jobs — And A New Lease On Life
LA Times by By Doug Smith, Aug. 25, 2020
LARRP Partner Chrysalis has several clients participating in this much needed work!
Police Reform Advocates Scrutinize Police Unions, Calling Them Obstacles To Reform
La Times, By Kevin Rector Aug. 18, 2020
Activist DeRay Mckesson’s group Campaign Zero has released a new platform challenging the influence of police unions.
Leaving Gun Towers and Barbed Wire for a Healing House
NYTimes, Aug. 7, 2020, By Patricia Leigh Brown
Susan Burton, an advocate for formerly incarcerated women, is racing against the clock to shelter those freed early because of the surge of coronavirus cases in prisons.
L.A. County voters to decide whether to divert millions to social services and racial justice
LA Times, By Jaclyn Cosgrove, Alene Tchekmedyian
Aug. 4, 2020
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a measure Tuesday to let voters decide whether to boost spending on social services, in an initiative dubbed “Re-Imagine L.A. County” that has drawn strong opposition from labor unions and Sheriff Alex Villaneuva, who called it a veiled attempt to reduce funding for law enforcement.
The measure, slated for the November election, would amend the county’s charter, requiring that 10% of locally generated, unrestricted county money — about $400 million — be spent on housing, mental health programs, jail diversion, employment opportunities and social services. The county would be prohibited from using the money on prisons, jails or law enforcement agencies.
Coronavirus In Jails And Prisons
The Appeal, by Kelly Davis, Jul 30, 2020
California watchdog agency that repeatedly warned of "dire consequences" of prison overcrowding urges lawmakers to implement reforms; human rights org tweets "keep-you-up-at-night horrifying" stories from Georgia jail; and we map out four days of coronavirus outbreaks.
California’s Huge Overdose Increase Didn’t Have to Happen
Filter, By Travis Lupick, July 28, 2020
LA County Supervisors OK Reforms to Fight Racism, Gender Equality – Fund Alternatives to Jail
The Davis Vanguard, July 23, 2020
“It is time to prioritize the Office of Diversion and Reentry, as well as other promising ‘care first, jail last’ programs with a stable, dedicated budget commitment. Making such a rock-solid commitment, with the support of voters across Los Angeles County, will guarantee that these efforts will have the chance to succeed,”
reads the motion drafted by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis.
California to release 8,000 prisoners in hopes of easing coronavirus crisis
LA Times, July 10 2020
By John Myers, Phil Willon
SACRAMENTO — As many as 8,000 California prisoners could be released ahead of schedule in an unprecedented attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 inside state prisons, with more than half of the releases expected by the end of the month.
The announcement on Friday by top advisors to Gov. Gavin Newsom offered stark evidence of the dire health conditions at several California prisons.
Top medical officer for California prisons ousted amid worsening coronavirus outbreak
By Richard Winton, Kim Christensen
LA Times, July 6, 2020
As COVID-19 infections spread rapidly through California’s prisons, authorities on Monday announced the replacement of the state correction system’s top medical officer, and Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized an earlier decision to transfer hundreds of inmates from a Chino facility that had been battling an outbreak.
In L.A., Black activists debate the value of dialogue with police in reform efforts
LA Times, June 29, 2020
By Leila Miller...The 90-minute forum reflects significantly different approaches within the Black community toward how to create lasting change from the unrest...
To reform or reconstruct?
Young Black activists, challenging ‘respectability politics’ of their elders, give voice to a new movement for social change
LA Times, By Sarah Parvini
Pastor Eddie Anderson was sensing a generational split among his fellow Black activists, and it frustrated him.
'Nowhere to go': U.S. pandemic prison releases prompt housing concerns
Reuters, June 29, 2020
By Carey L. Biron
WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Livia Pinheiro got out of prison, she had been held for more than a decade - first by the state of California, then by the federal government and finally by immigration officials. When it was all over, she had no home to go to.
Punishment by Pandemic
In a penitentiary with one of the U.S.’s largest coronavirus outbreaks, prison terms become death sentences.
By Rachel Aviv
The New Yorker, June 15, 2020
Floyd death propels police reformers in key prosecutor races
By Jeremy B. White
OAKLAND, Calif. — The widespread fury over George Floyd's death provides a sudden window of opportunity for a national movement that has tried for years to remake the criminal justice landscape through high-profile prosecutor races around the country.
In Los Angeles and a series of contests in Florida and New York, campaigns hope that demonstrators and their allies can supply critical votes in November, converting a generational outpouring of activism into district attorneys with the will and authority to prosecute police officers and advocate for broader policy changes.
Probation Conditions Relaxed During The Pandemic. Some Say They Should Stay That Way.
The Appeal, by Lauren Lee White
Jun 08, 2020
Public safety is not improved by stricter probation and parole rules, researchers have found.
Movement to defund police gains 'unprecedented' support across US
Sam Levin in Los Angeles
The Guardian, June 4, 2020
Activists say the way to stop police brutality and killings is to cut law enforcement budgets and reinvest in services. Some lawmakers now agree
Don’t Bar Ex-Offenders From Coronavirus Aid Funds
NYTimes Op-Ed June 2, 2020
By Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
Mr. Vance is the Manhattan district attorney.The Trump administration unilaterally excluded those with criminal records from loan programs. The decision should be reversed.
The Pandemic Has Emptied Prisons. We Examine The Effects, As Well As the Challenges To Reentry
KPCC Airtalk, May 21, 2020
Hosted by Larry Mantel
CSUF Graduates of 2020:
Project Rebound student sets her sights on criminal justice reform
Orange County Register,May 28, 2020
By Susan Gill Vardon
California’s prisons and jails have emptied thousands into a world changed by coronavirus
LATimes, May 17, 2020
By Matt Hamilton, James Queally, Alene Tchekmedyian
In short order, the coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a sweeping and historic emptying of California’s overcrowded prisons and jails, as officials have dramatically lowered the number of people held in custody to avert deadly outbreaks.
State data show California’s prisons have released about 3,500 inmates while the daily jail population across 58 counties is down by 20,000 from late February.
The exodus is having a profound and still-evolving effect: Those leaving custody enter a vastly different world in which a collapsed economy, scant job opportunities and the closure of many government offices have compounded the challenges of getting lives back on track.
Discussion Looks at COVID Response by LA DA Ahead of November Election
Vanguard, May 14, 2020
by David Greenwald
With challenger George Gascón headed to a runoff against incumbent Jackie Lacey in November in LA’s District Attorney race, the discussion is ramping up on what the DA’s office needs to do to save lives during the COVID-19 discussion. But, while George Gascón participated in the LA Justice Coalition Event, as Jackie Lacey did prior to the primary, she declined to participate.
70% of inmates test positive for coronavirus at Lompoc federal prison
LA Times, May 9, 2020
By Richard Winton, Staff Writer
The number of inmates infected with the coronavirus at a federal prison in Lompoc, Calif., shot up to 792 this week, making it the largest federal penitentiary outbreak in the nation, surpassing a facility on Terminal Island in San Pedro, where 644 inmates have contracted the virus.
Nearly 70% of the inmates at Federal Correctional Institution Lompoc have tested positive, exploding by more than 300 in recent days, officials said Friday. FCI Lompoc along with Terminal Island now account for about 47% of all the federal inmates who have tested positive nationwide. Both prisons have done widespread testing of hundred of inmates even without symptoms.
Eleven staff members are also infected at the Lompoc facility, which houses 1,162 low-security inmates. A military mobile hospital has been built on the grounds to cope with the growing number of stricken patients.
LARRP Steering Committee Member and Policy Committee Co-Chair, Joseph Maizlish is featured in this recent article in the LA Progressive
Keeping Tabs on Los Angeles County — April 27 to May 1
Film producer says coronavirus "shouldn't be a death sentence" for inmates
BY Tyler Kendall
CBS NEWS, April 23, 2020
Interview with Scott Budnick, Anti-Recidivism Coalition
Grocery, drug, food-delivery workers earn protections from LA County amid coronavirus outbreak
PressTelegram, By City News Service, April 14, 2020
Ordinance requires employers to sanitize and stock bathrooms with necessary supplies, clean stores and shopping carts between uses and provide security to enforce social distancing, among other standards.
We need help': Alabama prisoner pleas for assistance in fighting COVID-19 | ABC News
ABC News, Apr 5, 2020
Flattening the Curve for Incarcerated Populations — Covid-19 in Jails and Prisons
A Plea To Governor Newsom:
Don’t Abandon Elderly Incarcerated People To Die From Covid-19
We can’t allow “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify leaving some of the most vulnerable people in dangerous conditions.
Governor Newsom Grants Executive Clemency 3.27.20
First inmate in California’s prison system tests positive for coronavirus
By Paige St. John
Editorial boards in two most populous U.S. counties push for decarceration:
On Wednesday, the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times pointed out the ways in which a COVID-19 outbreak in jails and prisons is a crisis for incarcerated people, their families, and everyone else. The necessary response, the board wrote, is to quickly lower the number of incarcerated people. It applauds the steps taken thus far by Sheriff Alex Villanueva but calls for much more to be done. Specifically, the board adds, “Virtually no defendant should be admitted to jail during this emergency who does not pose a risk to public safety. By definition that includes anyone with bail set, whether they can pay it or not, and anyone subject to jail for a technical parole or probation violation.”
Yesterday, the editorial board of the Chicago Sun-Times called on county justice officials and the office of the Cook County chief judge to “to develop a process to more quickly release many more incarcerated people—without compromising public safety—who run a high risk of being felled by the disease.”
America's Mental Health Crisis Hidden Behind Bars
Tens of thousands of names appear on CalGang database, used by police across the state
L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey announces dismissal of 66,000 marijuana convictions
Ray Leyva Joins L.A. County Probation As Interim Chief
LAPD making almost half as many arrests as a decade ago
Ventura Training Center Provides Parolees Path in Firefighting
Spectrum News 1, By Tanya McRae Camarillo,Dec. 26, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court leaves in place ruling barring prosecution of homeless
The Hidden Cost of Incarceration
Why people are freezing in America’s prisons
Rural justice systems low on pretrial resources leave some to languish, die
The hidden scandal of US criminal justice?
Rural incarceration has boomed
While big cities are finally putting fewer people in jail, small towns and rural counties are locking up more people than ever
How College In Prison Turns Around Lives And Saves Taxpayers Money
Algorithms were supposed to make Virginia judges fairer. What happened was far more complicated
Since you asked: Is it me, or is the government releasing less data about the criminal justice system?
Patrisse Cullors, LA Reform Jails Tackle Mental Health, Mass Incarceration with Mental Health Matters Summit + Day Party
Los Angeles County Works to Transform Criminal Justice Through Collaboration
For My Incarcerated Clients, There Is No Winning
The Marshall Project, Oct. 17, 2019
Nearing His Legislative Deadline, Governor Newsom Signs 2 Dozen Crucial Criminal And Juvenile Justice Bills
Two Prosecutors Were Shaped by 1980s Los Angeles. Now They Have Opposing Views on Criminal Justice.
California Lawmakers Approve Ban of For-Profit Prisons and ICE Jails
Opinion: NYC Should Learn from LA Before Building New Jails
LA County May Soon Create A Civil Justice Defense Program To Address The Collateral Consequences Of Incarceration
Seattle Has Figured Out How to End the War on Drugs While other cities are jailing drug users, Seattle has found another way.
We asked 3 prisoners about the movement to give them voting rights
L.A. County Will Explore Possibility of Separating Youth from Probation
Gov. Newsom grants pardon to Susan Burton, who assists women returning to society after prison
Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Leads Campaign To Shut Down 'Death Trap' Jails In Los Angeles
We must stop sentencing people of color to death in Los Angeles County
The Daily News,
Priscilla Ocen, July 22, 2019
Across the country, people of goodwill increasingly recognize that death penalty is a racist, immoral system that is broken beyond repair. Yet, it appears that Los Angeles County has yet to get the message.
Governor Newsom Announces Regional Leaders & Statewide Experts who will Advise on Solutions to Combat Homelessness
Services for the Homeless in South LAKPCC’s Take Two with A Martinez
BSCC Board Awards $96m In Prop 47 Grants
America’s Growing Gender Jail Gap
Gov. Newsom’s Revised Budget Features Significant New Reform-Minded Criminal Justice Spending
L.A. County can safely release and treat thousands of mentally ill inmates. So do it
California at a Crossroads: Ending Youth Trauma by Closing Violent DJJ Institutions
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, March 20, 2019
In January, in one of his first acts as Governor, Gavin Newsom pledged to “end youth imprisonment in California as we know it” and called for a radical reorganization of the state’s troubled youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
What Our Community Can Learn From Portugal’s Experience Decriminalizing Drugs
California bill to ease pathway for former inmates to become firefighters
After Incarceration, Former Prisoners Face a Tough Journey Home to Find Work, Reunite with Family and Begin Again
The next step for justice reform: Ending the ban on federal Pell Grants for eligible students behind bars
The Hill, 03/20/19
Rap Sheets Haunt Former Inmates. California May Change That.
Is It a Jail? Is It a Hospital? Vote of County Supervisors Exposes Chronic Confusion and Corruption
Justice not Jails, Feb. 17, 2019
By Peter Laarman
Changing the name from “Consolidated Care Treatment Facility” to “Mental Health Treatment Center” actually accomplishes very little and raises more questions than it answers. Read more
In landmark move, L.A. County will replace Men’s Central Jail with mental health hospital for inmates
By MAYA LAU
LATimes, FEB 13, 2019
Los Angeles County supervisors narrowly approved a plan Tuesday to tear down the dungeon-like Men’s Central Jail downtown and build at least one mental health treatment facility in its place.
Plan to create an L.A. County womens' jail in Lancaster faces serious opposition
LA TIMES By MAYA LAU JAN 08, 2019
A controversial women’s jail project that has been in development for years is now facing serious opposition from key stakeholders who are demanding more therapeutic alternatives for women in Los Angeles County’s criminal justice system. Read the article
L.A. County needs to seriously rethink the Mira Loma women's jail
By THE TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD
JAN 02, 2019
The criminal justice system was built for men — men’s bodies, men’s psyches, men’s problems. But the fastest-growing contingent of jail and prison inmates is women. They are housed in institutions not built with them in mind and are guarded by officers untrained to meet their needs and challenges. Read the editorial
Congress and President Trump Consider Bi-Partisan Criminal Justice Reform Legislation, The First Step Act,
Here's what it does: (From the Marshall Project)
Measure H Helped 10,000 Homeless People Into Permanent Housing, Officials Say
By NBC Channel 4, City News Service
A half-cent sales tax passed by Los Angeles County voters nearly two years ago to fund homeless programs has been a significant success...
Immigrants facing deportation, drug offenders and a former state lawmaker receive pardons from Gov. Jerry Brown
by John Myers and Jazmine Ulloa, Nov 21, 2018
MacArthur Foundation awards millions to cut jail populations
By Claudia Lauer, October 24, 201
By SAL RODRIGUEZ |OPINION | Orange County Register
July 2, 2018
The much-hyped Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018 has failed to make the November 2018 ballot.
Prop. 47 Lessened Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests
Ballot Measure to Counteract the ‘War on Drugs’ Cut Arrests Across California
By Laura Kurtzman on June 21, 2018
Now, a study out of UC San Francisco has quantified the effects of the ballot measure, which was at the leading edge of a national movement to reduce incarceration rates and change the criminal justice approach to substance use disorders.
Fixing some of California's tough-on-crime mistakes of the past
San Diego Union Tribune
May 25, 2018
Who overpacked California’s prisons? It was first-term Gov. Jerry Brown, when he signed into law the Uniform Determinate Sentencing Act in 1976. And it was the Legislature’s Democratic majority, who’d sent Brown the act in the first place and then tried to outflank tough-on-crime Republicans by adding one sentence-lengthening provision (or “enhancement”) after another. Read more
Two Important editorials by the LA Times last month:
Marijuana is now legal in California. Continuing to punish prior offenders is cruel and unnecessary
Marijuana is now legal under California law, but hundreds of thousands of Californians have criminal records for possessing or selling the drug
Read the full editorial
Don’t let this Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
By THE TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD
FEB 13, 2018
Read the full editorial
California's top court strikes down 50-year sentences for juveniles
By MAURA DOLAN
FEB 26, 2018
The California Supreme Court decided Monday that juveniles may not be sentenced to 50 years or longer in prison for kidnapping, rape and sodomy.
Slavery is alive and kickin'
Pacific Standard Magazine
LEE V. GAINES, NOV 27, 2017
Across the country, minor pot infractions disproportionately affect people of color. Newly enacted legislation in the Golden State is working to ease those penalties.
LA Times Editorial
NOV 20, 2017
One of the broken promises of the criminal justice system is that a person who completes felony time in prison or jail will leave with a clean slate and a chance to start over. It doesn't work that way. Liberty once lost is rarely fully restored...
Photographer Brian L. Frank captures the lives of men on the fire lines and at home in prison conservation camps.
In response, the state's fire agency, CALFIRE, has mobilized more than 11,000 firefighters.
Of those, 1,500 were inmates from minimum security conservation camps run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where they are trained to work on fire suppression and other emergencies like floods and earthquakes.
Published: October 30, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO – October 30, 2017 – A new research report released today from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice examines local trends in California’s property crime from 2010 through 2016, a period marked by major justice system reform, including Public Safety Realignment, Prop 47, and Prop 57 (read more)
By Bruce Western and Vincent Schiraldi | July 20, 2017
The Crime Report
In our nation’s expanding discussion about eliminating mass incarceration, advocates, researchers and the media are missing a major contributor to incarcerated populations and a partial deprivation of liberty in its own right.
Mass supervision through probation and parole. (read more)
Prop. 47 got thousands out of prison. Now, $103 million in savings will go towards keeping them out
June 9, 2017, SACRAMENTO, CA – Yesterday, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) announced $103 million dollars in grant awards for community diversion and treatment programs across California. Demonstrating the largest reallocation of prison budget funds to community-based programs, this is a historic opportunity for California to lead the way in ensuring effective treatment, diversion and reentry services for individuals most impacted by our criminal justice system.
The Morality of Government Spending: Who Decides What Gets Funded?
BY BRIAN BIERY
Budgets are moral documents. As a society, we demonstrate our values by what we spend our money on. So when governments draft budgets they show what is important to bureaucrats and politicians, but what if their perspectives are not aligned with the public? And how do we insert what we value into the process?
Survivors of Violent Crime Raise Their Voices in California to call for a new Approach to Criminal Justice
By JAZMINE ULLOA
APR 17, 2018
As the state has rolled back sentencing laws through legislation and voter initiatives, a growing victims' rights movement is pushing for alternatives to incarceration, with greater investment in rehabilitation services and a reevaluation of what it takes to make communities safe.
Facing sheriff’s scorn, LA County leaders seek to reduce jail population
Los Angeles Daily News, By Ryan Carter, September 15, 2020
A new council will seek regular updates to make sure inmate numbers stay low — a prospect the sheriff was not happy with
Could a billionaire lose his LACMA board seat over his prison-phone investment?
LA Times, By Laurence Darmiento, Sep. 16, 2020
Activists have been pressuring Tom Gores ever since his private equity firm bought one of the nation’s largest prison phone companies.
Can America move beyond mass incarceration? (audio)
Christian Science Monitor, September 14, 2020
By Samantha Laine Perfas, Jessica Mendoza, Henry Gass
Most agree that America’s justice system is broken. But how should it be fixed? The final episode of “Perception Gaps: Locked Up” explores different paths forward.
Editorial: A strange and chaotic — and meh — year for California lawmaking
LA Times By The Times Editorial Board, Sep. 3, 2020
A good round-up on the close of session
LARRP Executive Director Appointed To The Board Of The Prison Industry Authority
August 27, 2020
Troy F. Vaughn, 56, of Corona, has been appointed to the Board of the Prison Industry Authority. Vaughn has been Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership since 2011. He has been Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Christ-Centered Ministries since 1999. Vaughn is a community-based organization representative for the Los Angeles Public Safety Realignment Team. He earned a Master of Theology degree from King’s College and Seminary and an Executive Juris Doctor degree from Concord Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Vaughn is a Democrat.
“Hangover” Producer Starts Nonprofit to Transition People Out of Prison
Prop 47 Five Years Later
Five years later: How a California prop changed national discourse on criminal justice reform
LA Progressive, Cari Lynn
Initially blasted by critics as a “get out of jail free card,” Prop 47 was a long-shot that even supporters deemed likely to go the way of other reform efforts: nowhere. But 47’s success has exceeded even its founders’ ideals, and is now primed to be a nationwide model for effective and humane criminal justice reform.
Editorial: California is releasing prison inmates in droves. It needs to do more to help them reenter society
By The Times Editorial Board, Aug. 5, 2020
California pioneered the criminal justice reforms that have rolled back some of the excessive and counterproductive punishments responsible for packing jails and prisons across the county in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. But it still lags in “reentry” programs, which assist inmates as they transition back to life outside a cell.
Fears grow that releasing thousands of California prisoners will spread COVID-19 into communities
LA Times, By Anita Chabria, Richard Winton, Kim Christensen
July 31, 2020
Missteps by corrections officials handling releases from state prisons are fueling fears in some California counties that thousands of inmates eligible for early release will spread the coronavirus in their communities.
Virus-Driven Push to Release Juvenile Detainees Leaves Black Youth Behind
NYTimes, By Erica L. Green, July 30, 2020
After an initial decrease in the youth detention population since the pandemic began, the rate of release has slowed, and the gap between white youth and Black youth has grown.
The report, released this month by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, illustrates one more disparity the coronavirus has exacerbated for Black children, who are disproportionately funneled into the juvenile justice system.
Outbreak at San Quentin
Snap Judgement, July 23, 2020
As the Coronavirus outbreak overwhelms San Quentin State Prison, one incarcerated person, Chanthon Bun, is awaiting his release on parole. Bun tries to protect himself from the virus, while incarcerated first responders and cleaning crews attempt to treat those who are collapsing and stop the spread of COVID-19. In this episode, we hear first-hand accounts from incarcerated people inside San Quentin trying to survive the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Click here to listen to the podcast
Op-Ed: It will take a lot more than diversity training to end racial bias in hiring
LA Times, By Judd B. Kessler And Corinne Low
July 24, 20203 AM
New research shows that even companies setting pro-diversity goals exhibit discriminatory bias in hiring.
COVID Prison Release: State To Start With Non-Violent Inmates Over Age 30
SacObserver, July 15, 2020 by CBM Newswire
“We have an unprecedented moment in time to actually augment the work of prison reform and the reduction of the already overcrowded conditions that have persisted,” said Joe Paul, Managing Director of the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership and Director of Political and Civic Affairs, City of Refuge Church-L.A.
Special: Letters From The Outside As COVID Rages Inside
KALW Radio, July 8, 2020 By UNCUFFED
The COVID-19 outbreak in prisons across California is taking an incredible toll — not only on the people inside, but on the families and friends of incarcerated people. And because of the pandemic, our producers on the inside can’t access their recording equipment. So today, you’ll hear from the friends and family outside of prison, reading letters to their loved ones stuck on the inside.
COVID-19 and the need for justice reform are twinned crises
LA Daily News, Opinion, July 6, 2020
By Kelly Lytle Hernandez And Robert Ross
...Today, there are newly-urgent demands for racial justice in our health and legal systems—and at the intersection of those systems, especially in our jails. How can we protect the health of people in our overcrowded and disproportionately Black and Brown custody system? Or the health of the disproportionately Black populations of unhoused persons living on our streets? Or the disproportionately Black and Brown communities that are excessively policed? How can we end the racial disparities of the criminal legal system while building systems of well-being and care for all in our communities?...
For Advocates, $25 Million Cut To LAUSD Police Is Just The First Step. For Others, It's Already Too Much.
By Carla Javier
LAist, July 2, 2020
It's been an eventful week at the Los Angeles Unified School District.
After a 13-hour marathon meeting on Tuesday, the Board of Education voted 4-3 to reduce the $70 million school police budget by $25 million, or about 35%. Less than 24 hours later, the district's police department chief, Todd Chamberlain — who was appointed to the job in November — announced his resignation.
A glimpse at some of what’s in California’s new $202-billion state budget
By John Myers, Sacramento Bureau Chief
LA Times, June 29, 2020
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed into law the key provisions of a new state budget, a spending plan that seeks to erase a historic deficit while preserving service levels for schools, healthcare and social services.
Editorial: Effective sheriff oversight still a work in progress
By The LA Times Editorial Board, June 29, 2020
...At issue is whether now, at a time of growing public distrust of law enforcement, county sheriffs will be able to cling to an irresponsible and outmoded vision of unassailable power — or whether they will instead be subject to oversight...
LA County Considers Reallocating Funding from Jails to Diversion, Treatment Programs
RLN, Reporter's Desk, 06/23/2020
Los Angeles, CA—Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors backed a proposal by Supervisor Janice Hahn and coauthored by Supervisor Hilda Solis to consider reallocating funding provided to the county through AB109 from the jail system to alternatives to incarceration.
“This moment is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get away from our over-reliance on incarceration and invest in treatment and services,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who authored the motion. “We cannot police our way out of all of our problems—whether that be mental illness, or poverty, or addiction. I want to look critically at the State funding that we currently give to our jail system and see if there is a smarter way to spend this money.”
AP Exclusive: New dates set to begin federal executions
By Michael Balsamo, June 15, 2020
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has set new dates to begin executing federal death-row inmates following a months long legal battle over the plan to resume the executions for the first time since 2003
NYTimes, The Sunday Read, Podcast
June 14, 2020, Reginald Dwayne Betts
In this episode of The Sunday Read, one man reflects on what it was like to go to prison as a child and to attempt to become an attorney upon his release. In doing so, he asks: What is punishment in America? What is it for? And how should we think about it?
To close corporate America’s inequality gap, we need to end discrimination against Black job applicants
By: Martine Cadet, June 10, 2020
Growing the LAPD was gospel at City Hall. George Floyd changed that
By James Rainey, Dakota Smith, Cindy Chang
LATimes, June 5, 2020
It has been an article of faith in Los Angeles politics for more than a quarter-century: Build the Police Department and its budget, and you will build a stronger, safer city.
Editorial: Coronavirus shows us the danger and inanity of our prison state
By The Times Editorial Board
May 29, 2020
So it’s time to ask: Why did we build and pack prisons in the first place? Why did we create institutions that are inherently unsafe and unsanitary? What kind of society clusters people together and then charges them money for hygiene?
Editorial: Freed inmates face brutal lives of poverty and homelessness.
Don’t blame coronavirus
By THE LA Times Editorial Board
May 28, 2020
Editorial: No, criminals aren’t rampaging across California because of our zero-dollar bail policy
By The Times Editorial Board
May 27, 2020
LARRP Steering Committee Member and Employment Committee Co-Chair, Maria 'Alex" Alexander, featured
Cannabis legalization revenue helps fight COVID-19 on Skid Row
Leafly, May 20, 2020
by Marissa Wenzke
Center for Living and Learning Executive Director Maria ‘Alex’ Alexander manages 18 caseworkers who see 300-500 people per year. Most of her funding comes from Proposition 64
Officials mishandled coronavirus outbreaks at Lompoc and Terminal Island prisons, lawsuits claim
LA Times, May 17, 2020
By Alex Wigglesworthstaff
The American Civil Liberties Union on Saturday filed a pair of class-action lawsuits on behalf of federal prisoners at Lompoc and Terminal Island, claiming officials mishandled coronavirus outbreaks at the facilities that have infected a combined total of 1,775 inmates, killing 10.
‘We are terrified’: Coronavirus outbreak reported at Chino women’s prison
May 17, 2020 Gabriel Valley Tribune
By Jonah Valdez
The women sat anxiously inside their prison cells at the California Institution for Women in Chino as a guard roamed about their cell block, yelling out an ominous announcement.
A knock on a cell door, the guard said, meant that they tested positive for the coronavirus. They would be told to gather their things and prepare to be isolated for an indefinite amount of days.
Screams filled the air. Women began to hurl questions at the guards.
Los Angeles needs a new approach to justice: George Gascón
Los Angeles Daily News, May 16, 2020
By George Gascon
Let Our People Go
A letter from inside Marion Correctional Institution is the voice of those locked in cages and discarded during this pandemic.
NYTimes, May 13, 2020
By Michelle Alexander, Contributing Opinion Writer
California’s Jail Population Has Plummeted during COVID-19
PPIC, May 8, 2020
Joseph Hayes, Heather Harris
When the COVID-19 crisis began, state and county governments recognized that overcrowded jail conditions could pose unacceptable health risks for inmates and staff. As the crisis has unfolded, all counties have taken steps to decrease their jail populations. Some have made steeper reductions than others, and some of the measures that have facilitated these reductions—reducing pretrial detention and setting bail at zero for many crimes—may have longer-term significance as California considers whether to eliminate money bail.
3 more inmates die at Chino prison as coronavirus infections continue to spread
LA Times, May 8, 2020
By Richard Winton, staff writer
As an outbreak of the coronavirus continues to rage inside the California Institution for Men in Chino, three more inmates at the prison have died, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Friday.
Authorities nationwide are reporting an uptick in fatal opioid overdoses during social distancing.
The Daily Beast, May. 03
Kate Briquelet,Senior Reporter
Authorities nationwide are reporting an uptick in fatal opioid overdoses during social distancing.
People freed from prison during coronavirus may face big risks on the outside
The Conversation, April 27, 2020
by Daina StanleyI strongly support humane measures to reduce the risks to incarcerated individuals, correctional and medical workers and communities. But historical injustices, systemic inequalities and harsh criminal justice ideologies and practices often create barriers to safe community re-entry, particularly for the most vulnerable individuals in prisons.
My research highlights complexities that must be confronted before individuals can be safely released to the community. I have seen far too many individuals released from custody — often despite the best efforts of correctional caseworkers — to precarious circumstances.
The Coronavirus Is Hitting Our Nation's Prisons and Jails Hard.
And It's Exposing a Crisis That Existed Long Before the Outbreak
Time Magazine, April 22, 2020
By Joyce White Vance
The news from the nation’s prisons and jails is increasingly grim. On Sunday, there were reports that 1,828 people incarcerated at Marion County Correctional Facility in Ohio, 73% of its total population, have tested positive for COVID-19. One staff member has died and another 109 have tested positive. Similar reports are coming in from federal and state facilities across the country. But this crisis in our criminal justice system isn’t due to the coronavirus. Rather, the pandemic is exposing a pre-existing crisis in our prisons that we are long overdue to fix.
New Data: Second Chance Pell Continues to Open Doors for More Students
The Vera Institute's Think Justice Blog, April 21, 2020
By Margaret diZerega and Ruth-Delaney
Amid Pandemic, State Releases Thousands of Prisoners — But Will They Have Support at Home?
KQED By Marisa Lagos
April 13, 2020
By the end of today, the state will have released 3,500 nonviolent offenders early from state prison, and local jails have already let thousands more low-level inmates go — but advocates for prisoners are worried that those coming home amid a global pandemic won’t have the tools to succeed and stay healthy.
Let’s make sure that coronavirus doesn’t make hiring inequality even worse
Cal Matters, By Jessica Quintana
April 11, 2020
California Makes Major Bail Change To Slow The Spread Of Coronavirus In Jails
Preventing Community Spread of COVID-19 in Sites like Jails and Emergency Shelter
Why Jails Are So Important in the Fight Against Coronavirus
Coronavirus Pandemic: Santa Rita Jail Inmate Tests Positive; 77 New Cases In Alameda County
L.A. County presented with ambitious plan to change its justice system to system of care
CalMatters, by Kelly Lytle
Arizona Dept. of Corrections whistleblower discusses health risks of working in prison during pandemic
California’s State Juvenile Justice Agency Freezes New Detention Commitments
Why Hasn’t the Number of People in U.S. Jails Dropped?
Historic County-Community Partnership Takes The Vote Behind Bars In LA County
How Jackie Lacey’s and George Gascón’s time in office shapes the L.A. County D.A.'s race
Florida loses appeals court ruling on felon voting law
Debating Measure R:
5 arrested in $3.2 million Southern California sober living home fraud scheme
Sacramento Kings and Incarcerated Individuals Come Together For First NBA 'Play For Justice' Event at Folsom State Prison
2019 was the year L.A. County finally said ‘no’ to new jails
LA Times, By The Times Editorial Board
Dec. 26, 2019
California Is Letting Thousands of Prisoners Out Early. Its Housing Crisis Is Keeping Them From Starting Over.
Where Prisons Are A Last Resort
Appeals Court Upholds California’s Revamped Felony-Murder Accomplice Law
Los Angeles unveils first ever bridge housing project for trans women
Voter Registration Outreach - Getting Inside California Jails
Criminal justice reform targets court fines, fees
Parolees Help Battle Saddleridge Fire as Part of New Reentry Program in Ventura County
How Far Will California Take Criminal-Justice Reform?
Read the Story
A Visit with My (incarcerated) Mother
I Host a Popular Podcast. I’m Also in Prison.
September 26,2019, Rahsaan Thomas
Contra Costa to consider waiving certain court fees
September 13, 2019, By Annie Sciacca
The moratorium would include probation report fees, public defenders’ fees and fees for alternative custody programs such as electronic monitoring and work alternatives to jail. Fees would be waived for everyone, regardless of ability to pay.
Los Angeles County Votes To Stop Construction Of New Jail-Like Facility, Adding Momentum To National Abolition Movement
California Governor Promises More Changes to “Biased, Random” Justice System
Restoring Pell Grants To Prisoners Benefits Us All
Detroit Free Press
August 16, 2019, Greg Handel and Margaret diZerega
Reentry and Opportunity Center Improves Outcomes for Probation Clients
Why Los Angeles Could Be the Setting for the ‘Most Important D.A. Race’ in the U.S.
In Los Angeles, only people of color are sentenced to death
LA County Supes Expand Innovative Program Proven To Break The Wash, Rinse, Repeat Pattern Of Mental Illness, Incarceration, And Homelessness
Counties rarely collect fees imposed on those formerly jailed. So why keep charging them?
How Private Equity Is Turning Public Prisons Into Big Profits
21 more studies showing racial disparities in the criminal justice system
The Washington Post, April 9
By Radley Balko, Opinion writer
First major drug distribution company, former executives, criminally charged in opioid crisis
California Death Penalty Suspended; 737 Inmates Get Stay of Execution
NYTimes, By Tim Arango
March 12, 2019
Gavin Newsom’s death penalty moratorium could turn the abolitionist tide in California
By THE LA TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD
MAR 13, 2019
The Case for Expunging Criminal Records
Fed Up With Probation’s Ongoing Failure To Spend Juvenile Justice $ Millions On Proven Programs For LA County’s Kids, The Supes Make A Radical Move
Teaching in America’s prisons has taught me to believe in second chances
More mothers are ending up behind bars. Meeting the needs of their children is becoming a bigger priority
The next step for justice reform: Ending the ban on federal Pell Grants for eligible students behind bars
The Hill, 03/20/19
Police accountability in Los Angeles is heading backwards
1.5 million felons can now vote in Florida because of these men
California must double-down on prison rehabilitation
CALMatters Guest Commentary | Feb. 24, 2019 | By Adnan Khan
The State Auditor recently issued an audit of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s in-prison rehabilitation programs with a conclusion that these programs did not reduce recidivism rates. Read more
Anti-recidivism efforts falling short, audit says
Report suggests state prisons aren’t meeting ambitious goals on inmate rehabilitation.
Why California’s Default Mental Institutions Are Now Jails and Prisons
Justice Not Jails, Feb. 8, 2019 By Jocelyn Wiener
Read the article
Pepper Spray Is Used Too Often To 'Subdue Youth' In LA's Juvenile Justice System
Black women punished for self-defense must be freed from their cages
The Guardian, Thu 3 Jan 2019
Black women have always been vulnerable to violence in the US. We have to address the systemic and cultural issues that contribute to this...
Read the article
How the FIRST STEP Act Became Law - and What Happens Next
The making of a historic criminal justice reform bill
Brennan Center for Justice, January 4, 2019
Ames Grawert, Tim Lau
Last month, the FIRST STEP Act was signed into law - a major win for the movement to end mass incarceration. Read the article
Jerry Brown Becomes Most Forgiving Governor In Modern CA History
By CALmatters, News Partner | Dec 27, 2018
In keeping with eight years of holiday tradition, Gov. Jerry Brown issued 143 pardons this week. Since 2011, he has pardoned 1,332 inmates.
Prop. 47 spared offenders from prison, but they may find county jail harsher
San Francisco Chronicle Nov. 23, 2018, By Kerry Rudd
Why Is Karl Taylor Dead?
Our prisons are our mental wards. One fatal case in New York shows where that can lead.
The Marshall Project, By TOM ROBBINS, November 27, 2018
The Scanner: Alameda County to drop criminal justice fees; the problem with pot DUIs
In historic upset, Alex Villanueva beats incumbent Jim McDonnell in race for Los Angeles County sheriff
LA Times| NOV 26, 2018 | By MAYA LAU
Women Ignored in Incarceration Reform
Justice Not Jails, October 21, 2018
Women are the fastest-growing population in U.S. jails, but the effect this has on families has been largely ignored, a New York conference was told Wednesday.
Implementing long-term, meaningful solutions for women and families remain too few and far between, experts said at a three-person panel unveiling a new initiative aimed at reforming criminal justice system to better serve women.
The renewed fortunes and the hidden history of the for-profit prison industry.
Jim Crow’s Lasting Legacy At The Ballot Box
The Marshall Project
JENNIFER RAE TAYLOR 08.20.2018
Denying voting rights to people with felony convictions has roots in racist laws.
How young is too young for jail? California doesn't have an answer, but it should
LATimes Editorial Board, AUG 11, 2018
When is someone too young to go to jail? Even if it’s a juvenile jail or a so-called probation camp, surely such institutions are not the right place for 8-year-olds, no matter what crimes they may have committed. But how old is old enough? Is it 9? 10? What’s the age threshold for jail?
No, Prop 47 didn't de-criminalize misdemeanors
by THE LA TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD, JUL 18, 2018
Prisoners who risk their lives during Calif. wildfires shouldn't be shut out of profession
Katherine Katcher, Sonja Tonnesen and Neeraj Kumar, Opinion contributors Nov. 3, 2017
They are skilled. They sacrifice for $1 per hour. But once inmates finish their sentence, laws bar them from the job
To build, or not to build, a new L.A. County jail
By THE LATIMES EDITORIAL BOARD, June 16, 2018
Hundreds of people pack the Hollywood United Methodist Church on this blustery January evening to hear from Johnson and other leaders of JusticeLA, a group formed to fight what members are calling the planned expansion of the Los Angeles County jail system. Read more
04/21/2018 Asha Bandele of the Drug Policy Alliance interview on MIC:
"Prince could still be alive today if America didn’t shame people for using drugs." Asha talks about some of the things learned on a recent trip to Portugal. Members of LARRP were on that trip.
Inmates who learn trades are often blocked from jobs. Now something's being done.
NBC News May 26, 2018
Half the states bar ex-cons from getting the occupational licences they need to re-enter the workforce. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say it doesn't make sense. Read more
Los Angeles Activists Join Delegation to Portugal March 19-22 to Learn from Country’s Groundbreaking Drug Decriminalization Policy
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: March 19 – 22
CONTACT: Troy Vaughn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Voter Registration Makes Inroads in Unexpected Territory: County Jails
LA Times, FEB 26, 2018
By MICHAEL LIVINGSTON
Vice News Tonight Features LARRP, Drug Policy Alliance, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and Public Defenders Office Expungement Clinic
Don't Stop Now:
California Leads the Nation in Using Public Higher Education to Address Mass Incarceration - Will We Continue?
Scores of Californians have spent the past three years laboring to accomplish the unprecedented: bringing together our enormous criminal justice and public higher education systems to build a new generation of college students and graduates.
The reasons why are clear - higher education reduces recidivism, changes lives, and builds stronger communities. We can no longer consign incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women to ending their education with a GED; they, like all of us, deserve the opportunities that hard work and a college degree create.
This summary is in not exhaustive. Instead, we wanted to share a few media clips that illustrate the narrative we’ve been in over the past few years.
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