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News items related to incarceration

Is California Finally Figuring Out Drugs?

"No state has embraced both illegal drugs and the official wars thereon like California," writes Mike Males. After a roller coaster half-century, the state may finally be on its way to good drug policy.

California's Radical Youth Trends

Huge reductions in youth incarceration, huge increases in populations of youth of color — and huge reductions in youth crime. Who knew?

Bringing the holidays into the jails

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department and the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice partnered to bring the holiday spirit into the San Francisco County Jails.

A Closer Look at the Aging Prison Population

The number of aging state and federal inmates is rising.  Between 1981 and 2010, the number of inmates age 55 and older increased from 8,853 to 124,900.

Against violence and against incarceration

Anti-violence activists, who often demand harsher penalties for offenders, tend to work in opposition to those fighting overuse of incarceration, who call for the opposite. This antagonism leaves women of color on the sidelines, as they are disproportionately impacted by both gender-based violence and the criminal justice system.

Charles Manson and the politics of fear

Forty-three years ago, Charles Manson and his “Family” of disciples brutally murdered nine innocent people in Los Angeles. The killings are among the most notorious in the nation’s history, and continue to haunt the public imagination. By March 3, Gov. Jerry Brown will decide whether to release one of the Family members, Bruce Davis, from prison.

Longer sentences for youth do not improve public safety
Pathways to Desistance , a study of serious youth offenders, finds that long institutional commitments do not reduce recidivism and in fact can have the opposite effect.  The study follows over 1,300 youth convicted of serious felonies (inc. murder, robbery, and sex offenses) across the country over a seven-year period. A September 2012 factsheet  from the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) summarizes the latest findings of the study: ~ A youth's future likelihood to re-offend cannot…
High cost, low return of longer prison terms
A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that the length of time served in prison has increased nationally by 36% since 1990.   This has translated into an average of nine additional months of incarceration per prisoner.  This results in extra costs to states totaling more than $10.4 billion per year.  The study found that over half of those additional costs were spent on non-violent offenders who posed minimal risks to public safety. Nationally, states spend over $51 billion each year…
Study: Long-term juvenile incarceration fails to decrease reoffending rates
A March 2011 study through the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) concludes that long-term juvenile incarceration does not decrease reoffending, and may actually increase recidivism rates for lower-level youth offenders.  Researchers conducted more than 21,000 interviews over 8 years with more than 1,300 felony offenders ages 14--18 in the cities of Philadelphia and Phoenix.   Researchers also interviewed parents and peers and examined arrest records. Their…
New Report Released: "The California Miracle"
Executive Director Daniel Macallair and Senior Research Fellow Mike Males investigate the validity of the Incapacitation Theory through the recent report titled "The California Miracle: Drastically Reduced Youth Incarceration, Drastically Reduced Youth Crime ."  This report serves as an update to a prior CJCJ publication, "Testing Incapacitation Theory: Youth Crime and Incarceration in California ." Our recent analysis calls incapacitation theory into serious question.  Incapacitation theory…
Testing Incapacitation Theory: Youth Crime and Incarceration in California
Testing Incapacitation Theory: Youth Crime and Incarceration in California
A Tale of Two Jurisdictions: Youth Crime and Detention Rates in Maryland & the District of Columbia
A Tale of Two Jurisdictions: Youth Crime and Detention Rates in Maryland & the District of Columbia
The American Gulag: The Correctional Industrial Complex in America

An examination of the political and social elements of the prison industrial complex.

Young African American and the Criminal Justice System in California: Five Years Later

Follow up on the 1990 study shows that the general plight of people of color, particualrly young black males, has deteriorated.

Race & Incarceration In San Francisco: Two Years Later

A follow up on a 1992 study of San Francisco's racially disparate incarceration trends finds a city steeped in rhetoric rather than reason.

Singapore West: The Incarceration of 200,000 Californians

As incarceration rates in California continued to increase during the 1990's this report debunks the perceived public safety benefit, through an international comparison.

The Prison Population Explosion California's Rogue Elephant

Examination of corrections in CA concludes, "we starve programs which could have an impact on crime in order to pour money into a bloated imprisonment program which cannot work." 

Race & Incarceration in San Francisco: Localizing Apartheid

This report compares the incarceration rates of African American males in San Francisco to those of African American males in the United States overall and black males in South Africa.

Reaffirming Rehabilitation in Juvenile Justice

An examination of juvenile justice in the United States reveals a failed correctional model and the hope of reform.

Young African American Men and the Criminal Justice System in California

The 1977 Determinate Sentencing Law was passed in an effort to achieve fairness and parity in sentencing in California. Thirteen years later, we have a system loaded down with African American men in the prime of their lives.

California Stentencing Institute screenshot

California Sentencing
Institute (CASI)

Explore how California’s 58 counties send their residents to correctional institutions with interactive maps, charts, and downloadable data.

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