October 5, 2012
Judith Jamison looked regal on stage with Farai Chideya last month in The Forum Conversations at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her message seemed to be one of preparedness and presence – being, as our sister Ayana Vanzant says, in spirit. Muslims call this the sirata-l-mustaqim or the path of the rightly guided.
October 1, 2012
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano decried Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto yesterday of legislation that would have returned openness to California’s prison system. Ammiano’s bill, AB 1270, would have restored, not expanded as noted in the veto message, media access to the level that existed in 1996 when the CDC clamped down on the press’ ability to interview specific prisoners.
August 30, 2012
Update: Gov. Brown signed AB 1270 Aug. 31, restoring the conditions that existed before 1996, when corrections officials cut down on reporters’ ability to report on prisons and prisoners. “With passage of AB 1270, legislators have voted for transparent and accountable reporting of the state’s 32 prisons and the more than 130,000 prisoners locked inside their walls.”
July 27, 2012
AB 1270, legislation that would increase transparency and media access to California’s notorious state prison system, is currently facing opposition in the Senate Appropriations Committee. CDCR is formally opposing the bill, citing cost as their main concern. There are two ways that you can help: Attend a Lobby Day on Aug. 9 or phone committee members from home before Aug. 13.
June 3, 2012
I would like to wish all the fathers a blessed and happy Fathers’ Day 2012. It is a hard time to be a parent of a youngster, not to mention an adolescent or youth. The challenges are great, in direct proportion to the rewards. I’d like to congratulate the young fathers who are stepping up and participating in their children’s lives, especially when society equates parenting with one’s largess or paycheck.
February 8, 2012
On the United Nations’ “World Day of Social Justice,” Monday, Feb. 20, we are calling a National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners. In the Bay Area we will Occupy San Quentin 12-3 p.m. Kevin Cooper, an innocent man on Death Row, joins the call to Occupy San Quentin and demand an end to capital punishment.
September 19, 2011
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced Tuesday that non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenders who are female, pregnant or were primary caregivers prior to incarceration and have less than two years of their sentences left are eligible to serve the rest of their sentences in residential homes, residential substance-abuse treatment programs or transitional care facilities.
September 14, 2011
This spring, the news started going around that a hunger strike was being planned in the Security Housing Unit at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP). Prisoners at the SHU had apparently united across racial lines and promised to hungerstrike to the death if need be, starting on July 1.
August 4, 2011
How well indeed the creator saw fit to have the Muslim population worldwide join the hunger strike started by brothers in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay July 1, which continues in other California prisons, including I heard at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF).
May 4, 2011
The U.S. is the only country in the world where youth can receive a life-without-parole sentence. Get involved in ending this injustice. Join CCWP for a screening of ‘Juvies’ on Friday, May 13, 7-9 p.m., Eastside Arts Alliance, 2277 International Blvd, Oakland.
May 4, 2011
Happy Mother’s Day to Yuri Kochiyama! I’d like to also wish the women who haven’t seen their children in a long time, some since birth, a special Happy Mother’s Day. Our prayers are with you even if you feel alone at a time when in America prisons systematically separate mothers from their children, often permanently.
December 20, 2010
On Dec. 9, 2010, thousands of prisoners in at least six Georgia state prisons initiated the largest prisoner strike in U.S. history, uniting across racial boundaries to demand an immediate end to the cruel and dehumanizing conditions that damage prisoners, their families and the communities they return to. Readers are invited to add their names to this solidarity statement.
January 26, 2009
Life-term prisoners – lifers – are beginning to experience the effects of Prop 9, Marsy’s Law. On Jan. 14, when political prisoner Hugo Pinnell appeared before the Parole Board, he was told to come back in 15 years!
January 13, 2009
The Coalition Against Police Execution (CAPE) will hold the Praying for Peace, Working for Justice March and Rally at Oakland’s City Hall Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 4 p.m. as the Oakland community continues to demand justice in the senseless murder of Oscar Grant by BART police.
December 22, 2008
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is proposing the only real solution to the overcrowding crisis: reducing the number of people in prison and canceling new prison construction.
October 24, 2007
Hidden among the almond groves outside of Chowchilla, California, lies the largest women’s prison complex in the world, Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW), where an estimated 11,000 women are held behind bars. “Conditions are horrible,” said Mary Van Der Horst, a member of All of Us or None, a group of former prisoners organizing for civil and human rights. Van Der Horst said that there is not enough food and hygiene is poor at the two facilities.