May 3, 2014
Seeing news reports on America being the fattest country in the world, and the First Lady’s program to fight childhood obesity, leads me to wonder why there is no governmental urgency to address the other obesity-like epidemic affecting America, the one stemming from mass incarceration. America represents only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet our penal system has locked up 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. That’s a HEAVY burden on taxpayers!
April 14, 2014
Following a mass hunger strike by prisoners in California last year, some state legislators promised to reform the use of Security Housing Units (SHU). This week, Assembly Bill 1652, passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If the bill becomes law, prisoners would only be sent to SHU for specific serious rules violations that come with determinate SHU sentences.
November 1, 2013
It’s the ingenious design of prison to focus more on profit and perpetual imprisonment through antagonizing and framing inmates than on rehabilitation, human rights and community development. We get no second chances. African American youth like myself grew up in East Baltimore, never hearing about the tortuous prison structure, George Jackson, Angela Davis or Kwame Toure.
October 3, 2013
The 18th Annual Maafa Commemoration Ritual is Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, predawn. We meet at Ocean Beach, Fulton at the Great Highway. The ritual is for people of African Descent (Black people from throughout the globe). There are so many great events this month, but not enough space to list them all.
September 28, 2013
It is my sincere hope this letter will be received in the same spirit of appreciation and cooperation in which it is written. First and foremost, I wish to acknowledge the courage and independent thinking and actions you demonstrated in the unannounced visit to inspect the conditions of confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit and speak with the strike leaders.
May 31, 2013
Had the CDCR been doing what it should have been doing all along, we would not even be facing this problem. And if rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment had been made widely available years ago, we would not have the numbers in prison that we do. CDCR, however, was intent on investing its money in expanding the prison population, not reducing it.
May 7, 2013
After a year of defying court orders to alleviate the state’s prison crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown seems to have finally pushed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to its limit. In an April 11 ruling, the exasperated federal judges gave Brown until May 2 to develop a plan that will reduce the prison population by nearly 10,000 people by the end of the year.
April 6, 2012
Imagine you were framed again by prison gang officers using a tattoo you got as a child and a symbol in a birthday card to “validate” you as a “prison gang associate” and label you “worst of the worst” and placed in segregation in a Security Housing Unit, or SHU, for years on end. That is what happened to my childhood best friend and husband, Robbie Riva.
September 1, 2011
Denise, Marilyn, Anna and I, with Harriett at the wheel, left West Oakland BART in the second carpool wave for Sacramento Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 9:30 a.m. to attend a pre-rally for the historic California Assembly Hearing on Solitary Confinement.
August 27, 2011
For many years, the “three strikes” law has rained havoc and waste over the state of California, plunging its state debt increasingly deeper each and every year, which the taxpayers are paying for without any real justification.
April 23, 2011
From it’s inception, the juvenile justice system has treated youth of color unfairly: When the first detention facility established a “colored section” in 1834, Black children were excluded from rehabilitation because it would be a “waste” of resources.
February 10, 2011
Oakland City Attorney John Russo’s proposed gang injunction is draconian and does not sufficiently address the root causes of crime, according to legal scholars. Attend the hearing Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2 p.m., in Dept. 20 of the Courthouse at 1225 Fallon St., Oakland
March 1, 2009
On Jan. 6, after 27 days of fasting and an incredible effort on the part of the pigs to interfere and frustrate my fast in protest of what has been happening to me and other men being denied medical care, I was all but forced to end it.
February 17, 2009
Despite the city’s considerable wealth, our local economy is suffering. Ten thousand more San Franciscans are unemployed than a year ago, 1,000 families have lost their homes to foreclosure and more people are waiting in lines for free food than anyone has seen in a generation.