September 5, 2013
Gov. Jerry Brown’s just-proposed plan to ease overcrowding in California prisons without releasing inmates early has drawn quick opposition from prison reform activists across the state and has spawned an alternative approach from a contingent of moderate and liberal Democrats in the state legislature, creating an unusual rift among senior Democrats in the age-old incarceration-rehabilitation divide.
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 12, 2012
Today, residents throughout the state celebrate as AB1270, a bill to lift the media access ban in California prisons, passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety in a 4-2 vote. Since 1996, media have been prohibited from choosing their interview subjects inside prisons, and nine versions of this bill have been vetoed by three different governors.
December 30, 2010
Among the very few people celebrating our country’s fiscal crisis are criminal justice reformers. Bill Piper of Drug Policy Alliance says, “Next year is probably an unprecedented opportunity to defund the federal drug war.” But colorblind cost-benefit approaches leave intact the racial attitudes, stereotypes and anxieties that gave rise to the system in the first place.
December 30, 2010
At long last the Scott sisters will be free! Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, based on public pressure, used his commutation powers to grant the sisters their freedom. He suspended Jamie and Gladys Scott’s double life sentences for taking part in an $11 armed robbery. The women have always maintained their innocence. This good news is the people’s victory! Listen to Minister of Information JR’s Block Report with the Scott sisters’ attorney, Chokwe Lumumba, broadcast Dec. 30 on Flashpoints.
December 24, 2010
In Arms Reach in Harlem, directed by Terrance Stevens, who is paralyzed, focuses on mentoring at risk youth and children with incarcerated parent(s), providing one-on-one mentoring, after-school tutoring, college preparation courses, creative development through art and music and free prison visitation services.
November 24, 2010
“This system treats us like throw-away people,” says Carolyn Brown, a Seattle volunteer with prison reform group Justice Works! An African American with a record, her effort to find a job is deeply frustrating due to systemic racism.
March 18, 2010
California’s extremely overcrowded prison system is draining state funds that would normally be used for education. Yet legislators continue to portray non-violent three-strike inmates as dangerous criminals who deserve to serve a life sentence for crimes that would have ordinarily carried six months to one year in the county jail.