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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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

California’s Huge Overdose Increase Didn’t Have to Happen

Filter, By Travis Lupick, July 28, 2020
Read more

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Read the CDCR News Release

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.
Read More

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...

Read More

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.

Read more

'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.

Read more

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

Read More

Floyd death propels police reformers in key prosecutor races

Politico, 06/10/2020
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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

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Steps forward for racial justice - Statement from Mayor Eric Garcetti

Read the Statement

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.

Read More

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

Listen Here

CSUF Graduates of 2020:
Project Rebound student sets her sights on criminal justice reform

Orange County Register,May 28, 2020
By Susan Gill Vardon
Read more

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.
Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read the Article

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
Watch here!

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.

Read More

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
The New England Journal of Medicine, April 2, 2020
Matthew J. Akiyama, M.D., Anne C. Spaulding, M.D., and Josiah D. Rich, M.D

A Plea To Governor Newsom:
Don’t Abandon Elderly Incarcerated People To Die From Covid-19

Mar 30, 2020, The Appeal
by James King

We can’t allow “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify leaving some of the most vulnerable people in dangerous conditions.

Read More 

Governor Newsom Grants Executive Clemency 3.27.20

Mar 27, 2020, SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has granted five pardons and 21 commutations.
First inmate in California’s prison system tests positive for coronavirus
LA Times, March 22, 2020
By Paige St. John
The prisoner is at California State Prison, Los Angeles County, state corrections officials announced on Sunday night.
The officials also said that five prison workers have COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Two are at California State Prison, Sacramento, outside of Folsom; one is at Folsom State Prison; and two are at the California Institution for Men in Chino.
The prisoner in L.A. County was in stable condition and being treated on site, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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.”

Read the Editorial

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.”

Read the Editorial

America's Mental Health Crisis Hidden Behind Bars
NPR Morning Edition,
Zoë van Dijk, February 25, 2020
New inmates with a mental illness arrive daily in the Los Angeles County jail system. It now holds more than 5,000 inmates with a mental illness who've had run-ins with the law.
Tens of thousands of names appear on CalGang database, used by police across the state
Pasedena Weekly by Matthew Rodriguez | Feb 27, 2020
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently announced that the state Department of Justice is opening an investigation into the Los Angeles Police Department’s use of the controversial CalGang database.

L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey announces dismissal of 66,000 marijuana convictions

LA Times, FEB. 13, 2020
By Alene Tchekmedyian, Leila Miller
Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey on Thursday announced that she had secured the dismissal of 66,000 marijuana convictions in Los Angeles County, marking a major step in a growing national effort to undo the harsh effects of a decades-long drug war.
COLDPLAY Performs a Sold Out LA Concert Run at The Palladium – Supporting Local Prison Reform Efforts:
RESPECT Magazine
January 24, 2020 by Ayana Rashed

Ray Leyva Joins L.A. County Probation As Interim Chief

January 17, 2020
Brings With Him Over 40 Years Experience to Lead the Nation's Largest Probation Department
LAPD making almost half as many arrests as a decade ago
Decline in bookings far outpaces drop in crime
January 16, 2020, By Ethan Ward
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
Reuters, by Dec. 16, 2019, Andrew Chung
The Hidden Cost of Incarceration
Prison costs taxpayers $80 billion a year. It costs some families everything they have.
The Marshall Project By Nicole Lewis and Beatrix Lockwood
Why people are freezing in America’s prisons
It shouldn’t be up to concerned citizens to keep the incarcerated warm in the winter.
Vox, By Roxanna Asgarian
Dec 13, 2019
Rural justice systems low on pretrial resources leave some to languish, die
Shortage of money, attorneys push rural jail populations to explode. In extreme case, Wisconsin teen took his life.
USA Today by Pamela Metzger, Opinion contributor, Dec. 13, 2019
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

The Guardian, by Jasmine Heiss and Jack Norton,
December 13, 2019
How College In Prison Turns Around Lives And Saves Taxpayers Money
Nov 23, 2019, Evan Gerstmann
Algorithms were supposed to make Virginia judges fairer. What happened was far more complicated
The Washington Post 
Andrew Van Dam, November 19, 2019
Since you asked: Is it me, or is the government releasing less data about the criminal justice system?
Prison Policy Initiative
by Wendy Sawyer, November 14, 2019
The Bureau of Justice Statistics is tasked with collecting, analyzing, and publishing data about the criminal justice system. But its reports are slowing down - and its framing of criminal justice issues is becoming more punitive.
Patrisse Cullors, LA Reform Jails Tackle Mental Health, Mass Incarceration with Mental Health Matters Summit + Day Party
The Root, Jay Connor, 11/15/19
Los Angeles County Works to Transform Criminal Justice Through Collaboration
Erin O’donnell
Next City, October 25, 2019
...In Los Angeles County, which has the largest jail and probation systems in the country, leaders are finding innovative ways to collaborate — sometimes for the first time — within departments, across agencies, and with the community.
For My Incarcerated Clients, There Is No Winning
Ana Galvañ

The Marshall Project, Oct. 17, 2019
“What he really needed, a lawyer couldn’t give him.”

Nearing His Legislative Deadline, Governor Newsom Signs 2 Dozen Crucial Criminal And Juvenile Justice Bills

WitnessLA,  October 9, 2019
Taylor Walker
On Tuesday evening, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he had taken his signing pen to 25 criminal and juvenile justice reform bills, including bills to boost diversion and reentry systems and expand victim services.
Gov. Newsom has until October 13, to sign or veto the bills that remain on his desk.
READ a rundown of Tuesday’s new laws, plus a shortlist of bills that have yet to meet their fate.
Two Prosecutors Were Shaped by 1980s Los Angeles. Now They Have Opposing Views on Criminal Justice.
By Tim Arango
NYTimes, Oct. 3, 2019
George Gascón resigned as San Francisco’s district attorney to consider challenging the incumbent in Los Angeles, Jackie Lacey. Such a race could help define criminal justice reform.

California Lawmakers Approve Ban of For-Profit Prisons and ICE Jails

California lawmakers voted Wednesday to ban private prisons statewide, in a major blow to the for-profit prison industry in the U.S. The legislation also orders the closure of four ICE prisons that can jail up to 4,500 immigrants. The bill now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom for his signature. Newsom said in his January inaugural address that California should “end the outrage of private prisons once and for all.”

Also read about it in The Guardian and

Opinion: NYC Should Learn from LA Before Building New Jails
City Limits, September 27, 2019
By Coss Marte and Christopher Marte
LA County May Soon Create A Civil Justice Defense Program To Address The Collateral Consequences Of Incarceration
Witness LA, September 11, 2019
Taylor Walker
Seattle Has Figured Out How to End the War on Drugs While other cities are jailing drug users, Seattle has found another way.
By Nicholas Kristof, Opinion Columnist, Aug. 23, 2019
We asked 3 prisoners about the movement to give them voting rights
Aug 20, 2019, Catherine Kim
Executives Transforming Probation and Parole Initiative
The Chronicle of Social Change
August 19,  Jeremy Loudenback
Today in San Francisco, more than 50 current and former probation and parole chiefs have signed on to a new initiative designed to reduce the number of adults who are under supervision in the country’s local probation and parole systems.
L.A. County Will Explore Possibility of Separating Youth from Probation
The Chronicle of Social Change
August 14, 2019 by Jeremy Loudenback
Gov. Newsom grants pardon to Susan Burton, who assists women returning to society after prison
LA Times, By MAURA DOLAN, AUG. 7, 2019
Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Leads Campaign To Shut Down 'Death Trap' Jails In Los Angeles
BET July 25, 2019, by Rachel Herron
Black Lives Matter co-founder and Reform L.A. Jails chairperson Patrisse Khan-Cullors is fighting to protect incarcerated individuals in Los Angeles and the rights of people suffering from mental health issues.
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.

Over 75 Law Professors and Legal Scholars Call for an End to the Death Penalty in Los Angeles County
Update: Los Angeles, July 18, 2019 – A group of over 75 law professors and legal scholars from leading institutions have released an open letter calling for Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey to end the county’s costly and racially-biased death penalty practices.

Governor Newsom Announces Regional Leaders & Statewide Experts who will Advise on Solutions to Combat Homelessness
Jul 16, 2019
U.S. jail populations drop but not for women
PBS Newshour, Jun 30, 2019
Services for the Homeless in South LAKPCC’s Take Two with A Martinez
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and KPCC’s A Martinez with LARRP Steering Committee member and HOPICS Director Veronica Lewis and members of her team, including street outreach workers. Photo by Bryan Chan/Board of Supervisors
California inmates can legally possess marijuana after Prop. 64, court says
Politico, 06/12/2019
By Alexander Nieves
BSCC Board Awards $96m In Prop 47 Grants
SACRAMENTO (June 13, 2019) – The Board of State and Community Corrections today approved grant awards from a voter initiative that reduces from felonies to misdemeanors certain low-level crimes and directs state savings to programs primarily focused on mental health and substance-use disorder treatment.
Ending Mass Incarceration: 
Ideas from Today's Leaders
The Brennan Center for Justice, May 16, 2019
In this remarkable collaboration, the country’s most prominent lawmakers and activists join together to propose ideas for transformative change.
America’s Growing Gender Jail Gap
New York Review of Books,
May 7, 2019, Jacob Kang-Brown and Olive Lu
In California, Agreement On New Rules For When Police Can Use Deadly Force
NPR, May 24, Ben Adler
...Under the agreement made public Thursday, officers will be able to use lethal force only when it is "necessary" and if there are no other options...
Gov. Newsom’s Revised Budget Features Significant New Reform-Minded Criminal Justice Spending
WitnessLA, May 10, 2019
by Taylor Walker
California Tried to Fix Its Prisons. Now County Jails Are More Deadly.
In a 48-hour stretch during January 2018, three men were booked into the Fresno County Jail. One was beaten into a coma. Two died soon afterward. Their cases kicked off a nightmarish year in a local jail where problems trace back to California’s sweeping 2011 prison downsizing and criminal justice reforms.
ProPublica April 24,
by Jason Pohl, The Sacramento Bee, and Ryan Gabrielson, ProPublica

L.A. County can safely release and treat thousands of mentally ill inmates. So do it

By The Times Editorial Board, Apr 22, 2019
Who Begs To Go To Prison? California Jail Inmates
Effort to cut prison overcrowding puts some jails in crisis.
The Marshall Project, 04.23.2019
Mentally ill homeless people keep going to jail. But a study says L.A. County can fix that
LA Times, APR 22, 2019

How close is L.A. to building 10,000 houses for homeless people? Here’s a breakdown

LA Times, APR 22, 2019
LA Sheriff Watchdog:
The First Amendment Shouldn't Shield Deputy Cliques, Tattoos From Scrutiny

Prosecutors move to clear 54,000 marijuana convictions in California
APR 01, 2019

Read the Article

Is Prison
Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind
NYTimes Feature, April 17, 2019
By Rachel Kushner
In three decades of advocating for prison abolition, the activist and scholar has helped transform how people think about criminal justice.

Prosecutors move to clear 54,000 marijuana convictions in California
APR 01, 2019

Read the Article

California at a Crossroads: Ending Youth Trauma by Closing Violent DJJ Institutions
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, March 20, 2019
Maureen Washburn
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).

Read more

What Our Community Can Learn From Portugal’s Experience Decriminalizing Drugs
LA Watts Times
Susan Burton. Thursday, 21 March 2019
California bill to ease pathway for former inmates to become firefighters

AIRTALK, KPCC, March 14, 2019
A bill introduced by Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino) last month is looking to help former inmate firefighters pursue the career after their release.
The bill, AB 1211, would ease current regulations to help former convicts who demonstrate “rehabilitation and a desire to work” continue fighting fires after their sentence.
After Incarceration, Former Prisoners Face a Tough Journey Home to Find Work, Reunite with Family and Begin Again
March 26, 2019, BlackPressUSA
By Rachel Holloway, Trice Edney Newswire
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.
NYTimes, March 11, 2019, By Timothy Williams
Under a bill now making its way through the California State Legislature, millions of people in the state who have misdemeanor or lower-level felony records could be spared those problems: their criminal records would automatically be sealed from public view once they completed prison or jail sentences.
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

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.

Placing juveniles in solitary confinement doesn't fix them. In fact, it makes them worse
USA Today, Jan. 11, 2019
Opinion contributors, Jessica Feierman and Jenny Lutz
Do We Really Need Probation and Parole?
By Vincent Schiraldi
The Crime Report | January 24, 2019
A man nine years out of a New York prison proposes marriage to his girlfriend who also has a criminal record. Because it is against the rules to associate with someone with a prior record, his parole is revoked and he is returned to prison for a year─after which he marries the same person, this time with his parole officer’s permission. A Texas woman is sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to vote while on felony probation....
Rikers closure plan will soon begin public review
Politico, 01/22/2019
Placing juveniles in solitary confinement doesn't fix them. In fact, it makes them worse
USA Today, Jan. 11, 2019
Opinion contributors, Jessica Feierman and Jenny Lutz
Plan to create an L.A. County womens' jail in Lancaster faces serious opposition

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

Read the Editorial!

L.A. County needs to seriously rethink the Mira Loma women's jail

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...
Read More

Immigrants facing deportation, drug offenders and a former state lawmaker receive pardons from Gov. Jerry Brown

LA Times
by John Myers and Jazmine Ulloa, Nov 21, 2018

Read the article



Pacific Standard
Emily Moon,  October 19, 2018

The latest ruling comes as a success for advocates of criminal justice reform.

Read the article

Keep California Safe’ initiative fails to make the November 2018 ballot

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.

Read more

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.

Read the article

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

California Lawmakers Want to Make it Easier for Returned Citizens to get job Licenses  
California prison inmates are offered training in automotive repair, cosmetology, construction and other fields as part of their rehabilitation. Then, when they get out, state licensing boards often bar them from those professions because of their convictions.


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

FEB 13, 2018

Read the full editorial

California's top court strikes down 50-year sentences for juveniles
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.

In a 4-3 ruling, the state high court said a 50-year sentence for minors was "functionally equivalent" to life without parole. (read more)

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.

Read more

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...

Read more

The Marshall Project

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.

See more of the amazing photos

Mike Males
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?

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?


People with Records Deserve a Fair Chance to Secure Employment
Overall, 31 states and more than 150 cities and counties in America have taken steps to remove barriers to employment and give working people with records a second chance... Read more
Survivors of Violent Crime Raise Their Voices in California to call for a new Approach to Criminal Justice

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.
 Read more

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

Read More

LA County picks judge to lead ‘care first, jails last’ initiative

LA Daily News, September 14, 2020

Songhai Armstead, identified by the county CEO’s office as an innovator and longtime advocate for the underserved, will head the Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative, coordinating among multiple departments and community activists and service providers. Armstead is scheduled to retire from the Superior Court bench to take her new post later this month.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Listen Now

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

Spectrum News 1, By Bianca Rae Lancaster, Aug. 20, 2020 
LANCASTER, Calif. — You may not expect an A-list Hollywood movie producer to spend his Saturday outside a California state prison, but Scott Budnick is waiting for a man he knows well to be released, after 18 years behind bars.

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.

Read more

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read the Article

Read the Report

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.

Read more

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.

Read the article

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.

Listen Here

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?...

Read More

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.

Read more

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.

Read More

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...

Read the Editorial

California voters will be asked whether to let 50k parolees vote in November

Al Dia, June 25, 2020
by Ericka Conant

Read More
Lea en Espanol

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.”

Read More

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

Read More

Getting Out

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?

Listen Here

To close corporate America’s inequality gap, we need to end discrimination against Black job applicants

Fast Company
By: Martine Cadet, June 10, 2020

Read More

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.
Read more

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?

Read more

Editorial: Freed inmates face brutal lives of poverty and homelessness.
Don’t blame coronavirus

By THE LA Times Editorial Board
May 28, 2020

Read More

Editorial: No, criminals aren’t rampaging across California because of our zero-dollar bail policy

By The Times Editorial Board
May 27, 2020

Read More

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

Read More

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.
Read more

‘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.

Read more

Los Angeles needs a new approach to justice: George Gascón

Los Angeles Daily News, May 16, 2020
By George Gascon

Read the Op-Ed

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.

Read More

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.
Read more

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

Read More

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.

Read more

Let’s make sure that coronavirus doesn’t make hiring inequality even worse

Cal Matters, By Jessica Quintana
April 11, 2020

Read More

California Makes Major Bail Change To Slow The Spread Of Coronavirus In Jails
Bail will be set at $0 for most misdemeanors and low-level felony offenses.
The Appeal by Kira Lerner Apr 06, 2020
The California Judicial Council on Monday issued a statewide emergency order setting bail at $0 for most misdemeanor and lower-level felony offenses. The sweeping measure is the state’s latest effort to empty its jails to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Preventing Community Spread of COVID-19 in Sites like Jails and Emergency Shelter

April 3, 2020, National League of Cities
By NLC Staff
Unhoused people staying in emergency shelter, individuals who are incarcerated or living in residential treatment programs, halfway houses and residential re-entry programs are at a unique risk for the spread of COVID-19.
Why Jails Are So Important in the Fight Against Coronavirus
NYTimes, The Upshot, By Anna Flagg and Joseph Neff
Published March 31, 2020 Updated April 2, 2020
With about 200,000 people flowing into and out of jails every week, there are great risks not only for the detained, but also for jail workers and surrounding communities.
Coronavirus Pandemic: Santa Rita Jail Inmate Tests Positive; 77 New Cases In Alameda County
CBS SF Bay Area, April 4, 2020
L.A. County presented with ambitious plan to change its justice system to system of care
CalMatters, by Kelly Lytle
March 29, 2020
Arizona Dept. of Corrections whistleblower discusses health risks of working in prison during pandemic
Fox10 Phoenix, By Matt Galka
Published April 1, 2020

California’s State Juvenile Justice Agency Freezes New Detention Commitments

March 25, 2020, by Jeremy Loudenback, Senior Editor
On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state would stop sending adults and juveniles to its correctional system, which includes the state’s juvenile justice agency.

Why Hasn’t the Number of People in U.S. Jails Dropped?

Longer average stays are keeping the population high at a time of declining admissions
PEW, March 27, 2020
By: Jake Horowitz & Tracy Velázquez
Historic County-Community Partnership Takes The Vote Behind Bars In LA County
Witness LA, by Taylor Walker
February 28, 2020 
....In the program’s first day — and the first day of early voting in California — nearly 2,200 incarcerated Angelenos were registered to vote — more than any previous year, according to Sheriff Villanueva....
...The sheriff, registrar-recorder, the ALCU of Southern California, the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership, Susan Burton’s A New Way of Life, and the League of Women Voters – Los Angeles, are making history, Logan said, by ensuring incarcerated Angelenos have unprecedented access to voting education and opportunities this election...
How Jackie Lacey’s and George Gascón’s time in office shapes the L.A. County D.A.'s race
LA Times By James Queally
Feb. 18, 2020
Jackie Lacey and George Gascón spent more than three decades each working for and eventually running some of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies. Yet, their visions to lead the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office couldn’t be more different.
Florida loses appeals court ruling on felon voting law
Politico, By Gary Fineout
A legal and political battle over voting rights in Florida reached another milestone on Wednesday when a federal appeals court ruled that a law limiting the voting rights of people with felony convictions was unconstitutional.
Debating Measure R:
Expanding Civilian Oversight Of LA Sheriff’s Department
KPCC AirTalk
February 13, 2020
On March 3, Los Angeles County will vote on Measure R, which would give the L.A. Sheriff Department’s civilian oversight board increased subpoena power. It would also require the county to research and publish a plan that uses mental health treatment to lower the jail population.
Mass Incarceration, Then and Now
The New Yorker Radio Hour
January 17, 2020, By David Remnick
What Would a World Without Prisons Be Like?
The New Yorker Radio Hour
January 24, 2020, By David Remnick
5 arrested in $3.2 million Southern California sober living home fraud scheme
Orange County Register, January 17, 2020
by Scott Schwebke and Teri Sforza
Millions of dollars were swindled from an undisclosed insurance company in an alleged scam described as ‘appalling’
Sacramento Kings and Incarcerated Individuals Come Together For First NBA 'Play For Justice' Event at Folsom State Prison, Dec 12, 2019
"Today, the Sacramento Kings, with the REPRESENT JUSTICE Campaign tipped off a series of basketball games at correctional facilities between incarcerated individuals and NBA players and coaches."
2019 was the year L.A. County finally said ‘no’ to new jails

LA Times
, By The Times Editorial Board
Dec. 26, 2019

Jails are crowded with mentally ill people because states including California closed mental hospitals over several decades beginning in the 1960s without building out the system of community-based mental-health care they had promised. Jail populations are disproportionately black and Latino, in part because of a criminal justice system laced with overly punitive policies that prey on poverty and sentences that punish multiple generations. Building new jails — even ostensibly more humane ones — may sometimes be unavoidable, but it consumes resources that could otherwise be used for correcting the problems and improving lives.
This year — 2019 — was the year that the Board of Supervisors got the message.
California Is Letting Thousands of Prisoners Out Early. Its Housing Crisis Is Keeping Them From Starting Over.
Mother Jones, December 2019
By Marisa Endicott
Many people end up in 12-step programs even if they don’t have addiction issues, or in other facilities that resemble the prisons they just left.
Read the article
Where Prisons Are A Last Resort
How Finland & Norway Cut Prisons, Increased Social Programs, and Boosted Public Safety
Nov 23 by By Richie “Reseda” Edmond-Vargas, Co-Founder, Initiate Justice
“You know what the difference is between Finland and the U.S.? In the U.S., you have to earn being a human.”
Appeals Court Upholds California’s Revamped Felony-Murder Accomplice Law
Courthouse News Service
Martin Macias Jr, November 19, 2019
Los Angeles unveils first ever bridge housing project for trans women

Casa de Zulma aims to help vulnerable community members get back on their feet.
USC Annenberg Media
By Hayley Smith, November 14
Voter Registration Outreach - Getting Inside California Jails
LARRP's Managing Director, Elder Joe Paul will be the guest on the Accelerated Radio station show "Living On Assignment" to talk about voter registration outreach inside California jails.
Listen HERE to the show that aired 11/10/2019 at 9:00pm

Criminal justice reform targets court fines, fees

The state’s bewildering system of court fines and fees is now the target of reformers, who say it unfairly punishes the poor and is a bad way to fund the court system
By Greg Moran, The San Diego Union Tribune,  Oct. 22, 2019
Read More
Parolees Help Battle Saddleridge Fire as Part of New Reentry Program in Ventura County
October 14, 2019,
KTLA5, By Kristina Bravo

How Far Will California Take Criminal-Justice Reform?

By Dana Goodyear
The New Yorker, October 5, 2019
Read the Story

The 1619 Project

We would like to highlight a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.
It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.
We would especially like to highlight this article by Bryan Stevenson from the 1619 Series:

A Visit with My (incarcerated) Mother

The Hill - Opinion
September 24, 2019, By Kathy Morse And Dr. Homer Venters
I Host a Popular Podcast. I’m Also in Prison.
The Marshall Project,
September 26,2019, Rahsaan Thomas
“I’m hungry to make meaning out of destruction.”
Contra Costa to consider waiving certain court fees
The Mercury News
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
The Intercept
by Francisco Aviles Pino, August 22 2019
....On August 13, the movement had a pivotal victory. Following months of teach-ins, public forums, and office visits by JusticeLA, the Board of Supervisors voted to halt a $2.2 billion contract to build a gargantuan, jail-like mental health facility. Instead, the board will investigate how the county could invest in treatment programs and alternatives to incarceration.
The win is notable in part because it was driven not by reform politics but by an explicit call for prison abolition.
Why Los Angeles Officials Voted to Cancel an Almost $2 Billion Contract Thursday: A shift in thinking about jails and mental health.
NY Times,
Aug. 15, 2019, Jill CowanRead more
California Governor Promises More Changes to “Biased, Random” Justice System
Signing a new law on police shootings, Gavin Newsom says he’s sending a message.
The Marshall Project
August 19, 2019, Abbie Vansickle
Restoring Pell Grants To Prisoners Benefits Us All

Detroit Free Press
August 16, 2019, Greg Handel and Margaret diZerega

Read More

Prison Systems Can Respect The Religious Rights Of Muslims.
State Government Should Ensure They Do.
The Appeal, Vaidya Gullapalli Jul 29, 2019
Ex-Cons Find Second Chances Easier to Get in Tight Labor Market
Leslie Patton, Bloomberg News, July 16, 2019
Algorithms Should Not Determine Freedom: MIT Researchers Affirm Community Demands.
Medium, Ivette Ale, July 17, 2019
To their credit, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (BOS) and the California legislature have been attempting to reform this system (money bail). Unfortunately, both state and county have sought to replace money bail with an equally unfair and dangerous system — pretrial risk assessment.
Read More
Who’s helping the 1.9 million women released from prisons and jails each year?
Prison Policy Initiative, by Wendy Sawyer, July 19, 2019
Reentry and Opportunity Center Improves Outcomes for Probation Clients
By Cora Jackson-Fossett, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Sentinel, July 4, 2019
The new Los Angeles County Reentry Opportunity Center aims to increase successful outcomes for probation clients. Described as a one-stop shop, the facility houses community and county service providers to assist clients with a second chance to change the trajectory of their life. The DOORS or Developing Opportunities Offering Reentry Solutions section contains representatives to aid with housing, jobs, training, legal assistance, mental health services and more.
Why Los Angeles Could Be the Setting for the ‘Most Important D.A. Race’ in the U.S.
NYTimes, June 21, 2019
By Tim Arango
Competing approaches — pushing to reform mass incarceration versus a more traditional get-tough-on crime tact — are likely to clash in the race for district attorney of Los Angeles. George Gascón, the district attorney of San Francisco, is weighing a return home to Los Angeles, where he was a police officer in the 1990s, to challenge Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles’s incumbent top prosecutor, setting the stage for what activists and experts say will be the most important district attorney’s race in America.
See the ACLU Report and LARRP Press Release below for more on the Death Penalty in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, only people of color are sentenced to death
The Guardian, 18 Jun 2019
By SamLevin
The county’s prosecutor has won death sentences for 22 defendants, none of them white, report shows
LA County Supes Expand Innovative Program Proven To Break The Wash, Rinse, Repeat Pattern Of Mental Illness, Incarceration, And Homelessness
WitnessLA, May 14, 2019
by Celeste Fremon
Counties rarely collect fees imposed on those formerly jailed. So why keep charging them?
LA Times OpEd By Anne Stuhldreher
MAY 16, 2019
Every month people like Anthony Robles struggle with a harrowing choice: to pay rent and bills, or pay fees that will keep them out of jail.
How Private Equity Is Turning Public Prisons Into Big Profits
The Nation, April 30, 2019
By Tim Requarth 
In recent years, corporations have privatized almost every part of the public prison system. Now, PE firms are swooping in, seeking lavish returns for investors.
An Ex-Prisoner of America’s Drug War Speaks Out: It’s Not Over Yet
The Crime Report | April 17, 2019
By Anthony Papa
Bernie Sanders Is Right: We Should Let the Boston Marathon Bomber Vote
Reason, by JOE SETYON | 4.23.2019
Incarcerated people are already paying their debt to society. What good does it do the rest of the population to take away their right to have a say?

21 more studies showing racial disparities in the criminal justice system
The Washington Post, April 9
By Radley Balko, Opinion writer

Read More

First major drug distribution company, former executives, criminally charged in opioid crisis

NBC News, April 23, 2019
By Tom Winter and Elisha Fieldstadt

California Death Penalty Suspended; 737 Inmates Get Stay of Execution

NYTimes, By Tim Arango
March 12, 2019

Read Article

Bias in the justice system is real, and the death penalty reveals it
LA Times, Op-ed, MAR 21, 2019
Van Jones pushes for justice reforms with Lamont
Ken Dixon
AP, March 18, 2019
Gavin Newsom’s death penalty moratorium could turn the abolitionist tide in California

MAR 13, 2019

Read the Op-Ed

The Case for Expunging Criminal Records
A new study shows the benefits of giving people a clean slate.
NYTimes, Op-Ed, March 20, 2019
By J.J. Prescott and Sonja B. Starr
Professors Prescott and Starr teach at the University of Michigan Law School.
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
witnessLA March 26, 2019 by Celeste Fremon
On Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a new motion that will put most of the power to choose how a large pot of state money gets spent into the hands of the county’s Juvenile Justice Coordinating Counsel (JJCC), a mostly unknown voting body that is crammed with youth experts and advocates. Prior to this shift, the funds were almost entirely controlled by LA County Probation, a situation that the board decided wasn’t working.
Teaching in America’s prisons has taught me to believe in second chances
The Conversation, March 18, 2019
More mothers are ending up behind bars. Meeting the needs of their children is becoming a bigger priority
By Anissa Gray, CNN
CNN, March 18, 2019
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
LA Times, MAR 20, 2019
After Los Angeles voters approved a ballot measure to remake a key part of the police disciplinary process, City Council President Herb Wesson promised a series of hearings around the city on LAPD reform and the kinds of complaints about policing that have riveted the nation’s attention over the last several years: Excessive force. Dishonesty. Accountability. Discipline. Transparency. There would be ample opportunity for public input. Everything would be done in the open.
"There's not one subject I want to duck," Wesson told The Times in May 2017. "I want to look at every aspect of this."
What a crock.
1.5 million felons can now vote in Florida because of these men
New York Post, March 16, 2019
By Salena Zito
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.

LA Times, Feb 16, 2019, By Jazmine Ulloa
SACRAMENTO — California set ambitious new goals in 2012 to help state inmates transition into society and infused the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation with more funding to fulfill the mandate. But a state audit released last month found corrections officials have failed to connect many prisoners with services, monitor rehabilitation programs and keep people away from incarceration.
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
Opponents of California Justice Reforms Prepare for Battle
The Crime Report
By TCR Staff | January 22, 2019
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva defends reinstating deputy fired over abuse allegations
By MAYA LAU, LA Times, JAN 22, 2019
Despite an emphasis on inmate rehab, California recidivism rate is 'stubbornly high'
LA Times, JAN 31, 2019
The Appeal, Jan 23, 2019
Patrisse Cullors, Lex Steppling
Los Angeles County’s jail system incarcerates tens of thousands of people at a multi-billion dollar cost. The communities most impacted by mass incarceration have had enough.
The People v. Melina Abdullah
As the city cracks down on free speech, Black Lives Matter L.A. leader Melina Abdullah faces eight criminal misdemeanor charges stemming from her activism.
Black women punished for self-defense must be freed from their cages

The Guardian, Thu 3 Jan 2019
Mariame Kaba
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.

Read the article

Prop. 47 spared offenders from prison, but they may find county jail harsher

San Francisco Chronicle Nov. 23, 2018, By Kerry Rudd

Read the article

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

Read the article

The Scanner: Alameda County to drop criminal justice fees; the problem with pot DUIs

Read the article

In historic upset, Alex Villanueva beats incumbent Jim McDonnell in race for Los Angeles County sheriff

LA Times| NOV 26, 2018 | By MAYA LAU

Read the story

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.

Read the Article

Jim Crow’s Lasting Legacy At The Ballot Box

The Marshall Project
Denying voting rights to people with felony convictions has roots in racist laws.

Read the Opinion Piece

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?

Read the Opinion Piece

No, Prop 47 didn't de-criminalize misdemeanors

Read the editorial

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

Read the editorial

To build, or not to build, a new L.A. County jail

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.

Watch here


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

CONTACT: Troy Vaughn,

Press Release
Voter Registration Makes Inroads in Unexpected Territory: County Jails

LA Times, FEB 26, 2018

Read the article

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?

Corrections College of California Report

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.


Select clips

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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